Thursday, March 26, 2015
Defending the Cross in China will get you jail time.
Just ask Pastor Huang Yizi. He spoke out publicly against government removal of crosses from churches in Zhejiang Province. This week a court in Pingyang city sentenced him to one year in prison. He's been jailed since last August.
Huang was found guilty of gathering crowds to disrupt social order.Huang's lawyers say he only encouraged church members to oppose the illegal action of government authorities by restoring church crosses to their rightful places.
The Zhejiang government removed 400 rooftop crosses throughout the province last year, maintaining they had violated building codes. But Christians say in reality, the communists didn't want daily reminders of Christianity's rapid growth throughout China; they detested crosses becoming a regular fixture of Zhejiang's city skylines.
Huang's case will be appealed.
Pray that he will remain strong in his faith and that he will be reunited soon with his family and friends.
Find out more about Huang at the China Aid web site.
And it's not just Christians who have been targeted by government officials. A human rights organization was raided this week because its workers have been speaking out against the groping of women on public transportation.
Read more here: China Human Rights Raid.
Monday, March 16, 2015
The two church bombings in Pakistan this week showed what Pakistani Christians are up against.
The massacre of 14-Christians, and the wounding of at least 70 others while they attended Sunday worship demonstrated the persecution facing Christians collectively in Pakistan.
Individually, many are falsely accused of blasphemy and arrested, or are pressured by militant Muslims to convert to Islam. Some Christian women who have refused to convert have been raped by their Muslim persecutors
That is why thousands have fled the country, seeking religious assylum, or refugee status.
On March 4, more than 400 Pakistani Christian immigrants--including children--were arrested and jailed in Bangkok, Thailand
They are considered illegal immigrants.
Sympathetic Thai Christians have housed and fed many of them, but since the jailing, the health--and even the lives of some of the Pakistani Christian immigrants are at risk.
Here's a letter received by The Global Lane from one family member describing the horrid, inhumane conditions in the Thai jail cell where the Christian detaineees are now being held:
A SILENT WAR
People who were arrested are in Immigration Detention Center (IDC) right now; their sufferings are uncountable in IDC as they are exposed to deadly diseases such as Hepatitis A,B,C tuberculosis, Dengue, Malaria, HIV Aids, malnutrition, Severe depression disorder, various skin and genital infections, etc. Many men and women are suffering from these contagious diseases and children are at high risj of catching them. Many children have suffered diarrhea, typhoid and malnutirtion more than 3 or 4 times due to the poor hygiene and insufficient meals. Bailing people out is a complicated process which is almost impossible. It includes having a Thai person be your guarantee and paying 50,000 Baht (150 USD) for each person.
One small cell built to hold 25-30 people is a host to 70 people packed in the poorest hygienic environment and suffocation! People have to take turns sleeping as all can’t lie down on the flat floor at once due to massive number of people. There are no beds or mattresses, people lay flat on the hard crooked floors with only a sheet to cover their bodies. Children have to lie next to toilet seats where feces and urine drops fall on their faces. There are pregnant women, elderly women, newly born babies to children of all ages, old men suffering heart diseases blood pressure and diabetes. There is no activity at all inside the prison walls, their meals never change; it’s always boiled rice and stinky soup of cucumber.
Their hopes are shattered as they realize that they have to wait until 3 or 4 more years to get just an interview with UNHCR. Whenever children get sick or women suffer high blood pressure they are given the same tablet for every disease. Guards in IDC don’t understand or speak English; they never listen even when people cry out of pain.
I ask Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, International protection authorities and all other International Christians where are they when the persecuted need them the most? I question Pakistanis settled in the west where is their compassion for their own brothers and sisters? Where is your love? Are you really Christians if you can see them suffering terribly? This is a wakeup call for all who are living lives in ignorance, please don’t satisfy yourselves by saying there are many to take care of them, THERE IS NO ONE! UNHCR has left people in this condition claiming they have no control over the Thai government. I beg you to imagine your children lying next to toilet seats with empty bellies, your wives suffering in hunger and sickness, your old mothers living in uncertainty of the future and suffocating on her breath. I bet none can even bear the thought of it. Child detention is not even allowed in some countries and yet my nation’s children have to go through this. I cry out to you with the loudest of screams! Have compassion! They need mercy! My words can never be enough to express how they are suffering every moment.
I have done my part in describing their situation to the best of my knowledge and words; this is time for you to play your part now. If you have the spirit and love of God PLEASE spread this message until their cries are heard and stand up for them. They are scared, hungry, helpless and hopeless. They are dying every second inside the prison. There is no beam of hope from UNHCR or the Thai government, they pray to God to have their cries heard. Be an answer to their prayers. Be a Christian.
I met a woman who was in IDC for three months and was bailed for 50,000 Baht, she couldn’t come up with words to talk about IDC. All she could tell with eyes filled with tears and shaky voice was "I wish not even my enemies go their ever".
