Zprávy HCJB 22.2.2008

 Muslimský Katar povoluje křesťanský kostel
   Prudká debata pokračovala v Kataru i ve středu 20. února. Diskutovalo se o stavbě prvního křesťanského kostela v tomto muslimském státu. Církev plánuje jeho otevření příští měsíc a další kostely by měly následovat. Konzervativní muslimové jsou rozhořčeni, ale katarský emír odmítl pozastavit zahájení činnosti kostela o Velikonocích. „Když půjde všechno dobře, oslavíme Velikonoce v novém kostele,“ potvrdil zástupce římskokatolického kostela Sv. Marie v Doha ve svém vyjádření pro Radio Neterlands Worldwide. Stavba dalších kostelů včetně anglikánského začne podle anglikánského kněze Williama Schwarze v květnu. Stavby řeckého pravoslavného kostela a koptického kostela již byly zahájeny. Kostel Sv. Marie nemá věž se zvony ani kříž, aby se předešlo nedorozumění s místním muslimským obyvatelstvem. Představitelé církve navíc údajně místním úřadům slíbily neúčast na misijní činnosti. Od svého nástupu k moci v roce 1995 princ Hamad bin Chalífa al-Thanihas dává jasně najevo, že bude prosazovat umírněnou tvář islámu a vyhoví tak nové křesťanské menšině v této ropou oplývající zemi. Většina z očekávaných farníků je Filipín, Libanonu a Indie. Zdroj: BosNewsLife
 Všechny zprávy v angličtině

Sources: CNN News, BBC News
At least 10 people have died and thousands have been left homeless after torrential rains inundated large parts of Ecuador, officials said Thursday, Feb. 21. Authorities said the rains, which began a week ago, were the worst in a quarter century. Civil defense officials said more than 10,000 families have been affected.

A state of emergency was declared in nine provinces on Thursday, Jan. 31, but the incessant rains have extended to all of the country’s 24 provinces. Government figures suggest that more than 50,000 people have been affected by the flooding.

Los Ríos, north of Guayaquil, was the hardest hit of nine provinces affected, civil defense officials said. Five people died in Los Ríos when an ambulance drove into a hole at the side of a flooded street at dawn Thursday, Feb. 21. A newborn boy, his parents, a doctor and a driver were killed. Streets were also flooded in the capital of Quito.

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency and ordered 2,000 members of the army and the police to help rescue workers. Correa increased by $25 million the $10 million he already had allocated for the emergency efforts. He also directed another $88 million to municipalities.

Once the crisis has eased, an emergency fund will give seed and fertilizer to help farmers whose fields were washed away, Ecuador’s government said. There also have been reports of livestock drowning.

Cristina Medina, a spokeswoman for the Ecuadorean Red Cross, said provinces most heavily affected were along the Pacific coast where drinking water was often in short supply. In some towns, high waters forced entire neighborhoods to evacuate.

* HCJB Global Hands is preparing to send an emergency medical response team to some of the areas hit hardest by the flooding in Ecuador. Look for more details next week.


Source: Compass Direct News
Authorities in the East African country of Eritrea released 35 evangelical Christians in the port city of Massawa the morning of Saturday, Feb. 16, after holding them in custody for six weeks at a local police station. All the jailed believers were members of the government-banned Faith of Christ Church. The 35 men and women had been worshiping in a private home on Jan. 6 when security officials raided the house and arrested those present. The group was denied visitation rights while in police custody, although official charges were never filed against them. Three days earlier, 10 members of the Full Gospel Church who had been incarcerated for five years in Assab’s notorious military prison were released on bail. The seven men and three women had been transferred from Assab to the Adi-Abyto prison six months ago. Local sources confirmed this week that a senior pastor in the Kale Hiwot Church remains imprisoned in Asmara Police Station No. 5 since his arrest nearly five months ago. Pastor Oqbamichael Tekle-Haimanot was jailed on Oct. 1, 2007. He has been subjected to 10 months of solitary confinement and hard labor for participating in a Protestant Christian wedding in January 2005.


Source: BosNewsLife
A bitter debate continued in Qatar Wednesday, Feb. 20, about the construction of the first Christian church in this Muslim nation. The church scheduled to open next month with more to follow. Conservative Muslims are furious, but the emir of Qatar has refused to prevent the church inauguration in time for Easter. “If all goes well, we will celebrate Easter in our new church,” confirmed the Doha-based Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary in a statement to Radio Netherlands Worldwide network. Construction of other churches, including an Anglican church, will begin in May, according to Qatar’s Anglican priest William Schwarz. Construction has already begun on a Greek Orthodox Church and another for Coptic Christians. St. Mary church has been constructed without a bell tower or cross, apparently to prevent more tensions with the local Muslim population. In addition, the church officials reportedly promised authorities that church members will not engage in missionary activities. Since coming to power in 1995, Prince Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thanihas made clear he wanted to promote the tolerant face of Islam and to accommodate the new Christian minority in his oil-rich country. The majority of the expected parishioners are from the Philippines, India and Lebanon.


Source: Mission Network News
While there is some question as to whether or not peace talks are actually under way in Chad in the aftermath of an attempted coup d’etat in late January, reports indicate most Christians avoided harm. Rebel forces are currently denying government reports of negotiations. Meanwhile, Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors says the organization is following the situation because its ministry teams were scattered by the violence. There is an uneasy calm in part of the country, but “there’s another very important prayer request that we’ve heard from our brothers and sisters there. Armed rebels coming from Sudan’s Darfur region have spread terror in the name of Islam in eastern Chad.” Stories of divine protection are emerging from among Christians. According to Pastor René Daidanso, who lives in N’Djamena, Chadian Radio Television was destroyed during bombardments, but a church right beside it was spared. Open Doors also revealed that the Evangelical Church of Chad, a church of more than 1,500 members, was spared despite sitting only about 100 yards from the Ndjamena market that was largely destroyed.

* HCJB Global Voice worked with local partner Voice of Hope to establish an FM station in N’Djamena in 2004. The mission also assisted the Church of the Lutheran Brethren with a recording studio in Gauna Gaya.


Source: Religion Today
Thomas Nelson, Inc. has announced that its Bible group is in the beginning stages of discontinuing the use of synthetic covers on its Bible products. Although the transition will begin immediately, due to production schedules, some products releasing in the coming months may still include these materials. Customers can expect to find significant eco-friendly Bible offerings in stores come early 2009. The move marks Thomas Nelson as the first Bible publisher to announce a complete transition to environmentally conscious Bible bindings and practices. “As a publisher of Bibles for more than 200 years, Thomas Nelson has always striven to bring Scripture into people’s lives while also addressing their evolving needs and concerns,” said Wayne Hastings, senior vice president of the company’s Bible Group. “We’re happy to be leading the way in providing environmentally friendly Bibles in keeping with the concerns of today’s consumers.”

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