Christian World News – August 5, 2011 – CBN.com


Today on Christian World News ñ Bloodshed in Sudan. The North attacks the
people of the Nuba Mountains. One man says itís a war on the church. And ñ In the heartland of the Holy Land. Itís the
place where Abraham settled down and Jacob had his famous dream. Why it could be one
day off limits for Jews and Christians. Plus ñ Heís making a 4,000-mile journey, one step
at a time. This member of Britainís House of Lords believes his long walk can help bring
peace to the world. Hello, everyone. A crisis in Sudan threatens
the Christian community. Welcome to Christian World News. Iím George Thomas. And Iím Wendy Griffith. Tens of thousands of lives are at risk as
the Islamic regime of North Sudan launches attacks in the Nuba Mountains. The armed forces
of President Omar Bashir are terrorizing people in the war-torn region of South Kordofan state. The Nuba Mountains has one of the largest
Christian populations in the North. Now, humanitarian organizations are speaking out, hoping to
expose ethnic cleansing of the Nuba people. John Waage has our story. Sudan is facing a new humanitarian crisis.
Ethnic cleansing of the Nuba people has left many dead, and many others fighting for their
lives. Brad Phillips with the Persecution Project
Foundation just returned from the Nuba Mountains. He testified before U.S. Congressional leaders
that aid access to the region is limited. Thereís a serious humanitarian crisis that
is approaching. There are 70-90,000 people who are probably going to die in the next
month to two months because the roads are shut down to the north and the flights are
not coming into the Nuba Mountains. The Nuba Mountains are home to Sudanís largest
Christian community. They are being tormented by daily air strikes and house-to-house raids
from President Omar Bashirís armed forces. Bashir is an indicted war criminal for the
genocide in Darfur. Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf said itís
important the church in the West stands up for these persecuted Christians. I think the church in the West has to really
do a better job of advocating for the persecuted church. If anything, hopefully, this hearing
can motivate not only the administration, but also the church, the leaders of all the
denominations, to come together to advocate for this. Muslim soldiers are reportedly burning down
churches. Bishop Andudu is from Sudanís South Kordofan. He also testified to the devastation
that My house was shot with guns and my chaplain
was able to escape through the window. And also my offices and cyber cafÈ were burned
down, and cathedral as well. The Nuba people suffered persecution at this
level back in the 1990s. Humanitarian organizations say the same people who killed more than 500,000
back then are trying to ìfinish the jobî today. John Waage, CBN News. And joining us now is Brad Phillips of the
Persecution Project Foundation. He also does a lot of work with the organization called
Voice of the Martyrs; he is a country director for Sudan. Brad, you just recently spent twelve days
in the Nuba Mountains and I understand that you saw some graphic stuff: dead people, injured
people, people hiding out in caves. Whatís going on? Well, tragically, thereís a genocide taking
place right now in the Nuba Mountains and the government in Khartoum, which is headed
by indicted war criminals, has targeted people based on two criteria: race and religion. If you are an African or if youíre a Christian,
youíre a target of the government in Khartoum. You used the word genocide. Thatís a strong
word. Well, it is a genocide. Itís been well documented.
We went in with a number of journalists. Al Jazeera English has published a show on it.
The New York Times was there, Time magazine. There are many, many people who can corroborate
what Iím saying. The government in Khartoum, which exterminated
half the population of the Nuba in the ë80s and the ë90s has come back to finish the
job. We just saw the declaration, the announcement
of a new country, South Sudan. We all thought that this was the end of 20-plus years of
fighting. Millions of people losing their lives. How is this possible? In Khartoum, going into independence for the
South, has basically told its constituents in the North, its radical, Islamist constituents
in the North, that yes, even though the South is going away, it intends to severely clamp
down on Sharia law in the new Republic of Sudan. And the Nuba Mountains historically was one
of the areas where they first started their campaign of Arabization and Islamization.
