Category Archives: Christian News

New York University, Jerome Cohen and ChinaAid, Bob Fu Release Joint Statement Regarding the Spyware Controversy

MIDLAND, Texas, Dec. 9, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — JOINT

SETTLEMENT STATEMENT regarding the Spyware Controversy.

Signed by Rev. Bob Xiqiu Fu, Heidi Bochun Cai, ChinaAid and Professor Jerome Cohen, New York University.

China Aid and its President, Reverend Bob Fu, Professor Jerome Cohen and New York University are all pleased to announce that they have resolved a misunderstanding related to their successful efforts to bring the blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng to the United States in May 2012.

Professor Cohen and NYU have confirmed that, contrary to media reports, an iPad and iPhone given to Mr. Chen by China Aid contained no software designed to monitor communications or spy on Mr. Chen.  Professor Cohen and NYU regret that media reports may have had any negative impact on Bob Fu, his wife Heidi Cai, or China Aid. Reverend Fu and China Aid recognize the important contributions of Professor Cohen to the cause of human rights in China and believe that his and NYU’s statements in connection with this matter were made in good faith based on a misunderstanding of technology.

All of the parties reaffirm their common support for the human rights of the Chinese people.

Signed by:

Rev. Bob Xiqiu Fu

Main Building NYU pict 1900 (Drucker/Archive/)

Main Building NYU pict 1900 (Drucker/Archive/) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

China Aid Association

Professor Jerome Cohen
New York University

 

Trinity Broadcasting Network Statement on the Passing of TBN Founder Dr. Paul Crouch

English: TBN World Headquarters, offers a vari...

English: TBN World Headquarters, offers a variety of activities and tours to an estimated ***** visitors each year. Virtual Reality Theater, home of “The Revolutionary”, an original motion picture, filmed entirely on location in Israel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Passing of TBN Founder Dr. Paul Crouch

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – Trinity Broadcasting Network issued the following statement on the passing of TBN founder and President Dr. Paul Crouch:

Dr.
Paul Crouch, founder and President of the Trinity Broadcasting Network
(TBN), the world’s largest Christian television network, died November
30th at the age 79. His passing followed a decade-long battle with
degenerative heart disease.

Dr. Crouch’s passion throughout life
was to spread the gospel, a passion that in 1973 led him and his wife
Jan to found TBN with one small low-power station in Southern
California. Under Dr. Crouch’s leadership of over forty years, TBN has
grown into 26 distinct global networks and affiliates, reaching every
inhabited continent with life-changing Christian programming.

During
that time Dr. Crouch also empowered scores of ministries to expand
their reach and influence through television, and through those
partnerships Dr. Crouch and TBN took an active role in helping to lead
tens of millions of individuals to faith in Christ. Throughout his life
Dr. Crouch pointed to that eternal harvest as his most important
legacy.

While acknowledged throughout the broadcast industry as
the foremost leader in Christian television, Dr. Crouch maintained a
characteristic modesty concerning his role, preferring to emphasize the
countless friends and partners who stepped alongside him and Mrs.
Crouch to make TBN a successful outreach. Above all, in reflecting on
his crucial role in TBN’s continued impact, Dr. Crouch inevitably
pointed to the importance of an undying faith in God, which he
characterized as “walking to the edge of all the light you have … and
taking one more step.”

While we mourn Dr. Crouch’s passing, we
are comforted with the knowledge that his influence and legacy will be
felt for many decades to come as the Trinity Broadcasting Network
continues to broadcast the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the
world.

Veteran’s Day Highlight: Has Medal of Honor Recipient Fr. Kapaun Been Found?

English: Roman Catholic Chaplain Emil J. Kapau...

