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Jerusalem Dateline: 12/02/16 Is Terror Arson Behind Savage Fires In Israel?

This week on Jerusalem Dateline: fires rage in Israel -- is terror arson to blame? And international groups, U.S. firefighters rally to help; plus Jerusalem evangelical church attacked by Muslims; and did the U.S. create ISIS? Read Transcript


Chris: THIS WEEK ON

"JERUSALEM DATELINE,"

ISRAEL SUFFERS SOME OF THE

WORST FIRES IN ITS

HISTORY.

THESE ARE THE MOST

SEVERE FIRES THAT HAVE

TAKEN PLACE ACROSS THE

COUNTRY IN FOUR MAJOR

AREAS.

Chris: CHRISTIAN

HUMANITARIAN GROUPS AND

AMERICAN FIREMEN RUSH IN

TO HELP.

PLUS, MUSLIM MILITANTS

STRIKE AN EVANGELICAL

CHURCH IN THE HEART OF

JERUSALEM.

PLUS, A LOOK AT THE

ORIGINS OF ISIS, THE MOST

BRUTAL ISLAMIC TERROR

GROUP OF OUR TIME.

> HELLO, AND WELCOME TO

THIS EDITION OF "JERUSALEM

DATELINE."

I'M CHRIS MITCHELL.

THIS WEEK WE'RE COMING TO

YOU FROM INSIDE THE

COMFORT OF OUR JERUSALEM

STUDIO.

OUTSIDE, THE FIRST MAJOR

RAINSTORM OF THE YEAR IS

GIVING ISRAEL SOME

MUCH-NEEDED RAIN.

IT IS WELCOME SINCE FOR

NEARLY A WEEK MAJOR FIRES

SPREAD ACROSS ISRAEL

RECENTLY, SCORCHING

HUNDREDS OF HOMES.

ISRAELI OFFICIALS TOLD CBN

NEWS ARSON CONTRIBUTED TO

A MAJORITY OF THOSE

BLAZES.

WHILE ACROSS ARABIC SOCIAL

MEDIA, MANY CELEBRATED THE

DESTRUCTION.

BUT HELP ALSO CAME FROM A

NUMBER OF COUNTRIES AND

ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING

CBN'S "OPERATION BLESSING"

INTERNATIONAL.

THE SCOPE OF THE FIRES HAS

BEEN ENORMOUS.

WITH MORE THAN 75,000

ISRAELIS EVACUATED FROM

THEIR HOMES.

THE FIRES HAVE DESTROYED

NEARLY A THOUSAND

DWELLINGS AND SCORCHED

MORE THAN 10,000 ACRES.

THESE ARE THE MOST

SEVERE FIRES THAT HAVE

TAKEN PLACE ACROSS THE

COUNTRY IN FOUR MAJOR

AREAS.

Reporter: ISRAEL

POLICE SPOKESMAN SAID

HAIFA WAS THE WORST HIT.

THERE WERE ALMOST SIX

FIRES IN THE CITY OF

HAIFA, AND THEREFORE WAS

SUSPICIOUS, WHICH LED US

TO BELIEVE AND CARRY OUT

OPERATIONS AND FIND MORE

THAN 23 SUSPECTS THAT WERE

INVOLVED IN FIRES.

Chris: THIS

SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE SHOWS

ONE ARSONIST CAUGHT IN THE

ACT.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

LABELLED MANY OF THE FIRES

RAVAGING ISRAEL ARSON

TERRORISM.

POLICE SAY THREE OF THE

FOUR MAJOR FIRES WERE

DELIBERATELY SET.

ARAB SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A

BIG PART.

THIS IS A PHASE WHICH

IS, UNFORTUNATELY,

IGNITING SOME OF THE

FIRES.

WE'VE SEEN SUSPECTS THAT

HAVE BEEN ACTIVE ON SOCIAL

MEDIA, PUTTING OUT

INFORMATION AND CALLING

UPON OTHERS TO CARRY OUT

AND START FIRES.

Chris: BUT SEVERAL

COUNTRIES SENT

FIREFIGHTING PLANES AND

EQUIPMENT TO DOUSE THE

FLAMES, WHILE OTHER

ORGANIZATIONS HELPED THE

PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED ON THE

GROUND.

EVERY TIME THERE IS AN

EMERGENCY, THERE ARE SOME

GAPS, LIKE SMALL HOLES WEn

CAN FIT IN AND HELP THE

FAMILIES.

