Zprávy HCJB 2.1.2008

 Zbožné město v Louisianě se domohlo změny telefonního čísla 666
   Malé, ale velmi zbožné město v jihozápadní Luisianě po desítkách let jednání dosáhlo změny své telefonní předvolby 666. Radní města Reeves bojovali 40 let za změnu tohoto prefixu a nejméně čtyřikrát byla jejich žádost odmítnuta, řekl starosta Scott Walker agentuře Associated Press. Ale od prvního dne prosince si místní obyvatelé i obchodníci mohou zažádat o změnu na 749. „Tato záležitost byla pro místní velmi zbožnou komunitu značně ožehavá,“ řekl Walker. V městečku jsou tři kostely a to má jen 450 domů. V Bibli je číslo 666 znamením antikrista a ti, kdo jej nosí jsou považováni za následovníky Satana. Walker řekl, že během roku jej obyvatelé opět opakovaně vyhledávali kvůli změně čísla a také průzkum veřejného mínění ukázal výraznou podporu případného přečíslování. Starosta pak ve spolupráci s telefonní společností, státní Komisí pro veřejné služby a dalšími organizacemi toto přečíslování zařídil. „Byla to černá skvrna na štítu města,“ řekl starosta. „Nemyslím, že by nám to bylo mohlo něco způsobit, ale jde o image.“ Zdroj: Christian Post, Religion Today
 Všechny zprávy v angličtině

Sources: Christian Post, Religion Today
A small highly religious town in southwestern Louisiana has gained the right to change its 666 telephone area code after decades of lobbying. For 40 years the town of Reeves has battled to change its telephone prefix but has failed at least four times, Mayor Scott Walker told the Associated Press. But beginning this month, residents and businesses can apply to change their area code to 749 from 666. “This boils down to, this is a very, very religious community,” Walker said. The town has three churches, two Bible and one Baptist, in a community with less than 450 homes. In the Bible the number 666 refers to the mark of the beat or the antichrist. Moreover, those associating with the number 666 are considered to be aligning themselves with Satan. Walker said he was contacted by residents earlier this year about changing the area code, and said a citizen poll found overwhelming support for the change. He worked with the telephone company and the state Public Service Commission among others to secure the change. “It’s been a black eye for our town, a stigma,” he said. “I don’t think it’s anything bad on us, just an image.”


Sources: Associated Press, BBC News, Assist News Service
International pressure mounted on Kenya’s leaders today (Wednesday) to end post-election violence that has killed more than 300 people, including dozens burned alive as they sought refuge in the Assemblies of God church in Eldoret on New Year’s Day. The killing of up to 50 ethnic Kikuyus fueled fears of deepening tribal conflict in an attack reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Machete-wielding members of another tribe attacked and set fire to the church where about 400 people, including many children, were hiding. Charred bodies were seen both inside and outside the church, and dozens of others were hospitalized with severe burns. The violence comes as European Union election monitors said the presidential poll tallying process “lacked credibility.” Most of the victims were members of the Kikuyu tribe to which newly re-elected President Mwai Kibaki belongs. A local reporter at the scene said that a group of youths had set fire to the building at about 10 a.m. after overpowering those guarding it.

* HCJB Global Voice has worked with local partners to install eight radio outlets in seven cities of Kenya.


Sources: BosNewsLife, Assist News Service
A tense calm has returned to eastern India’s troubled Orissa state as security forces stepped up patrols after a week of attacks left up to nine Christians dead and at least seven Christian girls missing.

Massive violence against Christians in the region began on Christmas Eve when Hindu mobs interrupted Christmas celebrations and vandalized Christmas decorations. As of Dec. 30, the All India Christian Council (AICC) had collected reports of 65 churches being burned down, 600 Christian homes destroyed, hundreds of Christians forced to flee into forests to save their lives, and thousands homeless.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told a delegation of church leaders on Sunday, Dec. 30, that the government “would take steps to provide full security” to the community, and “protect the religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution to all citizens.”

The next day at least some of the estimated 1,000 Christians hiding in jungles, including clergy, women and children, returned to their homes, or what was left of them.

“Some priests are just back from their hiding places,” confirmed a Catholic priest in the Balliguda area. “They are really tired and have left everything in the hands of God. They stayed for few days in the jungle, but people all Hindus, Christians and Muslims took care of them.”

When they came back, they found nothing was left in their churches or convents, he said. “Everything is burned. Whatever was left they carried away...So hopeless is the situation.”

Local Hindus claim the violence began after Christians attacked a Hindu leader. Christians say church plans for a Christmas performance sparked the conflict.


Sources: Evangelical News, WorldWide Religious News
A new study by the Higher Education Research Institute of the University of California shows an increase in interest in spiritual issues among college students as they move from their freshmen to junior years. The study confirms the experiences of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) staff working on 580 college campuses around the U.S. The results of the 2007 study of college juniors were compared with a 2004 survey of college freshmen. It found 50 percent of the juniors saying, “integrating spirituality into my life” was an important goal, compared with 42 percent three years ago. Juniors who said “attaining inner harmony” was an important goal jumped to 63 percent, up from 49 percent three years earlier. However, the increase in spirituality doesn’t automatically translate into compliance with traditional religious practices. The proportion of students who believe in God, though high, dropped from 77 percent of freshmen to 74 percent of juniors. And regular church attendance among freshman, 44 percent, dropped to 24 percent among juniors. “More than a quarter of all students involved with InterVarsity identify themselves as non-Christians,” said IVCF President Alec Hill. “So we see the attraction to faith and spirituality, even if some students are not ready to commit to becoming Christians.”


Sources: Baptist Press, Religion Today
While archeological proof of Jesus’ birth may be scarce, there’s no shortage of evidence supporting the reality of His life on earth, says L. Scott Kellum, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He pointed to examples such as the identification of Peter’s house at Capernaum and the limestone coffin of Caiaphas, the high priest who interrogated Jesus. Kellum also noted that archeologists have found a Christian burial site dating to A.D. 50 at Bethany; Jacob’s well mentioned in the story of the woman at the well; the synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus taught; the pool of Siloam; a fishing boat big enough to carry 13 men; and the possible tomb of Lazarus. “Under the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth there is a cave which probably was a first-century storeroom,” Kellum said. “Given the family of Mary is known to have lived in Nazareth well into the third century, the veneration of this site may mark the actual place where Gabriel spoke to the mother of Jesus.”

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