English: Roman Catholic Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun, United States Army (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTA, Nov. 6, 2013 /Christian Newswire/
– As the country gets ready to celebrate our veterans, a senior
pentagon analyst responsible for locating the remains of Korean War
troops missing in action said there is a “better than even chance” that
the body of Medal of Honor recipient Father Emil Kapaun will be found
buried in a national cemetery in Hawaii, according to award-winning
journalist Roy Wenzl, coauthor of THE MIRACLE OF FATHER KAPAUN,
published by Ignatius Press.

In a recent story for The Wichita
Eagle
, “Pentagon analyst thinks there’s a chance the body of Emil Kapaun
could be found,” Wenzl wrote that friends of Kapaun’s who were
prisoners of war say

Chinese Army
guards buried Kapaun in a shallow unmarked grave after he died of
starvation and disease in a North Korean prison camp in May 1951. The
assumption since then by the Army has always been that Kapaun’s remains
are still there.

But Pentagon analyst Philip O’Brien, an
authority on Korean War soldiers missing in action, said he thinks
Kapaun’s remains may have been resting since 1954 in the National
Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
, the cemetery in Hawaii better known as
the “Punchbowl.” Hundreds of unknown soldiers and other veterans from
several wars lie there.

“My best belief, a presumptive belief,
is that we have a good chance, better than even, of having Father Kapaun
in possession right now,” O’Brien said.

You can read the entire story here:
www.kansas.com/2013/08/17/2948898/pentagon-analyst-who-tracks-down.html
.

Kapaun
posthumously received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in
April, nearly 60 years after he heroically gave his life as a POW in
the Korean War. The Vatican is also considering him a possible candidate
for Sainthood. In fact, Vatican officials just recently completed a visit to the United States in September to gather additional information.

Father
John Hotze, the Wichita Diocese priest in charge of the Kapaun
sainthood investigation for the Vatican, said finding Kapaun’s remains
would be significant news.

The Church would step in immediately and coordinate with the family to protect the remains from theft, relic hunters or any other harm, he said.

SEMINAR IN THE VATICAN ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Courtyard of the Casina Pio IV

Courtyard of the Casina Pio IV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vatican City, 31 October 2013 (VIS) – “Trafficking in human beings: modern slavery. Destitute peoples and the message of Jesus Christ” is the title of the seminar which, following a wish expressed by Pope Francis, has been organised by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences, together with the FIAMC (the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations). The seminar, which will take place from 2 to 3 November in the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV, will be attended by twenty-two participants from various countries and international organisations, including the Nigerian Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, United Nations special rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, and the Spanish doctor Professor Jose Antonio Lorente, scientific director of the Centro Pfizer – Junta de Andalucia Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research (GENYO) of the University of Granada, Spain.
The workshop aims “to establish the real state of this phenomenon and an agenda to combat this heinous crime. For example, the natural sciences today can provide new tools that can be used against this new form of slavery, such as a digital registry to compare the DNA of unidentified missing children (including cases of illegal adoption) with that of their family members who have reported their disappearance”, writes Bishop Marcelo Sanchez-Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences.
“No one can deny that ‘the trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights’, and is an accelerator of criminal profits in this new century. The Second Vatican Council itself observed that ‘slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, and disgraceful working conditions where people are treated as instruments of gain rather than free and responsible persons’ are ‘infamies’ which ‘poison human society’ … and constitute ‘a supreme dishonour to the Creator’”.
According to the recent UNODC Report on Trafficking, “the International Labour Organisation estimated that between 2002 and 2010 ’20.9 million people were victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation, 60% of whom are girls. Human organ trafficking reaches almost 1% of that figure, thus affecting around 20,000 people who are forced or deceived into giving up an organ, such as the liver, kidney, pancreas, cornea, lung and even the heart”.
“Some observers speculate that, within ten years, human trafficking will surpass drugs and weapons trafficking to become the most profitable criminal activity in the world”, reiterated Bishop Sanchez-Sorondo. “International sex trafficking is not limited to poor and undeveloped areas of the world – it is a problem in virtually every region of the globe. Countries with large (often legal) sex industries create the demand for trafficked women and girls, while countries where traffickers can easily recruit provide the supply. Generally, economically depressed countries provide the easiest recruitment for trafficking”.
He concluded by recalling that, during the canonisation of the Mexican saint, Guadalupe Garcia Zavala, Pope Francis said that the work the saint carried out with the poor, the abandoned, the sick and the marginalised, “taught us this behaviour: not to feel ashamed, not to fear, not to find ‘touching Christ’s flesh’ repugnant. … Pope Francis’ words are a clear reaction, following Jesus Christ’s message, to this new form of contemporary slavery which constitutes an abhorrent violation of the dignity and rights of human beings”.