Chris: DIEGO DIRECTS

"OPERATION BLESSING"

ISRAEL.

IN THE SMALL GAPS, WE

WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE

BLANKETS AND SOME SHOES.

TODAY WE'RE HEADING THERE

AGAIN AND DISTRIBUTING

SOME FOOD PACKAGES FOR THE

FAMILIES.

Chris: HE SAYS THE

FIRES SURPRISED MANY

FAMILIES.

THEY WERE REALLY

DEVASTATED.

THEY DIDN'T WANT TO TALK.

AND THEY WERE JUST SITTING

DOWN, GOING THROUGH SOME

OLD PICTURES, BURNED

PICTURES, BURNED BOOKS --

ALL YOUR MEMORIES.

YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE ANY

TIME TO ESCAPE.

SO IT WAS, LIKE, IN A

MATTER OF SECONDS, THE

HOUSE WERE ON FIRE BECAUSE

THE WINDS WERE SO STRONG.

Chris: HE SAYS THEIR

AIM IS TO HELP.

WE ARE HERE TO SERVE

THE COMMUNITY.

NO MATTER IF YOU'RE

CHRISTIAN, MUSLIM --

YOU'RE A HUMAN BEING, AND

YOU HAVE NEEDS AND YOU'RE

OUR BROTHER AND WE WANT TO

HELP YOU.

Chris: HELP NOT ONLY

CAME FROM GROUPS LIKE

"OPERATION BLESSING"

INTERNATIONAL, BUT FIREMEN

FROM THE UNITED STATES

ANSWERED THE CALL TO STAND

WITH ISRAELI FIREFIGHTERS.

IT TOOK AN ORGANIZATION

CALLED EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER

PROJECT TO BRING IT ALL

TOGETHER.

FOUR MAJOR FIRES SWEPT

THROUGHOUT ISRAEL.

THEY WERE DANGEROUS AND

DIFFICULT.

THEY WERE BAD.

THEY WERE BAD.

I'VE BEEN ON SOME WILD

LAND FOREST FIRES BACK IN

THE STATES.

AND THEY WERE JUST AS BAD

AS THESE.

IF YOU STAND IN FRONT

OF YOU, IT WILL BURN RIGHT

OVER YOU.

IF YOU TRY TO STAY BEHIND

IT, IT WILL GO OVER YOU.

AMAZING HOW ALL OF THE

AMERICAN PEOPLE STOOD

BEHIND ISRAEL WHEN WE MADE

THE CALL.

PROBABLY WITHIN SIX

HOURS WE HAD 39 PEOPLE

READY TO GO.

Chris: WHEN THEY

ARRIVED, THEY DEPLOYED

THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

YOU'VE GOT TO HIT THE

GROUND RUNNING.

AS SOON AS WE GOT HERE, WE

STARTED GOING ON THE CALLS

RIGHT AWAY.

WE WERE ABLE TO HELP OUT

WITH WILD LAND FIRES.

Chris: THEY CAME AS

PART OF A PROGRAM CALLED

EMERGENCY VOLUNTEER

PROJECT.

E.V.P.

THE GOAL OF THE PROJECT

IS TO FIND THE SUPPORTERS

OF ISRAEL THAT, ONE, HAVE

THEIR BOOTS ON THE GROUND

IN ISRAEL DURING CRISIS.

Chris: SOME CAME

DURING BIG MOMENTS IN

THEIR LIVES.

JUST BEFORE I CAME, I

PROPOSED TO MY GIRLFRIEND,

AND SHE IS NOW MY FIANCEE,

KATHLEEN HUMPHREYS, AND

WE'VE BEEN DOING WEDDING

PLANNING OVER THE PHONE.

Chris: FOR ISRAELI

FIREFIGHTERS, IT MEANT A

LOT TO SEE SO MANY COME.

IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD

FEELING FOR US TO KNOW

THAT SOMEONE OVERSEAS

CARES ABOUT US AND IS

THINKING ABOUT US AND ARE

PREPARED TO COME AND HELP

US.

Chris: E.V.P. VOLCANO

TEARV.P.VOLUNTEERS ALSO RESPONDED

IN THE 2014 CALL.

IT'S LIKE YOUR FAMILY.

THIS IS MY FAMILY AT WORK.

Chris: MANY OF THE

U.S. FIREMEN ARE

CHRISTIANS AND FEEL A CALL

TO STAND WITH ISRAEL.

