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Christian World News - October 26, 2018

Christian World News - October 26, 2018 Read Transcript

(dramatic music)

- This week on Christian World News,

it's one of the strictestMuslim countries in the world,

and it's also the place

where Christianity is growing the fastest.

Hear why former Muslimsare risking their lives

to publicly profess theirfaith in Jesus Christ.

Plus, a catastrophicearthquake strikes Indonesia,

but one plane managesto escape the carnage

just moments before it hits.

See why the pilot says it's simply because

of a message he got from the Holy Spirit.

And a radical man consumed with hate

discovers he's the very thing he despises,

launching him into a personal crisis

that changes him forever.

(dramatic music)

Hello everyone, welcometo this week's edition

of Christian WorldNews, I'm George Thomas.

My colleague WendyGriffith is on assignment.

Christianity is growing faster in Iran

than in any other country in the world.

Even though the populationis overwhelmingly Muslim,

tens of thousands are abandoning Islam.

Not too long ago I had the privilege

of attending a mass baptismfor a small group of believers.

Take a look.

(suspenseful music)

(horn honks)

On a recent Friday, 600miles east of Tehran,

not too far from theAfghanistan-Turkmenistan border,

20 Iranians prepared for a secret journey

out of their country.

For their safety, we'veconcealed their identities

and changed their names.

- [Interpreter] I've beenwaiting for this moment

for nearly nine years.

- [George] The missiontook months to prepare.

It was fraught with danger.

- [Interpreter] This wasmy wish before I die.

- [George] Afarin helpedarrange their travel.

- [Interpreter] The momentthe Iranian government

discovers someone haschanged their religion,

they will try everythingto stop the person

from sharing their new faith with others.

(flute music)

- [George] Most of thesenew Christians paid a price

for abandoning Islam.

- [Interpreter] Thegovernment scares Christians,

imprisons them, firesthem from their jobs,

kicks them out of schooland many other tactics,

all in an effort to stopthem from evangelizing.

- [George] Afarin knew whatthey were about to experience

could land them in trouble.

CBN News met them shortlyafter they left Iran.

Due to the sensitivenature of this report,

CBN News has agreed notto reveal our location,

nor the names of the individualsassociated with this story.

And this is why theyleft Iran for a few days.

For the first time, all 20followed Christ in baptism.

(singing, guitar playing)


- Inside Iran,

if the government foundout that you were baptized,

it would be automatic imprisonment,

and so rather than dothat inside their country

they came outside for aspecial event like this.

- [George] One by one, theyoung and old got dunked.

Men, women, and children, allof whom renounced Mohammed,

and professed their faith in Jesus Christ

in a swimming poolrented for the occasion.

(clapping, singing)

53-year-old Fariborz waitedten years for this moment.

- [Interpreter] I acceptedChrist when I was 43 years old.

There was no way for meto get baptized in Iran

because of the dangers we face.

Today my faith is complete.

- [George] 16-year-old Saraaccepted Christ four years ago.

- [Interpreter] I became a Christian

after seeing Jesus in a dream.

As I was getting baptized this morning,

I felt the Holy Spiritcome upon me in a new way.

- [George] Entire families got baptized.

- [Interpreter] It feels very good.

I'm very happy.

My whole family is happy.

- [George] And what makes this baptism

all the more significant,

is that the majority ofIranians in attendance

have come from the nation'sthird largest city of Mashhad,

which also happens tobe one of Shia Islam's

most holiest cities.

Ilahi, once a devout Muslim,

said the Koran left her withmore questions than answers.

- [Interpreter] Thiswas the appointed time

for me to get baptized.

Also, I know God usedthe past eleven years

to grow my faith, so I couldendure difficult times.

- [George] Experts say her testimony,

and that of many others,points to evidence

that God is advancing His kingdom in Iran.

- We have never seen suchan unprecedented growth

of an underground churchanywhere else before.

- [George] Mike Ansari,an Iranian by birth,

is Director of Operations at Mohabat TV.

