The May 2008 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
New Online Articles
There was a planned downtime of the Pneuma Foundation webserver for an electrical system upgrade on March 31, 2008. There was also a brief maintenance period on April 14, for an upgrade for the internet service provider.
If you have not received a response regarding any communication with the Foundation, please contact us again at your earliest convenience.
New Links and Content Worth Noticing
- Periodical Review: Mark Galli, interviewer, "Glocal Church Ministry: Bob Roberts has an idea that may change American congregations, if not the world" Christianity Today (July 2007). Reviewed by Julie C. Ma. From The Pneuma Review Winter 2008. Added April 8, 2008. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/article_0090.xml
- Book Review: J. P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit's Power. Reviewed by W. Simpson. From The Pneuma Review Spring 2008. Added April 8, 2008. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/article_0091.xml
- Revision: Interpretation Biblique French translation of Craig S. Keener's course on how to interpret the Bible. Translated by Dr. Medine Moussounga Keener. Professor Keener grants you permission to use this course to teach others and distribute his syllabus without cost. New content in a final revision available April 12, 2008. 231KB.
English version available here: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/downloads.jsp
- "Captivity Of The Mind: Spiritually Understanding Abnormal Human Behavior" by Charles Carrin. Added May 1, 2008.
- Guest article: "Is the Church Equipped to Minister to Homosexuals?" by Robert McKigney. Pastor McKigney talks about how his own testimony is proof that the local church can help those recovering from living in homosexuality. Added May 8, 2008. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/article_guest0016.xml
- In-Depth Book Review: Neil B. MacDonald, Metaphysics and the God of Israel: Systematic Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006). Reviewed by Bradford McCall. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/NMacDonald-MetaphysicsGodofIsrael-BMcCall.xml
- In-Depth Book Review: Thomas B. Fowler and Daniel Kuebler, The Evolution Controversy (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 382 pages. Reviewed by Bradford McCall. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/TFowler-EvolutionControversy-BMcCall.xml
- In-Depth Book Review: Clarence H. Benson and Robert J. Morgan, Exploring Theology: A Guide for Systematic Theology and Apologetics (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007). Reviewed by Bradford McCall. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/CBenson-ExploringTheology-BMcCall.xml
- "Touched by the Wind: The Charismatic Movement in the Episcopal Church" by D. William Faupel. Professor Faupel introduces us to the charismatic movement within the Episcopal Church, drawing comparisons to the Holiness Movement of the 19th Century. From the Summer 2000 issue of The Pneuma Review. Added May 23, 2008. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/WFaupel-TouchedByTheWind.xml
- In-Depth Resource: Web Exclusive Book Review: Jerry L. Walls, Hell: The Logic of Damnation (University of Notre Dame Press, 1992). Reviewed by W. Simpson. Added May 27, 2008. http://www.PneumaFoundation.org/resources/articles/review.guest0006.pdf
- The Pneuma Foundation is pleased to add content to our website as a resource to our members and friends around the world. We also add links to content that we are not able to republish ourselves, but may be of interest. Here are some examples of links added recently to "Links to Articles & Books" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_articles.jsp and from "Links to Study Resources" www.pneumafoundation.org/links_study.jsp
- The largest list of Pentecostal/charismatic Bible Schools available online anywhere. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links_schools.jsp
Add your school: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/links.jsp#link
- Building a Stronger Marriage: "Philippians: A Study Guide for Native Couples" by Dr. John and Doris Knoles (NativeMarriage.com). http://www.nativemarriage.com/pdf/Philippians-Workbook.pdf
- Christian Leadership: "Ministry Team Diagnostics: How to avoid the 5 most common dysfunctions of a ministry team" by Nancy Ortberg. Are you guilty of 2? 3? all 5? (Leadership, Spring 2008). http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2008/002/1.40.html
- Christian History: "From Foreign Mission to Chinese Church" Daniel H. Bays. Missionaries in China were hampered by pressures from home, mistakes in leadership, and identification with the West, but they planted the seeds that would someday yield an astonishing harvest (Christian History, Spring 2008). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/2008/002/2.6.html | | For more about the church in China today, see "Great Leap Forward: China is changing and so is its church. How new urban believers are shaping society in untold ways" (Christianity Today, May 2008). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/may/19.22.html
- Text Criticism and Inerrancy: J. I. Packer answers: "How can I reconcile my belief in the inerrancy of Scripture with comments in Bible translations that state that a particular verse is not 'in better manuscripts'?" (Christianity Today, October 7, 2002). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2002/october7/31.102.html
- Christian History in Belarus: "We are reclaiming our history as a land of religious freedom" by Antoni Bokun. The pastor of Minsk's John the Baptist Pentecostal Church, describes how Belarusians' historical experience has taught them that "religious freedom elevates our nation, whereas religious un-freedom leads to the darkest and most tragic consequences" (Forum18). http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1131
Reports from Around the World
Christians help Iraqi refugees in the U.S.
