|Zprávy HCJB 8.1.2008|
|Čínský křesťanský knihkupec a další křesťané propuštěni z vězení|
|Čínský majitel křesťanského knihkupectví Ši Wei Han a dalších asi dvacet obviněných v tomto případu byli v pátek 4. ledna propuštěni na kauci. Čínské úřady se rozhodly nepokračovat ve formálním soudním pojednávání a obvinění z trestných činů byla stažena. Podle očitého svědka, který to řekl zpravodaji agentury China Aid Association (CAA) byl Ši v dobrém psychickém stavu a v celkem dobré fyzické kondici. Jeho rodina požádala CAA o vyjádření díků za neúnavné úsilí mezinárodního společenství o jeho propuštění. Ši i ostatní propuštění strávili ve vazbě 37 dnů na základě obvinění z nedovoleného tisku a šíření křesťanské literatury. Po této době musí být podle čínských zákonů zadržený buď být formálně zatčen nebo propuštěn. Podle zdrojů z prokuratury pekingského obvodu Haidan úřad kvůli „nedostatku důkazů“ nebyl schopen vznést formální obvinění. CAA spojuje jeho propuštění s mezinárodní pozorností, kterou tento případ vyvolal. „Čínská vláda v tomto případě učinila pozitivní krok správným směrem,“ řekl prezident CAA Bob Fu. „Je to jasné vítězství zákona i mezinárodní solidarity.“ Zdroj: China Aid Association|
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| RUMBLINGS FORCE EVACUATIONS NEAR VOLCANO IN ECUADOR
Sources: International Herald Tribune, Associated Press, HCJB Global
Activity in Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano, 90 miles south of Quito, has forced the evacuation of at least 1,000 villagers, authorities said Sunday, Jan. 6. About 300 families from 10 hamlets on the western slopes of the 16,470-foot volcano have been evacuated as a precautionary measure. “The intense activity has forced us to put into effect a voluntary contingency and evacuation plan,” Pablo Morillo, head of emergency operations, told the Associated Press. He said the measure involves moving people at night to shelters a safe distance from the volcano. They are allowed to return by day to their homes to tend to their crops and animals. But Juan Salazar, mayor of Penipe, said authorities in the 10 villages are asking the government resettle evacuated families in other areas so they don’t have to return to the endangered zones. “The volcano is totally plugged up, and the roars [from inside] are making people nervous,” he said. Tungurahua has erupted several times since the volcano reawakened in 1999 -- most recently on Aug. 17, 2006, when an eruption killed five people, destroyed farmland and left hundreds of farm animals dead.
* HCJB Global Hands has sent three relief teams to areas affected by ashfalls in the Tungurahua volcano since 1999, bringing physical and spiritual encouragement to local residents.
MAF OFFERS EMERGENCY HELP AS KENYAN CRISIS CONTINUES
Sources: Mission Aviation Fellowship, Mission Network News, Evangelical News
As violence following Kenya’s presidential elections continues, team members from Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) have been answering the emergency call for evacuations and humanitarian help. Country Director Bernard Terlouw said their planes may be small, but their response isn’t.
“We don’t even have an idea how to do this, but we just started flying. We know that several hundred thousand people have run away from their homes, so what can we do? I would say nothing, but every 13 that we have pulled out and brought to Nairobi or to a safe place [is 13 people rescued].”
Terlouw says no fuel has been reserved to evacuate MAF staff members as they look to Christ for strength and protection while the pilots fly out people regardless of their faith. “If they needed evacuation we tell them, ‘Because we’re a Christian organization, just come on board, and we have to help you.’”
MAF pilots have flown to various towns in western Kenya to evacuate imperiled Kenyans as well as foreigners from such organizations as Scripture Mission, International Committee of the Red Cross, Navigators and Gospel Fire International.
* HCJB Global Voice has worked with local partners to install eight radio outlets in seven cities of Kenya.
CHINESE CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE OWNER, OTHERS RELEASED FROM JAIL
Source: China Aid Association
Chinese Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan, along with two dozen others associated with his case, were released on bail on Friday, Jan. 4. Chinese officials decided against a formal trial for Shi, and criminal charges against the accused have been dismissed. Eyewitnesses told China Aid Association (CAA) that Shi was in good spirits and relatively stable physical condition. His family members asked CAA to thank the tireless efforts of the international community for his release. Shi and the others have been detained for the past 37 days under charges of illegal printing and distribution of Christian literature. According to Chinese law, after 37 days of administrative detention, a formal arrest warrant must be issued or the accused must be released. Sources state that the Beijing Haidian district prosecution office assigned to Shi’s case determined that they were unable to proceed with formal charges due to “insufficient evidence.” CAA attributes the release to international attention focused on the case. “The Chinese government has made a positive step in the right direction regarding this case,” said CAA President Bob Fu. “This is a clear victory of rule of law and international intervention.”
INDIA’S ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE AT CHRISTMAS ‘PREPLANNED’
Sources: Compass Direct News, Assist News Service, Breaking Christian News, AsiaNews
Emerging facts indicate that India’s largest spate of anti-Christian violence, which has left thousands homeless in the Kandhamal district of eastern India’s Orissa state, was preplanned. Three months before the series of attacks began on Christmas Eve in the mountainous district, a local newspaper report had warned that tensions were brewing between the Christian and non-Christian tribal communities regarding governmental affirmative action.
Anticipating attacks during the days preceding Christmas, local Christians had urged district authorities to provide police protection, but their pleas went unheeded. “It is beyond doubt that the violence was premeditated, preplanned and the work of a well-disciplined group to ensure simultaneous eruptions across the district within hours of the first incident, and to sustain it for five days despite the presence of the highest police officers in the region,” said Christian leader and human rights activist John Dayal after a fact-finding trip to Kandhamal.
According to a memorandum submitted to the National Human Rights Commission, Christian leaders said that about nine people had been killed, nearly 90 churches burned and about 600 houses torched or vandalized, affecting some 5,000 people. “This was the first time that such a large number of Christian villagers were displaced and had to live in refugee camps after their houses were burned,” said Dayal.
Gladys Staines, widow of the slain Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines, has expressed concern about the recent violence against Christians. “People need to learn to forgive each other,” said Staines, now in Australia, in letters sent to Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“This news causes me great concern and I am deeply grieved. People need to learn to forgive each other,” she said. “Forgiveness brings with it healing as I have experienced following the deaths of my husband and two sons.”
Staines publically forgave those responsible for the violent deaths of her husband and two minor sons, Timothy and Philip, who were burned alive in their car in Manoharpur on Jan. 22, 1999.
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