And in the ë80s and the ë90s they massacred half of the Nuba population. And itís happening
again. Itís being done by two indicted war criminals: Omar al-Bashir and Ahmed Haroun,
both indicted by the ICC for acts of genocide in other parts of Sudan. You, this week, had a chance to go before
the United States Congress to testify as to what you saw, what you witnessed. You made
the comment this week that the government in Khartoum actually views the church, Christians,
as the enemy. Why do they see the church as their enemy? Well, I think they actually believe, because
of their own theology, that the SPLA is an extension of the church. And so we interviewed
many, many different pastors who had been tortured and imprisoned by that regime who
told us that, you know, the first thing they did after we were arrested was they tried
to get us to give us the names of all the members of our congregation. And when we refused
they began pulling our fingernails out, crushing our genitals, hanging us by the neck, using
electric shock, doing all kinds of torture to try to get us to give over the names of
our congregation. And we said, no, weíre pastors and these
are our flock and weíre not going to betray our flock. So these people, some of them died,
some of them ended up in prison. And I heard similar stories on this trip of
people coming out of Kadugli, which is the capital of the Nuba Mountains, who were similarly
tortured. Some few people escaped. The people who didnít escape were slaughtered. There
are estimates of 7,000 people who were slaughtered on June 6th and the days following when Khartoum
relaunched this genocide against the Nuba people. How can the church here in the United States,
and those who are watching us around the world, how can they help the people of the Nuba? Well, thank you for asking that question.
You know, one of the most important things that we can do is intercede through prayer
for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Right now the largest church in the new Republic
of Sudan, which is separated from South Sudan, is in the Nuba Mountains. And they desperately
need fellowship with their brothers and sisters here in the United States. When one part of
the body suffers all suffer with it. So we really need to take an opportunity to go before
God and intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are lots of other ways that we can get
involved. We need to be contacting our representatives in government and let them know that weíre
not happy about whatís happening. We want them to take action so that these people donít
perish. Brad Phillips of the Persecution Project Foundation,
sir, thank you for bringing to light the atrocities that are taking place in this part of the
world. Thank you for your insights, sir. Thank you. And to find out how you can help the Nuba
people, please log on to our website at cwnews.org. The famine gripping the Horn of Africa is
spreading. Tens of thousands of Somalis have died in this catastrophe. Now reports of severe
food shortages and famine are emerging from northern Kenya. CBNís Operation Blessing is delivering food
and emergency relief to more than 700 families. David Darg is on the ground in Turkana, Kenya. Operation Blessing has come to Kenya in response
to the famine thatís sweeping East Africa. Weíre here in the northern part of the country
in an area called Turkana. And the people behind me are the Turkana people. Theyíre
very beautiful and they wear this fantastic-looking jewelry. But underneath that they are facing a very
serious problem. Theyíre facing extreme food shortages due to a drought thatís lasted
for years now. The rains just havenít come. And Operation Blessing is here providing emergency
food relief to these people and to other people in this area. At this distribution weíre
distributing twelve tons of corn; itís a lot of food that weíve trucked in with our
truck here way far out into the desert of northern Kenya. This is one of the areas which is very much
affected by hunger. Many people have died here. And there are some in their homes who
cannot be able to walk because of hunger. About 3.5 million Kenyans are affected by
this crisis. Up next ñ Weíll take you to the land of Judea and Samaria
and tell you why the birthplace of the Jewish people might be one day off limits to the
Jewish people. An attack this week on a Christian church
in Iraq has injured fourteen people. Police say a car bomb in the northern city of Kirkuk
heavily damaged a Syrian Catholic church. Security forces later disabled a second car
bomb near an Anglican church. Kirkuk is an ethnically and religiously mixed
city several hours north of Baghdad. Sunni Muslims have targeted Christians in the past
in that city. Palestinians plan to go directly to the United
Nations in September in their pursuit of an independent state. Theyíre claiming the land
known as the West Bank for their own. But as our colleague Chris Mitchell reports
from Jerusalem, that area carries a history that started long before the world ever heard
of Palestinians. Most of the world calls it the West Bank,
but the Bible gave it a different name. We find it in the Bible that itís not called
the West Bank, although it is on the west bank of the Jordan. We know it is Judea and
