|Zprávy HCJB 13.8.2006 - 19.8.2006|
|INDICKÝ NEJVYŠŠÍ SOUD USNADNIL PRONÁSLEDOVÁNÍ KŘESŤANŮ|
|V pátek 4.srpna uzákonil Indický Nejvyšší Soud, že policie napříště nepotřebuje vyšší příkaz k „předběžnému opatření“ a k vazbě osoby nařčené z aktivního obracení druhých na víru. Kritikové tohoto opatření uvádějí, že zákon umožní policistům - sympatizantům s hinduismem - „provádět pronásledování.“ Zákon představuje riziko pro všechny křesťany, svědčící i tiché, proti kterým nepřátelští hinduisté vznesou obvinění, podobná těm, která vznášejí muslimové při praktickém uplatňování pákistánského sporného zákona o rouhačství. Než tento nový zákon v Indii začal platit, byli křesťané „poněkud chráněni,“ protože policejní úředníci museli před zahájením stíhání získat souhlas „ústřední vlády nebo místní vlády nebo okresního úřadu.“ Od přijetí nového zákona již neexistuje žádná překážka bránící policii věznit a zadržovat křesťany obviněné z obracení druhých na víru. (Assist News Service)|
|EVANGELIKÁLOVÉ NA UKRAJINĚ SPĚCHAJÍ, ABY NEODSKÁKALI VÝSLEDKY VOLEB V ROCE 2009|
|Na Ukrajině je v běhu velké úsilí evangelikálů, kteří se snaží získat zemi pro Krista a založit co nejvíc sborů před prezidentskými volbami v roce 2009. Evangelijní sdružení Don Betts Evangelistic Asssociation (DBEA) své úsilí zahájilo velkou evangelizací v Záporoží ve dnech 7.-13. srpna. Shromáždění navštívilo asi 12 000 lidí a z nich 1500 vyznalo víru. Evangelizační úsilí zahrnuje basketbalové kluby, misijní skupinky pro děti v sirotčincích a ve školách, laická kázání v místních sborech i v ulicích. DBEA plánuje m.j. tři velké evangelizační akce v roce 2007 probíhající naráz v 500 městech Ukrajiny, a to ve spolupráci s Ukrajinským baptistickým svazem a dalšími křesťany v Kyjevě. Naléhavost situace spočívá v obavách, že Ruská pravoslavná církev získá po prezidentských volbách v roce 2009 postavení ukrajinské státní církve a zakáže jinou křesťanskou evangelizační činnost. (Don Betts Evangelistic Association)|
|5 EGYPTSKÝCH KŘESŤANSKÝCH RODIN ZTRATILO DOMOV PŘI VYŠETŘOVÁNÍ ÚDAJNÉ VRAŽDY|
|Rodiny pěti egyptských křesťanů ztratily střechu nad hlavou, když je úředníci přemluvili, aby převedli své domy výměnou za propuštění pěti mužů vyšetřovaných pro vraždu. Muži jsou zadržováni od 11. prosince 2005, od smrti nějakého muslima den předtím a po následných bouřích. Pitva prokázala, že obvinění muži tohoto muslima, se kterým se předtím pohádali, nemohli zabít, protože ho ranila mrtvice. Ale v domnění, že křesťané muslima zabili, tlampače na blízké mešitě způsobily srocení davu, který vyplenil sedm domů křesťanů a slepičí farmu. Rodinám obviněných mužů bylo řečeno, že přepsáním svých domů bude splacen „dluh“ rodině mrtvého muslima a bylo jim zaručeno jejich propuštění. Místo toho, poté, co domy byly zabrány, obhájci obviněných mužů řekli, že „jim bylo řečeno, že občanský spor byl urovnán, ale zůstává obvinění z trestného činu. Sprostota jednání s křesťany v tomto městě je tak hrozná, že si přejí jen umřít.“ (Compass Direct)|
|OD DUBNOVÝCH NEPOKOJŮ EGYPTSKÁ POLICIE STÁLE ZADRŽUJE 7 KŘESŤANŮ|