FROM THE VERY

BEGINNING, I BELIEVE THAT

THAT GOD COMMANDS US TO

STAND BY THEM.

THAT WE ARE TO BE AN

ADVOCATE FOR ISRAEL.

WE'RE TO LOVE THEM.

MY FIRST TRIP HERE, I WAS

GIVEN A PROPHETIC WORD.

ISAIAH 40: "COMFORT MY

PEOPLE."

SO IT MEANS EVERYTHING TO

BE ABLE TO BE PART OF

THEIR LIVES.

Chris: IT IS A

RELATIONSHIP THAT IS

EXPECTED TO KEEP GROWING.

THIS IS NOT GOING TO

STOP.

WE LOVE BEING HERE.

THEY LOVE HAVING US HERE.

IT IS TRULY AN HONOR

FOR ME TO COME HERE AND BE

WITH THE GUYS HERE IN THE

FIRE STATION.

WHEN WE CALLED OUR

FRIEND AND WE ASKED FOR

THEIR HELP, THEY CAME.

AND THEY CAME BIG TIME.

Chris: WHEN YOU MEET

WITH THESE FIREFIGHTERS,

YOU REALIZE FIREMEN FROM

ALL OVER THE WORLD HAVE A

SPECIAL CAMARADERIE.

HERE IN JERUSALEM, A

DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRE

STRUCK AN EVANGELICAL

CHURCH.

IT APPEARS MUSLIM

MILITANTS DESTROYED THE

FACILITY WHERE THE CHURCH

HAS MET FOR THE LAST 10

YEARS.

THIS IS IT.

IT IS ALL STUFF -- THIS IS

IT.

Chris: MICHAEL

HILLSON AT LIVING BRIGHT

CHURCH RECORDED WHAT

HAPPENED.

MOST OF THE CHURCH

PROPERTY AND PERSONAL

BELONGINGS OF ITS PASTOR

WERE BURNED IN THIS

DUMPSTER.

EVERYTHING IS BURNED.

EVERYTHING.

IT WAS AN ACT, REALLY,

I FELT OF TERROR.

Chris: ON SATURDAY,

NOVEMBER 24th, MUSLIM

NEIGHBORS CAME INTO THE

BUILDING AND RANSACKED IT.

THEY DESTROYED

EVERYTHING INSIDE.

THAT DUMPSTER RIGHT THERE

IS FULL OF STONES.

THEY TOR TORE OUT THE FLOOR,

THEY PULLED OUT THE

WIRING.

Chris: THIS IS WHAT

THE CHURCH USED TO LOOK

LIKE.

THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

NOW.

YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN

THERE 10 YEARS OR LONGER.

IT'S JUST YOU'VE GOT

DIARIES WHERE YOU WRITE

DOWN WHAT GOD SAYS TO YOU,

BIBLES.

AND THEY BURNED ALL OF THE

PERSONAL STUFF.

Chris: THE ONES WHO

VANDALIZED AND SEIZED THE

CHURCH CLAIMED THE RENT

HAS NOT BEEN PAID AND THEY

HAVE BEEN TRYING TO EVICT

THE CHILDREN FO CHURCH FOR TWO YEARS.

WE HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT

TO BE THERE RIGHT NOW.

Chris: YOU HAVE A

20-YEAR LEASE?

WE HAVE A 20-YEAR

LEASE.

WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE

HERE.

Chris: DO THEY HAVE A

RIGHT TO DO WHAT THEY DID?

NONE.

Chris: IN 2014, THE

JERUSALEM POST COVERED HOW

THE NEIGHBORS HARASSED

CHURCH MEMBERS AND STOLE

PROPERTY.

YET THIS TIME PASTOR

DUNHAM DECIDED AGAINST

PURSUING LEGAL ACTION.

THE BIGGEST POWER IS

CONQUERING LOVE.

AND HE SAID, I WANT YOU TO

GO AND LOVE THOSE GUYS,

AND I WANT YOU TO TELL

THEM YOU FORGIVE THEM.

AND I WANT YOU TO TELL

THEM THAT YOUR GOD IS IN

THE BUILDING WAITING FOR

THEM.

AND RELEASE THAT BUILDING

BACK TO ME.

Chris: THE INCIDENT

TROUBLED A NUMBER OF LOCAL

CHRISTIANS.

I'M VERY, VERY SAD.

I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT IT

HAS HAPPENED FOR US.

