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Christian World News: October 19, 2012

On Christian World News, Oct. 19: Philippines, Muslim rebels hope for lasting peace with new deal; Indonesian Christian makes political history; Billy Graham, other leaders encourages voting biblical values; and more. Read Transcript


Today on Christian World News -

A time for peace.

A Muslim rebel group in thePhilippines signs a major deal

to end decades of war.

We'll tell you what it means forthis Christian nation in Asia.

Plus -

Making history in Indonesia.

This man holds the highestgovernment post ever won by a

Christian in that Muslim nation.

We'll tell you howhe beat the odds.

And -

Voting their values.

Why Christians across the UnitedStates are being encouraged to

vote not just for a politicalparty but for support of

biblical values.

And welcome to this week'sedition of Christian World News,

everyone.

I'm George Thomas.

My colleague WendyGriffith is on assignment.

Well, big news out of thePhilippines this week.

The government and the nation'slargest Muslim rebel group took

the first steps ever to creatinga lasting peace in the war-torn

southern Philippines.

If the agreement holds it couldmean peace for the first time in

40 years.

Gary Lane has the details.

Emotions ran high among severalMuslim groups during the peace

agreement signing ceremonywith the Philippine government.

After 16 years of talks andfailed agreements, negotiators

say this peace plan will endan Islamic insurgency in the

southern Philippines.

The peace pact creates a newIslamic political entity within

the Republic of the Philippines.

Philippine President Aquinoalso believes the agreement will

bring lasting peace tothe southern Philippines.

Join me in imagining a Mindanaofinally free from strife where

people achieve theirfullest potential.

Children who have had to witnessimmeasurable suffering will now

get to witness a harvest.

Families who once cowered infear of gunshots will now emerge

from their homes to a brightnew dawn of equity, justice and

peace.

The 40-year war between thegovernment and the MILF has

claimed more than 120,000 lives.

More than two millionpeople have been displaced.

When the soldiers bombedour mosque, my two brothers,

sister-in-law andnephew were killed.

I was also being harassed bysoldiers and that's why we

decided to flee.

We had to run and livein the evacuation center.

There, my baby gotsick with dengue fever.

She died because we didnot get any medical help.

Bishop Efraim Tendero isnational director of the

Philippine Council ofEvangelical Churches.

He says the peace agreement isGod's answer to many years of

prayer.

He calls on the church and thewhole nation to get involved to

help it succeed.

We need to pray that God willmove the government, the people

involved, and everyone.

Let's have that hope that therewill be continuous progress for

peace.

Jesus said that we needto love our neighbor.

And we call on our peopleto love our neighbor.

And the Bangsamoro nationwould be our neighbor.

And many believe a successfullyimplemented peace accord may not

only serve as a model for othersecessionist movements in the

Philippines, but alsothe entire world.

And Gary Lane joinsus for more analysis.

This is a big deal, I meanthey've been fighting for 40

years, the Moro [Islamic]Liberation Front.

They've been wanting anautonomous, a separate country,

they didn't get it.

What have theyagreed for instead?

Well, they've agreedto have autonomy there.

And the Philippine governmentwill still have some control

over their lives there, youknow, army, that kind of thing,

postal service, banking,coinage, that type of thing.

But it will be a separate area.

They will have their ownstate within the Philippines.

They've been fighting for aseparate country all this time.

Do you have a sense that theywill institute Islamic Sharia

law here?

Well, that's a verystrong possibility.

And what will that meanfor the Christians then?

Will the Christians besubjected to Sharia as well?

Will they be under Shariacourts and Sharia law?

That has to be worked out yet.

One of the people in theinterview was talking about, you

know, we were dealing withgunshots, we were dealing with

constant fear.

What was it like for Christianswho lived in this majority

Muslim part?

Well, it still is.

It's not a very good situationfor Christians there.

They are a minority.

They first came after the SecondWorld War down into this area.

They became farmers, they hadlarge plantations there, very

successful business people.

A lot of the Muslims were verypoor and they became jealous of

that and there was someoppression there and some

persecution, especially thosewho would go and share their

Christian faithwith the Muslims.

It'll be interesting to see howthis all plays out in the days

and months ahead.

Stick with us for a second.