(announcer speaking Farsi)

In 2006, it became the first24-hour Farsi Christian channel

to bring gospel programs into Iran.

The majority baptized this weekend

came to faith by watching Mohabat TV.

- Some of these believers

waited for many, manyyears to be baptized.

They want to tell the worldthat they belong to Jesus.

They want to tell the worldthat what was before is dead

and now they're a new creation.

- [George] Ansari says manyIranians, especially the young,

feel disillusioned with Islam,

and record numbers areturning to this channel

to learn more about Christianity.

- Roughly about 16 million Iranians

within the last 12 months

have viewed one or more of our programs

on satellite TV and alsoon their mobile devices.

That roughly translates toabout 20% of Iran's population,

and that is an overwhelming number.

- [George] Mohabat is now oneof four satellite channels

broadcasting continuousChristian programming into Iran.

- [Interpreter] Since wedidn't know other believers

or were part of a house church,

there was nobody to helpus grow in our faith.

We could only grow throughwatching Mohabat TV

and with the Holy Spirit's help

to get stronger in our faith.

(singing in Farsi)

- [George] Nathan Rostampour

led a house church in Iran for ten years,

until he was forced to flee

because of religious persecution.

Now he hosts a show on Mohabat TV,

teaching folks how to safelyrun a house church inside Iran.

- God is using this house church show

to not only share the gospel,

but also to equip the housechurches and make leaders.

- And those who track

the growth of Christianityaround the world

say the one place where thefaith is growing the most

is in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Edward Hovsepian says this isnothing short of a miracle.

His brother Haik Hovsepian,an Assemblies of God pastor,

was murdered in Iranfor his faith in 1994.

He says no matter howhard the government tries,

it hasn't been able to stopthe spread of Christianity.

- [Interpreter] They arevery scared of the Bible,

and they realize many Iranians

are attracted to Christianity.

The government persecutes them,hoping to undo the effect,

but the result is the opposite,as more come to faith.

(singing in Farsi)

- [George] After a few days of fellowship,

teaching and encouragement,

the 20 believers returned to Iran,

energized and committed tosharing the love of Christ

with their countrymen.

Ansari says these exclusive images

should encourage Christians

that God is moving onthe hearts of Iranians.

- There's a lot of good newsthat is coming out of Iran,

and we need to focus onthat and celebrate that.

We're hoping that the results

that are being shared withthe church in the west

would encourage the body ofChrist in the western world

that God is very much alive among Muslims

and He's doing a great job.

(singing continues)

- Continue to pray for the nation of Iran.

Staying in the region, theroyal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

has been in the news this week

because of the killing ofWashington Post journalist

Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was murdered

shortly after entering the Saudi consulate

in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia says hedied in a "fistfight",

but he was reportedly dismemberedby an assassination squad.

Khashoggi was an outspoken critic

of Saudi Arabia's oppressive policies.

While political freedomis rare in the Kingdom,

religious freedom ispractically nonexistent.

My colleague Emily Jones is here.

Now Emily, you recentlyspoke with a religious expert

about what life is like forChristians in Saudi Arabia.

What did he say?

- That's right George.

David Curry of Open Doors

says being a Christiancould cost you your life.

Recently on our Worldbeat program,

I talked with him about thecost of following Christ

in Saudi Arabia.

David, can you paint the picture for us?

What is life like forChristians and other non-Muslims

in Saudi Arabia?

- Well there's a greatsqueeze on Christians

that exists within Saudi Arabia.

They control all the means of government.

You can't print Bibles there,

you can't own a Bible ifyou're a Saudi citizen.

It's very difficult even ifyou're not a Saudi citizen

to attend church, to have a Bible.

So there's a total controlof religious expression

in Saudi Arabia.

They only see things one way,

that's made it number12 on our research lists

of most difficult places for Christians,

the World Watch List,

and we see Saudi Arabia

as a very problematic area and region,

influencing much of theextremism of the Islamic faith

over the last decade and beyond

through its funding ofmadrasas that teach Wahhabism,

and how they have passedthat theology of hate,

funded it, in Egypt, in Africa,

and elsewhere around the world.

