Zprávy HCJB 14.2.2008

 Nigérie: odmítnutí nápadníka rozpoutalo veliké násilnosti
   2. února muslimský muž z nigerijského státu Bauchi rozvášněný neopětovanou touhou po mladé křesťance tuto mladou ženu nakonec nařkl z „rouhání“ a rozpoutal tak rozsáhlé potyčky, které si vyžádaly jednu lidskou oběť. Sedm křesťanů skončilo v nemocnici, pět kostelů bylo zničeno a tisíce lidí údajně uprchly.

Reverend Garba Gaius, pastor sboru Evangelikální církve západní Afriky, jehož členkou je i tato mladá žena, uvedl, že Patience Yusuf byla den před událostmi t.j. v pátek 1. února doma. Jeden mladý muž ji požádal, aby za ním šla ven. Tam jí řekl, že by se s ní rád spřátelil a oženil se s ní. Yusuf jej přísně odmítla.

Podle Gaiusových slov tehdy muž, jehož totožnost nebyla zveřejněna, dívce vracející se domů řekl: „Žádám tě ve jménu Boha a jeho apoštola, Mohammeda, prosím, přijmi mě za svého přítele.“ Yusuf se na něj podívala a řekla mu „Žádáš ve jménu někoho, koho neznám. Já znám Ježíše, Mohammeda neznám.“

Podle Gauise pak tento muslim odešel a večer shromážděným přátelům a sousedům vyprávěl, jak se Yusuf rouhala Mohammedovi. Když pak druhý den ráno skupina nahněvaných muslimů přišla k jejímu domu, Yusuf utekla na místní policejní stanici. „Policie ji odmítla vydat, načež stěžovatelé zaútočili na policisty ve službě a stanici zapálili,“ řekl Gaius.

Při obraně stanice policie vystřelila do davu a zabila jednoho muže, kterému bylo právě 20 let. Krátce nato se stovky muslimů vyzbrojených puškami, mačetami, klacky a holemi vyrojili do ulic, napadali křesťany a mnohé z nich zranili. Pět kostelů bylo zničeno: Gauisův kostel, anglikánský kostel Nigerijské Církve, kostel apoštolské církve, římskokatolický kostel a kostel Křesťanského sboru Nigérie. Také domy patřící křesťanům byly zničeny, dodal Gaius.Zdroj: BosNewsLife, Compass Direct, Religion Today

*HCJB Global Voice společně se SIM a Evangelikální církví západní Afriky začaly v roce 2000 jednou týdně vysílat půlhodinové programy pro Nigérii v jazyce Igbo. HCJB Global Vouice ve spolupráci s místními partnery také pomáhaly při zahájení místního misijního vysílání v pěti nigerijských městech: Aba, Osun, Jos, kaduna a Umuahia.
 Všechny zprávy v angličtině

Sources: WorldWide Religious News, BBC News
Religious police in Saudi Arabia are banning the sale of Valentine's Day gifts including red roses, a local newspaper has reported. The Saudi Gazette quoted shop workers as saying that officials had warned them to remove all red items including flowers and wrapping paper. Black market prices for roses were already rising, the paper said. Saudi authorities consider Valentine’s Day, along with a host of other annual celebrations, as un-Islamic. In addition to the prohibition on celebrating non-Islamic festivals, the authorities consider Valentine’s Day as encouraging relations between men and women outside wedlock, an offense punishable by law in the conservative kingdom. The Saudi Gazette reported that some people placed orders with florists days or weeks before Valentine’s Day in anticipation of the ban, which is a regular occurrence. “Sometimes we deliver the bouquets in the middle of the night or early morning, to avoid suspicion,” one florist said. Others were planning to travel to the more religiously liberal neighboring countries, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates, to celebrate. Saudi Arabian authorities impose a strict Islamic code that prevents men and women from mixing.


Sources: BosNewsLife, Compass Direct, Religion Today
A Muslim man's frustrated desire to marry a young Christian woman resulted in him accusing her of “blasphemy,” triggering violence in Nigeria’s Bauchi state on Saturday, Feb. 2, that left one person dead, seven Christians hospitalized and five churches destroyed and thousands reportedly displaced.

The Rev. Garba Gaius, pastor of the Evangelical Church of West Africa congregation to which the young woman belongs, said that Patience Yusuf was at home the night of Friday, Feb. 1, when a young man asked her to meet him outside. There he told her he wanted to befriend and marry her. Yusuf sharply declined.