|Úřady v Alexandrii nadále bez obvinění vězní sedm křesťanů, k jejichž zadržení došlo po dubnovém vražedném útoku, který podnítil dvoudenní nepokoje. Zadržení křesťané však byli sebráni zjevně na základě náhodného výběru během nepokojů při pohřbu křesťana, který byl den předtím ubodán muslimem. Většina zadržených byla již propuštěna. Rodina zadrženého Hesham Azmy Iskender uvádí, že „muži jsou biti a je s nimi špatně zacházeno,“ zvlášť s mladíkem, který se ohnal, když ho policie bila a zatracoval islám v reakci na zatracování křesťanství vězeňskými dozorci. Věřící v Alexandrii plánují cestou žaloby na ministra vnitra domáhat se propuštění zadržených a odškodnění za poškozené křesťanské obchody a kostely, jejichž ničení policie nečinně přihlížela. Byla vytvořena speciální komise pro zkoumání incidentu, která ale ještě ani nenavštívila Alexandrii, prý z obav z vyvolání dalších násilností. Jeden z členů komise, koptský křesťan, rezignoval na členství v komisi na protest proti způsobům komise, které označil za „hnusné jednání.“ (Compass Direct)|
|IBS DOKONČILA PŘEKLAD BIBLE DO HOVOROVÉ ŠPANĚLŠTINY|
|Mezinárodní Biblická Společnost (IBS) oznámila, že nová verze překladu Bible do hovorové španělštiny nazývaná Nueva Biblia al Dia je hotova a bude čtenářům k dispozici koncem tohoto roku. Je zaměřena na mladou generaci a na ty, kdo otevírají Bibli poprvé v životě. Je očekáván velký vliv Bible zejména v Latinské Americe. Bude vydávána v různých formátech podle potřeb čtenářů, včetně ilustrovaného Nového Zákona vydaného již v Miami letos v létě. „Tým vykonal úžasné dílo, když přeložil originální text do hovorové španělštiny tak, aby aktivizoval myšlení,“ řekl Larry Downs Jr., viceprezident Grupo Nelson Publishing. (Evangelical News)|
|SIROTČINEC NA SRÍ LANCE OKUPOVÁN DAVEM 200 BUDDHISTŮ|
|Sirotčinec na Srí Lance provozovaný Holandskou reformovanou církví byl zabrán Buddhisty. Během posledních dnů se po městě Balana na Srí Lance objevily nápisy požadující zákaz oprav sirotčince. Holandský sbor se odmítl sklonit před zastrašováním a pokračoval podle plánu. V neděli 6.srpna vtrhlo na pozemek asi 200 lidí a začali sirotčinec ničit. Na střeše zavlála buddhistická vlajka a vychovatelům bylo řečeno, že jestli neodejdou, budou zaživa upáleni. Vychovatelé utekli, opustili sirotčinec. (Voice of the Martyrs)|
|VŠECHNY ZPRÁVY V ANGLIČTINĚ|
| 2,000 DIE IN FLOODING IN INDIA, OUTREACH GEARS UP FOR RELIEF EFFORTS
More than at least 2,000 people are reported dead and millions are homeless after what is believed to be India’s worst flooding in 200 years. Some areas reported more than six inches of rain in one day, leaving only tall trees above floodwaters in many areas. "[Up to] 400 villages are completely submerged," said Gospel for Asia (GFA) President K.P. Yohannan. "We cannot see one thing except the tall trees sticking out through the water." The situation is extreme, and GFA has already set up five relief centers to coordinate relief efforts. "We have more than 500 of our missionaries and church members fully engaged in bringing relief work and giving food and all kinds of things to the people," Yohannan said. Mission leaders hope that when victims see the love Christians demonstrate while providing physical aid, they will also open their hearts to Christ. (Mission Network News/Assist News Service)
* Radio programs in 17 languages air to India from HCJB World Radio-Australia’s shortwave station in Kununurra. The programs are produced at the ministry’s studios in New Delhi, India.