I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT I AM

IN ISRAEL.

*

Chris: CHURCH MEMBERS

AND OTHER LOCAL CHRISTIANS

HELD A PRAYER SERVICE

OUTSIDE THE CHURCH,

EXPRESSING HOPE FOR THE

FUTURE.

"LIVING BREAD

INTERNATIONAL CHURCH," --

JUST BECAUSE THEY KNOCKED

HOLES IN THE BUILDING, THE

CHURCH IS STILL ALIVE.

Chris: OTHERS

EXPRESSED HOPE LOCAL

AUTHORITIES WILL TAKE

ACTION.

REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME,

THEY BELIEVE GOD WILL

REDEEM THE SITUATION.

> UP NEXT, HOW DID THE

ISLAMIC GROUP ISIS GET

Chris: WELCOME BACK

TO "JERUSALEM DATELINE."

FOR THREE YEARS, ISIS HAS

BROUGHT DEATH AND

DESTRUCTION TO THE MIDDLE

EAST.

THEY COMMITTED GENOCIDE

AGAINST CHRISTIANS AND

YAZIDIS AND HAVE UNLEASHED

TERROR ON THE WORLD.

HOW DID THE DEADLY GROUP

GET STARTED AND HOW DO WE

DEFEAT IT?

GARY LANE BRINGS US THIS

LOOK AT THE ORIGINS OF THE

ISLAMIC STATE.

Reporter: BEFORE ISIS

WAS AS STRONG AS IT IS

TODAY, IT WAS A NETWORK OF

ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS KNOWN

AS al-JAHAD.

HE WAS AN ILLITERATE PETTY

CRIMINAL.

IN 1992, THE JORDIAN

GOVERNMENT SENT HIM TO

JAIL.

AFTER GUNS AND EXPLOSIVES

WERE FOUND IN HIS HOME.

THERE HE BECAME

RADICALIZED AND ATTEMPTED

TO ENLIST FELLOW PRISONERS

IN A PLOT TO OVER THROW

THE JORDIAN MONARCHY.

TO THE BEST OF MY

KNOWLEDGE, HE WASN'T ON

ANYBODY'S RADAR.

Reporter: AFTER HIS

RELEASE FROM PRISON, HE

SET UP A TERRORIST

TRAINING CAMP IN HARROD,

AFGHANISTAN.

BY THE MIDDLE OF 2002, THE

C.I.A. SUSPECTED HIM OF

ESPECIALLYING A SIMILAR

CAMP AND A POISON GAS LAB

IN NORTHERN IRAQ.

IN MARCH 2003, HE SURVIVED

AN AIRSTRIKE ON THE CAMP.

AND AFTER THE UNITED

STATES DISBANDED THE ARMY,

HE ENLISTED HELP.

HE BECAME THE SYMBOL OF

THE SUNNI RESISTANCE.

AND OTHER EXTREMISTS

FOLLOWED HIS EXAMPLE.

CARRYING OUT MANY MORE

ATTACKS.

IN JANUARY 2004, THE U.S.

REPORTEDLY INTERCEPTED A

LETTER FROM HIM TO THE

al-QAEDA LEADERSHIP,

SAYING THAT THE BEST WAY

TO DEFEAT THE UNITED

STATES IN IRAQ IS TO

INCITE A SECTARIAN WAR

THAT WILL, QUOTE,"AWAKEN

THE SLEEPY SUNNIS."

IN MARCH OF 2004, A U.S.

CONTRACTOR WAS EXECUTED ON

VIDEO.

IN JUNE 2006, ZA ZARQUAWI WAS

STRUCK DOWN.

THEY LAUNCHED A WAVE OF

DEADLY EXPLOSIVES AND CAR

BOMB ATTACKS IN MOSUL AND

BAGHDAD.

ONE OF THE WORST THINGS

THAT HAPPENED WAS THAT

WE -- AFTER WE INVADED

IRAQ, AND HANDLED THE

SURGE AND WERE PRETTY GOOD

SHAPE, PRESIDENT OBAMA

EFFECTIVELY PULLED OUT

VERY QUICKLY AND LEFT

THINGS IN CHAOS.

Reporter: IN

APRIL 2013, BAGHDADI

ANNOUNCED HIS GROUP WOULD

EXPAND INTO SYRIA.

AND THE ISLAMIC STATE IN

IRAQ AND SYRIA BECAME

ISIS.