As she walked back into her house, the man, whose identity has not be disclosed, told her, “I beg you in the name of God and his apostle, Muhammad, to please accept me as your boyfriend,” Rev. Gaius said. He said Yusuf looked the man in the face and replied, “You are pleading in the name of a person I do not know. Jesus I know, but Muhammad I do not know.”

The Muslim man left, Rev. Gaius said, gathering friends and neighbors that night to tell them that Yusuf had blasphemed Muhammad. When a group of angry Muslims came to her house the next morning, Yusuf fled to the local police station. “The police declined to release her, and there and then they attacked the policemen on duty and burnt down the police station,” Gaius said.

Defending the station, police fired into the crowd, killing one man in his 20s. Shortly after, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets armed with guns, machetes, cudgels and clubs, attacking Christians and injuring many. Five churches, including Gaius’ own church, a Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), an Apostolic Church, a Roman Catholic Church, and a Church of Christ in Nigeria – were destroyed, along with homes belonging to Christians, he added.

* HCJB Global Voice, together with SIM and the Evangelical Church of West Africa, began airing weekly half-hour programs to Nigeria in the Igbo language in 2000. HCJB Global Voice also has helped partners start local radio ministries in five Nigerian cities: Aba, Osun, Jos, Kaduna and Umuahia.


Source: Forum 18 News
Belarus has stepped up pressure on the Baptist Council of Churches, issuing a spate of fines for unregistered religious activity. The Council's congregations reject state registration there, believing that it leads to government interference. Recently prosecuted pastor Nikolai Varushin said, “This is our path; we are prepared to suffer for our faith. We just pray that our people will remain true to the Lord.” In defiance of international human rights standards, Belarus is the only country in Europe to ban unregistered religious activity. While not including Baptists among their number, the judge in one of the recent cases, Aleksei Belotsky, said that the state regulates religious activity to protect citizens from “destructive sects.” The increased pressure on Protestants coincides with a number of prominent public statements on the religious situation in Belarus by state officials. For example, Leonid Gulyako, Plenipotentiary for Religious and Ethnic Affairs, recently announced that in 2008 “measures will be activated to prevent the spread of neo-cults and pseudo-religions.” Other active Protestant churches, particularly prominent charismatic churches, are also experiencing increased state pressure. One of these churches, New Life Church in the capital Minsk, has opted for civil disobedience as a response to state pressure.


Source: Christian Newswire
Christian Freedom International (CFI), a U.S.-based organization that provides humanitarian aid and political advocacy for persecuted Christians, is in Laos delivering Bibles and relief aid to dozens of suffering Christians. CFI president Jim Jacobson and other CFI personnel are making deliveries to impoverished Christians in remote villages, where access to medical care and other basic necessities are virtually impossible -- particularly for those who profess the Christian faith. Laotian Christians have continued to suffer under mounting persecution in recent years, including the confiscation of homes, property and churches, the arrest and imprisonment of pastors, forced renunciation of the faith, and even the threat of execution. Hmong Christians have especially become targets for attack by the government, in a vicious genocidal campaign that has included forced starvation and the use of chemical weapons. Many believers risk imprisonment by gathering to worship in illegal underground churches. The severe restrictions have also caused a widespread shortage of Bibles in the country. CFI has repeatedly sent medical and dental teams into Laos, along with Bibles and food supplies. The organization's current trip comes immediately after a week-long mission in Burma, where supplies were delivered to persecuted Karen and Karenni refugees.


Sources: Religion Today, Open Doors
For the sixth consecutive year, North Korea has been named the world's worst violator of religious freedom, according to a leading Christian watchdog organization. Open Doors' 2008 “world watch list” is dominated by Muslim-majority countries, which account for 14 of the 20 most egregious persecutors; and communist nations, which make up four of the remaining six. The last two are a Buddhist monarchy and a region of Russia. Saudi Arabia, ruled by a Sunni Wahhabist royal family, was in second place for the fifth straight year, while Shi'ite Iran was in third place for the third year in a row. Rounding out the top ten offenders, in order, were the Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Laos, Uzbekistan and China. Open Doors says it ranks countries based on the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith, after putting 50 questions to contacts, religious believers and fieldworkers in the various countries. “There is no other country in the world where Christians are being persecuted in such a horrible and systematic manner,” Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, said of Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea.

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