Missions Catalyst 02.03.10 – World News Briefs

In This Issue: Violence in Nigeria, Reading the Bible in PNG, and More

  • NIGERIA: Religious Violence Sweeps Jos
  • CHINA: Arrested for Helping American Missionary
  • EUROPE: Churches Advised on Peaceful Living with Muslims
  • INDIA: Sari Surprise Attack
  • VIETNAM: New Believer Beaten
  • PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Reading the Bible

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

World News Briefs, edited by Pat Noble, are published twice a month.

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NIGERIA: Religious Violence Sweeps Jos

Source: Christian Aid, Missions Insider Report, January 26, 2010

The homeless and injured need our prayers and compassionate aid as another wave of Muslim/Christian violence swept the city of Jos in central Nigeria. Muslims burned churches with worshipers inside. Gun battles killed hundreds.

News reports say the violence began when a church was attacked and burned down on Sunday, January 17.

Missionary Crusaders’ Ministry leader Gabriel Barau reports: “The Jos mayhem was very serious. More than 200,000 people are now homeless, and more than 500 people died from the conflict. Muslim youth started by killing people in a church service on Sunday. Then the most terrible thing happened. Those who are Christians in name only (not evangelical Christians) took up arms, and the war started.”

>> Full story with pictures.

>> Also see NIGERIA: Aid Agencies “Staggered” by IDP Numbers (IRIN). Relief agencies are struggling to help the some 18,000 displaced people in 17 makeshift camps in and around the central Nigerian city of Jos.

CHINA: Arrested for Helping American Missionary

Source: Worthy News, January 17, 2010

A North Korean defector has been detained in China for helping an American missionary cross into North Korea, Korean media said Sunday, January 17, citing Free North Korea Radio.

The arrested activist, who was only identified as Kim, reportedly helped Robert Park last month with crossing the frozen Duman (or Tumen) River, which marks China’s border with the North. Kim was reportedly arrested in possession of video footage of Robert Park’s Christmas Eve crossing.

“We’ve confirmed through various channels that Kim, who was staying at a hideout in Yanji, Jilin Province, was arrested by Chinese police last Friday,” Kim Sung-min, the head of dissident station Free North Korea Radio, said Sunday, January 17, in comments monitored by South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

>> Full story.

>> Also see this disturbing update on Gao Zhisheng: China Says Missing Lawyer “Is Where He Ought to Be” (Excite News).

EUROPE: Churches Advised on Peaceful Living with Muslims

Source: The Christian Post, January 20, 2010

Michael Buenker, recently returned from Lebanon where he took part in the General Assembly of the Federation of Middle East Evangelical Churches, [believes that] with many Europeans feeling uncertain about the growth of Islam on the continent, Protestant churches in Europe could learn from their sister churches in the Middle East. Middle East churches are, he said, “experienced in living together with Muslims.”

Buenker and CPCE President Thomas Wipf, who traveled with him, said they were impressed by the level of cooperation and solidarity among churches in the Middle East.

Wipf went on to say that Europe has a responsibility to work for peace in the Middle East and expressed his desire to deepen relations with the FMEEC, whom he called an “important partner.”

As citizens of a continent from which “racism and war were carried into the whole world,” Wipf concluded, “Europeans must engage ourselves for a peaceful life together of Christians, Muslims, and Jews.”

>> Full story.

>> Also see Christians, Muslims, Jews Worship at Evangelical Megachurch (The Christian Post) and view the recent webcast, Why Do You Fear Me? – an unscripted conversation with Carl Medearis, Ted Dekker, and Governor David Beasley.

INDIA: Sari Surprise Attack

Source: Mission India, January 15, 2010

A group of angry women led a recent attack against Christians in the Indian state of Punjab. The attack happened as Christians gathered for a day of fasting and prayer led by a Mission India church planter in the home of a new believer, Balaram.*

Nearly 20 fundamentalist Hindu women shouting anti-Christian slurs surrounded the group of 12 believers and threw rocks. Balaram was hit in the head and the female-led mob fled when he fell to the ground unconscious. Balaram was rushed to the hospital and required eight stitches in his head. Other believers also suffered minor injuries.

Earlier that day, four local women had approached the church planter and other believers and warned them to renounce their faith in Jesus and stop meeting for prayer or they would face “dire consequences.”

After the attack, our church planter and other believers went to the police to file a complaint. Instead, the police told the Christians to stop holding the prayer meeting. It appears the village sarpanch, or elected leader, has been encouraging such attacks on Christians.

*Name changed to protect the safety of believers.

>> Full story.

VIETNAM: New Believer Beaten

Source: Compass Direct, January 18, 2010

Sung Cua Po, who embraced Christianity in November, received some 70 blows to his head and back after local officials in northwest Vietnam’s Dien Bien Province arrested him on December 1, 2009, according to documents obtained by Compass. His wife, Hang thi Va, was also beaten. They live in Ho Co village.

Dien Bien Dong District and Na Son Commune police and soldiers led by policeman Hang A Senh took the Christian couple to the Na Son Commune People’s Committee office after police earlier incited local residents to abuse and stone them and other Christian families. Po’s cell phone and motorbike were confiscated.

The documents stated that the reason for the mistreatment of the Christians was that they abandoned “the good and beautiful” traditional Hmong beliefs and practices to follow Protestant Christianity.

>> Full story with picture.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Reading the Bible

Source: New Tribes Mission, January 29, 2010

Weng, a Mibu believer in Papua New Guinea, is reading through the Bible this year.

He asked missionary Joey Tartaglia to his house to listen as he read through the summaries he had written for each chapter.

Joey sat there listening to Weng read, savoring every word [as] Weng read about the life of Abraham.

The highlight of his visit came when Weng shared a song he had written, demonstrating his love for Jesus and understanding of God’s grace. “When Jesus comes back, he will judge the world. But according to God’s pleasure he regards us as his very own people. We will not be brought to trial.”

Pray for Weng as he studies God’s Word and applies it to his life.

>> Full story with picture.

>> See also: God Is Changing Us (New Tribes Mission) and Millions in Tanzania Gain Access to Scripture in Heart Language (The Christian Post).

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