|Zprávy HCJB 24.1.2008|
|Britská skupina předpovídá oblasti pronásledování křesťanů v roce 2008|
|Britská skupina pro ochranu lidských práv Release International uvedla, že k nejkřiklavějším případům pronásledování křesťanů v roce 2008 asi dojde v zemích, kde křesťanství je nezákonné, jako je Severní Korea a Saúdská Arábie. „V jiných zemích budou v příštím roce miliony křesťanů čelit různým formám zastrašování, pronásledování a utiskování prostě proto, že jsou,“ píše se v nové zprávě této organizace. „Avšak věznění, mučení a dokonce hromadné popravy jsou realitou pro tajné křesťany v Severní Koreji,“ řekl Tim Peters z organizace Helping Hands Korea, která podporuje korejské uprchlíky. Saúdská Arábie zas trestá vězením či vypovězením kohokoli, kdo se zabývá evangelizací nebo obrací Muslimy. Význačným křesťanům je vyhrožováno popravou. Release International uvádí, že k pronásledování křesťanů dochází většinou v oblastech, kde panuje některý z následujících čtyř systémů – islám, hinduismus, buddhismus a komunismus. Pronásledování vždy vychází od vládních úředníků nebo z vládních struktur jako je tajná policie, armáda nebo soudnictví, případně z militantních organizací jako jsou islámské skupiny. „Pomozte nám stát po boku našich pronásledovaných bratří a sester i v roce 2008,“ řekl Andy Dipper, výkonný ředitel Release International. „Musíme jim hodně dávat a oni nás mohou mnohému naučit.“ Zdroj: Assist News Service|
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| 6 MILLION PURPLE BRACELETS HELP PASTOR CURTAIL COMPLAINING
Sources: The Ministry Report, The Colorado Springs Gazette
Pastor Will Bowen has found the cure for complaining -- a purple bracelet. In July 2006 Bowen handed out purple bracelets to congregants of his Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Mo., and encouraged them to use them as visual reminders to stop complaining and enjoy their lives. Each time they complained, they were to switch the bracelet to the other wrist. Those who made it 21 days straight without switching the bracelet were issued a “certificate of happiness.” The 250-member church then offered to send out bracelets free of charge upon request. So far more than 6 million of the bracelets have been requested worldwide, and Bowen has written a book about the phenomenon. The pastor appeared recently with Matt Lauer on the “Today Show,” a program on NBC. “People have told me how it has healed their relationships, their health and their work,” Bowen said.
10 KILLED IN INCREASED ARMY PRESENCE IN MYANMAR’S KAREN STATE
Source: Assist News Service
More than 90 Myanmar (Burma) army battalions, comprising between 11,000 and 14,000 troops, are operating in the country’s Karen state, potentially poised for another major offensive. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported that at least 10 villagers have been killed in the same state in the last two months as the Burmese Army continues to launch attacks against civilians. Hundreds have fled the attacks, and thousands remain in hiding. Living conditions are so extreme that many are unable to return to Karen villages and farms. The Burmese Army has been shelling villages and sites for internally displaced people and killing civilians during patrols. In the northern Toungoo district, an estimated 7,000 people are in hiding. Villagers face forced labor on a daily basis, being made to act as road clearers, minesweepers and porters. “The world was shocked by the killings of demonstrators in the cities of Burma in September 2007,” said CSW Advocacy Director Tina Lambert. “However, the ongoing horrific attacks against the ethnic groups of Burma are less well known despite the fact that they have ensued for almost 60 years.”
* Broadcasts in the Rawang Myanmar language began airing from HCJB Global-Australia’s shortwave site in Kununurra in March 2007. Programs in this language air seven hours weekly.
BRAZIL INVESTIGATING CHURCH’S FINANCES, TIES TO SOCCER STAR
Sources: WorldWide Religious News, DPA
The Reborn in Christ Church is accusing Brazilian tax authorities of religious persecution in their decision to investigate donations approaching the equivalent of US$1.2 million a year to the church by Brazilian soccer star Kaka. The magazine Carta Capital reported this weekend that Kaka’s contributions are being investigated by Săo Paulo public prosecutor Marcelo Mendroni who has reportedly asked justice officials in Milan for details on Kaka’s financial links to the church. The public prosecutor’s office in Săo Paulo did not confirm the report, but the church issued a statement Monday, Jan. 14, in which it accused Mendroni of an “affront on a religious belief, in an act that constitutes a persecution of those who follow a faith that they consider appropriate.” Kaka, who was awarded the Golden Boot and chosen as FIFA Player of the Year in 2007, is a devout follower of the Reborn in Christ Church. The talented attacking midfielder, 25, recently said that he hopes to become a pastor when he retires from soccer. The Neo-Pentecostal church’s founders, Estevam and Sônia Hernandes, are under house arrest in the U.S. after trying to enter the country with US$56,000 in undeclared funds.
CONGOLESE JUDGE ARRESTED AFTER CONTROVERSIAL ACQUITTAL
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
The Congolese judge who acquitted human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Marie Therese Nlandu has been detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.). Major Mbokolo Wawa and his assistant, Captain Kawende, were placed under house arrest after being detained on Tuesday, Jan. 8. There are serious concerns for their wellbeing. Wawa has been the victim of death threats ever since his decision to release Nlandu last April. He was ordered to report to Uvira near the Rwanda border, an area where there is no military court, but he delayed his journey, fearing for his life. As a result he has been charged for refusing to go. The judge and his assistant were due to be brought before a military court in Kinshasa/Gombe. Sources now report that a secret trial is under way. In addition, the case of an evangelical pastor jailed in the Congo since May 2006 was reopened on Dec. 12, 2007, apparently due to international pressure. Pastor Fernando Kutino, an evangelical church leader, was arrested along with two associates after he made a speech that was deemed critical of foreign influence on the nation’s transitional government.
* HCJB Global Voice 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.
U.K. GROUP PREDICTS HOTSPOTS FOR 2008 CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION
Source: Assist News Service
U.K.-based Christian human rights group Release International said some of the harshest persecution against Christians during 2008 will likely to take place in nation where Christianity is illegal such as North Korea and Saudi Arabia. “Elsewhere, millions of Christians this coming year will face varying degrees of harassment, persecution and repression simply because of where they live,” stated a news release from the organization. “Imprisonment, torture and even summary execution continue to be a fact of life for secret Christians in North Korea,” said Tim Peters of Helping Hands Korea which supports refugees. Saudi Arabia punishes anyone involved in evangelism or who converts a Muslim with jail or expulsion. Christian leaders have also been threatened with execution. Release International said the majority of Christian persecution will take place in the four “zones” of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and communism. All stem from the government or its agents such as the secret police, military or judiciary, or from non-governmental movements such as militant Islamic groups. “Help us to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters in 2008,” said Andy Dipper, chief executive officer of Release International. “We have much to give them, and they have much to teach us.”
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