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Christian World News - August 10, 2018

Christian World News - August 10, 2018 Read Transcript

(lively music)

- This week on Christian World News,

a new wave of persecutionsweeps through China.

We'll show you what's behind

this latest crack down on believers.

Plus, insider informationon American Pastor,

Andrew Brunson's legal proceedings

and how they're designed to make him fail.

And, Christians on the frontlines of volunteer efforts

in fire-ravaged California,

tell stories of peoplefinding beauty from the ashes.

(lively music)

Welcome to Christian World News everyone.

I'm Wendy Griffith.

George Thomas is on assignment.

For years, Christians in China have prayed

that President Xi wouldprovide the country

with more religious freedom.

But now, a new wave ofpersecution is taking place.

Christians are being jailedand churches demolished.

Gary Lane brings us thelatest on the crack down.

- [Gary] Scenes like theseare becoming more frequent

under China's Presidentfor life, Xi Jinping.

Shattered concrete and a fewchairs are all that remain

of this house church in Henan Province.

- This church was totallydestroyed, you can tell.

- [Gary] For years, thiswas the place of worship

for 100 Chinese Christians.

Last January,

government officials with buzzsaws demolished the church.

They seized Bibles andcomputers and arrested some

of the worshipers, includinga 14-year old girl.

Chinese authorities saythis church was illegal,

unregistered, and not partof the State-controlled

Three-Self Patriotic Church.

China Aid documents persecutionand helps the victims.

Bob Fu says President Xiis launching a new wave

of Christian oppression.

- We have seen churchesbeing forcefully demolished

and Christians were sentencedto 10 years, 13 years,

for simply organized peaceful house

of worship at their homes.

(lively music)

- [Gary] 63-year old SeventhDay Adventist, Xu Shijuan,

used to lead a housechurch with 30 Christians

in her living room, singing,praying and worshiping God.

Last March she shut it down,

after local officials orderedthe house church closed.

The persecution is causingmore church growth.

About one of every 10Chinese are now Christian.

Columbia UniversityPolitical Science Professor,

Andrew Nathan, explainscommunist party officials

feel threatened by the rapid growth.

- I think that the leadership is viewing

all these Christian congregationsas a kind of dry tinder

that could spark up in a certain scenario.

They think that foreign forces,

the United States,missionaries and so forth,

would like to spark up this tinder.

- [Gary] Authoritieshave also removed crosses

from the roofs of at least 1700 churches.

Human rights lawyers andChristians have simply disappeared.

Some have died frommistreatment in prison.

Others have escaped to the West.

This woman ended up in Texas

after police arrested her Pastor husband.

Authorities warned their children

would be denied an education in China

because of their Christians beliefs.

She said the governmentbarred church members

from baptism and police even interrupted

their Christmas service.

Christians say officials in many towns

are now pressuring people toremove posters of the cross

and Jesus, and replace themwith images of President Xi.

Fu suggests it's just another attempt

at communist thought control.

- I think it has to do with the really

the President Xi Jinping's ideology.

He's again, he is reallywanting to take China

to the (mumbles) old kind of path

by exercising

more political control and mind control.

- [Gary] Former housechurch leader Shijuan

says the government should notview Christians as a threat.

We pray for the country, shesays, and for the people,

hoping our country will become better,

prosperous and strong.

Despite the government crack down,

within the next 20 years,

China is expected to become the world's

biggest Christian nation.

Gary Lane, CBN News.- Gary, you're with us now.

- Yes.

- What's behind this dangerous crack down?

It seemed like thingswere going well in China.

- Well, as best as--

- Yeah, or better.- You think they would go,


But the problem isPresident Xi, last March,

the communist party,

said he can be Presidentas long as he wants to be.

There are no longer term limitson the Chinese President.

So if he wants to be President for life,

he can be President for life.

And like any good emperor, youcrack down on your opponents.

The communist party, Wendy,

has long felt that Christiansthreaten their existence.

- Right.

- Because as long asChristians are worshiping God

and looking to the after life,

they're not looking to the State

for their rights and their benefits.

They look to God.

- As you said in your piece,

China is on track to become

the largest Christian nation in the world.

- Yes.- How can that be

with all this crack down?

- Persecution's good for church.

I was told that manyyears ago by Samuel Lamb,

who's now deceased.