I need to get your analysis onanother story we are...a big

story that we are going tocover here for a second.

A Christian politician has madehistory in the world's largest

Muslim nation.

He's been elected to one ofthe nation's highest posts.

And as my colleague LucilleTalusan details, here's the

story.

CBN News first told you aboutBasuki Purnama's bid for vice

governor of Jakartaback in September.

Despite opposition from Muslimgroups, he won that election,

becoming the first Christianto win such a high post in the

capital city.

This week he was sworn in, eventhough some Muslims tried to

prevent it.

Purnama's inauguration ceremonywas delayed by hardliners who

demonstrated in frontof the city council.

As vice governor, Purnama willhold important positions in

eight Islamic bodiesin the capital.

The hardliners believe Purnamais not capable of leading them

because he is Christian.

Religion is ourown private matter.

It's different in public.

I abide by the PancasilaFoundation that promotes the

acceptance of diversity byrespecting the identity of every

religion, ethnicity and group.

I abide by the constitutionand the unity of Indonesia as a

nation.

Purnama, who is also ethnicChinese, is known for his clean

and honest leadership.

Reformation that I'll be doingis enforcing transparency and

servanthood in what we'redoing as public officials.

Boas Panggabean is happyover Purnama's victory.

Purnama is born again.

I believe this is God's destinyfor him and he has responded to

his calling.

I am confident now that mychildren will have a good future

under his leadership.

He can even be the nextpresident of Indonesia!

Purnama may be facing a lotof pressure being the first

Christian vice governor in thecapital, but then again this is

a great opportunity for aChristian like him to bring the

much-needed reformsto this nation.

Lucille Talusan,CBN News, Jakarta.

Thanks, Lucille.

Gary Lane is back with us.

I mean this is historic.

Oh, it's very big.

I mean a Christian in themajority Muslim and he has such

a high post.

Tell us about thesignificance of that.

Well, that has neverhappened before in Indonesia.

And Christians, as youknow, are a minority there.

So this gives great hope tothem that the government will at

least listen to their concernsand they will have someone they

can go to, a sounding board.

For somebody like this torepresent in the highest levels

of government there, whatdoes it mean for the minority

Christians?

I know we've been reportingabout the relaxation of the laws

and some of the, you know,the ability for the church to

thrive.

What does it mean forthe believers there?

Well, I don't think it means anend to persecution because many

churches are still being shutdown there, Christians are

forced to worship in housechurches, and so forth.

But I think what it means is itencourages them: maybe others

will run for office, they willknow that they have a part of

this government, they areIndonesian too, that's what it

says.

I know Muslims were not toohappy about his, about his...

Some Muslims.

Yeah.

There is a radical elementwithin the country.

Do you get a sense thatIndonesia could ever become an

Islamic state per se?

No, but, you know, there areindications that there will be

more Christians coming alongbecause many Muslims are coming

to faith there in Christ.

And one prediction says maybeby 2030, 2035 it'll be a

Christian-majority nation.

Which is incredible...

It would be, wouldn't it.

...for that to happen.

Yes.

Well, thank you and thanksfor your insights on both the

Filipino story...

Very historic...

It is.

...in both places.

Thank you as always, Gary.

Well, security forces inShiraz, Iran, raided a private

home and arrested sevenChristians for holding a prayer

meeting recently.

Christian Solidarity Worldwidesays authorities are carrying

out a massive campaign ofharassment against Christians of

all denominations.

Meanwhile, five Christiansdetained in a raid eight months

ago are now facing trial.

Their alleged crimes includepropagation against the Islamic

regime and defaming Islamicholy figures through Christian

evangelization.

CSW chief executive MervynThomas says: "There appears to

be an increasing tendency bythe Iranian authorities to

characterize legitimatereligious activities as crimes

against the state.

In reality, people are beingharassed merely on account of

their faith."

The campaign targets not onlyChristians but members of the

Baha'i faith and otherreligious minorities.

Well, up next -

The party's over.

How Republicans and Democratsare being encouraged to forget

party loyalty and votefor biblical values.

CW news.org.

Your constant news sourceon the World Wide Web.

Find daily updateson the global church.

Watch the weekly broadcasts.

Also available in podcast.

