Zprávy HCJB 5.4.2005

   I když útisk křesťanů muslimy v některých částech Pákistánu pokračuje formou diskriminace, cestou zákona šaríja nebo prostým násilím, vede to jen k nárůstu odhodlání misionářů dál šířit evangelium. Nedávno poslala domorodá misie jednoho misionáře do města, kde jsou stovky muslimských svatyní i hmatatelného předislámského modlářství a ten přitáhl tisíce lidí. Rozdal již přes 100 kompletních překladů Bible. Mnoho místních obyvatel se stává křesťany a schází se v nových stále rostoucích sborech. Jiná domorodá pákistánská misie jen letos založila již 10 nových sborů. Misie také pracuje mezi místní milionovou katolickou komunitou a přivádí tyto namnoze jen matrikové křesťany k hlubšímu poznání a vztahu k Pánu Ježíši. Místní misionáři pokračují v šíření evangelia, i když si uvědomují nebezpečí pronásledování rozhněvanými muslimy. Pákistánská federální vláda přijímá řadu kroků k ochraně křesťanské menšiny včetně policejní ochrany bohoslužeb. (Christian Aid Mission)

*Tato a další zprávy jsou v originální anglické verzi zde.


Askar Akayev, ousted leader of Kyrgyzstan, announced on Monday that he has agreed to resign, ending weeks of political uncertainty in that Central Asian nation. Akayev signed his resignation, to be effective today, at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Moscow, a day after meeting with a delegation representing Kyrgyzstan's interim leadership headed by parliament speaker Omurbek Tekebayev. This paves the way to presidential elections, tentatively set for Sunday, June 26. Slavic Gospel Association's Joel Griffith says there is some question about the future of religious freedom and evangelism in the country. "It remains to be seen how this will play out in the long term," he said. "Kyrgyzstan, of course, is a largely Muslim nation. But evangelicals have been relatively free there to minister and proclaim the gospel. So as this new government comes into power in Kyrgyzstan, the ramifications of what this will [mean] for religious freedom and evangelical churches remains to be seen." Griffith said that Christians haven't been involved in politics in the country, but they're involved in another way. "The evangelical church leaders . . . are unanimous in wanting this to be a matter of prayer for us in the West that the Lord would continue to hold the door open for them to minister." (Mission Network News/Associated Press)

* HCJB World Radio is bringing words of hope and encouragement to people across Central Asia via radio. Together with partners, Christian broadcasts go out in languages such as Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, Uzbek, Southern Uzbek and Urdu.


Sources have confirmed the murder by beheading Tuesday, March 8, of Dulal Sarkar, a lay pastor and evangelist in Bangladesh. Sarkar worked with the Bangladesh Free Baptist Church in Jalalpur village as an evangelist and church planter. On the night of March 8 he was attacked and killed by Muslim extremists as he returned home. His wife, Aruna, immediately filed a case against the killers, and three suspects were arrested. However, militants are now threatening Aruna and her children. The beheading is the second in the last seven months as Dr. Abdul Gani, a respected Christian leader, was decapitated by a gang of assailants in September 2004. In an unrelated incident, a church leader and his wife serving in southwestern Bangladesh were brutally assaulted on Thursday, March 31. Both were taken to the local hospital where the wife is reportedly in critical condition. Local sources say the couple has been key to a church-planting movement in the district. They have two small children, a son and a daughter. (Compass/Voice of the Martyrs)


The family of Pentecostal pastor Jokran Ratu, kidnapped four months ago on the remote Indonesian island of Buru still doesn't know whether he is dead or alive. Ratu was abducted on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 3, and has not been seen since. "We always ask the police whether they have made progress or found Mr. Jokran's body," said Pastor Henry Lolaen from nearby Ambon Island. Villagers who later searched for their pastor found only the red T-shirt he was wearing that night, marked with what appeared to be three bullet holes, abandoned on the beach. Meanwhile, police are bracing for the one-year anniversary, Monday, April 25, of a separatist group's illegal flag-raising ceremony that led to violent clashes among Muslim and Christian communities in Ambon. There were more than 20 casualties, and scores of buildings were burned to the ground. (Compass)


Mehmet Aydin, the state minister overseeing the Religious Affairs Directorate in Turkey, warned that missionaries in Turkey are "spreading propaganda" that is a part of politically oriented activities aimed at damaging the social peace and unity of the nation, reported The Turkish Daily News. The Monday, March 28, edition of the newspaper quoted Aydm as saying, "Missionaries are not simply spreading their religion by exercising freedom of belief but are intervening in people's freedom of belief by capitalizing on their ignorance. . . . These are not merely religious activities and they are not only carried out by Christian clerics. We have observed doctors, nurses, engineers, Red Cross officials, human rights defenders, peace activists and language tutors conducting missionary activities." Orthodox Patriarchate spokesman Sevgi Erenerol added that missionary activities in Turkey pose a threat to national security. "The ulterior motives behind missionary activities are to seize our country," said Erenerol, speaking at a conference held by Turkish Education Workers' Union. (Assist News Service)


An "anti-Christian spirit" is spreading throughout Europe, says one of Germany's best-known evangelical theologians. Professor Peter Beyerhaus regards the proposed anti-discrimination laws in several European countries as only one example for such "threatening tendencies." Speaking at the Theological Convention of the Conference of Confessing Churches which took place in Neuendettelsau near Nuremberg, March 31-April 2, Beyerhaus said this "mild form of persecution" is taking place in the European Union. One victim, he said, was Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. The Catholic philosopher was nominated last year as EU commissioner, but Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals in the European Parliament rejected him because of his ethical and religious convictions. Buttiglione called homosexuality a sin, but emphasized that this was his personal conviction as a Christian and that he would respect European law and not discriminate against homosexuals. To counteract such anti-Christian developments, Beyerhaus believes Christians should form alliances across denominational and confessional borders. (Assist News Service)


While Muslim persecution of Christians continues in parts of Pakistan with some Muslims using discrimination, application of sharia (Islamic law) or violence to oppress local Christians, it has only increased the missionaries' resolve to keep spreading the gospel. Recently an indigenous mission sent a full-time missionary to a city where there are hundreds of shrines to Muslim saints and a substantial pre-Islamic pagan presence draws thousands of worshipers. The missionary has distributed more 100 copies of the complete Bible. Several local people have come to Christ, and they are attending a newly planted, steadily growing church. Another indigenous ministry has already planted 10 new churches in Pakistan this year. The ministry is also working among the country's more than 1 million Catholics and has led many nominal Christians into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Native missionaries do this work knowing the possibility of being persecuted by Muslims angry at the spread of the gospel. The federal government of Pakistan has taken many steps to protect its Christian minority, even providing police guards for church services. (Christian Aid Mission)

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