In 2003, the world prepared for a refugee crisis as the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began. It didn't happen right away. But now, there are 4.5 million refugees and internally displaced people needing help. 12,000 of them are being allowed into the U.S., and Bethany Christian Services is helping through their refugee resettlement program. Bethany's Jotham Ippel says, "Our role is to help provide an initial connection for them to help them get housing and food, get connected into schools, start English classes, get medical appointments, find a job and really help them get on their own feet." Because Bethany is a Christian organization, they're looking for help from a specific segment of society. "We ask churches to get involved. We just feel it's the best connection for people because it offers them a network of support, and because it's in keeping with a Christian call to welcome the stranger and to do so without strings attached."
Source: Mission Network News, 17 April, 2008. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11133
Belarus: Religious Freedom Petition Rejected as Pressure on Protestants Continues
Pavel Nozdrya, a member of the charismatic Jesus Christ Church in the southern city of Mozyr who helped gather signatures on a religious freedom petition, told Forum 18 News Service he lost his job as an electrician at the local university in mid-March. He was one of seven members of a church youth group meeting in a private house on 29 February which was raided by local ideology officials. A police officer who visited the same house on Sunday 9 March said he was responding to a warning that a human sacrifice would take place there. Nozdrya attributes the harassment to the church's involvement in the mass petition to amend the restrictive 2002 Religion Law, which was handed to the authorities in late February. Government bodies rejected the petition in late March, claiming that reports of religious freedom violations "do not correspond with reality". Pavel Severinets, an Orthodox Christian involved in the campaign, and members of the Minsk-based charismatic New Life church face prosecution.
Full story: http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1109
Source: Forum18 www.forum18.org
USA: Hearing God's Word changes lives
In Albuquerque, more and more people are listening to audio Bibles while working out or on their daily commute. This is just what Faith Comes By Hearing was hoping for. They're trying to combat the number one reason people give for not reading their Bibles - not having the time. Since December 2007, 40,000 of their Audio Bibles have been distributed. Since then, pastors have noticed dramatic results. The Bible listeners are reaching out to each other more and sharing their faith more boldly.
Source: Adapted from Mission Network News, 11 April, 2008. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11103
Historic Summit: African American and Hispanic Clergy Discuss Black/Brown Divide, Establish unprecedented partnership
Prominent leaders of both the African American and Hispanic communities gathered in an unprecedented summit in Dallas, Texas, hosted by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, NHCLC, in response to the media espoused black/brown divide particularly in the context of the Obama Presidential campaign.
"Forty years ago, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, resulting in riots across our country, ripping our communities asunder. Forty years later, African American and Hispanic pastors join for an unprecedented summit in Dallas, Texas, not turning on each other, but turning to each other," stated Bishop Frank Reid, Senior Pastor of Bethel AME church in Baltimore, Maryland.
Both Black and Hispanic clergy agreed that African American and Hispanic Pastors unequivocally stand in the Christian mandate of love and unity in order to celebrate their collective giftedness, while resolving to address the pressing issues facing both communities. "We further acknowledge and appreciate our differences, knowing that historically often our differences are manipulated in attempt to create a black/brown divide," explained Dr. Ed Rhymes and Minister Darryl Brace, summit participants.
"Our coming together facilitates a platform of communication that will lead to cooperation and collaboration on issues that plague our communities such as social injustice, education and poverty", said Dr. Jesse Miranda, Chief Executive Officer of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Representatives from prominent African American ministries such as Bishop Clifford Johnson, Senior Pastor of Mt. Pleasant Church, one of America's premier Mega Churches, Oak Cliff Fellowship with Dr. Tony Evans via the participation of Rev. Alex Mason, Bishop Frank Reid, Rev. Derrick Harkins, Bishop Monroe Saunders Jr., Dr. Ed Rhymes, Rev. Marcus Johnson, Rev. Sam Huddleston, and others joined Dr. Angel Nunez, Dr. Jesse Miranda, Rev. Sam Rodriguez, Dr. Josue Lloreaga, Rev. Mark Gonzalez, Rev. Zek Pecina, Bishop Jaime Loya, Bishop Steve Perea, Rev. Dan Vera, Rev. Ruben Guajardo Jr and other National Hispanic Christian leaders in the historic two day summit. The attendees agreed to nurture the relationship between both communities.