Get in-depth insightsin our reporters blogs.

Your online news source forcomplete coverage of the global

church.

Today many people are askingwhat is the future for America?

I believe God created thiscountry to be an exceptional

nation with the divine purpose.

God has a plan not only for theredemption of mankind not only

for the people of Israel but forthe United States of America.

Get Pat Robertson's newest DVDteaching God's plan for America.

How to prepare forthe days ahead.

In it you'll discover howAmerica is built on a Christian

foundation.

How America became thegreatest country on earth.

And what we can do to see thefavor of God bless our land.

There's still an opportunityto enter in into a time of

unprecedented prosperity andnational blessing if we will

grasp hold of the plan Godhas for each one of us.

Pat Robertson's God'splan for America.

It's our gift to you whenyou join the 700 club.

Available now.

It began in a prayer meeting.

Where a covenant was made.

And grew into the most powerfuland prosperous nation the world

has ever known.

But has America brokenits covenant with God?

Can that covenant be renewed?

Does God still havea plan for America?

And welcome back toChristian World News.

Well, the U.S.

presidential electionis just weeks away.

Republican challenger MittRomney is seeking to unseat

President Barack Obama.

Many Christian leaders are alsocampaigning hard, but they're

not pushing a specificcandidate per se.

They're urging Christian votersinstead to rely on biblical

principles when theycast their vote.

Efrem Graham has that story.

With only weeks until the2012 presidential election, a

familiar name in politics ison a last minute campaign push.

We're talking aboutimportance in voting.

But Dr. Alveda King, niece ofDr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is

not supporting a specificcandidate or party.

The party is over.

This is not party time.

This is serious time, becauseAmerica needs to be fixed.

And there's a desire inmy heart to see that.

And so I say to people, when youlook at a ballot, vote for the

absolute best candidateon the ballot.

And for King, that candidateis the one who most reflects

biblical principles.

That's her message tovoters during this "Vote His

Principles" rally.

We can vote our values or wecan vote God's principles.

And God's principles are justso very clear and that actually

should transcendthe political party.

King isn't alone.

They say opposition to same-sexmarriage is the same as

opposition tointerracial marriage.

That is an insult tohuman intelligence.

It is a lie.

No Christian shouldsupport this.

Bishop E.W.

Jackson takes his messageto black church leaders,

challenging them to resistwhat he calls blind loyalties.

It's not about race,it's about righteousness.

It's not about party,it's about principle.

It's about voting in away that will please God.

That's what the ultimategoal ought to be.

A guide to achieving that goalcan be found in a new book

called "How ShouldChristians Vote?"

Its author is Tony Evans, pastorof Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

Church in Dallas, Texas.

If God is involved ingovernment, and God is the

author of government, and Goddetermines what is good and what

is evil, then he should beconsulted on all issues.

Before voting, Evans encouragesChristian voters to get out a

sheet of paper.

Write down an issue ofconcern in one column.

Where Democrats standin the next column.

Then, where Republicans stand.

And finally, what Godsays about the issue.

You vote for the party, theplatform, the candidate or the

policies that closest reflectsthe values of the kingdom of

God.

And Evans is quick to pointout God is neither Democrat nor

Republican.

He's the consummate independentbecause he only votes for

himself.

And he doesn't ride the backsof donkeys or elephants.

So the great tragedy todayis that we've reduced him to

partisan politics rather thanfrom a Christian perspective,

recognizing he's his ownking with his own kingdom.

And he makes his judgments basedon how consistent people are

with his rule.

And Pastor Evans says: "God'srule should rule how Christians

vote."

Nothing wrong withvoting values.

It's one of the three legitimateinfluences that can motivate

anyone in going into the polls.

Regent University's Dr. CharlesDunn says the bottom line is

everyone votes values, whetherthey vote party loyalty, a

specific issue, or candidate.

We all vote values.

We vote economic values.

We vote social values.

We vote religious values.

Efrem Graham, CBN News.

Great story, Efrem.

The Rev. Billy Graham is amongthose encouraging Americans to

vote their biblical beliefs.

He took out a full-page adin the Wall Street Journal.

Graham's advertisementreads in part:

"I urge you to vote for thosewho protect the sanctity of life

and support the biblicaldefinition of marriage between a

man and a woman."

