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Christian World News - January 11, 2019

Christian World News - January 11, 2019 Read Transcript


(intense music)

- [George] This week onChristian World News,

Egypt's Christians get a special gift,

courtesy of the government.

Why Egypt's president not only helped fund

this new cathedral, butalso came to the dedication.

- [Wendy] And protectingSyria's Christians

as the US plans to pull out its troop.

Secretary of State MikePompeo warns Turkey,

hands off the Christians and the Kurds.

- [George] Plus, after years of revival,

China's church is under assault.

Why President Xi Jinping sees Christians

as an enemy of the state.

Hello, everyone, welcometo this week's edition

of Christian World News.

I'm George Thomas.

- And I'm Wendy Griffith.

Egypt's coptic Christians celebrated

orthodox Christmas this week.

Part of that celebrationincluded the dedication

of the Middle East'slargest coptic cathedral.

- It was quite impressive.

Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,

was there for the big reveal.

So was my colleague, Chris Mitchell,

who has this story from Cairo.

(speaks in foreign language)

- [Chris] At Christmasmass, Egypt's coptic pope

inaugurated the Nativityof the Christ Cathedral,

with the presidentjoining the celebration.

The building is a gift to the church

from Egypt's President el-Sisi.

He commissioned the constructionof the cathedral in 2017

to be part of the newadministrative capital

outside of Cairo.

And he said he wanted thenew church to be a message

of peace and love to the world.

Joel Rosenberg lead adelegation of evangelicals here

for the dedication.

- I think what we'veseen here is historic.

I really think it's a game changer

that a Sunni Arab Muslim president

of the world's largest Arabcountry has built a church,

the largest in the Middle East,

and given it and as a giftto the Christians of Egypt.

We've never seen anythinglike it in all of history,

and I think Presidentel-Sisi is sending a message

not just to his ownpeople, but to all Muslims.

Muslims and Christians canlive in unity and coexistence.

That's an extraordinary development.

- [Chris] In a tweet,President Trump praised el-Sisi

for moving his country tobe a more inclusive future.

Johnnie Moore agrees, seeing him leading

a new spirit movement in the Middle East.

- You know, there's a versein the Bible that says

what the enemy meant forevil, God uses for God.

And the horrific terrorismof the last decade,

at its height 2014 and 2015 with ISIS,

what it has done is ithas created fertile ground

for a new spirit of toleranceto rise across the region,

and you have leaders whoare facilitating that.

- [Chris] Reverend Andrea Zaki,

president of the Protestant churches here,

says the Egypt portrayed in the media

is not the whole story.

- I think Egypt is moving.

Changes is not like a computer, click.

You have a new screen in a second.

Culture, customs, nations, economy.

All of these are taking long time,

but you can feel and seeand touch the changes.

- [Chris] The group alsomet with Pope Tadros,

the head of the largest Christianchurch in the Middle East,

and with evangelical leaders.

They shared the same story.

- And the answer that theygive us time and time again,

repeatedly is, we have challenges,

but the situation is somuch better than it was

under Sudot, under Mubarrage,

under the Muslim Brotherhood for sure.

We're encouraged butwe're gonna keep pressing

for even more change.

- [Chris] Chris Mitchell, CBN News,

the New Church of the Nativity, Cairo.

- And just days after that dedication,

US Secretary of State MikePompeo visited the cathedral.

Afterwards, he sat downwith our Chris Mitchell

who asked the Secretary what he had to say

to Middle East Christians.

- Wondering about theChristians in the region.

They have an appeal thatthey won't be eradicated,

that Christianity won't be eradicated.

What's your message to those Christians?

- That America is with them.

Christianity is at theheart of the history

of this place here in the Middle East.

All you've gotta do is grab a Bible

and read the places and the names.

Christians have beencentral to the Middle East.

We wanna make sure that theycontinue to have opportunities

and freedom and forChristian churches to grow

alongside churches of other faith as well.

- Secretary Pompeo also saysthe United States stands

for religious freedomeverywhere American diplomacy

is at work.

- As the Trump administrationpursues its plan

to pull US troops out ofSyria, all eyes are on Turkey.

America's NATO ally isanxious to rid its neighbor

of Kurdish fighters.

And it's pushing back, bythe way, against US concerns

about protecting the Kurds.

- Now Syria's Christiansfear what a Turkish invasion

will mean for them when the US leaves.

CBN's Jennifer Wishon explains.

- For President DonaldTrump, getting US troops

out of Syria fits neatly

into his America First foreign policy.

- But I don't wanna be in Syria forever.

It's sand and it's death.

- [Jennifer] But as theUS prepares to draw down,

Assyrian Christians fearthey'll be wiped out

as Turkey eyes a newopening to go after its foe,

the Kurds.