"We came to build upon a Dream that is not dead. We must work together and further this relationship for the sake of God's Kingdom. We will not be divided but rather we will work together and usher in a great movement of His Spirit", declared Bishop Clifford Johnson.
The participants unanimously agreed to reach across this nation to develop regional retreats, summits and conferences together in order to break down the barriers of fear and misunderstanding that magnify the differences and potentially divide the communities.
As a result, summit attendees agreed to establish the initial platform for the National Black/ Hispanic Evangelical Fellowship.
"Towards that end, we commit ourselves to be intentional in building relationships in order to transcend present cultural differences to bring about a movement for spiritual reformation according to a Christian biblical worldview. Our dream is to see the reality that one day will come when the biblical call for all of God's children to be as one will be fulfilled", affirmed the participants.
Source: NHCLC Press Release, 7 Apr 2008
Harsh enforcement of Iran's Sharia law opens door for Gospel
Iran's security chief says the "public security plan" will continue - a plan used last year to arrest thousands of women and youth for violating Sharia law. SAT-7's David Harder says, "There's a great amount of disillusionment with what people see around them. They're dissatisfied with the economy, with the government, with the religious system." The harsh crackdown may be having an opposite effect on the youth. David Harder says their team observed that "the young people seem to be drawn either toward a completely secular view of things or to sort of a negative and hopeless look. In between that, people are thirsty, and they are watching SAT-7 PARS. We're getting tremendous responses from people who are coming to know the Lord, who are so appreciative of the programs that are training them." SAT-7 PARS is a Farsi-language, Christian satellite TV channel, and it has been experiencing rapid growth. Harder says they're planning on continuing on that track. "They have plans for the future to add some live shows. People in Iran have been asking for that because they want to engage with the hosts."
Source: Mission Network News For 25 April, 2008 Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11150
China: More open than ever
Coverage from Christianity Today (May 2008) of the new openness to Christianity in China includes an interview with a Chinese pastor, "Hungry for Jesus: A Chinese pastor on how he was 'called out of Egypt' to a thriving urban ministry" http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/may/20.31.html
See also: "The China Paradox" http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/may/21.7.html
And "Great Leap Forward: China is changing and so is its church. How new urban believers are shaping society in untold ways" by Rob Moll. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/may/19.22.html
Christian broadcasters having an impact on Mongolia
Mongolia is a culture of atheism, Buddhism and Shamanism. There are 2.6 million people there. In 2000, Far East Broadcasting Company started broadcasting Christian radio in the country. Today, there are more than 40,000 Christians and 400 churches. Director of FEBC's Wind FM Bat Tuvshintsengel says the challenge today is obvious. "The church has been wide in evangelism, but in terms of discipleship we're lacking a lot of capacity like leadership. That's why the churches have a goal to make 10-percent of our population disciples of Jesus Christ by the year 2020." Wind FM has plans to be on the air in all 21 provinces. But the vision doesn't end there. "We have six million Mongolians living in China who have no chance of exposure to the Gospel. And so we want to reach out to these people via shortwave. Today shortwave is still very, very prominent." Recruiting a Christian for broadcasting in the Inner Mongolian dialect is underway.
Source: Mission Network News For 2 May, 2008 Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11185
Zambia's youth take stand for God's plan
News and Headlines
A White House official, Jay Hein, recently visited Zambia to promote purity. World Hope International's two-day event called "Purity Beyond Abstinence" was part of HopeFest, a series of events which educates youth about HIV/AIDS prevention. This event also about living a life of purity because it pleases God's heart. Hein was impressed by the resolve of the youth; hundreds took a stand for purity. They were also introduced to a year-long discipleship program in Southern Africa aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS.