But Samuel Lamb told me,when I asked him that,

he said, "look, before I went to prison,"

he was in prison for 20 years, Wendy.

- [Wendy] Wow.

- Before I went to prison the first time,

church was only 200 members.

"I got out of prison, it was 900,

"and then they confiscated thechurch and the church grew,

"and it grew to 2000."

Then he looked at meand smiled, and he said,

"persecution good for church."


So through the persecution,the church grows,

because what happens,

the Chinese governmentthinks if they shut the doors

of a church, then that's the end of it.

But everybody scatters andthen they start house churches,

those grow and before you know it,

China, by 2030, Wendy--

- Okay.

- Will likely have, predicted,as many as 240, maybe 250--

- Wow.- million Christians.

- That's incredible.

- The largest in the world.

- What can the global church do, Gary,

to help China right now?

- Well, I asked Chinese believers there,

when I meet with them.

They say, look, first we need Bibles.

Don't think we can getthem from the government

because it's only whatthe government gives us.

We need additional Biblesand smuggle in Bibles.

Also, pray for us.

- Yeah.- So pray for them

and support them in that way.

- All right, prayer and Bibles.

- Yes.

- Thanks Gary, we appreciate it.

Well despite high levelnegotiations between Turkish

and US officials in Washington,

American Pastor, Andrew Brunson,

remains under house arrest in Turkey.

And many of his supporters wonder why.

CBN's Jennifer Wishon bringsus the first-hand account

from inside the courtroom.

- A courtroom designed to makePastor Brunson feel defeated,

bogus witnesses bribed by the prosection,

and the power of forgiveness.

An eye-witness takes us

inside Pastor Brunson'spersecution in Turkey.

- The court used to belike a basketball court

or some sort of sportscourt that has been turned

into a courtroom right nextto a very large prison.

And way up front, three arethree judges on a raised stair

and very low is Pastor Andrew Brunson.

Witnesses for the prosecutionand Pastor Brunson's lawyer,

they are over 500 chairsbetween him and the area

where observers like me andhis wife are allowed to sit.

- [Jennifer] KristinaArriaga of the US Commission

on International Religious Liberty

attended Pastor Brunson'smost recent hearing.

Seated beside his wife Noreen,she watched in disbelief.

- Because Pastor Brunsoncannot see very well

from far away, any time helooks back towards his wife,

she stands up and putsher hand over her heart

so he knows he's not alone.

Pastor Brunson sat there while

he heard former church members,

people probably that he baptized,

people that he had teawith, testify against him.

And the judge, at one point,turned to him around noon time

and asked Andrew Brunsonto speak for himself,

and he said, "my faithteaches me to forgive."

"So I forgive those whojust testified against me."

There was a chill in the room.

And there his wife who wasgraceful and extremely strong,

proudly found it to be a natural answer,

but I was stunned and movedto tears when he said that.

- Why would his church members,

people that he was intimatewith, testify against him?

- I imagine these people wereunder tremendous pressure

to keep their jobs or feed their families.

We don't know what kind ofthreats they were under.

- [Jennifer] Brunson has been transferred

from prison to house arrest,

but Arriaga fears that puts him at risk.

- He's in a terribly dangerous situation,

because the Brunsons areportrayed, in the Turkish press,

as people who are againstthe state of Turkey,

and I have great fearsthere's gonna be an increase

of incitement to violence against him,

and no one will be able to stop someone,

a mob that tries to go and kill him.

- [Jennifer] Armed withsanctions and the power

to withhold F35 fighter jetsTurkey wants to purchase,

US officials from the WhiteHouse to Congress continue

to pressure Turkey'sPresident Recep Erdogan,

to release Brunson.

His next hearing is October 12th.

Jennifer Wishon, CBN News.

- [Wendy] Thanks, Jennifer.

Coming up, how God is still moving,

despite the massive devastation

at the California wild fires.

(lively music)

- [Pat] Angels were created to serve God.

These magnificent beingshave awesome power

beyond our comprehension.

- [Announcer] CBN Presents Angels,

Their Power, Purpose and Presence.

In Pat's latest DVD, you'llget the Biblical insight

into these mysterious,spiritual creatures,

and discover the important rolethey play in God's Kingdom,

and in your life.

