Zprávy HCJB 21.1.2003

   Jak se začíná rýsovat možnost vypuknutí války v Iráku a mobilizují se síly, dá se očekávat že množství uprchlíků by mohlo dosáhnout šesti miliónů. Mezinárodní pomoc tudíž začíná připravovat uprchlické tábory v Jordánsku, říká mluvčí Myles Fish. „Budeme poskytovat služby, které souvisí se zdravotnictvím. Vysíláme celou nemocnici, budeme posílat léky, potřeby osobní hygieny a zařízení na úpravu vody. To bude odesláno ze Spring Lake, Michigan, jakmile začnou uprchlíci opouštět Irák.“ Fish věří, že se tito uprchlíci dozvědí alespoň jednu věc o křesťanech. „Budou znát ten místní sbor, skrze který pomoc posíláme,“ řekl. „V tom je naše naděje, že dary místním sborům přinesou prostředky pro pomoc uprchlíkům, a oni pak budou mít možnost jak ukázat tak i vydat svědectví evangelia.“ (Mission Network News)

The studios of Wind-FM, Mongolia's only Christian FM radio station, were devastated by a fire Monday, Jan. 13. Tom Terry of Eagle TV in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar (where Wind-FM is temporarily housed) said the fire appears to have started in the control room while a live show was airing. He was on the scene the day of the fire. "I'm not sure if they were able to save any equipment, but it doesn't look good," Terry said. "The inside of the building looked very damaged from fire, smoke and water. Smoke was pouring from the top of the building and coming out of the main studios on the top floor. Nine emergency vehicles were on hand, including three or four water trucks." Wind-FM General Director Batjargal Tuvhintsengel was on vacation in Hong Kong with his family when the fire broke out. He estimated damage at $120,000. Wind-FM, which began broadcasting in May 2001, employs 15 staff members and airs 24 hours a day, reaching across Ulaanbaatar, a city of about 1 million. (Assist News Service)


The survivors of a brutal Christmas Day attack in Pakistan are demanding justice and protection. Although the government promised to take quick and stern action against the perpetrators, no charges have been laid. In response, the evangelical community is mounting a growing protest, said Voice of the Martyrs' Todd Nettleton. "There's definitely a call for the government there to take action, and there's a very real fear among the Christians that, if the government will not prosecute this case, which is so blatant, they won't prosecute any case against those who attack Christians." Three girls between the ages of 6 and 16 were killed and a dozen others were injured during a Christmas program when a grenade was tossed into a church 160 miles south of Islamabad. A fourth girl died the next day. Nettleton says the situation in Pakistan could become even more dangerous for those involved with Christian work if no police action is taken. "They (Christian workers) have become targets in their own country," he says. "In fact, churches and Christian institutions there have been told to take down all their signage so that they are less visible and less of a target. It's a challenge for them to try to continue to carry out their ministry, and at the same time, keep a low profile and not be as visible." (Mission Network News/Assist)


Sudanese government troops continued an "ethnic cleansing" offensive in the western Upper Nile oilfields by attacking five villages the morning of Thursday, Jan. 17, said Taban Deng Gai, a senior official with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM). The village of Kual Kouny had been occupied by government forces, and the communities of Kermyang, Lienepra, Kerial and Thargena were strafed by two helicopter gunships and shelled with heavy artillery from the government garrison at Mankein. The offensive has resulted in more than 200,000 mostly Christian refugees as people flee their homes. Since the offensive began on Dec. 31, almost no emergency humanitarian aid has been delivered by the U.N. and various relief agencies. Refugees are surviving mainly on leaves, roots and berries. Gai appealed to former U.S. senator John Danforth, who is on a mission to Sudan, to witness the devastation and press the U.S. government to deliver more humanitarian aid. Gai added that Sudanese government troops attacked the village of Lare on Jan. 13 for the second time in two weeks. On both occasions, troops set fire to buildings, including the facilities of four relief agencies. (Christian Solidarity International)


As the potential of war with Iraq looms larger and forces continue to mobilize, there are estimates that the refugee population could reach 6 million if fighting breaks out. In response, International Aid is readying its response to refugee camps in Jordan, says spokesman Myles Fish. "The products and services that we're going to try to provide will be healthcare-related. We're sending a whole healthcare clinic. We'll be sending pharmaceuticals, personal hygiene items and a water treatment plant that will be leaving Spring Lake, Mich., when we begin to see the flow of refugees leaving Iraq." Fish believes the refugees will come to know at least one thing about Christians. "They'll know the local indigenous church through which we are sending the aid," he says. "It's our hope that by giving these local indigenous churches the means for ministering to the refugees, that they then will have an opportunity to both demonstrate and proclaim the gospel message." (Mission Network News)


Leading information technology companies in the U.S. have suspended donations to an American-based charity following reports that the organization channeled the funds to militant Hindu groups for use in propaganda campaigns targeting Christians and other religious minorities in India. Cisco Systems, one of several high-tech companies in the U.S. that contributed funds to the Indian Development and Relief Fund, suspended donations to the organization following publication of an exposé in France titled, "A Foreign Exchange of Hate." The report confirmed that the charity has been funding Hindu fundamentalist groups linked to the militant Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) group which misused monies donated for charitable purposes to pressure tribal Christians to reconvert to Hinduism. Meanwhile, a BBC investigative report that aired on Dec. 12 revealed that Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram received millions of dollars from two U.K.-based charities to fund campaigns to stage violent attacks against Christians and Muslims. The Charity Commission of the British Treasury immediately ordered an investigation. (Religion Today)


Modern advances in DNA research discredit the Book of Mormon and show that Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, engaged in deception, says a cultural anthropologist and lifelong Mormon. The recently published research of Thomas Murphy, chairman of the anthropology department at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Wash., drew sharp rebuke from officials with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called Mormons. Murphy was threatened with excommunication from the church, a matter left pending after a Dec. 8 hearing was postponed. Murphy, 35, traces his personal lineage through the first Mormon pioneers who settled in the West. But contrary to Mormon doctrine, he contends that it is "highly unlikely" that Mormons can trace the lineage of American Indians through a Jewish remnant the Book of Mormon calls Lamanites. According to the Book of Mormon, a "lost tribe of Israel" migrated to the Americas in 600 B.C. The introduction to the Book of Mormon describes these Lamanites as the "principal ancestors of the American Indians." The Lamanites allegedly lapsed into apostasy, but Joseph Smith claimed to have been shown golden tablets bearing their story by an angel named Moroni. Smith said he translated these tablets in 1823 from an unknown language called Reformed Egyptian, thus creating the Book of Mormon. "So far, DNA research lends no support to traditional Mormon beliefs about the origins of native Americans," Murphy said. "Latter-day Saints should not expect to find validation for the Book of Mormon in genetics." Scott Woodward, a professor of microbiology at Brigham Young University in Utah, said the truthfulness of the Mormon Scripture is not something that can be proved by scientific evidence. "I am a believer. I think that the Book of Mormon is what it purports to be," Woodward said. In an interview Jan. 14, Murphy acknowledged that he's not an active member of the church. "I'm a cultural Mormon," he explained. "I prefer to be called a latter-day skeptic." However, he continues to identify with Mormon traditions. (Associated Baptist Press)

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