4 CHINESE MISSIONARIES TORTURED FOR 6 HOURS IN YUNAN PROVINCE
Local police arrested four Chinese missionaries in China’s Yunan province Monday, July 24, charging them with "superstitious activity" and then torturing them for more than six hours. The head of the local police station and 10 other policemen tortured the four from 8 p.m. Monday, July 24, until 2 a.m. the following day. One woman missionary had much of her hair torn out, and all four said they were in so much pain they found it difficult to walk once released. Police threatened to turn over the two female missionaries to a local minority tribe to be raped and said, "In this remote area, where it is far from the emperor, I can beat you until you obey. You have nowhere to lodge a complaint." The police could not prove any wrongdoing by the missionaries and released them at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, after confiscating Bibles, computer disks containing hymns, and the equivalent of US$400. Two of the four missionaries had just been released in March from two years in a "re-education through labor camp" for previous religious activities. (China Aid Association)
MINISTRY LEADER: PLANNED AIRLINE BOMBINGS SHOW ‘SPIRITUAL DARKNESS’
Open Doors USA President Carl Moeller says the recent failed plot to bring down airliners is evidence of the spiritual darkness in which Muslims exist. The foiled plan, just days away from being carried out, would have used liquid explosives to bring down 10 planes in a nearly simultaneous strike reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks. A Washington law officer said at least one "martyrdom tape" was found during ongoing raids in Britain, further indication that al-Qaeda may be involved. President George W. Bush said the attack was a reminder of America’s "war with Islamic fascists." Moeller added, "In the war against terror we have to give Muslims a reason for living before they come to us with a reason for dying." He believes it’s critical to have Christians living and working in Islamic nations. "We have to reach out in Christ’s love to witness to these people so they don’t come to us with bombs," he said. "We can go to them with the weapon of love in Jesus Christ." (Agape Press)
UPDATE: EXECUTION OF 3 INDONESIAN CHRISTIANS PUT ON HOLD
The planned execution of three Indonesian Christians has been stayed until Tuesday, Aug. 22, after large street protests in Indonesia and a deluge of calls to Indonesian embassies around the world. Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Rewu and Dominggus da Silva were supposed to die early Saturday, Aug. 12, for allegedly being part of the violence against Muslims during the religious conflict in Poso in eastern Indonesia between 1998 and 2003. About 10,000 Christians were killed with no Muslims being convicted during the conflict. Jeff King, president of the human rights group, International Christian Concern, said, "We are expecting the Indonesian government to put off the execution for a week hoping that the national and worldwide furor over the executions will die down, and then they will attempt to carry out the execution." (Christian Newswire)
*HCJB World Radio has worked with local partners to establish more than 14 local Christian radio stations across Indonesia since 2004. Broadcasts from HCJB World Radio-Australia’s shortwave station in Kununurra also encourage listeners nationwide. In addition, HCJB World Radio has helped with relief efforts since the Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake/tsunami and subsequent quakes that devastated parts of Indonesia.
SUPREME COURT RULING IN INDIA MAKES CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION ‘EASIER’
On Friday, Aug. 4, India’s Supreme Court ruled that police do not require warrants to issue "First Issue Reports" and arrest or detain anyone accused of religious conversion activities. Critics say the ruling will allow Hindu sympathizers among police to act as "agents of persecution." The law places at risk any Christian, actively witnessing or not, whom hostile Hindu extremists bring charges against, giving rise to comparisons between this law and Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law. Previous to this ruling, Christians were "somewhat protected" because police officials were required to obtain previous sanction of the "central government or of the state government or of the district magistrate" before action could be taken. Under the new law, there is no barrier preventing police from arresting and detaining Christians accused of proselytizing. (Assist News Service)
|VŠECHNY ZPRÁVY V ANGLIČTINĚ|
| EVANGELISTIC PUSH IN UKRAINE RACING TO BEAT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
A major evangelistic effort is under way in Ukraine in an attempt to reach the country for Christ and to plant as many churches as possible before the 2009 presidential elections. The Don Betts Evangelistic Association (DBEA) began its efforts Aug. 7-13 with a citywide crusade in Zaporizha. Approximately 12,000 people attended with 1,500 making professions of faith. Christian basketball camps, children’s ministries in orphanages and schools, and lay preaching in local churches and streets round out the evangelistic push. DBEA’s plans include three major crusades in 2007 with simultaneous crusades in 500 cities across Ukraine in conjunction with the Ukrainian Baptist Union and other Christian leaders in Kiev. The urgency stems from concerns that Russian Orhodoxy will be named Ukraine’s national religion after the 2009 elections while banning all other Christian evangelical activities. (Don Betts Evangelistic Association)
* HCJB World Radio worked with local churches to establish Radio Emmanuel, a 500-watt FM station, in Kiev in June. Two additional outlets in Kiev and one in Dneperpetrovsk are also affiliated with New Life Radio, a Russian satellite radio network operated by Christian Radio for Russia with HCJB World Radio as the principal partner. In addition, weekly Ukrainian programs air to the country via shortwave.
