|Zprávy HCJB 12.2.2008|
|Irán navrhuje trest smrti pro konvertity od islámu|
|Obránci lidských práv oznamují, že iránský parlament by mohl nařídit trest smrti pro občany Iránu, kteří opustí islám. Podle Ústavu pro náboženský a veřejný dohled (IRPP) z 5. února je to poprvé v dějinách Iránu, co navrhovaný nový zákoník požaduje pro „odpadlíky“ trest smrti. „Odpadlictví bylo nezákonné vždy, ale soud mohl zvolit mezi odnětím svobody, pracovním táborem nebo trestem smrti,“ řekl prezident IRPP Joseph Grieboski. „Nyní by pro odpadlictví existoval jediný trest – smrt.“ Irán využívá zákon proti „odpadlictví“ proti bývalým muslimům - konvertitům ke křesťanství, liberálním myslitelům a proti iránské náboženské menšině Baha’i. „Není to nic nového, jen chtějí ještě víc postrašit ty, kdo opouštějí islám,“ řekl jeden iránský pastor. I když útržek navrhovaného textu zákona naznačuje při odpadlictví možnost popravy mužů i žen, jiný úsek ukazuje na popravu jen mužů, kteří opustí islám. Návrh zákona určuje, že vůči ženským odpadlicím bude používána „tvrdost,“ ale odvolají-li, bodu propuštěny. Návrh zákona byl již před měsícem potvrzen iránským kabinetem a zdá se, že v parlamentu získá potřebnou podporu, řekl jeden iránský křesťan. Zdroj: Compass Direct News|
|Všechny zprávy v angličtině|
| HUGE CHINA SNOWSTORMS WREAK HAVOC THROUGH LUNAR HOLIDAY
Sources: BBC News, Operation Blessing
The worst snowstorms that China has experienced in more than 50 years have affected some 100 million people in China’s Hubei, Hunan, Guizou and Guangdong provinces. Three weeks of heavy snow have caused widespread chaos to railways, roads and airports as huge crowds try to get home for the Lunar New Year celebrations that began on Friday, Feb. 7. The holiday is important in China as it’s the only chance many people get to see their families all year. More than 1.1 million troops and volunteers have been sent onto the streets to help clear the snow and control the thousands of frustrated passengers at China’s main railway stations and airports. Many were forced to spend the night, sleeping outside in freezing temperatures and officials say emergency medical teams have treated more than 200,000 people, and at least 60 people have died because of the cold. But some people are worried the real figures are likely to be much higher. The economic impact to rural farmers is estimated to be huge as well. Operation Blessing has mobilized a “snow disaster relief crew” that has carried warm clothes and relief items to many isolated communities and elderly who have been unable to get supplies in the storms.
* HCJB Global-Australia’s shortwave station in Kununurra broadcasts 25.5 hours of Mandarin programming each week.
8 ZIMBABWE CHURCH LEADERS ARRESTED IN FRONT OF 400 WORSHIPERS
Sources: Assist News Service, Religion Today
Eight church leaders, including a blind pastor, were arrested during a meeting in front of 400 worshipers and detained in police cells in Kadoma, Zimbabwe, in what is seen as continuing persecution of the church by the ruling government. The arrested church leaders are Jonathan Gokovah, Raymond Motsi, Pius Wakatama, Ancelimo Magaya, Wilson Mugabe, Zvizai Chiponda, Lawrence Berejena and Gerald Mubaiwa. In an e-mail report from the Foundation of Reason and Justice, Pastor Moyo said, “The meeting was for Christians who felt they cannot remain silent while the country burns with companies closing, inflation (26,000 percent) hitting everyone hard, and the majority of people suffering.” The pastors declared, “We are not aligned to any political party, and we don’t mind who rules this country as long as they are accountable and respect the rights of all citizens. We are just against the prevailing situation characterized by looting and misgovernance.”
* HCJB Global Voice signed a partnership agreement with the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe in 2001.
IRAN PROPOSES DEATH PENALTY FOR RELIGIOUS CONVERTS FROM ISLAM
Source: Compass Direct News
The Iranian parliament may mandate the death penalty for citizens who leave Islam, a human rights group announced last week. For the first time in Iranian history, a proposed penal code demands the death penalty for “apostates,” according to a Feb. 5 statement by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP). “Apostasy was always illegal, but the court could hand down a jail term, hard labor or the death penalty,” said IRPP President Joseph Grieboski. “Now apostasy [would only] get the death penalty.” Iran has used the “apostasy” law to target Muslim converts to Christianity, liberal thinkers and members of Iran’s Baha’i religious minority. “This is not something new, they just want to be harsher towards those who are leaving Islam,” an Iranian pastor said. Though sections of the draft appear to indicate that both men and women can be executed for apostasy, others limit execution to males who leave Islam. The proposed law stipulates that “hardship” will be exercised on a female “apostate” who will be immediately released if she recants. The penal code proposal, already approved by the Iranian cabinet a month ago, appears to have the necessary parliamentary backing to be passed, an Iranian Christian said.
JORDAN CLOSES EVANGELICAL CHURCH, CONTINUES PRESSURE
Jordan has closed down an evangelical church after expelling many devoted Christians from the country, reported Arab World Ministries (AWM) on Thursday, Feb. 7. Jordanian authorities sealed off an evangelical church in the port city of Aqaba, leaving a note saying, “The church should be closed and the furniture removed within 24 hours.” This comes just months after another church was closed by officials in the Jordan Valley, a low-lying strip which cleaves down the western border of the country, AWM reported in a statement from the Netherlands where one of its global headquarters is located. The group suggested there was a link between the closures of churches and complaints made by Coptic Christian denominations in Jordan which allegedly view evangelical churches as a threat. “Evangelical churches in Jordan are increasingly under pressure. Several weeks ago, a pastor was requested to end his training programs for mission work and stop sending out missionaries to other Arabic nations,” AWM added. Last year Jordanian authorities reportedly refused to extend the residence permits of 27 foreign Christian families, apparently because some of them worked with local churches or received Christian education. Ninety-five percent of Jordan’s population is Muslim.
UPDATE: EXPERTS REVISIT 2,500-YEAR-OLD STONE SEAL IN JERUSALEM
Source: Evangelical News, Baptist Press
A 2,500-year-old stone seal unearthed in Jerusalem in early January isn’t tied to the obscure Old Testament family initially thought, but instead possibly to an equally obscure and completely different biblical family. Archeologist Eilat Mazar initially told the Jerusalem Post she had found a seal -- designed to make impressions in soft clay -- engraved with the name of the “Temech” family, referenced in Nehemiah 7 that returned to Jerusalem after being taken into exile by the Babylonians. But as it turns out, Mazar was misreading the inscription because the seal is designed to make an impression, rather than being read directly. Mazar now acknowledges the letters should read Sh-l-m-t, leading scholars to believe it could refer to Shelomith, a man mentioned in Ezra 8:10 who also returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, or to Shelomith, the daughter of Zerubbabel mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:19. The seal itself is 0.8 inches long and 0.7 inches wide.
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