Mr.

Graham also urged voters to prayAmerica remains one nation under

God.

Political experts say a pushto support biblical principles

usually appeals to theRepublican party and it's

unlikely to sway voters whoalready have made up their mind.

I personally am a Christianand like to vote based on my

biblical beliefs and myspiritual values, and I would

tend to vote for a candidatethat values that as well.

You're being very sneaky andinsidious about endorsing one

candidate withoutsaying the actual words.

And over the next few weeksGraham's ad will run in U.S.A.

Today and several othernewspapers in as many as a dozen

states.

Well, coming up next -

Here comes the bride, andshe's only eight years old.

Our cameras captured whatoutsiders rarely see: the

wedding ceremonies ofIndia's child brides.

Stay tuned for ourexclusive report after this.

CBNNews.com.

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Sure life is busy, but I found away to make a huge difference in

people's lives.

I guess you could say I'mchanging the world right here

from home.

I bring medical supplies, anddoctors to people in need, and

dig Wells so villagers can haveclean and safe water to drink.

I make it possible to preach thegospel in over 100 countries.

Including right here in America.

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Everyday CBN and I are makingthe world a better place.

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Hi good morning.

When you care,souls are set free.

When you give,lives are made new.

When you share,eternal life begins.

When we all come togetherto love, miracles happen.

In Northern Ireland, hundredsgathered to protest the

country's first abortion clinic.

Northern Ireland is theonly corner of the U.K.

that has not legalizedabortion on demand.

Marie Stopes Internationalis behind the new clinic.

It's a British charity thatalready operates similar clinics

in more than 40 countries.

The center plans to offer theabortion pill to women who are

less than nine weeks pregnantbut only if a doctor determines

they're at risk of death orlong-term health damage from the

pregnancy.

India is the child marriagecapital of the world.

The United Nations says morethan 40 percent of all child

marriages happen there, eventhough the practice is illegal.

Here's my exclusive reportfrom Rajasthan, India.

Rajasthan is the epicenterof India's child marriage.

More than half of the girlsborn in this state become child

brides before the age of 15.

The life of a childbride is very sad.

Prem Dabi is studying itsimpact on Indian society.

The moment she gets married,from a physical, mental,

emotional and educationalperspective, her life becomes

very challenging.

Most of India's rural poor liveon less than a dollar a day, so

marrying off a daughtermeans one less mouth to feed.

Dinesh Shur is avillage pastor.

Girls are seen as aliability and burden.

The girl's family is responsiblefor the paying the dowry, so the

longer they wait to get the girlmarried off the more they'll

have to pay the future in-laws.

April and May are popularmonths for marriages in

Rajasthan.

Villages will hold thousands ofceremonies, the majority of them

between minors.

Every year you'll see theimages of parents holding their

children, sometimes as young asfour or five years old, in their

lap as they get married.

India first introduced lawsagainst child marriage back in

1929, and back then the legalage for marriage was set at 12.

It was eventually increasedto 18 years old in 1978.

To evade the law, familieswill often perform marriages in

secret, usually late at night.

It's shortly after nine o'clockin the evening, very, very busy

streets as you can see.

But where we're going is intothe interior villages of this

part of Rajasthan.

Outsiders are rarely allowedto attend these ceremonies, let

alone film them.

Rajma Patel's parents made anexception giving us permission

to film their son, but onlythe night before his wedding.

I am becoming a mantomorrow (begins to laugh).

His parents insistthat he's 21.

But his friends told us offcamera that he's only 10.

His young face covered intraditional makeup, he wears a

special suit withflashing colored lights.

I want the youngsters in myvillage to follow my example.

The whole village spendsthe night before the wedding

drinking and dancing.

Under the influence of alcohol,these dance rituals become

sexually charged and oftenyou'll see young boys and girls

joining in.

It becomes a place to findpotential child suitors.

Our team isn't allowed to filmPatel's bride who is said to be

no more than eightor nine years old.

The parents always lieabout the child's age.

Families know what they aredoing is not right but because

of culture and economic reasons,the parents will marry their

children off at a young age.

CBN News is allowed, however,to film Veena Shur's wedding.

