|Zprávy HCJB 24.4.2007|
|Vedení mexického města podepsalo smlouvu s křesťany.|
|Místní političtí představitelé, kteří hlasovali pro vystěhování 65 křesťanů z Los Pozos, malého města u San Cristóbal de las Casas v Mexiku, v pondělí 23. dubna neochotně podepsali, že evangelikálové mohou ve městě zůstat. Advokát Esdras Alonso Gonzáles řekl, že bossové (caciques) města Los Pozos a další „tradicionalističtí katolíci,“ kteří oblibují směs rituálů Mayů Tzotzil a římského katolictví, napřed odvolali svůj dřívější ústní souhlas a chtěli do podepisovaného dokumentu zahrnout nařízení vyžadující po křesťanech placení příspěvků na tradiční náboženský festival a také pokuty za neuhrazené staré příspěvky, které tito evangelikálové odmítali platit. Odmítnutí evangelikálů platit příspěvky a účastnit se festivalů, jejichž součástí jsou i pitky a které považují za modlářské zbožšťování svatých, bylo původním důvodem hlasování radních 23.prosince 2006 o vyobcování těchto nepřizpůsobivých evangelikálů z města. Zasáhli však státní úřadníci a překazili plán caciquů na vynucení plateb, načež oni teprve podepsali zmíněný souhlas v současné podobě. Zůstává otázkou, jak caciquové tento svůj souhlas projeví v praxi – totiž obnoví-li dodávky vody a elektřiny, které některým evangelikálním rodinám 30. ledna odpojili. Evangelikálové v celém Mexiku pozorují dění v Los Pozos jako důležitý precedent svobody vyznání. Viz též zpráva www.prayer.cz a naše stará zpráva z 8.6.2000. Zdroj: Compass Direct News.|
|Všechny zprávy v angličtině.|
| EW WATER FILTERS TO COMBAT GUINEA WORM, HELP SPREAD GOSPEL
Source: Mission Network News
Christian workers with International Aid (IA) eagerly await the arrival of a shipment of special water filtering systems to combat the parasitic guinea worm in the West African nation of Ghana. The worms, spread through contaminated water, cause a crippling disease that affects about 25,000 people in nine African countries, especially Sudan and Ghana. The adult spaghetti-like worms, which can reach a length of three feet, cause large ulcers. IA’s new BioSand water systems use organic micro-organisms to consume bacteria and harmful pathogens directly from the water source, eliminating the spread of the parasite. The first shipment of filters is en route. “It’s on the high seas right now [and] we expect it to be in Ghana in the next two or three weeks,” said IA’s Jim Bodenner. “We are working with the IA infrastructure on the ground in Ghana to develop an implementation plan to get the first 2,250 filters in use in high guinea worm-endemic areas.” That translates to an open door for the gospel, says Bodenner. “[We believe the] BioSand water filter . . . strongly advances our ministry to support faith-based organizations on the ground that we’re involved in.”
* HCJB Global represents the voice and hands of Jesus in a growing number of nations in Sub-Saharan Africa from its regional headquarters in Accra, Ghana.
UPDATE: TOWN BOSSES SIGN PACT WITH CHRISTIANS IN MEXICAN TOWN
Source: Compass Direct News
Local political bosses who had voted to expel 65 Christians from Los Pozos, a small town near San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, grudgingly signed an agreement Monday, April 23, to let the evangelicals stay. Attorney Esdras Alonso González said the town bosses (caciques) of Los Pozos and other “traditionalist Catholics” who practice a mixture of Tzotzil Maya ritual and Roman Catholicism recanted on previous verbal agreements and wanted to include provisions requiring the Christians to pay for traditional religious festivals -- plus fines for past refusal to contribute. The evangelicals’ refusal to help pay for and participate in the festivals, which include drunken revelry and what they regard as idolatrous adoration of saints, was the original reason the town officials voted to expel them on Dec. 23, 2006. State officials stepped in to stop the caciques’ plans to force payment, and they signed the accord. It remains to be seen whether the caciques will follow through on the accord’s stipulation that they restore waterlines and electricity cut off from some evangelical families since Jan. 30. Evangelicals across Mexico have looked to the Los Pozos ruling as an important precedent for religious freedom.
* HCJB Global Voice partner station Radio Impacto in La Mesilla, Guatemala, broadcasts across the border to Mexico’s Chiapas state via a 1,000-watt FM station.
JONI AND FRIENDS MOVES TO NEW INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY CENTER
Source: Joni and Friends
The Joni and Friends International Disability Center has moved to its newly completed facility in Agoura Hills, Calif., two-and-a-half years after construction on the 33,700-square-foot center began in December 2004. The facility houses a prayer chapel built in a reflecting pool wrapped by a special glass-lined ramp winding up to the second floor. “The International Disability Center will provide ample space for much more than the growth of our current programs,” said President Doug Mazza. “It will also house the Christian Institute on Disability and a Policy Center which will publish a biblical worldview of current issues affecting the dignity and value of every life such as stem cell research, euthanasia and other issues that affect people with disabilities.” The new headquarters also includes a state-of-the-art recording studio where Joni Eareckson Tada’s daily radio programs will be recorded. Now in its 25th year, the “Joni and Friends” program is heard weekdays on more than 1,200 stations. The ministry plans to launch a weekly television program at the end of this year.
UZBEK CHRISTIAN FACES CHARGES OF ‘TEACHING RELIGION ILLEGALLY’
Source: Forum 18 News Service
Protestant Christians in Uzbekistan continue to face strict legal pressure as Salauat Serikbayev faces criminal charges for “teaching religion illegally” at a hearing today (Tuesday, April 24). A raid on a Presbyterian meeting in the town of Nukus, a regional capital in northwestern Uzbekistan, on Jan. 15 led to the charges against Serikbayev, with the possibility of a three-year prison sentence if found guilty. The host of the meeting, Grigory Ten, was already fined nearly US$500 on Monday, April 9, with the court ordering that his hymnbook be confiscated. The 32-year-old Serikbayev has long faced harassment for his Christian activity. In 1999 he spent four months in prison, and last year he was fined. Since then he has been repeatedly warned, threatened and harassed. Local officials have also started proceedings to deprive him, his wife and their five children of social protection payments, including childcare benefits. A third Christian present at the Jan. 15 raid, Makset Djabbabergenov, also faced criminal charges, but these were later downgraded to lesser charges.
ARCHBISHOP OF YORK CRITICIZES CHURCH’S ‘ENDLESS DEBATES’
Source: Assist News Service
Church of England Archbishop of York, Ugandan-born Dr. John Sentamu, recently said the church is guilty of “corporate failure” because it hasn’t properly spread the message of Christ. In an interview on BBC Radio-4’s “Today” program earlier this month Sentamu said, “The church has not been very good at clearly spelling out what the message of Jesus is about.” Instead he believes the church has become engaged in endless debates about issues like ordination of homosexual priests.” He added that this has allowed “illiberal secularism” to produce a “very cynical” culture. Denying his comments were intended as a criticism of the church’s leadership, Sentamu said, “All of us as members of the body of Christ need to do more. What we should be about is telling people that God in Jesus has come in a human form, died, rose again and His presence, in terms of the spirit, actually transforms lives.” Sentamu described the fall in average attendance at church services as “worrying” and warned that the decline of traditional faith is having a damaging effect on society.
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