In an open letter to the world,

Syriac Assyrian Christians write,

100,000 Syriac and otherChristians will be killed

or driven away if Turkey invades.

Turkish jihadists hunteddown the Christians

and Yazidi's of Afrin in Northwest Syria.

They will do the same againbut at a much wider scale.

They're referring to theongoing cross-border operation

into the Kurdish city of Afrinlaunched by Turkey in March.

And it's not just the Turkish military.

Christians fear Turkey's Islamist agents

who have no respect forreligions outside of Islam.

Aykan Erdemir is a formermember of Turkey's parliament

and current senior fellow

at the Foundation forDefensive Democracies.

- Will we see jihadists coming back,

enslaving religiousminorities, killing them,

destroying churches?

Talking about the extinctionof an ancient way of life.

We're talking aboutChristianity in its cradle,

Yazidism in its homelandbeing completely destroyed.

- It's interestingbecause just like month,

HR-390 became law which says,

the State Departmentshall identify threats

of persecution, genocide,crimes against humanity

and war crimes against membersof Iraq or Syrian minority

or religious or ethnic groups.

Does that, what's goingwith the US and the threat

that you've just laid out,does that contradict this?

- I think we're sendingmixed signals, certainly.

- [Jennifer] Turkey has agrowing notorious reputation

when it comes to religious freedom.

In its latest report,the US designated Turkey

a tier two country ofconcern when it comes

to allowing Christians andother religious minorities

to practice their faiths freely.

Still, President Trump is standing firm

on his decision to bring US troops home.

What's the solution here?

What can be done?

- In the Middle East, there'sno such thing as vacuum.

The moment you create a vacuum,

you can be sure that Iran will be there,

their proxies will be there.

You can be sure that therewill be Sunni jihadists there,

and their patrons as well.

And also Russia.

- One option would be forthe US to recognize Kurdistan

as a nation, but likeeverything in the Middle East,

Erdemir says that's complicated

because large populationsof Kurds are spread

across a number ofcountries, including Iran.

For now, it appears USpolicy is putting 2,000 years

of Christian historyand tradition at risk.

Jennifer Wishon, CBN News.

(intense music)

- [George] Up next, millionsof Chinese have turned

to Christ in recent decades.

Now, China's president, XiJinping, views the growing church

as a threat to the Communist Party.

- 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?

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- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are morethan 148,000,000 orphans

in the world today?

148,000,000.

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 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 tan 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes.

They're being educated.

And they'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.

- The United Kingdomis sending a Christian

back to his home country of Pakistan

where he fears he will face persecution.

Religious persecution forced Azure Simpson

to seek asylum in the UK 14 years ago.

His pastor says he's beena member in good standing

at his church for 10 years.

Now, his asylum claim has been rejected,

and Azure is being deported.

His brother says thatAzure will be targeted

by Islamists if he'ssent back to Pakistan.

- The European Court of HumanRights has ruled against

a German homeschooling familyin what is being called

a huge setback for parents' rights.

The court said that Germanyauthorities did not violate

the Wunderlict family'sfundamental rights.

They took the couple'sfour children back in 2013

in a 2013 raid because thechildren were being homeschooled.

The children were eventually returned.

Their family's attorney saysThursday's ruling, quote,

disregards the rights ofparents all over Europe.

- The judgment has upheld the blanket ban

that exists in Germanyagainst homeschooling.

The blanket ban that is backedup with criminal penalties.

It really ignores thefundamental parents rights

that guaranteed by aninternational treatise.

- [George] The Wunderlictswill appeal the decision

to the Grand Chamber of theEuropean Court of Human Rights.

- Well after years of revival,

China's church is under assault.

Millions of Chinese have turnedto Christ in recent decades.

Now China's President Xiviews the growing church

as a threat to the Communist Party.

- In fact, police are raiding churches

and arresting pastors.

I recently visited Chinato learn about the ideology

that's fueling a widespreadcrackdown against Christians.

(sings in foreign language)

For the last 20 years,CBN News has documented

the explosive growth inChina's so-called underground

or house church movement asmillions in this officially

atheistic nationconverted to Christianity.

Experts say what's been happening in China

is part of an unprecedented revival

that has practically touchedevery corner of the country,

leading some to predictthat China come become

the world's most Christian nation by 2030.

(upbeat music)

But this man wants to prevent that.

Since taking power in2012, China's president,

Xi Jinping, has orderauthorities to shut down

any house church not undercommunist government control.

- Massive new wave of persecution

has been happening in China.

- [George] Bob Fu, withUS-based China aid,

is documenting the widespread crackdown.

- I'm talking about hundredsof thousands of churches

were shut down, pastorswere being arrested

and their prayer meetingwere being raided.

