The May 2007 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
Reports from Around the World
Turkey: Muslims ask questions following Christian killings
(MNN) - It was a grisly murder. Three Christians slaughtered by Muslim young people. It was well-planned. In the face of these horrible events, Christians are recognizing opportunities to talk about their faith. Johan Candelin with the World Evangelical Alliance says there's a deep national sense of confusion in Turkey today. "Muslims are saying that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. And then they see on television these three Christians who have been killed by a group of young people, and the young people say they have done it in the name of religion." What's added to their confusion, says Candelin, is the television interviews of the widows. "The widows came out on national television and said, "I have forgiven the killers because Jesus has forgiven me." So they show that Christianity is a religion of forgiveness, not of hate or revenge. And that has opened up a big door for the Gospel." Many Turks believe missionaries want to split the nation. The World Evangelical Alliance is asking the Prime Minister to issue a statement to quash that rumor.
For related news stories, including from Turkish media, see the related links section on this ChristianityTodayOnline News Briefs page: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/june/6.21.html
Source: Mission Network News, May 2, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9866
See also: Charles Carrin's report "News the American Media Does Not Tell You: Muslim-Murder and Mutilation of Christians" at http://charlescarrinministries.com/gentleconquest/gc2007/0501.html
Evangelical theologians to discuss the role of tradition
"The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) indicated that its members will discuss the role of tradition in Protestant theology after president Francis Beckwith rejoined the Roman Catholic Church and resigned on May 5. Beckwith, a philosophy professor at Baylor University, also surrendered his ETS membership."
India: Hindu militants bully church; doors stay open
News and Headlines
(MNN) - Orissa is one of India's poorest states. It also has one of the worst records for violence against Christians, due, in part, to Hindu militants and a stringent anti-conversion law on the books. Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India's Dave Stravers, speaking from the region, says the church is growing, but believers struggle between following their faith and following the law. "Almost all the Christian churches were just baptizing people in secret or ignoring the law because it was virtually impossible to conduct a baptism following the rules that this anti-conversion law had laid down." Despite the persecution, Stravers says their teams are active. "In the last three days I've talked to different church leaders here who are involved in evangelistic ministry. They're all very positive. They say they can see the Lord moving in their state, and they believe that the state of Orissa is coming to Christ. In fact, they talk about sending workers to other states."
In related news, Christians are taking a proactive approach to seeking justice. The All India Christian Council has sent a letter to India's Prime Minister urging him to protect Christians. The organization's president, Doctor Joseph D'souza, complained of large mobs brutalizing pastors and raping women simply for being Christians. D'Souza says the government response has been a smug silence. He's says the repeal of anti-conversion laws are important first steps in securing peace for believers in India.
Source: Mission Network News, April 18 and May 15, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9812 | http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9912
for Current News and Links
- Zimbabwe: High-Stakes Protest Church leaders confront President Mugabe (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/june/1.18.html
- Suit against Earl Paulk dropped (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/may/6.19.html
- Mexico: New believer jailed for receiving Christ Village officials in Chiapas punish convert for leaving "traditionalist Catholic" religion (Compass Direct). http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&length=long&lang=en&idelement=4831
- USA: Hate legislation concerns Christians (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/9874
- India: Dalit "untouchable" minorities march for fairness Many believe that if affirmative action is declared for the Dalits that many will declare themselves "Christian," creating an explosion in church growth and an incredible need for trained church leaders (MNN). http://www.mnnonline.org/article/9863
- Abortion in USA: Partial Reversal The Supreme Court's abortion decision shows that the arguments have changed (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/june/5.22.html
- Obituary: Robert E. Webber Theologian of "Ancient-Future" Faith and author of more than 40 books on worship, Dies at 73 (ChristianityTodayOnline). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/aprilweb-only/118-12.0.html
- Eritrea: Authorities arrest 80-member Presbyterian congregation (Compass Direct). http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&length=long&lang=en&idelement=4870
- Egypt: Mulsims rampage after Friday prayers A pogrom against Christians in Egypt continues to subjugate Coptic Christians. They are being pressured, under the shadow of terror, to submit to unreasonable and unjust terms (Free Copts and WEA Religious Liberty News & Analysis). http://freecopts.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=505&Itemid=9
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
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.org
- Look for a website update in our next issue of the Pneuma Informer
Meijer Community Rewards
Pneuma Foundation re-enrolls in updated program
The retailer giant, Meijer Stores, has changed their Meijer Community Rewards program. You must re-enroll if you wish to continue to participate in this program as a way of contributing to the Pneuma Foundation through every purchase you make. For full program details, visit: http://www.meijer.com/Rewards. Our organization code remains 675965.
