|Zprávy HCJB 7.9.2008 - 13.9.2008|
|Iránský parlament odhlasoval trest smrti pro ty, kdo opustí islám|
|Iránský parlament přijal návrh zákona specifikující trest smrti v případech „odpadlictví,“ což podle pozorovatelů zvyšuje obavy o osud uvězněných křesťanů z muslimského prostředí. Podle podrobností zveřejněných po hlasování byl diskutovaný zákon přijat poměrem hlasů 197:3 při dvou absencích. „Vývoj v iránském parlamentu týkající se tohoto zákona působí vážné starosti o Iránce, kteří v rostoucím počtu přestupují od islámu k jinému náboženství,“ uvedla skupina Christian Solidarity Worldwide sledující práva věřících. „Je to významný krok zpět pro lidská práva v Iránu.“ Minulý týden byli ve městě Širaz dva křesťané z muslimské rodiny, 53letý Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad a 40letý Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat, obviněni před Revolučním lidovým soudem z odpadlictví. Žalobce již požádal o trest smrti pro oba muže zadržované od 15. května. Zdroj: BosNewsLife|
|V Indii se násilnosti proti věřícím přenesly přes hranice státu Orissa|
|Křesťané se ještě nevzpamatovali z násilností ve východoindickém státu Orissa a již musejí snášet další rány ve dvou jiných státech. Světová rada indických křesťanů (GCIG) mezitím přehodnotila svůj odhad počtu mrtvých za poslední dva týdny násilností v Orisse z „více než 100“ na 53, křesťané však čelí novým útokům v jižním státu Karnaka a v centrálním indickém státu Madža Pradeš. Během nepokojů, které vznikly z protikřesťanských nálad vyvolaných členy Světové indické rady Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) při pohřbu zavražděného vůdce VHP Laxmanananda Saraswati a čtyř jeho učedníků 23. srpna, byly poškozeny nebo zničeny tisíce domů, kostelů a křesťanských zařízení. Mezitím se sice k těmto vraždám přiznali maoisté, hinduistickým extrémistickým skupinám to ale nevadí a klidně pokračují v obviňování křesťanů. Přes řadu schůzek křesťanů a skupin ochránců lidských práv s vládními úředníky státu Orissa bylo jen během jedné noci podpáleno 20 domů a 70 křesťanských rodin bylo násilně „navráceno“ k hinduismu. Zdroj: Compass Direct News|
|Vietnamský křesťan uprchlý do Kambodže byl vrácen a uvězněn|
|Podle článku Asia News byl příslušník etnika Degar („Montagnard – Horal“), křesťan, který hledal ochranu v uprchlickém táboře OSN v Kambodži, poslán zpět do Vietnamu je nyní v domácím vězení. The Montagnard Foundation vyzývá ambasády a mezinárodní organizace k zásahu ve prospěch Y Hninga údajně pronásledovaného z náboženských a etnických důvodů. Jeho rodina zaplatila poplatek 100 000 dongů (6 dolarů) za jeho propuštění, ale domácí vězení mu bylo nařízeno tak jako tak. Rodina byla také nucena dát své jediné prase na oslavu místním policistům. V pátek 8. srpna musel Y Hning podepsat formální zřeknutí se křesťanství a souhlasit s tím, že už nebude chodit do kostela Degarů. Degarové obývají Centrální Vysočinu ve Vietnamu. Zdroj: Assist News Service|
|Všechny zprávy v angličtině|
| IKE TEARS INTO CUBA, LEAVING 4 DEAD, 1 MILLION+ EVACUATED
Sources: Bible League, Crosswalk.com, Baptist Press, Mission Network News, Water Missions International
More than 1 million people were evacuated from their homes in Cuba as Hurricane Ike tore into the country, killing at least four people. The storm dropped 20 inches of rain and 100-mph sustained winds caused extensive damage. Sonny Enríquez of International Aid said the organization’s Cuban partners are asking for help following the storm which compounded damage caused by Hurricane Gustav.
Nearly four months into the Atlantic hurricane season, large areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic remain devastated as storms in recent weeks lashed through the Caribbean—leaving hundreds of people dead and thousands stranded.
Water Missions International is responding with water purification systems in Haiti after four major storms ripped through the impoverished country in less than four weeks.
Hurricane Hanna skirted the south side of the Dominican Republic, according to Pierre Philippe, Bible League’s director in that country. It followed Hurricane Gustav, causing a landslide in a rural area of the country.
The situation in Haiti, however, was significantly worse. After a flyover of Haiti’s hard-hit Gonaives area, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) reported that flooding will temporarily prevent missionaries and relief workers from reaching victims stranded there.