15 HINDU EXTREMISTS ATTACK CHRISTIAN CANDY MAKER IN PRISON
A group of about 15 Hindu extremists in southern India’s Karnataka state entered a jail to attack Christian businessman Chetraven Rajan on Friday, Aug. 4, beating him severely. Rajan, a candy maker who had long been involved in Christian and social work among the Dalits, was arrested on charges that he compelled his wife to commit suicide. Albert Lael, organizing secretary of the All India Christian Council, said that Rajan’s wife committed suicide a few months ago after he fired his worker, identified only as Murugeshan, with whom she was supposedly having an affair. Murugeshan then twisted the story, prompting Hindu extremists to accuse Rajan of having his own affair that led to his wife’s suicide. Jail officials initially denied registering Rajan’s complaint against his attackers despite the fact he could identify most of them. He was moved to a different facility and given medical care after Christian groups insisted on his protection. (Compass Direct)
CHRISTIAN LEADERS STRESS ROLE OF CHURCH IN BATTLING AIDS PANDEMIC
Christians are stressing the role of the church in battling the worldwide AIDS pandemic as the 16th annual AIDS conference in Toronto, Canada, this week. Best-selling author/pastor Rick Warren and his wife, Kay, spoke to more than 500 participants attending the Ecumenical and Interfaith Pre-Conference on the weekend. "The solution to eliminating the threat of HIV/AIDS is not education, it is transformation," Warren said. He believes Christians are "uniquely prepared" to tackle AIDS with "the largest distribution network; the biggest pool of volunteers (representing 2.3 billion people); local credibility, the longest record of caring -- more than 2,000 years; moral authority to carry out its mission; and the power of God. I make no apology that the church can lead the way in the name of Jesus Christ." Other Christian leaders have stressed the church’s role of loving the victims. Bruce Sonnenberg, president of He Intends Victory based in Irvine, Calif., challenged Christians worldwide to "open the doors of your churches and your hearts to people with HIV."
BETHANY INTERNATIONAL BOARD NAMES NEW PRESIDENT, CEO
The board of trustees of Bethany International based in Bloomington, Minn., has named Dan Brokke as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. He replaces Dave Hicks who stepped down in April after five years of service during which he helped launch and develop 22 missionary training schools in Africa and Asia. Brokke vowed to continue Bethany’s priority on missions education with plans to expand the college in Bloomington. "The heart of Bethany is to train and send missionaries," he said. "We see our role to equip young men and women, working in partnership with indigenous church and mission leaders around the world." Bethany’s college, together with international partners, has sent out more than 700 missionaries to train and disciple Christians who work among the world’s least-reached people groups. (Evangelical Press Association)
CAMEROON BUSINESS DISCIPLESHIP PROGRAM HELPS FUND CHURCH WORK
While the African nation of Cameroon enjoys relative political and social stability, Global Advance is using the nation as a platform to launch growth initiatives to help the indigenous church become more self-supporting. The formation of the Kingdom Business Network in Douala, Cameroon, and the recent Marketplace Mission conference have as their goal to disciple influential business people to help them see their purpose in the kingdom of God. Global Advance’s David Shibley says Cameroon has a vigorous church-planting program and is sending missionaries from Cameroon to other French-speaking African nations and beyond. Global Advance workers Hal and Martha Rahman added, "This network of Christian businesspeople who have been trained at our marketplace mission conference are now helping to fund that church-planting initiative throughout Cameroon and beyond." Each group member is now actively discipling other businesspeople throughout the region. (Mission Network News)
* HCJB World Radio signed a partnership agreement Eternal Life Mission in 2002 to plant a Christian radio station in Bamenda, Cameroon.
