Gary Lane

CBN News Senior International Reporter

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Confessions of a Bible Smuggler

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.

posted @ Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2:48 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, February 20, 2015

American Missionary Released

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:

Part 1:

Part 2:

posted @ Friday, February 20, 2015 7:53 AM | Feedback (0)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

American Missionary Arrested in Colombia

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.

posted @ Thursday, February 19, 2015 2:35 PM | Feedback (2)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

ISIS Authorization: Too Little, Too Late?

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.

posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:13 AM | Feedback (1)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Kobani: A View of Victory

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.

posted @ Tuesday, February 03, 2015 9:10 AM | Feedback (1)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Vietnamese Pastor Brutally Beaten, Hospitalized

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.

posted @ Wednesday, January 21, 2015 10:07 AM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Christian Persecution: Is the Worst Yet to Come?

"The world still does not get it. The persecution of Christians is real, it is horrifically violent often, and it is spreading at an unprecedented rate in modern times,' said Open Doors USA President David Curry.

The grim-faced Curry unveiled the group's 2015 Worldwatch list today in Washington, D.C.

Each January, OD unveils its list of the world's top 50 persecuting countries of Christians. So, what's different this year compared to the 2014 list?

The 2015 list documents the worst persecution of Christians in the modern era and "perhaps the worst is yet to come," Curry explained.

He said Open Doors can confirm that 4,344 people were executed or murdered for their Christian faith in 2014. That is more than double the number for 2013. The numbers are likely much higher, but OD uses only figures that can be verified.

Curry said more than half of the global victims this year were killed in Nigeria (2,484)at the hands of the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

Despite the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria--for the thirteenth year in a row-- North Korea remains the world's top persecutor of Christians. Iraq is listed as No. 3 on the list and Syria at No. 4.

Among differences this year:

Last year only one African country (Somalia) was listed in the top 10. This year there are four: Somalia (2), Sudan (6), Eritrea (9) and Nigeria (10).

For more from David Curry, watch our CBN News interview below:

posted @ Wednesday, January 07, 2015 4:46 PM | Feedback (1)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Iraq Christians Safe Once Mosul is Liberated?

ERBIL, Iraq -- Christians who fled villages near Mosul this past summer have yet to return to their homes. They joined more than a million other Iraqis who fled for Kurdistan this past summer after Islamic State fighters overran their once peaceful neighborhoods.

Though Kurdish Peshmerga fighters forced ISIS jihadiist (called Daesh in Arabic) from the Christian towns, it is not safe for the Christians to return at this time because as long as ISIS controls the Iraqi city of Mosul, they'll remain within range of mortar fire.

That's what I was told today during my interview with Hemen Hawrami, the head of the Kurdistan foreign relations office.

Hawrami said it took a while for his government to adapt the tactics necessary to fight "a terrorist organization." But now, the Kurdish Pehmerga has ISIS on the run and security in Kurdistan is stable.

One major area of northwestern Kurdistan still remains under ISIS control. Which one is it? Hawrami explains in the clip below:

And what about Mosul? Will the Pesshmerga act soon to liberate Iraq's second largest city from ISIS? Watch his answer here:

Watch for more from this articulate Kurdish government spokesman in my next blog report, including the latest information about undelivered U.S. weaponry and what the recent oil deal with Baghdad may mean for the Kurdish people.

posted @ Thursday, December 11, 2014 3:46 PM | Feedback (0)

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Should We Spank Our Children?


Photo courtesy Swedish Institute

Spare the rod, spoil the child. Remember that saying?

It seems a growing number of countries around the world prohibit the corporal punishment of children.

At last count--according to the Swedish Institute--43 nations have now made it illegal. It says people in 194 countries think spanking a child is wrong. Thirty-five years ago, Sweden became the first country to prohibit spanking.

SI reports that 90 percent of the world's kids live in countries where physical violence against them is allowed.

While most of us would agree that children should not suffer physical abuse, what about spanking?

Christians and Jews may prefer to follow the wisdom of the Book of Proverbs:

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.
--Proverbs 13:24

Good advice, or an antiquated practice that should no longer apply in 2014?

What do you think?

Watch the Swedish Institute video below:

posted @ Tuesday, December 02, 2014 9:26 AM | Feedback (5)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebrating Terror in Jerusalem

Break out the baklava and other sweets. Four Jews, three of them Americans, were massacred as they prayed in their Jerusalem synagogue!

Praise be to allah and praise to the glorious shaheed (martyrs)! That should teach those Zionist occupiers for desecrating the sacred al-Aqsa Mosque compound (The Temple Mount).

That is how some Palestinians responded Tuesday as most of the world mourned the senseless slaughter of four innocent rabbis.

Watch how they celebrated in Gaza:

 

President Obama condemned the terror attack and called on the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority to calm tensions. However, the U.S. president still believes Israel must negotiate a peace agreement with Hamas--the same "peace partner" that praised the slaughter at the synagogue.

Join me in praying and grieving today for the lost lives. 

I pray not only for the families and friends of the four rabbis, but also for the families of the two Palestinian terrorists.

As Jesus said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."  Luke 23:24.

And shame on elected Palestinian leaders who continue to praise the death of innocent civilians and propagate violence as the pathway to peace.

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter."

--Isaiah 5:20

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:22 AM | Feedback (2)