- We're also going to meetreal people who have come face

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- [Female] As he startedpulling me through,

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- [Male] My thought is the angels

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- I knew that this wassomething that was happening

and it was supernatural.

- Angels, Their Power,Purpose and Presence.

- [Announcer] Call now or go to

to get your copy of Angels.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are morethan 148 million orphans

in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three littlegirls that taught me

about the plight of orphans.

My husband and I spentnearly a month immersed

in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw first-hand the utter loneliness,

the pain of rejection

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changed me forever.

And out of it grew aministry from my heart

called Orphan's Promise.

Today, we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries world wide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes,

they're being educated andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

- Here in America,

wildfires are consumingthe State of California.

The good news is, forthe first time this week,

firefighters say they'remaking some progress.

However, they say it may be September

before all the fires are under control.

More than 14,000 firefighters

are battling 18 differentblazes across the state.

One is the largest inCalifornia's history,

spanning 443 square miles

and roughly the size of Los Angeles.

One fire alone destroyedmore than 1,000 homes,

forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.

CBN's Heather Sellsreports from California

that in the middle of the chaos,

churches and volunteers brave the danger

to give victims help and hope.

- The devastation herein Redding is historic.

But the tragedy is also uniting

the local community and the church.

(lively music)

At Bethel Church Sundaymorning, thousands lifted

their hands and sang aboutGod's love in the flames.

You can still see the smokehere from the nearby Carr fire,

which destroyed entireneighborhoods and seemed

to cherry pick homes in others,leaving some to rejoice,

others to mourn and everyoneto question their safety.

Pastor Elizabeth Woningspent the last week

as a volunteer counselor at Bethel.

- Whether you're in theevacuation area or you've lost

a home or whether yourhome was completely safe,

the whole community is on edge.

- [Heather] The air qualityhere is poor and churches

are handing out breathing masks.

One of the many needs localchurches are working together

to meet in what they believeis a new chapter of unity.

- We've had over 30churches meeting together,

praying together, trying to problem solve.

- [Heather] Five churchesare supporting a Red Cross

shelter at Cross Point Community Church

and Bethel is hosting a SalvationArmy distribution center.

Mercy Chefs offers mealsand the center offers food

and clothing for thosewho've lost everything,

including at least 25 on Bethel's staff.

- We have people on ourteams, they lost their homes.

Most of us, lots of us were displaced.

Our own family was displaced.

- [Heather] Bethel member,Tony Stoltzfus lost his home,

which doubled as his office.

Three days after the fire started,

he woke up to evacuation orders.

- We threw our suitcases in the car,

we got the pets, we got our computers.

- [Heather] Mary Lu Konkellost her home as well.

- Didn't even know what I was doing,

just throwing clothes in.

Then I began to grab my Bibles.

- [Heather] For these twoand thousands of others,

housing is the urgent need.

- They're piled up intheir friend's homes.

Every available couch, everyavailable place of floor space,

people are moving into those spaces.

- [Heather] The governmentshould allow victims

to start sifting through the wreckage

of their properties this week.

Many churches are sponsoringchaplains who will escort

and help families duringthe painful process.

- That's very important.

The first time they see a home burned,

they just fall on their knees and cry

and you have to be there to support them.

- [Heather] For Tony, thetears have already come,

but he's grateful for a handfull of mementos he still has

and his work as a personal coach,

which uniquely prepared him.

- A lot of what I do inmy work is teach people

to detach their desiresfrom the things in the world

that they think will fill them,

and find the desire of their heart

in their relationship with Jesus.

- [Heather] Mary Lu is holdingfast to her faith and a word

she received from the Lord.

- Being an intercessor, I justwas praying in the spirit.

I had no words,

I had nothing other thanjust praying in the spirit,

and even before we leftthe house, I kept hearing,

new beginnings, newbeginnings, new beginnings.

- [Heather] Expertswarn it will take years

for Redding to rebuild

but this city is hoping to set an example.

Pastor Chris is teachingfrom his life first in Isiah.

- It's only God who could take ashes

and make beauty out of it.

It's only God that could take a disaster

and create hope in the midst of it.

(lively music)

- [Heather] Reporting inRedding, Heather Sells, CBN News.

(lively music)

- [Wendy] Thank you, Heather.