|VŠECHNY ZPRÁVY V ANGLIČTINĚ|
| 5 EGYPTIAN CHRISTIAN FAMILIES LOSE HOMES IN CONTESTED MURDER CASE
The families of five Egyptian Christians have lost their homes after authorities persuaded them to sign over their homes in exchange for the release of the five men who were suspected of murder. The men have been held since Dec. 11, 2005, after the death of a Muslim the previous day and the ensuing riots. Medical examination later revealed that the men did not murder the Muslim with whom they had a brief altercation, but that he died of a stroke. Believing the Christians had murdered the man, the loudspeakers at a nearby mosque incited a mob that ransacked seven Christian homes and a chicken farm. The men’s families were told that by signing over their homes, the men’s “debt” to the Muslim man’s family would be paid, securing their release. Instead, after the homes were taken, the men’s lawyers said, “They told us that the civil case had been settled, but that the criminal case still needed to take place. The insult of what happened to the Christians in this city was so bad that people just wanted to die.” (Compass Direct)
U.S. FINES CHURCH $34,000 FOR ‘BANNED TOURIST ACTIVITIES’ IN CUBA
U.S. Treasury officials have fined the Alliance of Baptists $34,000 for engaging in banned tourist activities while in Cuba. A Treasury letter to the Alliance claims church members did not engage in a full-time schedule of religious activities as required, but also visited Cuban craft markets and a beach resort. The alliance’s executive director, Rev. Stan Hastey, insists that the activities were either part of or incidental to the group’s religious mission. He believes the Bush administration may have singled out the Alliance of Baptists because of their opposition to the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba. The group plans to appeal the fine which would constitute about 10 percent of its annual operating budget. (WorldWide Religious News/Associated Press)
* HCJB World Radio continues to air Spanish programs to Cuba via shortwave from South America. Hundreds of listeners have enrolled in the ministry’s Bible Institute of the Air, a Spanish correspondence program incorporating radio broadcasts. In addition, numerous pastors’ workshops held in conjunction with Leadership Resources International have been held in Cuba since the mid-1990s.
UPDATE: 5 CHRISTIANS TORTURED, CHARGED AFTER CHURCH DEMOLITION
Two weeks after Chinese officials demolished a large house church in Zhejiang province Saturday, July 29, five of the 50 Christians who were arrested were issued formal charges. The five are accused of “interfering with duty of police officers” and remain in custody. According to other Christians who have already been released, cruel torture methods were used with at least three of the five suffering from broken ribs. The female detainees were also forced to strip in public. As of Tuesday, Aug. 8, among the 50 Christians arrested during the church demolition, more than 20 have been released, five have been charged and will likely face lawsuits, and more than 20 are still imprisoned without formal charges. Area Christians say current persecution has surpassed levels during the Cultural Revolution and is the most serious in the local church’s 140-year history. Local sources believe the provincial government is planning the demolition of two additional churches. (China Aid Association)
ATTACK ON PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS LINKED TO FIGHTING IN LEBANON
Despite the fact that Christians have inhabited the Pakistani village of Theki for the last 18 years, a neighboring Muslim village lashes out at the Christians each time they perceive Muslims are being attacked anywhere in the world. In the latest incident at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7, a mob from the Muslim community attacked Theki while all but three of the men were working in the fields. The mob broke the walls of the church and began to beat women and children. One of the three males who attempted to protect the women and children was attacked with a hatchet and remains in the hospital. On Saturday, Aug. 12, during a community meeting involving many of the men, the attacks escalated to include the use of firearms and hand grenades, setting the church and some houses on fire and further terrorizing the women and children. (International Christian Concern/Evangelical News)
* HCJB World Radio sent two medical teams from Ecuador to Pakistan following the Oct. 8, 2005, earthquake that left tens of thousands dead and thousands more injured and homeless. Staff members helped SIM International with relief efforts.