Samaria. On the hills of Judea, Samaria, the Jewish
people were born and thatís where it all started. Thatís where Abraham walked, thatís
where Isaac and Jacob lived, thatís where Jacob slept and had his famous dream. This is the modern-day community of Beit-El,
named after biblical Bethel, the House of God. It may not look ancient but here, 4,000 years
ago, the Bible says God appeared to Jacob and promised this land to him and his descendants
forever. Jordan took over the West Bank following the
1948 Israeli-Arab war. About 20 years later, Israel regained control during the 1967 six-day
war. One-point-six million Palestinians and 350,000 Israeli Jews live here. Now this area, known as Israelís biblical
heartland, could be the future Palestinian state. This is highway 60, the main West Bank thoroughfare
for both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. But Dean Bye says itís much more. Itís probably one of the most amazing roads
in all of history because God met with His patriarchs, He met with Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, He covenanted this land there. Along this road Jesus met with the Samaritan
woman; itís along this road that he declared to her who He was. Some biblical highlights along this road are
present-day Jewish communities. They include Jerusalem and Shiloh, home of the first Jewish
tabernacle. This Israeli park is near Anatot. According
to the Bible, this is where God told Jeremiah to buy a piece of land and bury the deed in
a clay pot as a sign the Jewish people would return to the land. He says I want you to buy from your uncle
a piece of land in Anatot and would you do it up legally with a seal and a deed and a
title and would you put it in a clay pot so that it will last a long time. Despite the significance, you wonít see many
visitors. Thatís because many West Bank cities are under Palestinian Arab control. In fact,
the only controlled areas frequented by tourists are Bethlehem and Jericho, the oldest city
in the world. Holy sites under Arab control unfortunately
time and again are ruined. For example, long-time Israeli-Palestinian
agreements protected Josephís tomb in Nablus as a Jewish holy site. But in 2000, Palestinians
forced out the Jewish study center there and ransacked the place. Then, a few months ago,
a Palestinian policeman killed a Jewish worshiper there. Israel called it a terror attack. Other sites under dispute include: Rachelís
Tomb in Bethlehem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and
their wives are buried. While some Israelis would be willing to swap
Judea, Samaria and this biblical heritage for peace, Naftali Bennett objects. The source of the Bible is here. If, God forbid,
we uproot ourselves, there will never be peace. Theyíll say, ìMan, these Jews donít feel
any connection so how about just wiping them out of this country altogether.î If weíre not in Jerusalem, if weíre not
in Hevron, if weíre not in Bethel, we wonít be in Tel Aviv. Bye says itís up to Christians to take the
side of God. I think Godís plan and His purposes were
that Israel would allow the stranger to dwell here, but He has given this inheritance to
Israel to be the steward of this land. The least we can do is respect Godís choosing. Chris Mitchell, CBN News, Beit-El. Coming up on Christian World News ñ One manís journey for global peace. Why this
leader in the British government gave up on politics and decided to walk instead. And welcome back to the broadcast. Lord Michael Bates is a member of the British
Parliament on a 4,000-mile journey, all in the cause of peace. This Christian peacemaker is walking from
Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic games, to the site of the games next year, London,
England. Sam Farmer of Grassroots News brings us this
story. As a member of the House of Lords and a former
government minister, Lord Bates is well acquainted with the practices of British politics. Heís
spent much of his working life pacing these corridors of power. I do think there is something interesting
about the artwork, generally, in Parliament. Itís that it does have a very militaristic
feel. You see the reality of war as it is and therefore it behooves us to do everything
we can to avoid it. Heís one of the most active members of the
House of Lords, but his latest campaign has yet to gain a foothold. So heís decided to
take to the streets. Not here in Britain but in Greece. Itís here that Lord Bates has begun an epic
3,500-mile walk from Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic games, to London, hoping to
re-establish the ìOlympic Truce.î Two thousand five hundred years ago the Greeks
were so frustrated by constant wars they proposed a sporting event where weapons were laid down
and conflict was traded for competition. To enable this, they declared a truce for seven
days before and seven days after whatís become the Olympic games. Of course the problem is that fighting men
cannot lay down their arms voluntarily because they look weak to their supporters and they
look weak at home. And therefore you need to provide them with an opportunity where
they can actually look manly and yet stop killing each other. And so the idea of the
games was conceived and a period of truce covered it. That ran for some 1200 years.