After these 400 arrests many are still hiding as the police is raiding their apartment buildings and arresting families. After being arrested people are taken to police jails and kept their until their trial at court, courts give them a decision of paying 3500 Baht each for overstaying their visas or else they are sent to Thai jails for a 14 day time period where they become subject to sexual and physical abuse by the dangerous Thai criminals. After this 14 day period they are taken to IDC where women are kept with children and men are separated. They live in small cells with exceeding numbers of people of all nationalities such as Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Somalia, Africa etc. That’s when this period of suffering begins.
Pray for them, and then contact your congressman and the Thailand Embassy in Washington, D.C., to let them know how you feel.
Monday, March 09, 2015
Little did the young Iraqi refugee girl know that her comments about forgiveness would go viral.
When interviewed recently by Sat 7 reporter Essam Nagy, 10-year-old Myriam shared her heart about life as a refugee in Erbil, Kurdistan. She told Nagy that she forgives ISIS for forcing her family from their home last summer in Qaraqosh, Iraq.
Now, Myriam's words have been viewed by at least 500,000 people, and her child-like faith has encouraged and inspired Christians worldwide. Tens of thousands were moved by her sweet, precious song of praise.
So, how is Myriam doing now, and why did her comments go viral on the Internet? Essam Nagy brings us the story behind the story. Watch my interview. You won't be disappointed!
Then, please do not forget to pray for Myriam, her family, and the millions of Iraqi and Syrian refugees experiencing daily hardship in camps throughout parts of the Middle East.
If you missed it, watch Myriam's Sat 7 video here:
Monday, March 02, 2015
We are in the midst of a culture war and the survival of Western culture is at stake.
That's the message Australian Pastor Danny Nalliah of Catch The Fire Ministries recently shared with The Global Lane as we discussed his new book, The 21st Century Culture War in the West.
The book details what Nalliah suggests should be done to overcome the threat militant Islam poses to our societies.
Muslim extremists have attacked Pastor Danny on several occasions.
During his time in Saudi Arabia, the Mabahith (internal security police) raided his apartment where he secretly kept 400 bibles. He was also nearly beheaded by some assailants there.
Ten years ago, he and Pastor Daniel Scott were found guilty of violating Victoria State's Racial and Religious Tolerance Act because they held a seminar in March 2002 that was critical of Islam.
In December 2006, the two Dannys won their appeal to the Victoria State Supreme Court. The Islamic Council of Victoria was ordered to pay half of Nalliah and Scott's legal fees.
Now Nalliah is fighting a new battle. This time, he's warning Western leaders and Christians that they must act courageously to defend their culture.
What should be done to prevent Muslim immigrants from imposing their way of life on Western societies, and how should Christians respond without appearing hateful, racist, or intolerant? We should begin by defining our societes as multi-ethnic, rather than multi-cultural, says Nalliah.
Watch my interview with pastor Danny Nalliah, and then let me know what you think:
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Smuggling Bibles into restricted nations is risky business. But that has never deterred my friend, missionary Patrick Klein, from jumping onto an airplane, flying for 30 hours or more, and risking arrest to provide desperate Christians and others the Word of God.
Like me, Patrick will tell you that during his travels around the globe, one of the first replies he gets from Christians when he asks what can be done for them is, "Bring us Bibles!"
Whether it's in China, Iran, Cuba, Burma, or beyond, Bibles are in great demand. Patrick and his Vision Beyond Borders team make sure they are delivered.
Klein has written a book about his experiences called By Faith Alone: Confessions of a Bible Smuggler.
Watch my interview with Patrick to hear him discuss how the recent U.S. diplomatic opening to Cuba may affect Christians there. He also talks about some of the close calls he's had going through customs in Cuba and elsewhere.
Also, find out what concerns him the most as he travels around the globe bringing the Good News to a lost and hurting world.
Friday, February 20, 2015
A Colombia judge has ordered that American missionary to Colombia, Russell Stendal, be freed from jail.
Stendal was arrested Wednesday and charged with suspected links to the Marxist narco-terror group, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).
But the judge ruled there was not sufficient evidence to prove allegations that the 59-year-old missionary had provided logistical support to the guerillas.
I've known Russell and his family for more than 12 years. The only electronic support he has provided FARC are Galcom radios set to receive broadcasts from his Christian radio stations. I personally accompanied him in his airplane during one flight as he dropped radios and Bibles into rebel-held territory.
If the charges against him had been fomenting a "Jesus" revolution and loving his enemies, then I'm sure Russ would have pleaded guilty. I know no other missionary that is more committed to winning ALL Colombians to Christ.
I'm sure he's grateful for those who prayed for him during his time of detention.
Please keep praying for Russell and his family. As expected, they're likely to face many more obstacles and opposition as they continue to spread the Good News in Colombia.