A group of black pastors speakout after facing backlash

for meeting with the President.

What they said, next.

(lively music)

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Life in your body, mind and spirit.

Life in your every day.

(lively music)

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(lively music)


Live it fully.

- 911, what's your emergency?

- [Caller] We have a vehicle that

is upside down and on fire.

These people are trapped andwe need the jaws of life.

- [Female] My feet were on fire.

The car was filling up with smoke.

- [Male] There was fire comingin through my left door.

The steering wheel was stuck in my chest.

I couldn't move.

- [Female] The seatbelt, Ikept trying to release it,

but it wouldn't release.

And I just screamed God,send your angels now.

I saw a set of white hands,

it was just a burst of white light.

- Welcome back.

A sign of the times inSouthern California,

where a real estate companyforced Evangelist, Greg Laurie,

to remove billboardsadvertising his crusade.

Pictures of Laurieholding a Bible reportedly

created the backlash.

The company decided to take the action.

The company says that religious imagery

provoked multiple complaints,

including what it called a serious threat.

So Harvest Evangelismsubmitted a new version,

but the company just decidedto take them down completely

after the complaints.

A Harvest spokesman says,"they don't blame the company,

"they blame the culture."

- [John] It's sad that our culture is,

we're at this degree of intolerance.

There's such intolerance againstthe message of Christianity

that we aren't allowed to state that

or to publicly advertise this event

that it's going to encourage.

- The Harvest Crusade willtake place August 17th

through the 19th atAngel Stadium in Anaheim.

A group of black pastorscame under intense fire

for meeting President DonaldTrump at the White House

to discuss prison reform.

Hundreds of African American Christians

took to social media,

accusing the black leaders of selling

their soul to the President.

Now some of those who were atthe meeting have responded.

George Thomas brings usmore on this controversy.

- God, I wanna thankyou for an opportunity

to speak about the hearts of those

who sometimes cannot fight for themselves.

- [George] The reactionwas fast and furious,

and it erupted on socialmedia moments after John Gray,

Pastor of a mega church inGreenville, South Carolina,

was asked by the Presidentto open a meeting

at the White House in prayer.

- Dr. King said, "wecannot influence a table

"that we are not seated at."

- [George] Gray, along witha small group of other black

and Hispanic pastorswas invited by Mr. Trump

to discuss efforts to reformAmerica's prison system

and other issues.

But their meeting got a visceral reaction

from many quarters,

including from fellowAfrican American Christians,

who called the pastors andother participants shameless

and contemptible, fortaking part in the event.

Hundreds of people took toGray's social media accounts,

venting their anger.

"I'm so disappointed withyou," wrote one person

on Gray's Instagram account.

Another said, "I havelost all respect for him

"as a pastor."

Gray, who says he has been critical

of the administration'simmigration and other policies,

posted a video on social media,

after his meeting with the President,

defending his decision to go.

- I did not go as a politician,

nor did I go under partisan rhetoric.

I'm not a Democrat nor aRepublican, nor an Independent.

I'm a Christians

If there's anybody whothinks they're above praying

for people who sometimesthey may not agree with,

then you don't have the heart of Christ.

(congregation applauding)

- [George] Still, some of Gray's fellow

African Americanpreachers are accusing him

and other participants ofselling out and tap dancing

for the President at theexpense of the black community.

But it was perhaps this commentfrom Pastor Darrell Scott

of Ohio, who was at themeeting with Mr. Trump,

that got the most negative reaction.

- To be honest, this isprobably going to be,

and I'm gonna say this at this table,

the most pro-black Presidentthat we've had in our lifetime,

because, and I try to analyzethe people that I encounter.

This President actually wants

to prove something to our community,

our faith-based community,and our ethnic community.

The last President didn'tfeel like he had to.

He felt like he didn't haveto prove. He got a pass.

- [George] Bishop Harry Jacksonalso attended the event.

He told CBN's Charlene Aaron

that despite the intense blow back,

he believes it was the right thing to do.

- You can't be a prophet to the culture

while you're standing outside of the room.

Many of the people whocame into that meeting

knew that they would bemisunderstood, disrespected,

lied on, talked about,but they came anyway.

- [George] PresidentTrump said his meeting

with the inner city pastorswas one of many steps

his administration was taking to address

the enormous challenges of reforming

the country's prison system.