ISIS HAD FIELDED MORE THAN

30,000 JIHADISTS, AND

OCCUPIED TERRITORY IN

ONE-THIRD OF IRAQ AND ONE

QUARTER OF SYRIA.

THIS FORMER C.I.A.

DIRECTOR IS CRITICAL ABOUT

HOW U.S. INTELLIGENCE

FACTS ABOUT ISIS WERE

ALTERED TO FIT A POLITICAL

NARRATIVE.

THIS ADMINISTRATION

STARTS WITH A NARRATIVE,

AS THEY CALL IT, THE

STORY, AND THEN THEY TRY

TO FIDDLE AROUND WITH THE

FACTS TO FIT THE

NARRATIVE, RATHER THAN

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE TO

MATCH THE REAL FACTS.

AS A RESULT OF THAT, I

THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY

THAT ISIS HAS GROWN IN

IMPORTANCE.

Reporter: SO HOW CAN

THE UNITED STATES DEFEAT

ISIS?

FORMER C.I.A. ANALYST FRE FRED

FLEITZ SAYS YOU CAN'T WIN

IT FROM THE AIR.

EVEN IF WE WIPED OUT

ISIS ON THE GROUND, IT IS

THE IDEOLOGY THAT HAS TO

BE FAULT.

Reporter: AND THE

ISIS MONEY SUPPLY MUST BE

CHOKED OFF.

IT I IT IS A TERRORIST

ORGANIZATION TO HOLDS

TERRITORY.

IT CAN GENERATE MONEY FROM

ILLEGAL TRADE.

AND IT PROBABLY HAS

SUPPORTERS FROM GULF

STATES, GULF STATES THAT

SUPPORT THESE RADICAL

JIHADISTS, THE SAME PEOPLE

WHO HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING

al-QAEDA OVER THE YEARS.

Reporter: WHEN I MET

SHAKSHEIKH HASSAN IN DAMASCUS,

I SAID WHAT WOULD IT TAKE

TO END THE CIVIL WAR IN

SYRIA.

THEY HAVE TO SEE WHERE

THIS FINANCING IS COMING

FROM FOR THESE EXTREMISTS

AND STOP IT.

MANY MUSLIM LEADERS HAVE

CONNECTIONS, AND THEIR

WEALTH IS RELATED TO THE

FIGHTING.

Reporter: RECENT

LEAKS OF HILLARY CLINTON'S

E-MAILS BY WikiLEAKS

SHOWS THAT THE FORMER

SECRETARY OF STATE KNEW

WHO WAS FUNDING THE

ISLAMIC STATE.

IN THIS AUGUST 2014

COMMUNICATION WITH JOHN

PODESTA, CLINTON SAYS WE

NEED TO USE OUR DIPLOMATIC

AND MORE TRADITIONAL

INTELLIGENCE ASSETS TO

BRING PRESSURE ON THE

GOVERNMENTS OF QATAR AND

SAUDI ARABIA, WHICH ARE

O ARE PROVIDING SUPPORT TO

ISIL AND OTHER RECALLED

SUNNRADICALSUNNI GROUPS IN THE

REGION.

IT HAS BECOME A

POWERFUL ORGANIZATION, AND

A LETHAL ORGANIZATION, AND

ONE THAT WILL TAKE A FAIR

AMOUNT OF FIGHTING IN ITS

HOME COURT TO DEFEAT IN

SYRIA AND IRAQ, AND IT

ALSO HAS TO BE DEFEATED IN

ALL OF OUR CITIES AND

STATES AND NEIGHBORHOODS

IN THE U.S. AND ELSEWHERE.

WE CANNOT JUST IGNORE IT.

IT IS GOING TO GET WORSE.

Reporter: GARY LANE,

CBN NEWS.

Chris: IF YOU'D LIKE

TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ISIS

AND THE SITUATION IN THE

MIDDLE EAST, YOU CAN FIND

OUT MORE IN THIS BOOK I

WROTE CALLED, "ISIS, IRAN,

AND ISRAEL, WHAT YOU NEED

TO KNOW ABOUT THE CURRENT

MIDDLE EAST CRISIS AND THE

COMING MIDEAST WAR."

YOU CAN FIND IT ON

AMAZON.COM.

> COMING UP, AN

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH

CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES WHO

Chris: WELCOME BACK.

THREE CHRISTIANS WHO SPENT

MONTHS IN ONE OF THE WORST

PRISONS IN THE WORLD ARE

NOW FREED.