Source: Mission Network News For 21 April, 2008 Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11137
for Current News and Links
- Zimbabwe: Election tensions prompt a call to prayer The out-of-control economy is making necessities scarce. Many of the pastors are helping orphans and widows despite their own hardships. The good news is people are hungry for God, says one missionary (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11111
- Somalia: Islamic militants murder 4; widow claims one killed for faith (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11130
- Persecution Watch: Kazakhstan: Alarm at state-backed planned new Religion Law http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1123
Africa: Muslim mob attacks Christians in Kano State, Nigeria http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11160
Iraq: School director killed driving to church (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11129
Turkey: Christians still feel pressure (MNN) http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11131 See also: "One year after Malatya murders, time to address the causes" (Forum18). http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1115
Uzbekistan: Asking about religious freedom violations is "stupid" (Forum18). http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1112
- Editorial: "Islam's 'Public Enemy #1': Coptic priest Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire" By Raymond Ibrahim (NationalReviewOnline). Six million Muslims are becoming Christians every year, many secretly, many influenced by this man on Arabic television who irrefutably questions sharia and closes by assuring his listeners that he loves all Muslims as fellow humans and invites them to come to Christ. Recommended by CC. http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTUwY2QyNjA0NjcwMjExMzI2ZmJiZTEzN2U1YjYyZjE
- "Are the Quakers Going Pagan?" The liberal end of the Society of Friends has long had members who denied God's existence or Jesus' divinity. Now hundreds of pagans call Quakerism home (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/aprilweb-only/118-11.0.html
- Pray for Burma (Myanmar): "Whilst Burma's 70 percent ethnic Burmese majority is strongly Buddhist, the ethnic minorities are mainly Christian, thanks to the labours and sacrifices of 19th Century American pioneer missionary Adonirum Judson. Today, Burma's corrupt, repressive military junta views the church as a prevalent threat and so seeks to destroy it. The junta also represses and persecutes the mostly Christian ethnic minorities and is waging a genocidal war against the ethnic Karen in the east. Isolation and repression escalated after a major crackdown in 1988 and again after an influx of arms in 2005. But on 3 May 2008 Cyclone Nargis ripped through Burma's Irrawaddy delta, killing many tens of thousands. So a door has been blown open: the junta is requesting international assistance. Please pray that God will bring openness and liberty to Burma" (World Evanglical Alliance, Religious Liberty Prayer List). http://www.ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=93a62010-88f0-4e07-9c32-17d227aee701 See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Nargis | More on the crisis in Myanmar: Ministry focuses on long-term recovery for Myanmar (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11203 | Indigenous ministries help cyclone victims in Burma (Missions Insider Report, Christian Aid). http://www.christianaid.org/Missionaries/MIR/mir20080506.aspx | Food crisis could hamper relief in Myanmar (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11204 |Cyclone victims in Myanmar go to Christians for help (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11205
- Religous Liberty Prayer Posting: West Papua: 45 Years of Indonesian Rule (WEA RLP). http://www.ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=26cdab8b-013a-48e9-ad2f-edc3d4f3bed9 | See also: Papua (Indonesia): Genocide by Demographics (RL News & Analysis, 21 December 2007). http://www.ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=edbc3195-d6d9-49a6-a94a-ced0626a1d11
- Central African Republic: Witches respond to JESUS "Miracle film" brings hope to oppressed people (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11242
- USA: Historic Gathering of National Christian Leaders Convene at Northampton Summit: America's Present Crisis Goes Deeper Than Election (Awakening America). http://awakeningamerica.us/docs/general/AllianceSummit.pdf
- Nigeria: Ongoing trend: Muslims forcibly convert kidnapped teenagers then rampage (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/11253
See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below.
Report the News
We are looking for stories about what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email to the PNEUMA INFORMER. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
"God answers prayer at the altar" by H. Murray Hohns
Pastor Mur shares a story of how God answered a prayer behind a pulpit in ways he never expected.
Read this article on PneumaReview.com: PneumaReview.com/god-answers-prayer-at-the-altar
H. Murray Hohns teaches at Foursquare's Pacific Rim Bible College in Honolulu, is on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and has served on his denomination's investment committee since 1999. Hohns has two degrees in Civil Engineering and a MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary. He has written five engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.
The National Hispanic Evangelical Summit
Where: Jesse Miranda Center, Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, California
When: August 7-8, 2008
For more information, visit: www.NHCLC.org National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Thoughts to Ponder
Read this article on PneumaReview.com: PneumaReview.com/thoughts-to-ponder-may-2008
Resources You Can Use
"A powerful drama of Christ setting someone free". There are no words, but the message is clear.
Recommended by Steve H.
What in the World are Shell Books?
Shell Books are a collection of practical manuals ? how-to booklets - to help improve local standards of living all over the world. Wycliffe Associates have a web site that contains over 500 titles, all freely available for you to download. The base language is English but many of the books have been translated into French, Portuguese and Spanish. Go to http://www.shellbooks.org to see the wide range of titles. Download whatever you want or ask for a free CD with all the books.