George Thomas, CBN News.

- Important topic and you can see more

of the pastor's meetingwith the President,

including John Gray's fullprayer, on our website.


We'll be right back.

(lively music)

- Hello, is this thing on?

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Do you like games?

And do you like to discover things?

Well, do ya?

- [Announcer] Then you're gonna love this.

It's the new freeSuperbook Kids' Bible App.

You can play games, watch videos,

find answers to your questionsand a whole lot more.

The new Superbook Kids' Bible App.

Free downloads available oniTunes and Google Play now.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are morethan 148 million orphans

in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three littlegirls that taught me

about the plight of orphans.

My husband and I spentnearly a month immersed

in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw first-hand the utter loneliness,

the pain of rejection

and the overwhelming desire to be loved.

That experience changed me forever.

And out of it grew aministry from my heart

called Orphan's Promise.

Today, we're helping orphansand vulnerable children

in more than 50 countries world wide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes,

they're being educated andthey're learning life skills.

I'm asking you to join with me

and become family to these children.

Will you call the numberon your screen right now?

Because every child deservesa chance to be happy.

(lively music)

- [Narrator] When yougive, smiles grow bigger.

When you care,

homes are happier.

When you comfort,

the hurt goes away.

When we all come together to love,

miracles happen.

- A rare medieval Biblehas finally been returned

to England's iconic Canterbury Cathedral

after being missing for,get this, 500 years.

The Bible was found and purchased

at a manuscript auction in London.

The Antiques TradeGazette reports the Bible

was hand-written and illustratedby a 13th Century Monk.

It went missing during theProtestant Reformation.

The Bible is thebest-selling book of all time

and it's still going strong.

The latest version quicklyhit number one on Amazon

and as CBN's Chris Mitchell shows us,

it's designed to appeal toboth Christians and Jews.

- The Israel Bible is the only Bible

that's exclusively dedicatedto the land of Israel,

the people of Israel,

and the God of Israel.

- [Chris] Rabbi TulyWeisz of Israel 365 saw

the 70th anniversary ofIsrael as a great opportunity

for a special version of this kind.

- The Bible has had such agreat impact on civilization,

yet it's also been thegreatest source of friction

and division between Jews and Christians

who both claim to love the Bible.

And so now, the vision forthe Israel Bible is that

we're gonna have theopportunity to use the Bible

as a source of unitybetween Jews and Christians

and everybody who loves the Bible.

- So this is the Hebrew scripture.

It's not The New Testament,the Brit Hadasha.

So why would Christians wanna be able

to read the Israel Bible?

- Well, first of all,and I'm not Christian

but I know that forChristians who want the Bible

that Jesus read, so heread the Hebrew Bible,

the Tanakh.

That's something that myChristian friends have pointed

out to me that this isthe Bible that Jesus read.

I think that there'sanother aspect as well

that the prophets talkedabout how in the future,

Isaiah says, in thefuture, in the end of days,

the non-Jews are going tosay to the Jewish people,

tell us the Torah, teach us the Bible.

- [Chris] It comes with special features

in the 929 chapters.

- Number one is that it opens in the way,

in the format of a Hebrew book.

It opens backwards.

A lot of our customerssay, hey wait a minute,

my Bible opens backwards.

It's not a mistake.

We did it on purpose.

All of the versus about Israel

have been highlighted and transliterated,

so that anybody could actually read

the Hebrew for themselves.

And then, of course, on thebottom of every chapter,

we have study notes.

- [Chris] Wise feels this versioncomes at an important time

because of the innacuratecriticism directed at Israel.

- More than any other time in history,

the world's eyes are focused on Israel.

We have world leaders whoare saying that Israel

is occupying this land,and this Bible shows

that we're not occupying this land.

This is the land that God gave to us.

Everybody needs to be moreeducated in God's word

and especially if you're confused,

if you're not familiar which side to take

to be supportive ofIsrael, to be on the fence,

to be anti-Israel, just read the Bible.

- [Chris] Chris Mitchell,CBN News, Jerusalem.

- Just read the Bible.

It has all the answers you need.

Thanks for joining us this week.

Until next week,

from all of us here atChristian World News,

good bye and God bless you.

(lively music)


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