EARLIER THIS SUMMER,

IRANIAN AUTHORITIES

ARRESTED THEM FOR

ALLEGEDLY CONDUCTING

MISSIONARY ACTIVITY.

THEY RECENTLY SAT DOWN

WITH CBN'S GEORGE THOMAS

FOR THEIR FIRST TELEVISION

INTERVIEW HOURS AFTER

BEING RELEASED.

George: BATHAM,

ALDAD, AND YOUSEF KNEW

THEY FACED A RISKY MISSION

INTO IRAN.

WE WERE EXPECTING GOD

TO DO SOMETHING NEW FOR US

ON THIS TRIP, BUT WE HAD

NO IDEA OF THE EVENTS THAT

WOULD TRANSPIRE HOURS

AFTER WE ARRIVED.

George: ON

JUNE 24th, 2016, THE

THREE MEN FROM AZERBAIJAN

SET OUT FOR SECRET

MEETINGS WITH IRANIAN

CHRISTIANS.

THAT MORNING THE MEN LEFT

HERE, AZERBAIJAN CAPITAL

CITY, AND HEADED TO THE

TOWN OF ASTORAD, WHICH IS

ON THE BORDER BETWEEN IRAN

AND AZERBAIJAN.

IT TOOK ABOUT AN HOUR AND

A HALF TO CROSS THE BORDER

AND THEY WERE SAFELY

INSIDE OF IRAN.

FROM THERE THEY CAUGHT A

TAXI AND HEADED SOUTH

ABOUT 300 MILES TO TEHRAN.

YOUOFYOUSSEF WAS LEADING A

BIBLE STUDY WHEN A SUDDEN

KNOCK ON THE DOOR CAUGHT

THEM BY SURPRISED.

WE OPENED THE DOOR, AND

25 MEN ENTERED THE DOOR.

I KNEW RIGHT AWAY THEY

WERE POLICE OFFICERS OR

GOVERNMENT AGENTS BECAUSE

I HAVE SEEN OTHER

EXPERIENCES IN AZERBAIJAN,

WHEN AUTHORITIES WOULD

RAID OUR CHRISTIAN

MEETINGS.

George: AFTER

QUESTIONING, THE

GOVERNMENT CHARGED THEM

WITH TRYING TO CONVERT

IRANIANS TO CHRISTIANITY.

AND SENT THE MEN TO EVAN

PRISON.

THE JUDGE TOLD US WE

COULD SPEND 10 YEARS IN

PRISON.

George: THE NEXT FEW

MONTHS MEANT DAYS OF

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.

THIRD QUARTER CONFINEMENT.

I WAS NEVER PUT IN

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, AND

I WOULD NEVER WISH IT ON

ANYONE.

George: IT WAS HIS

12th VISIT TO IRAN.

OF COURSE I HAD

THOUGHTS THAT I COULD

SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE

IN PRISON, BUT I NEVER

REGRETTED GOING TO IRAN.

George: BECAUSE IN

2004, HE SAYS GOD POSED A

QUESTION TO HIM FROM THE

BOOK OF ISAIAH.

HE ASKED, "WHOM SHALL I

SEND TO THE NATIONS."

ON I SAID, SEND ME.

SINCE THEN, I TRIED NOT TO

MISS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GO

AND PREACH THE GOSPEL IN

OTHER COUNTRIES.

RIGHT BEFORE WE LEFT,

TWICE I HAD A DREAM THAT

WE WOULD BE ARRESTED.

SO NATURALLY, I WAS AP HEN

SIEVAPPREHENSIVE ABOUT THE

TRIP.

BUT GOD REMINDED ME OF

THAT DREAM AND GAVE ME A

PROMISE FROM PSALM 2, THAT

HE WOULD MAKE THE NATIONS

OUR INHERITANCE.

THAT GAVE ME HOPE AND

STRENGTH.

George: THEY WERE

ROUTINELY INTERROGATED AND

HARASSED, BUT NEVER LOST

HOPE.

THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN

THE PRISON ARE VERY

EMOTIONAL.

SO I STARTED PRAYING, EVEN

SINGING ALOUD, AND THE

GUARDS DIDN'T EVEN STOP

ME.

*

George: NOR DID THEY

STOP HIM FROM SINGING THAT

WELL KNOWN SONG "HOW GREAT

IS OUR GOD."