Source: Adapted from Brigada Today 2008/03/28
Lecture Series by Craig S. Keener
Suggested by John: "Below you will find a link to a website where you can download Craig Keener's lectures at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary."
To read more by Dr. Craig S. Keener, considered one of today's best Bible commentators, go to the online articles from The Pneuma Review and see his full course on Biblical interpretation that is available for download in French and English (and some chapters in Bulgarian) at http://www.pneumafoundation.org/resources/downloads.jsp.
New Testament Basics
Many people are curious about the New Testament but may lack an understanding of how it fits together. In a free course from ChristianCourses.com, you'll enjoy a simple overview of this enduring and influential part of the Bible, and you'll examine spiritual insights that speak to our hearts today. Register today and start exploring ChristianCourses.com right away! (Free registration is required to access this course.) http://christiancourses.com
Source: adapted from Conversation with God - RBC Ministries E-News: May 2008
Ministry uses "One Hen" to make a big difference
A new children's book tells the story of microfinance and how one young Ghanaian used it to transform his community. That man is now part of the ministry of Opportunity International. Book author Katie Smith Milway says, "It occurred to me that microfinance is just a terrific entry point for kids into the world international development because it creates change that any child that has run a lemonade stand can understand." In addition to the book, One Hen, Opportunity International has an interactive website, OneHen.org where kids can be part of a virtual market. "Kids can actually invest the beads they earn in entrepreneurs who are depicted in this virtual market, see their stories progress as they are financed, and then, for every bead a child gives online, it's going to trigger a small donation." In doing so, they begin to share the hope of Christ. "I do think that building compassion and building these kinds of values in kids is helping them touch a part of Christ that they won't touch, at least North American kids, who are 'haves' won't touch without really reaching out to 'have nots.'"
Source: Mission Network News. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11056
Excerpts from the PNEUMA REVIEW
THE PNEUMA REVIEW is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders. For more information about the PNEUMA REVIEW, and to learn how to subscribe, please visit: Introducing THE PNEUMA REVIEW. www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
Buy THE PNEUMA REVIEW online at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000D8CY9
Write a review online for the PNEUMA REVIEW!
For a full index of the contents of all Pneuma Review issues, visit: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/pr_archive.jsp.
In order to complete this issue of the INFORMER while it is still May, no excerpts from the journal will be included.
Responses from Readers
"We love being part of Pneuma Foundation."
- Rev FA
You have to see the short video of a contemporary Pentecost at the godtube here: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=37bc820a1e2d02f055df
My friend Loren Caudill, author of The Messianic Matrix: An Abstract on Pentecost (2006), sent this link to me. If you haven't read The Messianic Matrix yet, and are at all interested in pentecostal theology that revolves around these sorts of supernatural events, I highly commend his book to you too. www.messianicmatrix.com.
Peace and blessings to each of you!
"We visit your webpage and appreciate your work."
- Bible school president in Togo, Africa
I am grateful to you for having my article up on your website. Mine does not have enough space to support a document that size.
Response: We are always looking for good articles to share with our international public. Contact Editor Raul Mock for more information about how you can submit your article.
"I enjoy reading articles with clear spiritual message & intellectual thinking. Praise Yeshua the Messiah"
- HIS, Jacksonville, FL
"We have visited your web site and have been downloading some materials which we are using in our Bible study groups and in teaching our members. We look forward to reading more from you."
- Pastor EM
Have a comment for us? Contact Us http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
- Prayer focus on China in Olympics year. China's ruling Communist Party has long been planning to use the Beijing Olympics to market China to the world. In Chinese folk lore the number 8 is the luckiest number and its character rhymes with the Chinese character for wealth. So the games are scheduled to open on 8-8-08 at 8.08pm. While China struggles to contain internal strife and deflect criticism, our prayer for China is not for luck or wealth, but that God in his generous and gracious mercy and providence will make 2008 the year the Chinese government awakens to the reality of the church being not one of its problems but integral to the solution. In solidarity with the Chinese Church, religious liberty groups have jointly called for global concerted prayer for China leading up to the Olympics, that 2008 might be a year of great spiritual blessing for the Chinese Church and for China.
