Zprávy HCJB 25.2.2005

   V pátek 4. února Dr. Jerry Flawell oznámil jmenování obráceného muslima hlavou evangelijního semináře založeného 1971. Falwell řekl, že Dr. Ergun Caner, konvertovaný sunitský muslim a syn ulemy (muslimského učence) je prvním člověkem, který kdysi byl muslimem a později se stal děkanem amerického evangelijního semináře. Cane bude děkanem Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary na Liberty University. Nahradí ve funkci Dannyho Levetta, který oznámil, že po 12 letech v Liberty přijal postavení prezidenta Tennessee Temple University v Chattanooga. Canerovi je 38 let a je 2 roky profesorem náboženského učiliště v Liberty. „Je dnes jedním z nejbrilantnějších řečníků a obránců víry, jakého jsem kdy slyšel,“ řekl Falwell. Caner působí i jako mluvčí evangelijních křesťanů ve sdělovacích prostředcích, kde debatoval s muslimy, buddhisty, hinduisty i představiteli Bahá’i na setkáních na více než 50 různých univerzitách a vysokých školách.

Caner je turecký přistěhovalec, který konvertoval ke křesťanství v roce 1982. Původně s rodinou odjel do USA, aby zde na středozápadě pomáhal budovat mešity. Ale když studoval na gymnáziu v Ohiu, jeden mladý přítel ho pozval do křesťanského sboru a vedl jej ke Kristu, načež se ho rodina zřekla. Canwer později obhájil bakalářský stupeň vzdělání v biblistice a v jazycích. Titul magistra dostal v oboru historie na Criswellově univerzitě v Dallasu v Texasu. V letech 1994 a 1995 získal dva magisterské tituly z bohosloví v Baptistickém teologickém semináři ve Wake Forest v Severní Karolině. V roce 2000 získal doktorát teologie na Jihoafrické univerzitě v Johannesburgu. (Assist News Service)

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Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko of the Minsk-based charismatic New Life Church in Belarus is again facing prosecution for organizing worship services without state permission. The 600-member congregation of New Life Church has been worshiping in an unused cowshed since 2002 after being barred from public facilities. Belarus' 2002 religion law requires state permission for religious gatherings in premises not specially designed for worship. Authorities recently fined the church for meeting in the facility. All official agencies have approved requests to change the designated land usage to that of a church -- except for the religious affairs department in Minsk. (Forum 18 News Service)


Nine months after the Anglican Church headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, was confiscated at gunpoint, the Arab company now claiming ownership of the property has started making renovations to the building in violation of a court injunction. The June 2004 judicial order forbids Al-Ghazal Residence Enterprises from tampering with the property until the courts resolve the ownership dispute. The attorney for the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) filed objections against the renovations before the Khartoum Public Court, prompting a written response from the construction company's lawyer acknowledging the court injunction -- and denying that his clients were working on the premises. During a visit to Sudan last month, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey raised the issue in a face-to-face meeting with Sudanese First Vice President Ali Osman Taha. Part of the Anglican Communion, the ECS is the largest Christian church in Sudan with about 5 million members. (Compass)


Senior pastors from across the U.S. are invited to respond to a "Macedonian call" to serve as "official observers" in Morocco at a "breakthrough dialogue" between American evangelical leaders and Moroccan Islamic officials. The event is scheduled for May 1-9 in the cultural capital of Marrakech. The invitation is being extended by the government of King Mohammed VI of Morocco. A press release indicates there will also be Christian humanitarian relief teams working at various locations during the event as well as the first-ever large-scale Christian music festival featuring some popular American contemporary Christian musicians. A letter of invitation is being circulated to interested pastors by Rev. Rob Schenck, president of U.S. Faith and Action in the nation's capital. Schenck explains that Morocco is an unusual Arab Muslim nation. "It is consistently ranked as one of the safest countries in the Arab world," he said. "The people are also intrigued with evangelical Christians and our message." Schenck says he is "convinced that this is the crack in the door of the Islamic world." (Assist News Service)


In Nigeria there are still 500 languages without Scripture translation, and people who speak those languages have no access to God's Word. The Seed Company is addressing their need by holding workshops in the Gombe region, training and equipping national believers to be translators. President Roy Peterson says 30 people are being trained simultaneously. They will be working on translating the Gospel of Luke into nine different languages. This method of translation work is important because violence and unrest is prevalent in Nigeria, and no one knows how long The Seed Company will be able to stay in the country, Peterson explained. The workshops have been met with enthusiasm. Peterson reported that in one village he visited, "the entire community was there to sing and celebrate and thank us for bringing the training so they might become the translators for their people group." (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio, together with partners In Touch Ministries, SIM and the Evangelical Church of West Africa, began airing weekly half-hour programs to Nigeria in the Igbo language in 2000. In 2003 weekly broadcasts were added in two additional languages, Yoruba and Hausa. HCJB World Radio also has helped with radio ministries in six cities with more in the planning stages.


Focus on the Family President and Chief Executive Officer Don Hodel announced today his retirement from the non-profit organization, effective immediately. James Daly, the current chief operating officer, who has held a number of other key leadership positions at the ministry, will succeed Hodel. Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman James Dobson will alert ministry supporters to the change in the March edition of his monthly newsletter. "Don told me that a common temptation for leaders is to enjoy their job so much that they end up staying longer than they should," Dobson said. "He realized that the Lord had enabled him to accomplish what he had set out to do -- and indeed, what he felt called to do -- here at Focus, and that it would be counterproductive for him to try to carry on beyond that point." Hodel will retain his position on the ministry's board of directors of which he joined in 1995. During his tenure as president and CEO starting in May 2003, Hodel was instrumental in reorganizing the ministry's staff and operational structure, streamlining communication between departments. Daly, whose employment with Focus dates back to 1989, had previously been appointed to numerous leadership roles, including vice president of the international, marketing and public affairs divisions; group vice president; and most recently chief operating officer. (Focus on the Family)


Dr. Jerry Falwell announced the appointment of a converted Muslim, Friday, Feb. 4, to head the evangelical seminary that he founded in 1971. Falwell said that Dr. Ergun Caner, a converted Sunni Muslim and son of an ulema (Muslim scholar), is the first former Muslim to become the dean of a U.S. evangelical seminary. Caner will become dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary on the campus of Liberty University. He replaces Danny Lovett who announced that he was accepting the role of president at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tenn., after 12 years at Liberty. Caner, 38, has been a professor at Liberty's School of Religion for two years. "He is today one of the most electrifying speakers and defenders of the faith that I have ever heard," Falwell said. Caner also has become a voice for evangelical Christianity in the national media, debating Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Bahá’i leaders on more than 50 college and university campuses.

A Turkish immigrant who converted to Christianity in 1982, Caner immigrated with his family to the U.S. to build mosques in the Midwest. It was while he was in high school in Ohio that a young friend invited him to church and led him to Christ, prompting his family to disown him. Caner later received his bachelor's degree in biblical studies and languages and received a master's degree in history from the Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. In 1994 he received his master's degree in divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. In 1995 he completed a master's degree in theology at Southeastern, and in 2000 he completed his doctorate in theology from the University of South Africa in residence in Johannesburg. (Assist News Service)

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