So Saudi Arabia is the central point

in this spread of Wahhabism,

which has formed al-Qaedaand everything else

that has been part ofthis terroristic trend

over the last several years.

- David, how many Christiansare there in Saudi Arabia?

Do we even have official numbers,

and how many have convertedfrom Islam to Christianity?

- Well nobody really knows

how many Christians thereare within Saudi Arabia

because they're not allowedto express themselves publicly

and go to church.

We know that there are Christians there,

we know that people want tohave access to the Bible.

There are ways in which

people can find a way around the system

to experience in some kind ofinteraction with the gospel,

whether that be throughmedia forms, the internet,

these kinds of things,

but that is not because theSaudi government and culture

has allowed it.

They're fighting it witheverything they can.

So Saudi Arabia is a verydifficult place for Christians,

but again, not just withinthe borders of Saudi Arabia,

but the things that they're funding.

That puts in great reliefthe conditions we've had

as an ally of the United States.

We've been pushing themon religious freedoms.

I think we need to go further, clearly,

to see them improve religious expression

within Saudi Arabia.

Their neighbor Bahrainhas begun to open up

and have a little more expression,

I think that's a path thatSaudi Arabia can follow,

and hopefully that will bepart of the discussion now

as they're going throughthis tumultuous time

in their political world.

- Yes, we know that it's very dangerous

to be a Christian in Saudi Arabia,

but what about spreading the gospel?

How difficult is it there

and what ways is thechurch spreading the gospel

in Saudi Arabia?

- Well in many parts of the Muslim world,

as is the case in Saudi Arabia,

you have an underground church

where believers aresharing person to person,

and Bibles are being passed on in secret,

and there are organizations

and ways in which we're trying

to encourage the freedomof people to read a Bible

and decide for themselveswhat they believe

in Saudi Arabia and in otherplaces around the world.

That's the key thing.

I think what peopleforget to understand is

most people don't have the freedom

that we do here in the United States.

That would certainly bethe case in Saudi Arabia.

If you own a Bible, you could be killed,

you could be ostracized from your family,

you could be totally cut off.

The Saudi government has created a system

that squeezes the life out of the church,

that's their plan anyway.

But churches do workunderground in secret ways.

An underground church existsthroughout the Middle East,

it would be true in Saudi Arabia as well.

- We definitely need to prayfor the church in Saudi Arabia.

Well our Worldbeat showgives viewers the opportunity

not only to learn aboutdifferent countries,

but how to pray for them as well.

- A very important part of that show.

You can see Emily and myself on Worldbeat

every Thursday on CBN Newswatch,

or catch it on our CBN News Facebook page.

Great to have you here, Emily.

Okay, coming up, the miraculous flight

that almost didn't happen.

Now, how the Holy Spiritsaved an entire plane

from a deadly earthquake.

- God Almighty is a God of blessing.

He always wants to bless His people.

But how do you get that blessing,

and what principleswill unlock that secret?

- [Announcer] In Miraculous Blessings,

Pat Robertson shows youhow to open the floodgates

of God's awesome blessings in your life!

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- [Announcer] You willsee amazing true stories

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and get Miraculous Blessings today.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know

there are more than 148 millionorphans in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three little girls

that taught me aboutthe plight of orphans.

My husband and I spent nearly a month

immersed in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw firsthand the utterloneliness, 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 worldwide.

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.

- Welcome back to Christian World News.

The Jesus Film Project hasreached another milestone.

The well-known filmhas now been translated

into its 1700th language.

The newest translation isin the Cheke Itolo language

for people living in the Solomon Islands

in the South Pacific.

The ministry is planning

to add several dozen moretranslations by 2025,

helping them see andhear the story of Jesus

in a language they can understand.

When a powerful earthquakestruck Indonesia last month,

one plane managed to miraculously take off

just before it hit.