HINDU MOB IN INDIA INTERRRUPTS 2 PASTORS PRAYING IN PRIVATE HOME
A group of 45 to 50 Hindu extremists with the group Dharma Raksha Sena mobbed a Christian pastor who was praying for another pastor on the evening of Monday, Aug. 14, in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state. Assembly of God Pastor Vinod Karsal, 50, was praying in the home of a fellow pastor, Shaun Kushwaha, who was slated to have surgery when a large mob began shouting anti-Christian chants, finally breaking into the house. The pastors successfully hid the Bible they had been using, but a Hindu extremist planted gospel tracts in the glove compartment of Karsal’s scooter. Police held Karsal until 11:30 p.m. on charges of “forcible conversion” until a mob chanting outside dispersed. In response to the incident, John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council, said, “The escalation of incidents against Christians in Madhya Pradesh is quickly reaching the threshold of patience.” (Compass Direct)
|VŠECHNY ZPRÁVY V ANGLIČTINĚ|
| UPDATE: EGYPTIAN POLICE STILL HOLDING 7 CHRISTIANS AFTER APRIL RIOTS
Officials in Alexandria, Egypt, continue to hold seven Christian men without charges following April’s fatal knife attacks that sparked two days of violence. The Christians were apparently randomly grabbed during the violence that began as a funeral procession for a Christian man who was stabbed by a Muslim the previous day. Most of the prisoners have since been released. The family of one man, Hesham Azmy Iskender, reported that the men have been "beaten and treated badly," especially one young man who fought back as police beat him and hurtled curses on Islam in response to his captors’ curses on Christianity. Believers in Alexandria plan to sue the country’s Interior Ministry for the men’s release as well as for damages to Christian-owned shops and churches that were attacked while police forces watched. A special council formed to investigate the incidents still has not visited Alexandria, citing fears of provoking more violence. One Coptic Christian member of the council has resigned in protest to what has been called a "lousy manner of operating." (Compass Direct)
OFFICIALS IN REMOTE AREA OF CHINA ISOLATE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES
Christians in northwestern China’s remote Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region are facing government efforts to isolate religious communities from any ties to fellow believers in other countries and regions. Officially recognized Christian religions of the region include the Three Self Patriotic Movement (Protestant), the Patriotic Catholic Association and two registered Orthodox communities. Any missionary activity, especially by foreigners, has been swiftly halted, and the Orthodox believers have been instructed to not communicate with foreigners. This includes the Internet which Chinese officials continue to censor nationwide. Orthodox believers face special challenges due to their omission from the list of five state-sanctioned "patriotic" religions. Orthodox priests are refused entry, and religious students are not allowed to study the priesthood abroad. Religious restrictions in the region extend equally to Buddhism and the majority religion, Islam. (Forum 18 News Service)
CHURCH IMPLICATES PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT IN MURDERS OF 14 CHRISTIANS
The Uniting Church, the third largest Christian denomination in Australia, released a report on Wednesday, Aug. 16, following a two-year investigation into the deaths of 14 clergy and members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. The report found no one had been charged in any of the murders and that evidence suggests the involvement of the country’s police and military. "That faithful and nonviolent Christians are the target of such sustained violence amounts to an organized regime of Christian persecution with, at the very least, the tacit approval of the Philippine government," the report concluded. The report was released one day after an Amnesty International report expressed concern that a "politically motivated pattern of killings" could lead to spiraling violence during conflicts with communist rebels. The organization reported 51 political killings in the first six months of this year compared with 66 for all of 2005. The Philippine ambassador to Australia denied the allegations. (WorldWide Religious News)
2 MAF PLANES IMPOUNDED IN CONGO AFTER RED TAPE MISUNDERSTANDING
A red tape misunderstanding regarding a plane tax has grounded part of Mission Aviation Fellowship’s (MAF) fleet in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Government official have impounded two aircraft and one vehicle belonging to the organization. MAF’s Fran Derocher asks for prayer support and "wisdom, to know how to clearly explain and show and to prove that we feel that this has been sorted out long ago, so that we can continue the ministry in that part of Congo." During the three-year fiasco, the fines have been compounded, and a string of different government officials have each calculated taxes based on different scales. MAF is continuing to operate on a limited basis with their three remaining planes transporting people, supplies and providing support to a teaching hospital. Other flight requests have experienced delays, and the available planes are not always able to land on small rural airstrips. (Mission Network News)
* HCJB World Radio works with local partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo to broadcast the gospel on Christian 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.