To learn more about this amazing missionary and his ministry, watch his video The Mountain:
Thursday, February 19, 2015
We received word today that CBN friend and missionary Russell Stendal has been arrested in Colombia.
Here’s what we have learned so far from one report:
American missionary Russell Martin Stendal was arrested Wednesday by police in Colombia as part of an investigation into the alleged ties of the Marxist rebel group, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Russell “is dedicated to distribute Bibles and preach the word to everyone and he has traveled to the most complicated areas of the country evangelizing," said Stendal’s lawyer Eder Castro.
The missionary, has written several books and is the subject of a movie “The Mountain” about his work evangelizing guerrillas and paramilitaries. He was taken to Paloquemao for a preliminary court hearing where the charges against him were to be announced.
Stendal was caught in the middle of an investigation conducted by the Cundinamarca Police anti-terrorism unit, which was operating against the FARC 53 front group.
According to sources, the missionary’s name appeared as an alleged member of the FARC support networks.
At present, both prosecution and police have been in contact with the US Embassy in Colombia.
I first met Russell Stendal back in 2002 while working for The Voice of The Martyrs. I’ve stayed at his home, and even spent time flying with him in his plane videotaping as he parachuted tracts and Galcom radios into both FARC and Paramilitary held areas of Colombia.
He is not a member of the FARC Marxist, narco-terror network. He is an agent for God who works tirelessly to bring the good news to all people of Colombia.
Pray that he will soon be reunited with his family. Pray that he will not become discouraged and will have opportunities to share Christ with his government captors—just like he has countless times with the FARC guerillas.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- I visited Capitol Hill Wednesday as President Obama put forward his request for military authorization against the Islamic State. The feeling from most Republicans is that it is too little, too late.
According to House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Michael Pompeo, R-Kansas, the president's proposal is "dangerous." That's because Mr. Obama proposes to limit the use of military force to three years and has announced that he is not intending to deploy U.S. combat forces. Some congressional critics say ISIS members were likely relieved when they heard that decision.
Democrats say the president has taken the right course of action; the airstrikes have worked and ISIS is now on the defensive. They agree that American boots on the ground are not needed in this war.
But might they be needed within the next three years, and what should be done now?
Congressman Pompeo says the United States must create the resolve to defeat the global jihadi movement, but so far, this president has demonstrated a lack of leadership, seriousness, and understanding about the threat. Mr. Obama has yet to acknowledge that ISIS is an Islamic terrorist group.
Is President Obama's request dead on arrival? Watch my interview with Rep. Pompeo to hear how the U.S. Congress is likely to respond.
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Kobani Photo Courtesy PYD Syria
Take a good look. This is what victory looks like.
Kurdish fighters (YPG) have now re-gained control of their city in Syria, near the Turkish border. It was a long and difficult struggle against ISIS, but it shows what a determined army can do. Thanks to the Kurds, along with U.S. and Turkish (some) help, Islamic State jihadists are now on the run, driven from Kobani.
But tens of thousands of Kobani refugees won't be going home anytime soon. As you can see, there's not much left for them to return to. Until their city can be rebuilt and secured from ISIS in the long run, they'll need our help.
Many of the Kobani Kurds fled to neighboring Turkey and Iraq. I met some of them just before Christmas in Kurdistan as CBN Disaster Relief brought them much needed help.
Watch to see how you're helping them when you partner with CBN. Also, be sure to watch my story on Thursday's 700 Club to see how three brave women from Iraq and Syria overcame ISIS.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Urgent prayer is needed for Vietnamese Mennonite Pastor Quang. He and an associate pastor were brutally beaten last Sunday afternoon by unknown assailants near their Bible college in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to VOM Australia, both pastors were attacked "without provocation" by five men who used "bricks and rocks to batter their heads." And when Quang and the other pastor collapsed to the ground, their bodies were kicked "relentlessly."
Both pastors were reportedly taken to a hospital emergency room and Pastor Quang, "who suffered the more serious of injuries" received further treatment.
Quang's injuries? VOM Australia contacts say he suffered "a broken nose, broken ribs, facial injuries including injuries to his teeth and jaw."
It is not clear at this time if Quang suffered internal injuries, but he is in "severe pain and has been vomiting during his time in the hospital."
I have met and interviewed Pastor Quang and he's featured in The Voice of The Martyrs video, Underground Reality Vietnam. He has suffered continual persecution and harassment from Vietnamese authorities over the years, and government officials have demolished his church and Bible college buildings. Quang eventually rebuilt them. He is a lawyer and a courageous advocate for Jesus Christ and religious freedom in Vietnam.
Pray for this unrelenting pastor, who has suffered a severe and horrific beating.
Pray that the Vietnamese government will live up to its stated commitment to human rights by locating, arresting, and prosecuting those responsible for this horrid crime.