Zprávy HCJB 24.2.2005

   Asi 880 osvobozených otroků se mezi 23.lednem a 2.únorem vrátilo do svých domovů v jižním Súdánu. 607 z nich tam bylo převezeno správou Súdánského výboru pro odstranění únosů žen a dětí. Ostatních 273 otroků bylo vysvobozeno z arabských dobytčích farem v Baggara Mírovým výborem Arab-Dinka. Organizace Christian Solidarity International oběma skupinám osvobozených otroků poskytuje jídlo a balíčky se základními potřebami. Pomáhá místním úřadům při spojování těchto bývalých otroků s jejich rodinami. Většina vracejících se otroků mluví o „velkém týrání“ ze strany jejich arabských muslimských pánů – bití, zmrzačování, výhrůžkách zabitím, nucené konverzi k Islámu. Většina žen a starších dívek řekla, že byly svázány a znásilněny. Desítky tisíc černých súdánských žen a dětí zůstávají v otroctví v Súdánu – hlavně v Darfuru a blízkém Kordofanu. (American Anti-Slavery Group)

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Christian ministries are bringing both physical and spiritual encouragement to the people of Iran after an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck the southeastern city of Zarand Tuesday, Feb. 22. Approximately 500 people died and another 1,000 were injured in the region. This is in the same area as Bam where a devastating earthquake struck on Dec. 26, 2003, leaving more than 40,000 people dead. SAT-7, a Christian television ministry that reaches the Middle East and North Africa, broadcasts in Farsi to this area where there are few Christian ministries or believers. "People in Iran right now are very eager to hear ideas about Christianity," said Executive Director Debbie Brink. "They're not real satisfied with their situation in Iran and are very eager to get outside information through satellite." Meanwhile, specialists from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance involved in the ongoing response to the Bam earthquake are assessing the situation to determine an appropriate response. Plans are to send a couple to Iran for continued response to the Bam earthquake and identified needs related to the earthquake in the Zarand region. (Mission Network News/Presbyterian Disaster Assistance)

* HCJB World Radio, in cooperation with FEBA Radio, broadcasts weekly Christian programs to Iran via shortwave in the Luri language. There are less than 100 known believers among the 4 million Luri speakers in Iran and Iraq.


Some 880 liberated slaves returned to their homeland in southern Sudan between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2. Of the freed slaves, 607 were transported by the Government of Sudan's Committee for the Eradication of the Abduction of Women and Children. The remaining 273 slaves were liberated from Baggara Arab cattle camps by Arab-Dinka Peace Committees. Christian Solidarity International is providing food and survival kits to both groups of freed slaves and is helping local authorities reunite them with their families. Most of the returning slaves reported "gross abuse" by their Arab Muslim masters, including beatings, mutilations, death threats and forced conversion to Islam. The majority of women and older girls said they were raped while in bondage. Tens of thousands of black Sudanese women and children remain enslaved in Sudan -- mainly in Darfur and neighboring Kordofan. (American Anti-Slavery Group)


A retired American Pentecostal pastor is leading a campaign to plant 1,000 churches in Ethiopia. Nearly two years ago, Charles Blair, who spent more than 50 years as founding pastor of Calvary Temple in Denver, an Assembly of God congregation, before he retired in 1998, launched the Ethiopian Call which seeks to raise enough money to plant 1,000 churches in Benishangul-Gumuz. Located in western Ethiopia near the Sudan border, Benishangul-Gumuz has a population of 600,000. So far enough money has been raised to sponsor 649 churches. "We believe God's going to give us the nation," Blair said in an interview with Charisma magazine. Blair has been working in Ethiopia since the early 1990s when communism fell in the East African nation. At the invitation of the Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, a consortium of more than 20 denominations, Blair began training promising young leaders to evangelize their nation and plant churches in remote villages. More than 60,000 Ethiopians have converted to Christianity through these efforts. Yaregal Aysheshim, president of Benishangul-Gumuz, said he has noticed a marked difference in the villages in his region: crime is down, the AIDS infection rate has dropped and alcoholism has decreased. (Religion Today/Charisma News Service)


A team of native missionaries recently visited a rural village in the Sub-Saharan African country of Malawi to distribute 50 bags of grain to the neediest people, including many elderly. Older men and women are discarded in many African communities as people no longer having value. Even worse, the elderly are often feared to be sorcerers. The leader of the team that delivered the food wrote, "Older people are blamed whenever their children or their young relatives lose their babies, or if one dies untimely. This is part of most African young people's beliefs about the elderly." As a result, many elderly people are left to fend for themselves and often slowly die from hunger. In addition to providing food for the elderly in Malawi, this ministry repairs their homes, thatching damaged roofs with grasses. Native missionaries hope by such actions to change the mindsets of African young people who have been conditioned to see older people as witches and sorcerers. (Christian Aid Mission)

* In partnership with African Bible College, HCJB World Radio helped plant a Christian radio station in Lilongwe, Malawi, in 1995. The station airs programs in Chichewa and English. Staff members from the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart, Ind., also installed FM transmitters at stations in two Malawian cities, Blantyre and Mzuzu, in 2000.


Controversial cigar-smoking televangelist Gene Scott died Monday, Feb. 21, after suffering a stroke. He was 75. For three decades Scott was the pastor of Los Angeles University Cathedral, a Protestant congregation with more than 15,000 members, the Associated Press reported. In the mid-1970s he began hosting a nightly live television broadcast of Bible teaching. His nightly talk show and Sunday-morning church services aired on radio and television stations as well as the Internet to about 180 countries via his University Network. The son of a traveling preacher, Scott was born in Buhl, Idaho, and later moved with his family moved to Gridley, Calif. He wrote more than 20 books and earned a doctorate in philosophies of education from Stanford University in 1957. Scott is survived by his wife, Melissa. (Assist News Service)


Lorella Rouster of Every Child Ministries reports that the organization has just opened Haven Academy, a special school for street kids in Ghana. "We are operating preschool through second grade," she said, "with plans to continue adding classes every year." The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has reported that there are 30,000 children living on the streets in Ghana, most between the ages of 10 and 18, though there are many who are far younger. Many have been there for several months or years, and in their struggle for survival, education falls by the wayside. Rouster said. "It's a big challenge because these kids have lost so much ground. There's so much that needs to be covered to enable them to catch up with other kids their age." Education is just one component of the ministry focus. "It's a Christ-centered education, but we also hope to see them catch up with other children, be able to complete a normal education and to develop the gifts, skills and abilities that God has put in them," Rouster said. (Mission Network News)

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