* VOLCANO ERUPTS IN ECUADOR, BURYING VILLAGES, KILLING 5
A volcano in southern Ecuador erupted at 1 a.m. and again at about 10 a.m. this morning, burying five villages in lava and ash and leaving at least five people dead, 13 injured and dozens missing, local authorities said.
Ecuadorian President Alfredo Palacio declared a state of emergency in the four affected provinces before heading to Penipe at the foot of the active Tungurahua volcano, accompanied by several ministers.
The sky around Tungurahua, 90 miles south of Quito, was thick with ash, blocking access by helicopter or plane. At least two major roads leading to Bańos, a town of 20,000 at the base of the volcano, have been closed. All residents are being evacuated from the town and other nearby communities.
About 3,200 people were evacuated, and more than 50,000 acres of farmland were destroyed in the latest eruption, said Penipe Mayor Juan Salazar, whose town was among the worst hit. Massive ashfalls have also affected rivers and dams in the area.
"Red-hot lava and ash buried five villages, killing five persons," Salazar told AFP by telephone. "Four of the bodies cannot be recovered because they are buried under the debris. Everything was knocked down. In one of the settlements, lava set fire to 12 houses that are still burning."
Tungurahua erupted violently following a 4.4-magnitude earthquake that struck Wednesday southeast of the volcano. Airports announced closures in nearby Riobamba, Latacunga and Guayaquil, Ecuador’s most-populous city, due to airborne ash. Unable to fly due to the smoke, the president traveled to Penipe by land, Palacio’s office said.
"The situation is indescribable. There are approximately 60 people missing in the highest-risk area as well as seven injured people who were taken to the city of Riobamba and six others injured in Penipe," Salazar told television network Ecuavisa.
The eruption comes little more than a month after the volcano spewed ash and lava on July 14, forcing 1,500 people to leave their homes in the villages of Cusua, Bilbao and Juiva. Today’s eruption is the strongest since 1999, bigger than the one on July 14 that destroyed 50,000 acres of farmland and left 10,000 people homeless, Quito University’s Geophysical Institute said.
"We can’t say whether this is the last eruption," said institute director Hugo Yépez. "We have to watch the volcano, but we can say that the calm after the explosions could last weeks or days," he said.
Sheila Leech, director of HCJB World Radio’s Healthcare Division for Latin America, said local authorities have asked the mission to help with emergency supplies such as drinking water and medications to treat burns, eye problems and infections.
"We’re going to try to get these items and a truck to transport them to the affected area," Leech said. She added that Diana Freire, medical director at HCJB World Radio’s Hospital Vozandes-Quito, has returned to her hometown of Riobamba to meet with local authorities to see how the mission can help during the tragedy.
Mike Hood, interim director of Hospital Vozandes-Shell, a jungle facility east of Mount Tungurahua, said power to the hospital and the entire region went off shortly after today’s first explosion.
"We have back-up diesel generators that came on within 15 seconds after the power went off," he said. Electricity to the hospital was restored at about 4 p.m., but Hood is concerned that there could be further outages as ash falls and landslides reportedly have put some hydroelectric plants offline.
"We have enough fuel to last throughout an outage of at least two or three days," Hood added. "One problem is that none of our staff members’ houses are connected to the back-up generators, so there is a concern about what will happen to all the [refrigerated and frozen] food if there will be long power outages."
