|Zprávy HCJB 27.4.2007|
|Nigerijští křesťané se obávají nového muslimského prezidenta.|
|Nigerijští křesťané a především ti z převážně muslimských severních oblastí se obávají že jejich pronásledování po zvolení muslima Umaru Musa Yar’Adua prezidentem Nigérie 21. dubna se zvýší. Ve funkci guvernéra severonigerijského federálního státu Katsina zavedl Yar’Adua šaríju (islámský zákoník) a jeho vládnutí v tomto státu se vyznačovalo záměrným odmítáním prodeje pozemků na stavbu kostelů. Také dozíral na činnost těch úřadů, které svévolně uzavřely některé kostely. Největší politické strany v Nigérii tentokrát postavily jako volební kandidáty pouze muslimy ze severu, protože existuje nepsaná dohoda, že v prezidentské funkci se budou střídat zástupci severu a jihu. Reverend Bulus Polit z Evagelikální Církve Západní Afriky v Jos řekl, že mezi dvěma muslimskými prezidentskými kandidáty byl Yar’Aduův protivník větším zastáncem muslimské tvrdé linie a byl by pro křesťany v Nigérii ještě větším problémem. Zdroj: BosNewsLife|
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| UPDATE: BOLIVIAN FLOODING CONTINUES TO AFFECT MISSIONARIES
Source: Christian Aid Mission
Native missionaries with a ministry called Serving Jesus Christ (SJC) in Bolivia are still recovering from the worst floods to hit the country in 25 years. The devastating February floods affected approximately 350,000 people, destroying an estimated 494,000 acres of cropland, drowning 22,000 head of cattle and causing millions of dollars in losses. Months of heavy rain has swamped a vast floodplain -- running from the Bolivian Andes to the Amazon basin -- and caused numerous mudslides and blocked access to emergency aid. SJC reports that most of the missionaries they oversee lost everything, including houses, crops and belongings. They were evacuated to Trinidad, along with 90,000 other people, to the capital of Beni province. They lack medicine, clothing and blankets and need spiritual encouragement. Since its inception, SJC has used boats to reach more than 40 river communities and establish more than 20 churches. The ministry has also established a Bible institute and Christian school. One of the boats is now used as a floating clinic, providing medical care to poor people living along remote rivers.
* HCJB Global Voice has worked with local radio partners to plant local AM and FM stations in the Bolivian cities of Santa Cruz, Tarija and Tupiza. Four stations with eight transmitters in four cities (La Paz, Caranavi, Santa Cruz and Sucre) are also affiliated with the ALAS, the ministry’s Latin American satellite radio network that makes Spanish programs available to local stations 24 hours a day.
30 MORE HOUSE CHURCH LEADERS, 4 AMERICANS ARRESTED IN CHINA
Sources: China Aid Association, Christian Newswire
China Aid Association is reporting that on Thursday, April 19, in Akesu city, Xinjiang province, about 30 major house church leaders were arrested while meeting with four U.S. Christians. The four Americans, including a senior and associate pastor of a stateside church, were also arrested and remain in custody for questioning in an undisclosed hotel. The Americans, who arrived at Akesu airport two days earlier, were arrested as they were fellowshipping with the house church leaders. The Americans’ translator, Jinhong Li from Beijing, is also being detained. Eight of the Chinese pastors were released on Friday, April 20, and at least six others were notified that they will receive 30 days’ detention, accused of being “suspects involved in evil cult activities.” The Chinese government could sentence the six to up to three years of “re-education through labor” because they were previously detained about two years ago for organizing house church activities. Eyewitnesses reported that at least two of the arrested pastors were seen with bleeding noses and bruises on their faces after being interrogated. They are being held at A Ke Su City Detention Center.
NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS WARY OF COUNTRY’S NEW MUSLIM PRESIDENT
Sources: Religion Today, Compass Direct News
Nigerian Christians, especially those residing in the predominantly Islamic northern regions, fear that persecution will increase following the recent election of Muslim President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on Saturday, April 21. As governor of Katsina state in northern Nigeria, Yar’Ardua imposed sharia (Islamic law) and presided over a system of deliberate denial of land for building churches. He also oversaw government agencies that arbitrarily closed some churches. Major political parties in Nigeria nominated only Muslims from the north as part of an unwritten agreement among leaders that the presidency would alternate between north and south. Rev. Bulus Polit of the Evangelical Church of West Africa in Jos said that between the two Muslim presidential candidates, Yar’Adua’s opponent was the more hard-line Muslim who would have presented even greater problems to Christians in the country.
INTERNET MAY PROVIDE WAY TO REACH TURKMENISTAN FOR CHRIST
Source: Mission Network News
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, who was elected in February, is promising to make the Internet more available to the nation’s citizens. With Turkmenistan ranked at No. 13 on the World Watch List for Christian Persecution, Back to the Bible sees this as and open door for evangelism in the Central Asian country. In December 2006 former Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov -- who was no friend to religious freedom -- died unexpectedly. In the ensuing two-month period while temporary leadership was in place, it became apparent that subordinates wholeheartedly supported his views. They praised his policies and vowed to continue them. Farid Tukhbatullin of the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights, concluded, “The overwhelming majority of officials of the police and MSS secret police have a vested interest in preserving the current situation under which they enjoy unlimited rights.” Back to the Bible is hoping open Internet access will allow the gospel to become available to people nationwide.
UPDATE: EVANGELICAL UZBEK PASTOR REMAINS IN DETENTION
An evangelical pastor remains in detention in the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan after his arrest in Muynak, a city in the troubled Karakalpakstan region. Barnabas Fund, an organization helping Christians in predominantly Muslim nations, said Pastor Salavat Serikbaev was arrested last week on charges of “incitement to religious hatred,” “running an illegal religious organization” and “distributing materials promoting religious extremism.” These are the same three charges which were brought earlier this year against Pastor Dmitri (David) Shestakov. He was recently sentenced to four years in one of Uzbekistan’s open labor camps in what fellow believers called “retaliation” for his Christian work. The pastor, who is currently in custody, lodged an appeal last month against the sentence. However, he still hasn’t heard from the Court of Appeal.
* HCJB Global Voice airs 2.5 hours of Uzbek programs per week from an AM station outside the country. More than 15 million people speak this language.
CORRECTION: Assist News Service reported today that no one was killed when a local government bulldozed a slum in India’s Gujarat state on Saturday, March 3. Gospel for Asia said that a Christian man was killed when he tried to stop the demolition of his hut. Further investigation of the story revealed that the original report was in error, and that while it was true that the slum had been demolished, the only fatalities were among some sheep.
For more information about the persecuted church around the world, see www.persecution.org, www.opendoorsusa.org, www.persecution.com/news/index.cfm, www.compassdirect.org, www.forum18.org and www.barnabasfund.org. HCJB Global does not necessarily endorse the views of these sources.
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