Damage from the series of storms in Haiti appears to be worse than the record devastation caused by Hurricane Jeanne in 2004. “There are about 110,000 people there, and the town is completely flooded from knee-deep to 10 feet of water,” said MAF pilot Will White.
Eva DeHart of For Haiti with Love told Mission Network News that families are desperate for food, even standing outside the ministry’s gates during Hanna’s fury. Haiti was already enduring a severe food crisis before the storms hit, and the active hurricane season threatens to worsen the situation as blocked roads inhibit food distribution.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Ike is set to strike the Texas Gulf Coast. According to media reports, hundreds of thousands of people have fled coastal areas which is on a collision course with Galveston while threatening to swamp populous areas around Houston under a massive wave of water.
Ike, a category 2 storm with 105-mph winds, will come ashore late today (Friday) or early Saturday as a potentially dangerous category 3 storm on the five-step intensity scale with winds of more than 111 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported. Southern Baptists are gearing up to provide relief efforts in the region.
* Staff members from the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., have been working with OMS International to establish a satellite radio network based at 4VEH outside the city of Cap-Haitien that will deliver programs to FM stations nationwide. Downlinks have been installed in Tortue Island, Pignon and Beaumont, and at least two more are planned. HCJB Global Voice also helped partner World Gospel Mission with a small station in Port-au-Prince. Engineers also helped upgrade Radio Lumiere in LaJeune in 2007.
UPDATE: TEXTING DURING, AFTER HURRICANE GUSTAV ALERTS SEMINARY STUDENTS
Source: Baptist Press
Since Hurricane Gustav struck last week, good news has been arriving to cell phones of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary families through the school’s new priority text messaging system. The system has been an information lifeline for the seminary community during the evacuation. When the storm moved out of the New Orleans area, a brief text message offered the following report: “Campus secure. Damage minimal. Reopening Monday. Return possible Thursday. Praise the Lord!” Many seminary students, professors and staff members first heard about the evacuation through the text messaging list, and they also have received daily updates on the status of the campus.
USING THE INTERNET FOR ‘RELIGIOUS PURPOSES’ CONTINUES TO GROW
Sources: Fellowship of European Broadcasters, Quadrant
Internet use for religious purposes is growing. The phrase “Web 2.0” has been coined to describe the more interactive features of the Internet. In his 2005 paper, “The Mediahood of All Receivers,” author Bryan Murley, an assistant journalism professor at Eastern Illinois University, likens the arrival of Web 2.0 with the Protestant theological belief in the priesthood of all believers. As a result, information “no longer needs the intermediary of the press or journalist.” Murley said this contextualizes theology through the language of online communications such as the use of “G-d” [God] or describing a church’s mission statement as its “DNA.” This also means that Web 2.0 religious contacts “form intimate and strong connections with a relatively few people rather than more superficial contact with a large number in local churches,” Murley explained. In addition, “religion online offers a global perspective to religion offline so that the local structure of a denomination seems less relevant,” he said.
AUTHOR: PRAYER, BIBLICAL LIVING HELP ANSWER U.S. HEALTHCARE CRISIS
Source: Assemblies of God News
With medical insurance premiums skyrocketing in the U.S. by more than 143 percent since 2000 and out-of-pocket deductibles and copayments spiking by 115 percent, what can Christians do about the healthcare crisis? Health costs are rising at a rate twice that of inflation, according to Robert Mims, writing in Today’s Pentecostal Evangel. Total national healthcare spending in the U.S. was $2 trillion in 2005 ($6,700 for every American), and the total is expected to reach $4 trillion by 2015. “This is a massive, massive problem,” says physician and author Dr. Richard Swenson. “This current system is not sustainable; the cost curve is out of the stratosphere.” He said a first step begins with the most basic of faith-based worldviews. “What can Christians do about this? Pray. They need to elevate their concern level and get their head into this ballgame now. It will take a lot of effort by a lot of people to shift this paradigm,” Swenson said, adding that multiple studies indicate people who “live biblical lives” will generally have decreased healthcare costs compared to other people. Some 1,400 studies have looked at the link between faith and health, and almost every one shows a positive association.
STUDENTS IN PHILIPPINES USE INTERNET TO BUILD INTERFAITH UNDERSTANDING
Source: Ecumenical News International
Students from opposite ends of the Philippine archipelago have used an Internet video conferencing system called PeaceTech to exchange views on how to build greater understanding between Muslims and Christians. Students from Baguio City in northern Philippines engaged in a lively discussion with their counterparts in Cotabato City about 1,000 miles from Mindanao in southern Philippines. The country is a predominantly Roman Catholic with a Muslim minority found mainly in the southern part of the country. The video conference struck a chord following the outbreak of violence in early August between the Philippine armed forces and the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas.