THE COUNCIL OF CARDINALS: A NEW CONSTITUION FOR THE CURIA

Pope Benedictus XVI

Pope Benedictus XVI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vatican City, 3 October 2013
(VIS) – The reform of the Curia and the attribution of of more incisive
role to the laity were among the principal themes considered yesterday
afternoon and this morning in the meeting of the Council of Cardinals,
instituted by the Pope to assist him in the governance of the Church,
said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi
S.J., in a briefing with journalists.

Before commenting on
the issues discussed by the cardinals, Fr. Lombardi referred to the
words of the Pope at the end of the audience with participants in the
meeting held to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of John XXIII’s
encyclical, “Pacem in terris”, in which he recalled the victims,
currently numbered at 90, of the shipwreck this morning near the Italian
island of Lampedusa. “In the light of this new tragedy”, he said, “we
understand more clearly the value and meaning of the first trip of
Francis’ pontificate”.

Moving on to the work of the Council of Cardinals, he
stated that the Pope was present yesterday in the afternoon session,
held between 4 and 7 p.m. “The Holy Father goes to pray at the Chapel at
seven o’clock, and that is the end of their collaboration, although the
the cardinals may join him together, if they see fit. This morning he
was not present as he received in audience the participants in the
meeting organised by the Pontifical Council ‘Justice and Peace’”.

The cardinals worked principally on the reform of the
Curia. “The direction of their work would not indicate an updating of
the apostolic Constitution ‘Pastor Bonus’, with retouches and marginal
modifications”, explained Lombardi, “but rather, a new constitution with
significant new aspects. It will be necessary to wait a reasonable
amount of time following this Council, but the idea is this. The
cardinals have made it clear that they do not intend to make cosmetic
retouches or minor modifications to ‘Pastor bonus’”.

The intention of the cardinals is to emphasise the nature
of the service on the part of the Curia and the universal and local
church “in terms of subsidiarity, rather than the exercise of
centralised power. The intended direction would be to put this into
practice in the service of the Church in all her dimensions”.

Another important theme was the nature and functions of
the Secretariat of State, which “should be the secretariat of the Pope;
the word State should not give rise to doubt. This body serves the Pope
in the governance of the universal Church. The meeting of the Council is
very useful at the moment, in view of the directions the Pope will give
to the new Secretary of State, who will assume his role shortly, on 15
October”.

Again in relation to
the Curia, the Council will address the matter of relations between the
heads of the dicasteries and the Pope, and co-ordination between the
various bodies. “In this context, mention was made of the role of a
‘Moderator Curiae’ (moderator for the Curia), and the functions of such a
figure. The issue was touched upon but no decision has been made as to
whether it will form part of the new constitution; however, it is in
fact one of the hypotheses suggested by the Council”.

With regard to a
possible reorganisation of the administration of temporal goods, the
cardinals touched upon this matter but without exploring the theme in
depth, since they are awaiting the “reports of the referring commissions
on the matter, who will communicate the results of their work [to the
Council]”.

The question of the laity merited “significant attention”
from Council members, as they had received many suggestions and
questions on this subject from their various areas of origin. “When
dealing with the reform of the curia and its institutions, the Council
also plans to give more specific attention to issues relating to the
laity, so that this dimension of the life of the Church is properly and
effectively recognised and followed by the governance of the Church. Now
there is a Pontifical Council for the Laity, but it is still possible
to think of ways of strengthening this aspect”.