Hers is different.

It takes place during theday, which is very uncommon.

We've been preparing for thiswedding for nearly a year.

Veena is trying to look herbest as she prepares to teeter

down the aisle of her house.

I've invited the entire villageto come for this happy occasion.

But Veena isanything but happy.

In between combing her hair andputting on jewelry, she sobs

uncontrollably.

The family tries to console her.

We try to ask herwhy she's crying.

Why is she sad?

She refuses to talk.

She has no idea what it meansto be a wife, how to take care

of a family, but because thishas been forced upon her, she

has to go along with it.

I think she's a little scared.

Veena's family insiststheir daughter is 18.

But she looks seven or eight.

I also got marriedwhen I was very young.

She will adjust.

India is only one of manycountries where child marriage

is thriving.

Each year some 10 million girlsare married before they turn 18.

The practice is most common inAfrica, the Middle East, and

South Asia.

The girl is married then movesin with her husband's family.

She's not allowed to go toschool to get an education.

As soon as she reaches pubertyshe's expected to have children.

And the ripple effectsare devastating.

Research shows that girlbrides are more likely to:

Die during pregnancy andchildbirth Lose her child before

it's born Be infected with HIVHave three or more births, and

Undergo multiple abortions.

Back in the village, Veena'ssoon-to-be husband arrives in a

bus with his side of the family.

Wearing a special crown withflashing lights, he joins a

procession of villagers makingtheir way to the bride's home.

His face is partially coveredby a multi-colored mask that

he'll wear until theceremony is over.

He too looks very young, but hisfamily insists he's above the

legal age of marriage.

I am ready to be a husband.

Veena is finally readyto make her appearance.

But instead of walking down thefamily courtyard where guests

are awaiting her arrival, shehas to be carried in by her

father.

Weak and exhausted, she'sovercome with emotions.

She sobs through thetwo-hour ceremony.

It is heartbreaking to watch.

These are children, littlechildren, getting married!

And you may be asking thequestion, what are Christians

doing?

Well, they are taking astand against child brides.

There are churches that aretrying to educate these rural

communities about thedangers and also the horrible

implications of having smallgirls and boys married off at

such a young age, and in theprocess trying to share the

gospel with these folks.

Well, we'd like to hearyour thoughts on this story.

Log on to our Christian WorldNews Facebook page, leave your

comments and share thisstory with your friends.

We'll be back right after this.

Hi this is Pat Robertson.

This is an important timein the history of America.

It's an important timein the history of CBN.

And what you do is sovery important now.

We've got to get the gospel outhere in America we've got to

help the poor and the needyfeed those who are hungry clothe

those who are naked bringmedical attention to those who

are suffering and more thananything bring hope to those who

are without hopethroughout the world.

So your 700 club membershipmakes a huge difference but I

ask you go to your phone andcall if you haven't already

called.

We appreciate what you've doneso much don't slack we don't

want our hands to be empty.

We want to say Lord here arethose who have come to you

because of my labors.

Telephones are availabletoll-free line and we just thank

God for each one of you so don'thesitate to call and do it now.

When you give,smiles grow bigger.

When you care homes are happier.

When you comfort,the hurt goes away.

When we all come togetherto love, miracles happen.

Christian world news.

Your window intothe global church.

For stories of revival,persecution, and the impact of

Christian leaders watchChristian world news.

And finally on thebroadcast this week -

Earlier this month EgyptianChristians gathered for an

urgent time of prayer andfasting, seeking God's

protection from the risinginfluence of Islam on Egyptian

society.

Well, here's somethingyou don't often see in the

Muslim-dominated Middle East.

This is a prayer video of amassive prayer gathering called

"One Thing."

Ten thousand Egyptian Christianyouth united in the desert for

praise, prayer and worship.

They gathered eachday from 10 a.m.

until 10 p.m.

Some traveled hundreds of milesfrom southern Egypt to attend.

An estimated two million peoplearound the world watched the

event on-line.

Please continue to pray for thefolks in Egypt and around the

world, those who are sufferinggreatly for their faith.

I hope you've enjoyedour broadcast this week.

That's all.

From all of us here at ChristianWorld News, until next week,

good-bye and God bless you.

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