And violations were extremely rare, one or two in 1200 years. The concept of the Olympic Truce is now backed
by a UN resolution, signed unanimously by all 193 member states. And yet since its signing,
itís been violated on every occasion. The resolution only asks that you take initiatives
for reconciliation during the period of the games. But what it is saying is that we have
given a solid undertaking before the United Nations General Assembly that we will do something.
If we donít think we can do it, we shouldnít sign it, we shouldnít propose it. If we do
propose it and we do sign it, as Iím sure we will, we should implement it. The journey to London is certainly not without
its challenges, but it may just inspire the British government to enforce the UN resolution
in October this year, becoming the first host nation to take the Olympic Truce seriously. And today with more than 30 countries currently
at war, the need for a truce has never been more important. But not everyone is at first receptive. I am walking to London (Chistos laughs). Thatís
quite a typical reaction that I get when I tell people Iím walking to London. I am 75 years old. I will never stop saying
we are crazy. And do you think Michael is crazy doing this
walk? Itís going to take him one year. Nope. Itís a very good action doing this
because I cannot do that. Lord Bates pushes on till dusk. But unpaid
and with no support team, heís at the mercy of whatever accommodation is available. Tonight
heís been offered floor space in a local church office. Early the next day heís back on the road
again, hoping that every step brings him a little closer to seeing the UN resolution
of the Olympic Truce brought into reality for London 2012. Sam Farmer for CBN News. Hope heís got some good shoes, George. Well, you can follow Lord Batesí journey
for peace on World Wide Web. Find the link on our site, cwnews.org. Believe it or not, black gospel music has
been popular in Japan for decades. Now, the fad has turned into an effective evangelistic
tool. Thatís right. Lucille Talusan has this story. Historically, itís been difficult to share
the Gospel with people in Japan. Traditional Japanese faiths like Buddhism and Shintoism
have many gods, and people avoid religions that make specific claims like Christianity. Most Japanese worship millions of gods, but
through a music workshop, Japanese non-Christians are learning to sing to the only one true
God. The movie ìSister Actî made black gospel
music popular in Japan. Eleven years ago, missionary Ken Taylor saw
an opportunity to use the fad to teach the Japanese about Jesus Christ. The former nightclub
entertainer began holding black gospel workshops in community centers. Ken then partnered with Christian churches,
opening doors for developing relationships between the non-Christian choir members and
members of the church. The end goal is that we see lives transformed.
Within that two-hour session, theyíre not just learning how to sing black gospel music.
But more than that theyíre really experiencing church because thereís fellowship, thereís
worship, there is the sharing of the Word. (Voice of Interpreter). The Hallelujah Gospel
ministry broke down barriers between Christians and non-Christians. It opened the church to
the community. And itís a very unique ministry because the targets of the outreach are the
choir members themselves. It may be a slow process, but the members
testify that the black gospel workshops are making them better persons. And some of them
convert to Christianity. (Voice of Interpreter). I used to have low
self-esteem. I studied philosophy and did my rituals at Shinto shrine, but nothing worked.
But within one year in the choir, I learned about Jesus when I studied the lyrics of the
songs. So now I am a Christian. I am more patient with our children and I am more confident
about myself. (Voice of Interpreter). I am not a Christian
but as I study the words of the songs, Iím finding new meaning in my life. Today, there is a black gospel choir in 50
churches all over Japan. They call themselves the Hallelujah Gospel Family. Twice a year, they come together in a big
concert where the Japanese non-Christians share the message of Christ to their families
and friends through the gospel music they sing.
A hundred percent of the people who step into these choirs are being touched by the Spirit
of God. God is at work in a mighty, mighty way here in Japan. Lucille Talusan, CBN News, Tokyo. Did you know that, whatís happening in Japan? I did, actually. Itís quite an incredible
tradition that the Japanese, they love black gospel. Itís awesome. Wonderful. Well, folks, thatís all for this edition
of Christian World News. Thanks so much for watching. Good-bye and
God bless you.

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