Despite the eruption, Hood said there has been no influx of patients at Hospital Vozandes-Shell, perhaps because the main road between Bańos and Shell has been closed. "I understand that the hospitals in the Bańos area are in emergency status," he said. (AFP/HCJB World Radio)
|VŠECHNY ZPRÁVY V ANGLIČTINĚ|
| IBS COMPLETES TRANSLATION OF BIBLE IN CONVERSATIONAL SPANISH
The International Bible Society (IBS) announced that a new conversational Spanish version of the Bible called Nueva Biblia al Día is complete and will be available to the public by the end of this year. Geared for youth and those being introduced to Scripture for the first time, the version is expected to have a high impact in the Latin American community. It will also be available in various formats based on the specific needs of its audiences, including an illustrated New Testament that was released in Miami this summer. “The team has done a magnificent job translating in a dynamic equivalency format (thought for thought) from the original languages to Spanish,” said Larry Downs Jr., vice president of Grupo Nelson Publishing. (Evangelical News)
SRI LANKAN ORPHANAGE OVERRUN BY MOB OF 200 BUDDHISTS
An orphanage in Sri Lanka run by the Dutch Reformed Church has been taken over by Buddhists. In recent days, posters around the town of Balana, Sri Lanka, demanded the orphanage cease renovation work. The Dutch church refused to bow to intimidation and continued as planned. On Sunday, Aug. 6, approximately 200 people forced entry to the property and began destroying the orphanage. A Buddhist flag was placed on the roof and the house parents were told they would be burned alive if they did not leave. They fled, leaving the orphanage. (Voice of the Martyrs)
OCCULT VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA PROMPTS CALLS FOR LEGISLATION
Following the atrocities of an occult leader who set two females ablaze in Lagos, Nigeria, a local theologian has called for legislation to stop religious violence, exploitation and a growing number of occult centers that pass themselves off as “churches.” The occult leader, know as Rev. Dr. King, was said to be known for hypnotizing his members with his evil powers and initiating members with some ritual in the name of baptism. Now under arrest for murder, King intimidated his followers to the point many remain afraid to comment on his actions. Theologian Martins Iwuanyanwu is calling on the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and the Christian Association of Nigeria to sponsor the bill, saying that if King’s church and others like it were required to register in Nigeria, questions about training, ordination and education might have been asked. Iwuanyanwu stated that “any occultist or witchdoctor who lacks patronage could be tempted to dust [off] an old Bible and go into ministry.” (Assist News Service)
* 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.
CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM SHARES HIGHER GOALS IN SOUTH AFRICA
A Christian women’s soccer team from New Zealand is using their sport to bridge the culture gap in Cape Town, South Africa. On top of the cultural, racial and economic differences, the team also faces the reality that lesbianism is a popular practice among South African women soccer players. Many of the women have been abused and hurt by men in a country where sexual abuse is so prevalent that it is almost normal. The women will work alongside a sports ministry in Cape Town called Ambassadors in Sport, playing about eight matches with club teams. The team then takes time to share testimonies and mingle with the other women. Returning team member Rebecca Stitt says, “We just want to offer them hope and open their eyes to the love of Jesus.” Additionally, the team hopes to play a match against female prisoners and visit a local orphanage. (Assist News Service)
* HCJB World Radio has worked with local partners to plant local radio ministries in six South African cities: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pinetown, Roodepoort and Badplaas. HCJB World Radio also helps with projects such as the Living Hope Community Center (a ministry of partner Fish Hoek Baptist Church) near Cape Town.
GERMAN FAMILY FACES EVICTION FOR ‘LOUD NIGHT PRAYERS’
A seven-member family is facing eviction from their Berlin apartment due to complaints about their loud prayer sessions that keep the other residents awake at night. Neighbors say the screams and singing as part of the family prayers originate from the second story, sometimes beginning at 2:30 a.m. and can be heard all the way to the fifth floor. “I really don’t want to disturb the neighbors, but the high volume is needed in the battle against the devil,” said the father who is contesting the eviction order in court. Third-floor resident and taxi driver Horst Berghahn said he had asked the family to lower the volume several times without result since they moved in 10 months ago. “We have to work in the morning and need our sleep,” he said. (WorldWide Religious News/Reuters)
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