A shootout between militia groups which began Sept. 5 apparently has totally wiped out Church Missionary Society work in the northeast Congo town of Nyankunde. However, MAF planes were able to evacuate Mission personnel the next day, after "tough negotiations" with the rebels and the tribal militiamen. Doctors, nursing and administrative staff fled on foot through the heavy forest.
The massacre reportedly took place when militiamen from the Ngiti tribe and rebel soldiers of the national army started shooting at Hema militiamen from Nyankunde on September 5. News of the massacre was learned only when survivors fleeing the area arrived on foot in Bunia, about 27 miles away.
"Fighting escalated into general mayhem and more than 100 people are thought to have died, but it has been impossible to count the bodies," Assist News Service reported.
Mission Insider News
Persecution Project Foundation completed an emergency relief intervention in Western Upper Nile (W.U.N.) initiated on September 1, in response to desperate appeals from church leaders. The relief mission involved 7 flights and the distribution of more than 70,000 pounds of lifesaving supplies, including blankets, mosquito nets, tarps, cooking pots, jerri-cans, salt, soap, sorghum, hi-protein unimix, groundnuts, medicine, Bibles, hymnals and other emergency supplies. The supplies included 4.5 tons sent by Samaritan's Purse of Boone, North Carolina.
"More than 250,000 people from Mayom County were displaced into eastern Bahr el Gazahl and northern Upper Nile last month. Sixty thousand people, from among those displaced, flocked to our distribution center in Western Upper Nile," said Brad Phillips, speaking for the foundation.
"I have never seen more human need concentrated in one area than I have during this intervention. when you see so many babies dying because entire families were forced to flee from their homes it really brings home the cruel reality of the oil-fueled jihad," Phillips added.
More than 1,500 civilians were killed by radical Islamist forces during aerial and ground attacks which displaced more than 250,000 people in W.U.N. PPF's team confirmed an additional 1,000 persons had drowned in the Bahr al Gazahl River as they attempted to flee Sudan Government forces.
Brad Phillips may be contacted at Brad@persecutionproject.org, or call 540-341-8578.
There is just cause to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, Richard Land declared in comments to Baptist Press Sept. 9. Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, listed a number of reasons why military action, as envisioned by President Bush against Hussein's Iraqi regime, would be justified under "Just War" ethical standards. Among them:
• Saddam Hussein is developing at breakneck speed weapons of mass destruction he plans to use against America and her allies.
• He has broken all agreements that were a condition of the cease fire in the Gulf War, including allowing arms inspectors in his country.
• The U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11. This was an act of war and there is a direct line from those who attacked the U.S. back to the nation of Iraq.
• Saddam Hussein attempted to assassinate President George Bush, the 41st president of the U.S.
Said Land, "If you are looking for just cause, we have already passed that threshold."
India's Dalits-those outside of the caste system-continue to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ after an event last year when thousands of Dalits publicly renounced their Hindu faith and embraced Buddhism. Rochunga Pudaite of Bibles for the World recently returned from India where one of the organization's missionaries recently led 100 people to Christ. "All of the converts who wanted to be baptized had to produce a certificate from the district magistrate stating that they had become followers of Jesus Christ entirely on their own will, without force or inducement," Pudaite says. "All of these people have produced that."
"It looks like [becoming Buddhists] is not really meeting our needs," said a Dalit spokesman. "We need something more than what Buddhism offers." Pudaite added: "We are facing the greatest opportunity that we are ever going to have in India."
Mission Network News
via HCJB World Radio
In an instance of hypocrisy, the Sudanese National Islamic Front foreign ministry offered "condolences" to the American victims on the anniversary of September 11th attack-one day before one of the Khartoum regime's bombers attacked the demilitarized town of Lui, which includes the Samaritan's Purse hospital. Reports said 4 bombs were dropped on the town. There are no structures in Lui except the hospital, a church (damaged in a December 2000 attack and still under repair), a school, and grass huts. Neither casualties nor significant property damage were reported. Lui has no military significance whatsoever, according to the report, but the hospital serves an estimated 400,000 people, with patients often walking as long as fifteen days for medical care.