NEW HOSPITAL OFFERS HOPE OF HEALING FOR DISABLED CHILDREN OF ETHIOPIA
Source: Assist News Service
With the opening of the CURE Ethiopia Children’s Hospital in Addis Ababa Tuesday, Sept. 9, CURE International celebrated the grand opening of its 10th teaching hospital. CURE Ethiopia will be the nation’s only pediatric specialty surgical hospital delivering care to the country’s disabled children, according to a media release from A. Larry Ross Communications. Evidence of the importance of this new facility to Ethiopians was that both Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Yamamoto, attended the event. “It’s a wonderful way for us to start the New Year with the opening of a new hospital that will bring hope to so many of our children and their families,” said Wolde-Giorgis, referring to Ethiopia’s observation of the New Year in September. CURE Ethiopia will have a dual focus on pediatric plastic reconstruction and pediatric orthopedics. It will treat disabilities such as cleft lips and palates, clubfoot, burn contractures and other physical disabilities.
* Staff members at HCJB Global-Australia’s studios record Oromo language programs that air to 28 million speakers in Ethiopia and Kenya via FEBA Radio’s shortwave facilities.
MEXICO UNDECIDED ABOUT FUTURE DIGITAL AM RADIO STANDARD
Mexico’s government needs to order a study to know which standard is more favorable for radio in Mexico, according to Michel Penneroux, head of the shortwave service at TDF of France. Speaking at the seventh International Radio Biennial in Mexico City Sept. 8-12, Penneroux said Mexico needs to decide between high-definition (HD) Radio and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standards. HD Radio is an improved form of AM and FM transmissions while DRM technology is being developed by an international consortium of broadcasters and receiver and transmitter manufacturers to digitalize transmissions on the AM bands.
* HCJB Global engineers at the mission’s Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., are researching future possibilities for digital shortwave radio technology. Test digital shortwave broadcasts continue to air in German from Radio HCJB in Ecuador with impressive reception in Europe to the 4,000-watt signal.
IRAN’S PARLIAMENT VOTES IN FAVOR OF DEATH PENALTY FOR EX-MUSLIMS
Iran’s parliament has accepted a law proposal stipulating the death penalty for “apostasy,” adding to concerns about jailed Christians from Muslim backgrounds, according to rights watchers. The controversial proposal was approved in a 196-7 vote with two abstentions, according to details released after the vote. “The progress of this bill through the Iranian parliament is a cause of grave concern for increasing numbers of Iranians who have left Islam for another religion,” reported the U.K.-based religious rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide. “It is a significant backwards step for human rights in Iran.” Last week two Christians from Muslim backgrounds, 53-year-old Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad and 40-year-old Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat, were charged with apostasy at the Public and Revolutionary Court in the town of Shiraz. Prosecutors have already demanded the death penalty for the two men who have been in detention since May 15.
VIOLENCE AGAINST BELIEVERS IN INDIA SPREADS BEYOND ORISSA STATE
Source: Compass Direct News
Still reeling from violence in eastern India’s Orissa state, Christians are suffering major blows in two additional states. As the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) revised its estimate of deaths from the last two weeks of violence in Orissa state from “more than 100” to 53, Christians are facing new attacks in southern Karnataka state and central Madhya Pradesh state. Thousands of houses, churches and institutions have been damaged or destroyed in the violence that began after members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP) led a funeral procession of murdered VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples on Aug. 23, stirring up anti-Christian sentiment. Maoists have since claimed responsibility for the murders, but the Hindu extremist groups continue to blame Christians. Despite a stream of meetings by Christian and rights groups with high government officials in Orissa state. Meanwhile, at least 20 houses were burned in one night and 70 Christian families were forcibly “reconverted” to Hinduism.
VIETNAMESE CHRISTIAN WHO FLED TO CAMBODIA REPATRIATED, ARRESTED
Source: Assist News Service
An ethnic Degar (Montagnard) Christian who sought safety in a U.N. refugee camp in Cambodia was shipped back to Vietnam and put under house arrest, according to an Asia News story. The Montagnard Foundation is appealing to embassies and international agencies on behalf of Y Hning who was reportedly persecuted on ethnic and religious grounds. His family paid 100,000 dongs (US$6) for his release, but his house arrest was ordered anyway. Members of his family were also forced to “donate” the only animal they had left—a pig—for a local police department party. On Friday, Aug. 8, Y Hning was forced to sign a statement formally renouncing Christianity and agreeing to stop attending the Degar church. The Degars live in Vietnam’s central highlands.
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