Zprávy HCJB 18.6.2004

   Přestože jsou křesťané i nadále terčem násilí v těžko dosažitelných oblastech světa, musí jít dále za jakoukoli cenu. To je závěr sjezdu Jižních baptistů z tohoto týdne. Letošní rok byl pro Mezinárodní misijní výbor Jižních baptistů doslova pohromou. Misionáři Larry a Jean Elliott, Karen Watson a David McDonnall byli zabiti v Iráku. McDonnallova manželka Carrie byla vážně zraněna. Výboru sdělila své důvody, proč šli do Iráku. „Nemylte se, my jsme šli s Davidem do Iráku, protože nás k tomu Bůh povolal, aby Jeho jméno bylo oslaveno mezi mnoha národy,“řekla. „Tam patří i místa, která jsou nebezpečná.“ Mnoho křesťanů říká, že není rozumné chodit do míst jako je Irák a dělit se tam o evangelium. McDonnall nesouhlasí. „Můj Ježíš má na svém těle jizvy, které jsou výsledkem násilí, které protrpěl. Jak můžeme my zůstat sedět a říkat, ‚Já nemůžu, protože je to moc těžké?‘ To je to nejmenší, co mohu já pro svého Ježíše udělat.“ (Mission Network News)
   SOUTHERN BAPTISTS URGE MISSIONARIES TO KEEP SERVING IN RISKY AREAS Even though Christians continue to be targets of violence in hard-to-reach areas of the world, they need to go no matter what the cost. That was the message at the Southern Baptist Convention this week. This year has been a deadly one for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. Missionaries Larry and Jean Elliott, Karen Watson and David McDonnall were killed in Iraq. McDonnall's wife, Carrie, was critically injured. She told the convention why they went to Iraq. "Make no mistake, David and I went to Iraq out of God's call on our lives, to see His name glorified among the nations," she said. "That includes the hard and violent places." Many Christians say it's unwise to enter places like Iraq to share the gospel. McDonnall disagrees. "My Jesus wears scars on His body from the violence He endured. How can we sit back and say, 'I can't because it's too hard'? For my Jesus, it's the least that I could do." (Mission Network News) MOSCOW COURT UPHOLDS BAN ON JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES The Moscow City Appeals Court ruled Wednesday, June 16, to uphold a March 26 lower court decision to strip the Jehovah's Witness community in Moscow of its legal status and ban all of its activities in the city, effective immediately. One effect of the ruling will be to bar the organization from renting space for meetings or from owning buildings in Moscow. "Now the more than 11,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow may well be forced underground," said Vasily Kalin, the group's Russian chairman. "We consider today's decision to be a flagrant violation of the Moscow City Court's responsibility to protect the rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution." Jehovah's Witnesses have 80 congregations in Moscow. Today's decision carries no legal force affecting the remainder of the 133,000 members of Russia's Jehovah's Witness communities outside the capital. Nevertheless, human rights attorney Vladimir Ryakhovsky called the decision "disgraceful" and a "major attack on religious freedom in Russia." Kalin said the charges raised by the prosecutor in Wednesday's appeals court decision were "almost identical to the charges brought about by the repressive Soviet authority in the 1950s." (Compass) VIETNAMESE PRIEST'S PRISON SENTENCE REDUCED AGAIN The prison sentence of Vietnamese Catholic priest Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly has been reduced by five years for the second time since he was convicted of "undermining the country's unity" and violating a detention order. On Wednesday, June 16, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry announced that the People's Court of the northern province of Ha Nam had decided to reduce his original 15-year sentence to just five years. Van Ly, 58, was convicted in October 2001 after a one-day trial without a defense lawyer or public audience. He was arrested because of his peaceful campaign to promote greater religious freedom in Vietnam. His sentence was first reduced by five years in July 2003. The reductions came after Jubilee Campaign organized a letter-writing effort and mobilized British parliamentarians to make written representations on behalf of Van Ly to the Vietnamese and British governments. Lord Alton of Liverpool also brought up his case during a private discussion May 25 with Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong and Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien during the president's recent state visit to the U.K. (Jubilee Campaign) CHRISTIAN AID AGENCY AIRLIFTS SUPPLIES TO SUDANESE REFUGEES IN CHAD World Vision teams are airlifting 45 tons of relief supplies to Chad this week. The aid is expected to be ready for distribution to Sudanese refugees beginning Sunday, June 20. The shipment consists of plastic sheeting, water containers, water purification equipment, kitchen sets and other supplies. Despite a cease-fire agreed in April between rebels and government forces, fighting continues in the western province of Darfur, forcing more than 180,000 people to flee to neighboring Chad. By providing physical help, relief workers interact with those in need, leading to numerous witnessing opportunities. In addition to the refugees in Chad, Reuters reported that another 1.8 million people from Darfur have fled to other parts of Sudan. Rebels launched a revolt in Darfur last year, accusing the government of neglect and of arming Arab units known as Janjaweed militias that loot and burn ethnic African villages. The Khartoum government denies the charges. Some U.N. officials accuse the government of turning a blind eye to a scorched-earth campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur and failing to fulfill pledges to disarm the militias and ensure aid workers have access to those in need. (Mission Network News/MSNBC/Reuters) * HCJB World Radio worked with local partner Church of the Lutheran Brethren to establish a recording studio in Gauna Gaya, Chad. WORLD RELIEF ANNOUNCES AID FOR 3,000 CONGOLESE REFUGEES As violence rages in the volatile African countries of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, World Relief is responding with aid for refugees affected by the growing humanitarian crisis. Renewed fighting in eastern the eastern part of the country has driven thousands of refugees into neighboring Rwanda. World Relief plans to help 3,000 vulnerable Congolese refugees through emergency food rations of rice and beans distributed through their extensive network of local churches in the province. Dan Brose, World Relief's Rwanda country director, said, "I am sure that our response to the refugee problem will be maximized through this network to comfort and console suffering families." (World Relief/Religious Media Agency) * HCJB World Radio works with local partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo to broadcast the gospel on FM stations in Boma, Bukavu and Kinshasa. Programs go out in English, French, Kikongo Fioti, Lingala, Luba and Swahili. Weekly programs in the Songe and Kikongo San Salvador languages also air from local FM stations in the country. COUPLE TO TRAIN 10,000 FOR FINAL 'HEALING EXPLOSION' IN HOUSTON A couple that has led healing crusades worldwide since 1985 plan to hold a final "Healing Explosion" in Houston later this year. Charles and Frances Hunter will train thousands in healing ministry culminating with a crusade at the Astrodome Oct. 2. "I think it will be a historic event because we're going to train 10,000 people how to minister healing," said Frances Hunter, 88. "When we anoint the 10,000 people on the healing team, do you have any idea the explosion of power that's going to go out?" she added. Frances believes the training sessions, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, will affect people around the world. Reservations have come from countries such as India, Indonesia, Korea, Peru, Ecuador and Ukraine. "We believe that these 10,000 people will go back to their churches, and they're going to start teaching their people so our churches can really come alive with the power of God," she said. The Hunters have been teaching Christians how to minister healing for more than 30 years. Known as the "Happy Hunters," the couple has hosted healing crusades, written dozens of books on healing, and produced training videos about healing. In 1990 they began the World Evangelistic Census, a campaign that mobilizes people to do door-to-door evangelism while taking a census of the world. (Religion Today/Charisma News Service)

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