Similarly, Yabus in Southern Blue Nile was reportedly bombed heavily on September 9. According to aid organizations working in the Yabus area, 10 bombs were dropped, killing two children (ages four and seven) and wounding eight. The airport at Yabus is critical to the work of the very few aid organizations willing to work in this remote part of Sudan. If the airport is destroyed or rendered too dangerous, humanitarian aid will likely be halted or severely restricted.
Report from Ms4Freedom@aol.com, including report from Ken Isaacs,
international director of projects for Samaritan's Purse.
An ecumenical group of scholars issued a statement Sept. 5 arguing "Jews are in an eternal covenant with God," and renouncing "missionary efforts at converting Jews." The statement followed a statement a month earlier issued by some Jewish and Catholic leaders which claimed that efforts to evangelize the Jews are no longer "theologically acceptable."
The statements have articulated a theological position that represents a significant departure from historic, orthodox Christianity. "Evangelical Christians cannot assent to a diminished universal significance of Jesus as both a Jewish and gentile Messiah and Savior," said Gordon R. Lewis, professor of theology and philosophy at Denver Seminary. "The Jews need the atonement (because) there aren't any-Jew or gentile-who live faithfully by the Law. The Law is fulfilled only in Christ, and only through the atonement can we who cannot keep the Law be saved."
James Sibley, coordinator of Jewish outreach for the Southern Baptist Convention added that "while [the Old Testament] covenant [between God and Jews] is still in place, it in no way implies salvation. If it did, why would God send His Son to die this horrible death if it were not necessary?"
Some 35 million people in Bangladesh may be drinking arsenic-contaminated well water, according to a report circulated by World Bank. Health specialists speculate that arsenic-related causes could claim between 1 to 5 million lives. Arsenic is not eliminated by the body, so the effect is cumulative. The alternatives to tainted water require effort to educate villagers and purchase of new equipment. The estimate is based on tested wells, but most of the country's estimated 11,000,000 wells have not yet been tested.
Global News from World Pulse
In the wake of two more deadly terrorist attacks against Christian institutions in Pakistan in early August, government security officials are advising local church leaders to arm themselves for possible assaults by Muslim extremists. "It's their way of saying, ‘We cannot protect you. You will have to protect yourselves,'" one Christian leader said.
After the two attacks-at the Murree Christian School for missionary children on Aug. 5, killing 5 Pakistanis, and a grenade assault on Taxila Christian Hospital, in which 5 more Pakistani citizens died-the Islamabad government ordered token security protection by local police and army staff for Christian churches across the country during their regular worship services. "But this only went on for about two weeks," one church leader said. Security officials said it was "impossible" for the government to protect them all.
Churches have been urged to obtain gun licenses, hire and train guards, and instruct people how to respond in case of attack.
Compass via HCJB World Radio
Just before the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a poll by Barna Research indicated that 9 out of 10 Americans say the attacks had "no lasting impact" on their faith. That doesn't surprise John Myers with Life Action Revival Ministries. "People really don't have a fear of God," he says. "There's not a deep spiritual interest in most people that we talk with." Myers says if change is going to happen in America, it must begin at the local church level. "That's why our ministry's emphasis is revival in the individual heart of the believer, in the individual life of the church. Then the world is going to look on it and say, ‘Hey, there really is something different about Christians,' and they're going to have a desire to have that in their own life."
Mission Network News
According to a report from New Jersey.com, Cheryl Moore was recently saved from her debt, thanks to New Hope Baptist Church. The church's pastor, Frances Manning, discovered that many members of her congregation were "debtors instead of investors," so she decided to let her flock "follow the lead of several Baptist churches across the nation and step in."
The church sent out an appeal to its 400 members who responded by returning a total of $3,400 in donations. Moore was selected from among six applicants to be the first in the congregation to be "financially delivered." The church wrote a check for the total balance and closed her credit card account. The Hackensack church hopes to hold four debt revivals every year until all 400 members are debt-free.
Religion Today Summaries
The Religious Liberty Commission of World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) will lead the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church again this year. The event takes place Sunday, Nov. 10. WEA is working closely with Leith Anderson and the National Association of Evangelicals to maximize church and denominational involvement in this prayer event.
World Evangelical Alliance via
HCJB World Radiov