Resources You Can Use
Why Did Jesus Die?
Prolific New Zealand author and Bible teacher, Dick Tripp is publishing a new book in his series "Exploring Faith Today," entitled "Why Did Jesus Die? What the Bible Says About the Cross." Its 260 pages cover the biblical material comprehensively, with an additional section on how the cross relates to other topics such as the Trinity, the love and justice of God, suffering, Easter Saturday, the resurrection, discipleship, and other religions. It also contains sermon outlines. Former World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission Director, Dr Bruce Nicholls says that in this book "we have a work of outstanding and lasting worth - an amazingly comprehensive reference to all the biblical texts that point to Christ's death, its meaning and significance for today's Church." The text is already available on the author's website www.christianity.co.nz where the material may be freely used although permission is required for and printing or translation.
Source: WEA Theological News On-Line #52 (May 2007)
What is this Generation of Evangelical Students Like?
Observations and comments from Keith Drury which he has entitled "My students: The Coming Wave in the church."
Source: Web Evangelism Newsletter May (i) 07
Articles and Reviews from the Spring 2007 issue of 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
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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.
Book Review: Divine Healing
Festus Akinnifesi, Divine Healing: A Biblical Solution to Sound Health (Longwood, FL: Xulon Press,
2005), 344 pages.
Read the entire review at PneumaReview.com: Festus Akinnifesi: Divine Healing
Roscoe Barnes III is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is the author of numerous books, including The Guide to Effective Gospel Tract Ministry (Church Growth Institute, 2004) and Off to War (White Mane Publishing, 1996). His articles have appeared in Refleks Journal and The Journal of the European Pentecostal Association, and in scores of newspapers and trade magazines.
Read more reviews and articles from the Spring 2007 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jspPeriodical Review: Martyred for the Message
Joe Maxwell, "Martyred for the Message: We've forgotten how much blood was spilled so that we could read God's Word" Charisma (Sept 2006), pages 38-40, 42-47.
Read the review at PneumaReview.com: Joe Maxwell: Martyred for the Message
Kirk Hunt, is the Director of Men's Ministry at Copper Mountain Assembly Of God, Tucson Arizona. His devotionals are available at www.CadreMenPress.com/devotionals.
Read more reviews and articles from the Spring 2007 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
- China: Mass arrests of church leaders and American Christians. (MNN) - Roughly 30 major house church leaders were arrested when they met with four American Christians in Xinjiang Province in western China. Voice of the Martyrs' Todd Nettleton confirmed the China Aid Association report and gave us this update: "Some of the Chinese have already been released: eight of them. Six of them have been given criminal detention for 30 days. The four Americans, at last report, are being held at a hotel. We're still waiting to see what's going to happen with them. My guess is that they will be put on a plane for home and told not to return." Nettleton says this crackdown pattern may continue in the run up to the Beijing Olympics. He says they're not backing down in support of the church, however. "Pray for courage and encouragement. When you see a church leader get arrested, when you think about the possibility of three years in very difficult conditions in a labor camp, I think it would be easy to get discouraged. I think we can pray against that and pray for encouragement."
Source: Mission Network News 26 April, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9847
- Pray for Christians defying a brutal purge in frontier Pakistan: In Pakistan's highly Islamized and lawless Northwestern frontier province which borders Afghanistan, Islamic militants have ordered Christians in Charsadda to close their churches and flee. Any who stay and do not convert to Islam will "suffer the consequences." Some families have reportedly fled, but others amongst the 600 believers have vowed to defy the terrorists, stay and not convert.