WHILE IN JAIL, THE MEN

SAID THEY MET A SECRET

IRANIAN CHRISTIAN CONVERT

WHO CAME TO FAITH WITH THE

HELP OF SAEED ABEDINI, THE

AMERICAN PASTOR RELEASED

THIS PAST JANUARY AFTER

SPENDING MORE THAN THREE

YEARS IN EVAN PRISON.

WE PRAYED WITH HIM,

SHARED COMMUNITY TOGETHER,

AND WE HELPED HIM RECEIVE

THE HOLY SPIRIT.

George: WELCOME,

EVERYONE, TO THIS WEEK'S

EDITION OF "CHRISTIAN

WORLD NEWS."

MY COLLEAGUE, WENDY

GRIFFITH IS ON ASSIGNMENT.

PRISON GUARDS IN IRAN ARE

THREATENING PASTOR SAEED

ABEDINI.

ACTUALLY, IT WAS A REAL

NEED.

BECAUSE I USED TO WATCH

STORIES ABOUT SAEED ON

"CHRISTIAN WORLD NEWS."

AND TO KNOW WE PLAYED A

SMALL PART IN HIS STORY IS

A REAL BLESSING.

George: DAYS AFTER

THEIR ARREST IN JUNE,

ALEXANDER, A RUSSIAN

PASTOR, STARTED TO

CAMPAIGN FOR THE MEN'S

RELEASE.

WE APPEALED TO

DIFFERENT HUMANITARIAN

ORGANIZATIONS, HUMAN

RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS,

CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS.

George: CHRISTIANS

ALSO JOINED IN TO TRY TO

HELP SET THE MEN FREE.

FOR NEARLY TWO MONTHS

WE PRAYED 24 HOURS A DAY

FOR OUR BROTHERS IN IRAN.

EVERYBODY WAS SO EAGER TO

PRAY.

George: AND WHAT WAS

NOTHING SHORT OF A

MIRACLE, THE IRANIAN

AUTHORITIES DECIDED TO

ALLOW THE MEN TO RETURN TO

AZERBAIJAN ON BAIL.

DAYS LATER, THE THREE FLEW

BACK HOME FREE MEN.

CBN NEWS MET THEM HOURS

AFTER THEY RETURNED.

WE ARE SO THANKFUL TO

THOSE WHO PRAYED FOR US

AND HELPED TO RAISE THE

BAIL MONEY.

THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED

TO ANYONE.

WE ARE NOT SPECIAL, BUT

PEOPLE REACHED OUT TO US,

AND THAT MEANS A LOT.

George: THEIR CASE IS

STILL PENDING, AND WHILE

THE THREE WILL PROBABLY

NEVER BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL

TO IRAN AGAIN, THEY SAID

THE ORDEAL HAS DONE LITTLE

TO DAMPEN THEIR PASSIONS

TO SHARE CHRIST'S LOVE

WITH OTHERS.

THIS IS ONLY THE

BEGINNING FOR ME.

THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE

WORLD WHO ARE WAITING FOR

ME TO COME TELL THEM ABOUT

JESUS.x

I'M READY, AND I'M NOT

AFRAID.

WAS IT EASY?

NO.

STILL, I AM THANKFUL TO

GOD FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF

TO A PART OF HIS WORK, AND

IN A SMALL WAY TO SUFFER

FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST.

George: GEORGE

THOMAS, AZERBAIJAN.

Chris: UP NEXT, A

PREVIEW OF OUR RECENT TRIP

TO NORTHERN IRAQ, AND HOW

Chris: WELCOME BACK.

RECENTLY WE TRAVELLED TO

NORTHERN IRAQ AND MET WITH

CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE

SUFFERED TERRIBLY AT THE

HANDS OF ISIS.

THEY ASKED FOR PRAYER THAT

GOD WOULD STRENGTHEN THEIR

FAITH AS THEY TRY TO

RETURN TO THEIR CITIES AND

TOWNS RAVAGED BY THE

ISLAMIC STATE.

WE PLAN TO HAVE SOME OF

THOSE STORIES ON NEXT

WEEK'S PROGRAM SO YOU CAN

KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PLIGHT

OF THE CHURCH IN THIS

REGION.

WELL, THAT'S ALL FOR THIS

EDITION.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

REMEMBER, YOU CAN FOLLOW

US ON Facebook, TWITTER,

AND INSTAGRAM.

I'M CHRIS MITCHELL CHRIS MITCHELL; WE'LL

SEE YOU NIC NECK TIME NEXT

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