Zprávy HCJB 21.6.2004

   Minulý týden oznámila řecká Biblická společnost, že ortodoxní, katoličtí a evangelikální křesťané budou letos v srpnu během Olympijských her v Aténách společně pracovat na distribuci 50,000 letáků – „Apoštol Pavel v Řecku“. Na základě faktů o Pavlově návštěvě v Řecku ve Skutcích 16 a 20 bude tato část Písma vydána v jedenácti jazycích – řečtině, angličtině, francouzštině, němčině, španělštině, portugalštině, ruštině, arabštině, korejštině, čínštině a japonštině. K tomu vydá řecká Biblická společnost dvě další publikace: Nový zákon v angličtině, který bude distribuován ve vesnici sportovců a Nový zákon v řečtině, který bude prodáván za běžný poplatek. (Religious Media Agency/Bible Society of Greece)
   FIRE TEMPORARILY SHUTS DOWN MAF BASE IN BORNEO, INDONESIA A faulty electrical panel has been blamed for a fire that destroyed a building at the Mission Aviation Fellowship base in Borneo, Indonesia, May 28, temporarily shutting down the ministry in the area. MAF spokesman Kevin Swanson says the shop building which burned down did not house any planes. "The fire seems to have started in an electrical panel," Swanson says. "For those of us who have lived overseas, we understand how standards and codes are often very different than what we're used to in the U.S. It's not all that uncommon for there to be a wiring problem. We're thankful that the fire does not appear to be related to any sectarian problem in Indonesia." Swanson says with the loss of the building, the flight program there was forced to shut down. "As soon as we can get adequate maintenance facilities and tools and parts, we should be able to put the flight program back in operation." The loss will be partially covered by insurance. However, MAF is raising extra funds to assist the staffers in getting back in the air later this summer. (Mission Network News) * HCJB World Radio worked with local Indonesian partners to establish a local Christian station in Sumba Island. Plans are also being made to establish stations on Roti Island and at Kupang in West Timor. Equipment was sent from the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart, Ind. CHINA AGAIN POSTPONES VISIT OF U.N. INVESTIGATOR ON TORTURE China has again postponed a visit by the U.N. investigator on torture in what human rights groups say is part of a strategy to avoid scrutiny of its overcrowded labor camps and prisons. In a statement, the Chinese government said it had postponed a planned two-week visit this month by Theo van Boven, the special rapporteur on torture, until later this year to allow "more time to prepare" given the many different authorities, departments and provinces involved, news reports said. Van Boven, who was due to present his report to the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission, condemned the delay, saying that freedom to make inquiries as well as access to places of detention were necessary for a proper assessment. He also stressed the need for confidential interviews with detainees and other people without fear of reprisal. China's controversial decision followed detailed reports by human rights groups last week about a major Beijing-backed crackdown on underground congregations. This includes the recent arrests of more than 100 evangelical believers and the death of 28-year-old house church teacher Gu Xianggao who died after being beaten by Chinese Public Security Bureau officers on April 27. Chinese officials have not reacted to these reports, but the government has said that China must protect itself against "evil cults." Human rights watchdogs argue that the term is used as an excuse to attack growing evangelical churches and dissident groups because the Chinese Communist Party fears it will lose control on some sectors of society. (Assist News Service) 100 GRADS OF BIBLE COLLEGE IN KAZAKHSTAN SERVE IN UNREACHED AREAS More than a decade after the fall of communism in the former Soviet Union, God is using the first leadership training school in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to spread the gospel in hard-to-reach areas. The Bridge International's Agape Bible College has graduated more than 1,000 students with more than 100 sent as missionaries into unreached areas where they broke strongholds by prayer and fasting, then evangelized and pioneered new churches. Most of the other graduates are working in their home churches, serving as evangelists, assistant pastors, cell group and worship leaders, and other ministry leaders. Warren Hoytt, who periodically travels to Almaty to teach, says many of the students are ex-drug addicts. "These people have not only escaped their addiction, but they are now spending time in prayer and fasting -- seeking to advance His kingdom and break the grips of the majority religion in Kazakhstan." Many have come to Christ through the witness of these young workers. (Mission Network News) BIBLE SOCIETY OF GREECE PREPARES FOR OUTREACH DURING OLYMPIC GAMES The Bible Society of Greece announced last week that Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christians in the country will work together to distribute 50,000 copies of the booklet, "The Apostle Paul in Greece," during the Olympic Games in Athens this August. Based on the account of Paul's visit to Greece in Acts 16 and 20, the Scripture portion will be made available in 11 languages -- Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. In addition, the Bible Society of Greece is producing two other publications: an English New Testament to be distributed in the athlete's village and a Greek New Testament to be sold at a nominal fee. (Religious Media Agency/Bible Society of Greece) * HCJB World Radio has worked in partnership with Hellenic Mission Union International to establish a radio studio in Athens, Greece. MERCY SHIPS PROVIDING MEDICAL CARE IN CARIBBEAN, EUROPE, AFRICA Special anesthetic equipment donated to Mercy Ships for use on its hospital ship, the Caribbean Mercy, has enabled volunteer surgeons to perform optical pediatric surgeries on children. Eighteen-month-old Cecilia was the first child to have surgery on the ship during an outreach to Honduras. Cecilia was born with crossed eyes, and surgeons performed operations on both eyes to correct the problem. Surgeries are carried out on the Caribbean Mercy to remove cataracts and straighten children's eyes, providing healing and giving hope for new opportunities. Another hospital ship, Anastasis, has begun visits to a number of ports throughout the U.K. and other parts of Europe, raising public awareness of the work of the global charity as well as restocking and re-staffing prior to the next outreach to Benin and Liberia later this year. (Religious Media Agency) 3-MONTH MARCH TO RAISE AWARENESS OF LAOTIAN BELIEVERS' PLIGHT A North St. Paul, Minn., man is leading a three-month, 10-person march to the nation's capital to raise awareness of the plight of the Hmong people living in Laos, reported The Star-Tribune. Zong Khang Yang, 42, says the group is walking from the Minnesota State Capitol to Washington, D.C., in the hopes of encouraging the U.N. to send peacekeepers into the nation and to urge the Laotian government to allow humanitarian aid from abroad. Neng Xiong, 29, of St. Paul, one of the walkers, says the suffering of the Hmong believers "motivates me and gives me the energy to go." Participants plan to walk several miles each day, stopping at cities and towns along the way to educate people about Hmong culture. "I have a really good cause," Yang said before the walk. "I have fire burning inside that will help encourage me to walk all the way to Washington, D.C. There are many lives I need to save." (Assist News Service) * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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