This morning, in view of the preparations for the next Synod, debate on the matter was reopened.

Finally, Lombardi
said that yesterday no date had been set for the next meeting of the
Council, although mention was made of a meeting in spring next year, of
an informal nature. “The intention”, he concluded, “is to continue,
without waiting for too long. Also, it would be incorrect to assume that
nothing happens between one meeting and another; the cardinals and the
Pope continue to exchange opinions and messages, even in the absence of a
plenary meeting of the Council”.

Non-Catholics testify in support of MOH soldier Kapaun’s sainthood – Army – Stripes

English: Roman Catholic Chaplain Emil J. Kapau...

English: Roman Catholic Chaplain Emil J. Kapaun, United States Army (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article from the military newspaper Stars and Stripes gives us an interesting update on the effort to have Korean War Chaplain Emil Kapaun declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

It was just earlier this year that  Kapaun was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War. Actions which cost him his life. Here at Faith That Inspires Action I did a review earlier this year of The Miracle of Father Kapaun, an excellent book on his life.

Non-Catholics testify in support of MOH soldier Kapaun’s sainthood – Army – Stripes.

World’s Smallest Lord’s Prayer Attempt Uses a Laser Beam

ALLENTOWN, Penn., Sept. 25, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – An Allentown, Pennsylvania holographer has applied to the Guinness World Record organization for what he proposes to be the world’s smallest Lord’s Prayer. Its size is the width of a single human hair, or 100 microns in diameter. The resulting microscopic prayer was created with a beam of light from a laboratory laser.

Scientists, engravers and hobbyists have been making the Lord’s Prayer smaller and smaller since the mid- 19th century. It has been written on a single grain of rice, on the head of a pin, and now on a laser hologram.

It was shown to the general public for the first time at the New York Hall of Science on September 21, 2013. “My biggest surprise was meeting youth who had never even heard of the Lord’s Prayer” said Frank DeFreitas. “They were seeing it and reading it, for the very first time, on a beam of light from a laser.”

It can take up to twelve weeks for Guinness to research whether any other successful attempts have been made that are smaller. They will then determine whether the “world’s smallest” designation process will proceed with next steps.

DeFreitas states “I believe that my 30 years in the field of laser holography have been in preparation for this one calling: the creation of the world’s smallest Lord’s Prayer.”

web site: holoworld.com

Pastor of Church in Damascus: 40 Percent of Congregation Has Fled the Country

St Ananias Church in the Christian section of ...

St Ananias Church in the Christian section of Bab Touma in Old Damascus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Relief Work Continues; Many Are Coming Closer to the Lord

SANTA ANA, Calif., Sept. 17, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — “The situation is very grim. There is deep sadness and much stress and anxiety.”

That is the summary pastor Edward from Damascus gives on the situation in the Syrian capital. According to him, approximately 40 percent of the members of his church have left the country since the civil war in Syria started two-and-a-half years ago.

Imagine if four of every 10 members of your church left in such a short period. That means a major loss for every congregation. That is the reality churches in Syria now face as the example from Damascus shows. People that have the financial means and the contacts abroad often leave the war-torn country.

Pastor Edward knows that in his church some members still are waiting for the opportunity to leave Syria, too. “They are still trying to find a place to go.”

However, all the people that left didn’t leave the church services empty. “No, we see new people coming to church,” states Edward. “Many of the families that we visit and help with a monthly food supply come to our services now.”

Although there is no fighting going on in the central area of Damascus, in several suburbs fighting is a daily reality. No one can escape from the distant sound of explosions and shooting.

“It seems that there is no end in sight. Christians are like all other people concerned for their safety and the future of their children,” says Edward.