On 9 May, Pakistan's National Assembly considered the Apostasy Act 2006 which, on the testimony of only two "witnesses," would condemn male apostates (one who leaves Islam) to death and female apostates to imprisonment for life or until "repentance." While the Apostasy Act was passed and referred to the standing committee, proposed amendments to the notorious Blasphemy Law were rejected. Please pray for God's intervention in Pakistan.
Source: adapted from World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 429 | Pakistan: Christians Defying Purge in NW Frontier Province
- A pastor in India writes: "St. Paul's Church received a court notice ordering us not to dedicate the church until further orders on 4th of this month [May 2007]. One non-Christian filed a case against our pastor Elisha. In the main suit the petitioner stated that the church was constructed in the Hindu locality and the shadow of the church building will have a bad affect to their families. We have consulted an advocate and the advocate filed a petition on behalf of us. Our advocate in his written arguments stated that the church plan was approved by the village heads. With the permission of the village heads it is legal construction. The next hearing is on 5th of June 2007. We hope our living God will definitely give us good result. Kindly pray for that."
- In a related report urging prayer: Hindu Nationalists escalate persecution in India. Persecution of Christians is escalating across India as the Hindu nationalists propagandise that Indian harmony, culture, identity, security, sovereignty and territorial integrity are seriously threatened by missionaries, whom they describe as terrorists, separatists or CIA operatives. Recently Hindu militants in two states attacked Christian pastors in front of television cameras.
The TV images then turn the criminals into cult heroes, while testing every Christian's sense of security. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten people to the ugliness of hate and the negative results of communalism. India may have more unreached people groups than any other part of the world but God has blessed her with tens of thousands of courageous indigenous missionaries. Pray for their safety and their ministry to be powerfully blessed.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 430 | India: Hindu Nationalists Escalate Persecution
- Iraq and Gaza: Facing al Qaeda. The remnant Christians in Iraq and Gaza who have survived war and civil strife may not survive al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has infiltrated both Iraq and Gaza and is specifically targeting everything 'un- Islamic'. In the midst of massive insecurity, Christians are very vulnerable. Churches in Dora district (Baghdad's Christian quarter) have been forced to remove crosses and Christians are being driven out. In Gaza militants are targeting everything they deem un- Islamic and the attacks are escalating dramatically. The existence of Christians is tenuous in these lands which have had a Christian presence for 2000 years. Please pray for wisdom and courage, for supernatural protection, for nations to open up refugee places for them, and for peace.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 428 | Iraq and Gaza: Facing al Qaeda
- This praise report was recently received by our prayer team: "As many of you know I have Hepatitis C. I started taking Interferon and Ribaviron. My genotype is 1, the most resistant to treatment. My AST Alt (and all the other words I can only spell if they are in front of me) levels were really high or either high or low. Now they are all normal, except my white blood cell count and platelets which are going up too! At 12 weeks, I was tested for my viral load (how much virus in blood) and I requested prayer for a good report. If it doesn't go down enough, they discontinue the treatment until later and try again. The doctors weren't expecting much because my genotype is the resistant type. But I stood on God's Word and said 'Lord, show me Your Holy Ghost power again; because I see miracles every week anyway!' Instead of reading 'low' or 'marginal,' they were shocked! It read pretty much no trace! That is not normal for anyone! 1 in 1,000,000 chance! They will resume treatment and test me again at 24 weeks. With my genotype, there is a 1 in 6 chance of it even working at all, even after 48 weeks. The world says 'Doom' and God says 'Healed!' My doctors can't explain it, but I can! God healed me, too. Praise God again!"
- This praise report is another example of the good reports we receive: "My wife went to her doctor today to get scheduled for cataract surgery next week. Her doctor said there was no need for surgery now. She doesn't even need glasses anymore. We prayed for her, laid hands on her eyes ... another miracle! Praise God again!"
- Please join the Pneuma Foundation volunteer staff in thanking God for His provision. The recent need regarding the refund of a large donation (that was given in error to the Foundation) has been met and the refund has been returned in full.
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