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.
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.
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.
Voting their values.
Why Christians across the UnitedStates are being encouraged to
vote not just for a politicalparty but for support of
And welcome to this week'sedition of Christian World News,
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
If the agreement holds it couldmean peace for the first time in
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
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
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
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
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
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
What was it like for Christianswho lived in this majority
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
He's been elected to one ofthe nation's highest posts.
And as my colleague LucilleTalusan details, here's the
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
This week he was sworn in, eventhough some Muslims tried to
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
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
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.
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
I know we've been reportingabout the relaxation of the laws
and some of the, you know,the ability for the church to
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
I know Muslims were not toohappy about his, about his...
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
Which is incredible...
It would be, wouldn't it.
...for that to happen.
Well, thank you and thanksfor your insights on both the
...in both places.
Thank you as always, Gary.
Well, security forces inShiraz, Iran, raided a private
home and arrested sevenChristians for holding a prayer
Christian Solidarity Worldwidesays authorities are carrying
out a massive campaign ofharassment against Christians of
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
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
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.
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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
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.
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
That's her message tovoters during this "Vote His
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.
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
And Evans is quick to pointout God is neither Democrat nor
He's the consummate independentbecause he only votes for
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
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."
Graham also urged voters to prayAmerica remains one nation under
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
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.
News you want, whenyou want, 24 seven.
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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
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
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
Villages will hold thousands ofceremonies, the majority of them
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
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
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
Each year some 10 million girlsare married before they turn 18.
The practice is most common inAfrica, the Middle East, and
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
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
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
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
Well, here's somethingyou don't often see in the
Muslim-dominated Middle East.
This is a prayer video of amassive prayer gathering called
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
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.
From all of us here at ChristianWorld News, until next week,
good-bye and God bless you.