In a way life goes on for many people in Damascus. People who work in the public sector still go to work. “But their income is worth less and less as the Syrian pound lost 75 percent of its value which has caused huge inflation,” notes Edward.  “After two-and-a-half years most people are suffering economically and are traumatized emotionally.”

The pastor also mentions “a brighter side.”  He says that “church people are closer to the Lord and to each other.”

Relief Work to Displaced Families Making Impact

“The relief work through our Church is still going on,” he continues. “It is becoming more difficult because of the higher risk and the unavailability of materials. In some cases it takes us a couple of weeks to get some of the items for the food packages. But thank God we have committed people who are still doing the job and the relief package is still one of the very few good things that many displaced families receive. The visiting teams are still doing their wonderful work in personally touching the pain of many families and offering some physical and emotional support.”

The pastor is thankful for the support for the relief work through his church in partnership with Open Doors. “Thank you so much for your prayers and concern; we as the church in Syria appreciate your help and support.”

Pastor Edward wants to stay in Syria.

“My wife and I have a deep sense of peace and we both believe that this peace is a gift from God so we can stay in the country to encourage our people and to relieve some of the suffering. We strongly see the hand of God in the church and with the church, which makes us want to stay. We believe that God will help us overcome the challenges that come on our way. We have a strong sense of responsibility and see it as a privilege to stay at such times in the country. Although we go through low times and some struggles, we trust the sovereign hand of God and His goodness.”

For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

SAT-7 Films from Egyptian Church Burned in Recent National Violence

Pastor Calls Destruction of Church ‘Small Price to Pay’ to Speak the TruthEASTON, Md., Sept. 12, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ – The burned remains of the Evangelical Church of Beni Mazar in Minia, Egypt, one of more than 80 Egyptian churches targeted by violent pro-Morsi demonstrators in August, was the onsite venue of SAT-7‘s Sunday, Sept. 9, broadcast.

Photo: Only a charred hull remains of the Evangelical Church of Beni Mazar in Minia, Egypt, following pro-Morsi attacks of arson and looting on this and at least 80 other churches. SAT-7 filmed their Sept. 9 broadcast of a worship service here, where the pastor called its destruction a “small price to pay” to speak the truth.  

The special episode of SAT-7′s My Church program aired footage of Egyptian Christians worshipping in the burned-out remains of their church. [Click here to see footage from the church service.]

“The ‘church’ is not walls and buildings,” said Hany Jacque, pastor of the Beni Mazar Church. “The ‘church’ is us, the people of God. This is a small price to pay for us to speak the truth.”

On Aug. 14, angry rioters broke into the church building, looting, vandalizing and setting fire to it for seven hours. Furniture was stolen, windows were broken, and Bibles and other Christian books were set ablaze. The rioters also looted and burned the church’s adjacent community services building, which provided medical and financial assistance to residents of Beni Mazar, regardless of their religious preference.

The arson attack was part of widespread chaos that engulfed Egypt when President Mohamed Morsi was removed from office this summer. Following six weeks of pro-Morsi protester occupation of public squares, deadly violence broke out on Aug. 14 as the army moved in to disburse them. Some of the protesters began acting on their promises of retribution against the army, police, liberals and specifically Coptic Christians. Christian organizations and properties were targeted.

Amid the remains of a charred hull and crumbling interior, with singed wires hanging from the ceiling, SAT-7 filmed Beni Mazar congregants filling the desecrated building with songs of praise and words of Scripture. As they joined hands in prayer, a church leader declared, “God’s glory in the midst of the ‘church’ is a sign for what is coming in the land of Egypt.”

In his sermon, Jacque called for forgiveness for the rioters, referring to the forgiveness Jesus extended from the cross to his attackers. “They burned and destroyed the building, but the ‘church’ will remain forever.”