The Indonesian pilot sayshis relationship with God

helped him hear divine instructions

that saved him and 148 passengers.

Lucille Talusan brings usthis incredible testimony.

♪ Because of who Youare I give You glory ♪

♪ Because of who You are- ♪

- [Lucille] Commercialpilot Ricoseta Mafella,

a devout Christian, hums worshipsongs during his flights.

But moments before the earthquake

and tsunami hit Indonesia last month,

he felt the urge to sing aloud.

♪ Because of who You are ♪

- God seems like saying hey,just praise Me and worship Me.

- [Lucille] Captain Mafellasaid he saw nothing unusual

as he approached Palu that day,

other than strong winds thatprompted a split decision

to circle before landing.

That delayed him landing by nine minutes.

As passengers departed

and Mafella prepared for his next flight,

he heard the voice again.

- Get out of this place.

I mean, depart early.

- [Lucille] Captain Mafella wondered

if it was just hisimagination, or something else.

Regardless, he obeyed what he had heard,

and took off three minutes earlier

than the scheduled departure time.

That decision literally savedhim and his 148 passengers.

- The quake started on theDonggala area 17:55, 5:55 pm.

I pushed back at 5:52.

The wave of the earthquakereached Palu 7.4, 7.7.

It's just exactly after my liftoff.



- Those three minutes were crucial.

After Captain Mafella'splane was safely airborne,

this control tower started to cave in

because of the strong earthquake,

forcing air trafficcontroller Anthonius Agung

to jump from the fourth floor.

He was a hero.

Unfortunately he dieddue to internal injuries.

At the time, CaptainMafella and his passengers

had no idea what wastaking place below them.

Later, Mafella realizedhis cell phone camera

had captured a view of wavesstarting to form into tsunamis

that struck central Sulawesi.

- Those runway cracked behind me,

and the depth is around 1 1/2 to 2 meters.

Behind the runway, that'swhere the liquefactions

only happened on my departure time.

- [Lucille] Captain Mafella isglad he listened and obeyed.

- Oh God, thank You so much.

God reveals everything.

If you are late evenjust one or two seconds,

it could be a disaster.

I don't need to prove that God is alive.

I don't need to prove that God is here.

I've seen Him.

It's more than enough for me.

- Lucille Talusan, CBNNews, Palu, Indonesia.

- [George] Thank you, Lucille.

Coming up, what do youdo when you discover

you are the very thing you hate?

One man's identity crisis

becomes a path to faith and freedom.

(upbeat music)

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(upbeat piano music)

- [Announcer] Life.

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- We had four jobs that didn't go right,

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- That's when God put on my heart

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- [Man] Within a couple of days,

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- And here we are.

This year it's just booming.


- You go out and help other people,

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- [Announcer] Get PatRobertson's latest teaching,

Miraculous Blessings.

- Imagine one day out of the blue

you find out that you're not the person

you thought you were,

and in fact, that you'rethe very thing you hate.

That's exactly what happened

to one political radical in Hungary.

Dale Hurd has a story of this man's crisis

and his amazing transformation.

- [David] He was once a rising star

in one of Hungary's largestand most controversial

political parties, Jobbik.

Jobbik has been labeledfascist and anti-Semitic.

Csanad Szegedi, still in his 20's,

was on a trajectory tolead this party someday.

- [Interpreter] I joined Jobbik in 2003

when the party foundationswere being built.

I was a member for nine years.

I was vice-president for six years,

and in the European Parliament since 2009.

- [David] Szegedi has alsobeen branded an anti-Semite,

although in our interview he disagreed.

- [Interpreter] When I entered Jobbik,

I was kind of indifferent toward Jews.

I didn't care about Jews.

I didn't care about the Holocaust.

I didn't consider the Holocaust

as a tragedy for the Hungarian people.

I read a lot of anti-Semitic literature.

- [David] Still, Szegediwas a leader of a party

almost universally labeled anti-Semitic,

and his public statementsshowed that at the very least,

he still didn't like Jews,and was suspicious of them.