Source: Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 472 | China : Focus on Concerted Prayer in Olympics Year
- "Please pray for Church of God minister Miroslav Atanasov who was involved in an automobile accident on March 25, 2008. He was taken to the UK Hospital in Lexington, KY where he remained for two weeks until his condition was stabilized. Although, he was released from the hospital last week and is recovering at home, he is going back for another surgery on April 15, 2008. Miroslav, who is a native of Bulgaria and a graduate of East Coast Bible College and the Church of God Theological Seminary, is currently finishing his doctorate at the Asbury Theological Seminary. Please join us in prayer for the touch of God upon his health and his complete recovery."
- Crackdown begins in Algeria. In March 2006 the Algerian parliament passed a law specifically aimed at stopping Christian missionary activity and conversions from Islam to Christianity. The government has recently come under great pressure to implement this law and counter the missionary 'threat' and the 'problem' of conversions. It appears a crackdown has begun. On 5 February three Protestant leaders were told they will soon be imprisoned and fined for 'attacking religion and the person of the Prophet'. On 10 February Father Pierre Wallez was sentenced to one year in prison (later commuted to parole) for praying with believers in a private home, a violation of the new law. At the same time, a young Muslim doctor was sentenced to two years without parole for using medicines 'paid for by Caritas (a Catholic mission)'. Please pray for the Church in Algeria.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 466 | Algeria: The Crackdown Begins
- Jordan: Christian man applies for asylum in Europe. A Christian man and his wife have applied for asylum in Europe after being attacked by militant Muslims in Jordan. Voice of the Martyrs Canada reports that the man is on trial for converting to Christianity in 1993. The government has taken his children and is in the process of anulling his marriage, even with him out of the country. The man fled when asked to renounce his Christian faith in a court hearing; he refused to do so. Pray that his children see the faith of their father and follow in his footsteps.
Source: Mission Network News For 8 May, 2008 Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11197
- P.N. in Malaysia writes, asking for prayer for his nation: "Malaysia is a Muslim majority country. Fifty-five percent of 22 million people are Sunni Muslims. They do not get emotionally upset and burn effigies or flags, demonstrating at US embassies, and this is a good thing. However, there is clear discrimination against other races and religions. Muslims get preferential treatment under the law - national economic policies to get them to develop and grow on par with the Chinese who virtually run the economy. But no one is allowed to question these politics and social engineering." For more information to pray specifically, P. N. recommends National Evangelical Christian Fellowship http://www.necf.org.my (WEA member). However, P.N. says that he has been disappointed by the NECF and many churches in not getting involved in social justice nor facing the truth of where the nation is headed.
- China: Persecuted for the sake of "harmony". Uighur Christians in the far-west Xinjiang Autonomous Region appear to be caught up in the central government's crackdown on anything they fear could cause unrest, dissent and embarrassment ahead of the Olympics. The government fears Tibet-style unrest in Xinjiang where the Islamic revival of the 1990s has stimulated ethnic and religious intolerance, separatism and the threat of terrorism.
Three Uighur Christians, all patriotic with no separatist sympathies, have been arrested in recent months. Two have been sent to prison labour camps while another has been accused of threatening national security. Please pray for the Church in China, particularly in Xinjiang, and that the Chinese authorities will have discernment and wisdom as they tackle complex issues.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 474 [Corrected] | Xinjiang, China: Persecuted for the sake of 'harmony'
- India: jailed film team released. Four members of a Gospel for Asia film team have been released from jail. They were falsely charged with forcing people to convert to Christianity on March 28, in Madya Pradesh, India. The men were showing a film about Christ when they were arrested. However, police requested to watch the film. The missionaries showed the film and presented the Gospel. As a result, attitudes toward the missionaries changed. They were granted bail and the court agreed to give back their equipment.
Read the rest of this story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11105
Source: Mission Network News, 11 April, 2008
- China: earthquake brought down the old orphanage, but the children were not there. "Last year Christian Aid contributors were able to get these children out of a very old building that was in very poor condition. That building collapsed during the quake, but [Praise God!] all of the children have been living in the new, studier building for the past year, so they escaped any harm."
Source: Missions Insider (May 22, 2008) http://www.christianaid.org/Missionaries/MIR/mir20080522a.aspx
- Indonesia: pastor released. Indonesian Pastor Abraham Bentar is free now having served two-thirds of his prison sentence. He was paroled at the end of April after spending more than two years behind bars for "blaspheming the prophet Muhammad". According to Voice of the Martyrs Canada, Bentar was arrested in West Java and convicted on proselytizing charges. But from behind bars, he asked for three Bibles so that he could share them with his six cellmates. Praise the Lord for his release and continued ministry.
Source: Mission Network News, 12 May, 2008. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/11213