“It is evident that the almost universally nonviolent response to this collective worst assault on Christians in Egypt for almost 600 years has greatly impressed many Muslims,” said Dr. Terence Ascott, SAT-7 chief executive officer. “This has been a very public ‘turning of the other cheek’ by the Christians of Egypt and a very public act of obedience to Jesus’ injunction for his followers to ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’” (Matt. 5:44).

SAT-7 is committed to sending Christ’s message of hope and reconciliation throughout the Arabic world. To contribute to additional SAT-7 filming in rural areas of Egypt to raise awareness and promote reconciliation, visit www.sat7usa.org.

Since 1996, SAT-7 has brought quality Christian television programming via satellite to more than 15 million viewers throughout the Middle East and North Africa. With international headquarters in Cyprus and five channels, SAT-7 broadcasts in Arabic, Farsi and Turkish, enabling viewers to join a global fellowship of Christians within the privacy of their own homes. Audience Relations Specialists are available throughout these regions to counsel and pray with viewers. For more information, visit www.sat7usa.org.

Middle East Christians Hosts Rally on Sept. 7, Against US Intervention in Syria

Coat of arms of Syria -- the "Hawk of Qur...

Coat of arms of Syria — the “Hawk of Qureish” with shield of vertical tricolor of the national flag, holding a scroll with the words الجمهورية العربية السورية (Al-Jumhuriyah al-`Arabiyah as-Suriyah “The Syrian Arab Republic”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — A Coalition comprising the Coptic Solidarity International, the World Maronite Union, and the Middle East Christian Committee, as well as several Middle East Christian organizations unequivocally oppose a US military intervention in Syria without a strategy to crumble the regime and defeat the Jihadists at the same time. The coalition also opposes aid sent to Islamist groups claiming to be the opposition in Syria. As shown by polls, the vast majority of Americans support this view.

To send a strong message against these actions, the groups are hosting a rally on Saturday Sept. 7, at 2:00 to 4:00 PM, in front of the White House Main Gate ( at Pennsylvania Ave).

While the loss of life due to the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria is mourned, there are conflicting reports as to whether rebel groups or the Assad regime used them. The world awaits the results of the UN inquiry, led by Swedish Dr. Ake Sellstrom, to reveal more details regarding the attack. The only conceivably justifiable reason to enter Syria is to locate and remove chemical weapons. Coptic Solidarity and the Middle East Christian groups also urges the UN to provide safe zones to civilian populations immediately, as a reported 100,000 Syrians have already perished in the war.

All parties in Syria including the Assad Regime, and rebel groups such as the Islamist components of the Syrian Free Army and Al — Nursa front, have committed grave human rights abuses against the Syrian people. Right now, the Islamist-backed rebel groups are the best organized, funded, and armed of all the rebel factions. They have made clear that there will be no room for religious or political minorities should they come to power. Women’s rights will certainly be demolished as sexual violence against women has been rampant and committed by all armed groups. Many thousands of Christians and other minorities have fled to save their lives. According to the UNHRC, this is the largest refugee crisis since Rwanda, and an estimated 2 million Syrians are currently refugees.

The United States government should not choose the side of Jihadists or the Assad regime in Syria. US misguided policies before the withdrawal of Iraq and since 2011 in Egypt have resulted in the deaths of many Christians and members of religious minorities, destruction of countless churches and Christian institutions, and the emigration of many thousands of Christians who are no longer safe in their homelands. This is due to the rise of Islamists and an effort to enforce a hegemonic Sunni fundamentalist order throughout the region. Qatar is believed to be the main financial backer of Syrian Islamist militias, pursuing this strategy. US taxpayers do not want their funds used to support a completely foreseeable genocide in Syria, should the Islamists come to power with the military and financial aid of the US.

Coptic Solidarity and the Mideast Christian groups call for the protection of Christian and other minorities in Syria, for the establishment of a new government freed from the Baathist regime, Iranian influence and above all Muslim Brotherhood, Salafist and Jihadist dominance.

We call upon all individuals who care about religious, political, and womens rights to join us in the rally.

Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt.

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