But that would all change

when Csanad Szegedi wouldlearn something about himself

that turned his world upside down.

Csanad Szegedi was a Jew.

Rumors had begun swirling on the Internet

that Szegedi had Jewish roots,

so he went to talk with his94-year-old grandmother,

who had never said she was Jewish.

- [Interpreter] And she opened up,

and she talked about her life,

and how she was sent to Auschwitz,

and how our whole family was annihilated.

- How did this change yourview of the Holocaust?

- [Interpreter] I was shocked.

First of all,

because I realized theHolocaust really happened.

- [David] Not sure what he should do next,

he first tried to hide his Jewishness

and act like nothing had happened,

but eventually realized hecould not stay in Jobbik.

- [Interpreter] Irealized I can't take part

in any organization

that has anything todo with anti-Semitism.

- So what do you do when you discover

that you are one of thevery things that you hated?

For Csanad Szegedi, you change.

Szegedi contacted localrabbi Shlomo Koves,

who first thought it was a joke.

- When we met first, with CsanadI had very mixed feelings,

because from one hand Iwas sitting across somebody

that was seen for years

as one of the main figuresof the Jobbik party.

From the other hand, I wassitting across a person,

a broken person who hasrealized what he has done,

and who has come to a situation

where he figured he has to change,

but he still doesn't know how to change.

- [David] Csanad startedattending synagogue,

and admits that at first,

some members treated him like a leper,

and would literally leave thesynagogue when he walked in.

But some befriended him,

and he started takingclasses at the synagogue,

learning Hebrew and themeaning of kosher and Shabbat.

- How much of your life has changed

since you learned that you're a Jew?

- [Interpreter] It's changed everything.

It's like being reborn,

and the changes in mylife are still happening.

I had had this valuesystem until I was 30,

and I had to admit that it was all wrong,

and had to find the will to change.

- [David] One of the highpoints of his new life

was traveling this yearto Israel with his wife,

and visiting the HolocaustMuseum and the Wailing Wall.

- [David] When I landed in Israel,

airport security askedme a lot of questions,

and when the guard askedme "Are you a Jew?",

then for the first time inmy life I could say "Yes."

- What has it been likelearning how to be Jewish?

- [Interpreter] Just to feel like

you're on the right way spiritually,

and you can get closer to God,

it's a whole new feeling for me

that I'm doing the right thing.

My life has been fullof incredible miracles,

but I believe everyonewho chooses the way of God

sees miracles.

- Dale Hurd, CBN News,in Budapest, Hungary.

(upbeat orchestral music)

- [Pat Robertson] When yougive, smiles grow bigger.

When you care, homes are happier.

When you comfort, the hurt goes away.

When we all come togetherto love, miracles happen.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are morethan 148 million orphans

in the world today?

148 million.

But it was three little girls

that taught me aboutthe plight of orphans.

My husband and I spent nearly a month

immersed in the daily activitiesof a Ukrainian orphanage

as we waited to adopt three sisters.

I saw firsthand the utterloneliness, 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 worldwide.

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.

- Hello!

Is this thing on?

Hey kids, do you love games?

And do you love discovering things?

Well do ya?

- [Kids] Yeah!

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

It's the new freeSuperbook Kid's Bible App!

You can play games, watch videos,

find answers to your questions,and a whole lot more.

The new Superbook Kid's Bible App.

Free downloads available oniTunes and Google Play now.

- Finally, this week'sCBN's Orphan's Promise

is reshaping children'slives in South Sudan.

Families have been torn apartby violence in that country.

Orphan's Promise

is showing thousands ofchildren the love of Christ

by providing safe housing,education, and nutrition.

The children enter theprogram fearful, reserved,

and un-trusting,

but the love and generosityof Orphan's Promise caregivers

helps them find peace and healing.

Well folks, that is itfor this week's edition

of Christian World News.

Until next week, from all of us here,

goodbye, and God bless you.

(dramatic orchestral music)


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