- [George] Pastor Jin Mingriknows harsh tactics firsthand.

In August, Jin, who lead Zion Church,

the largest unregisteredcongregation in Bejing,

refused a government orderto install closed circuit

surveillance cameras in the sanctuary.

Weeks later, authoritiesoutlawed the 1,500-member church

and banned him from preaching.

(speaks in foreign language)

- [Translator] It's probablythe largest incident

of the government usingpublic power to apply pressure

on a house church in the past 10 years,

and it's still going on today.

(patriotic trumpet music)

- [George] Bob Fu saysthe crackdown is part

of President Xi's ambitionof cynicizing Christianity

with Chinese characteristics,

and insisting that Christianspledge political loyalty

to him and the Communist Party.

- He is really wanting to take China

to the term of old, old kinda path

by excising more politicalcontrol and mind control,

ideological kind of cynicization

into the Communist Party's ideology.

- [George] Andrew Nathanof Columbia University says

the government views ChineseChristians like dry kindling

that could spark a political uprising

against the government withthe help of outside influence.

- They think that followingforces the United States,

missionaries, and so forthwould like to spark up

this tinder, so they don't see it only

in a domestic context.

They see it in astrategic context as well.

- [George] As authoritiestear down and burn crosses,

destroy bibles, and replaceimages of Jesus Christ

with posters of the Chinese president,

Quan Ki, one of China'smost prominent pastors

arrested this month, boldly declared

that Xi's godlike status was incompatible

with the Christian faith,and vowed to disobey all laws

that go against the Bible.

Now, after years ofenjoying relative freedom

from government interference,Christians like this woman,

who's husband is under house arrest,

worries about the futureclimate for China's Christians.

(speaks in foreign language)

- [Translator] It's painful.

The government says thatwe have religious freedom,

but really there is no freedom at all.

- Wow.

George, there's a groupof Christians in Vietnam

who are being persecuted.

Who are they and why?

- Well they're called the Mong people,

and they're about 4,000,000to 5,000,000 Mong,

primarily in Southeast Asia.

The largest concentration in China,

but also a large concentration in Vietnam.

And what's happening thenortheastern highlands of Vietnam,

there's a tremendous revivalamongst the Mong people

and the church and thegovernment authorities

in the northeastern part of the country

are cracking down on them severely.

- George, how did the gospel ever even get

to this remote area?- It's really incredible.

From the 1980s, the organization called

the Far East Broadcasting Corporation,

a radio mission that was based in Manila,

they started communicating thegospel in the Mong language.

- [Wendy] Wow.

- And so many people, almost40% of Vietnam's Mong today

have turned their livesover to Jesus Christ.

- So that's the good news.

- That's the good news.

- Great story, thanks, George.

Up next, as a teenager soldfor sex, she killed a man.

Now the governor is setting her free.

How her case sheds light on the plight

of tens of thousands of girlstrapped in the sex trade.

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(gentle piano music)

- [Male Announcer] Life.

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- [Man] We had four jobsthat didn't go right,

but we didn't waver in our faith.

- That's when God put on my heart

that we needed to do the well.

(moving music)

- [Man] Within a couple ofdays, we got an insurance

refund check that wehad no idea was coming.

- And here we are.

This year, it's just, boom. (laughs)

- You go out and help other people,

and you get rewarded for it.

- [Announcer] Get PatRobertson's latest teaching,

Miraculous Blessings.

- And welcome back to the broadcast.

A teen trafficking victimserving a life sentence

for murder is now lookingforward to freedom.

Tennessee governor BillHaslam granted clemency

to 30-year-old Cyntoia Brown.

Now she's crediting thelord for giving her, quote,

his saving grace and a second chance.

Brown's lawyers say she wasforced into the sex trade

when she was only 16.

That's when this man, JohnnyAllen, bought her for sex.

She said she feared forher life and shot him.

She was sentenced to atleast 51 years in prison.

By many accounts, Brownmade changes in prison

following deciding to follow the lord,

and is now close to finishedher bachelor's degree

from Limscom, a Christian university.

At a hearing in May, she explained.

- It was so necessary to change.

It wasn't so much of achoice, but I had to.

- Cyntoia's transformation isnothing short of a miracle.

To watch her go from whereshe was to where she is

is the most amazing thing.

- [George] Anti-traffickinggroups like Exodus Cry,

the National Center onSexual Exploitation,

and Shared Hope applaudedthe governor's move,

and Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore

called Brown's clemencyan important development.

Brown is expected to bereleased from prison in August

after serving 15 yearsbehind bars, terrific story.

- Wow.

Well for children escaping from the horror

of human trafficking,there are no easy answers.

Few centers can give themthe treatment that they need,

but that may soon change in Texas.

- A new facility there hopes to become

a model for the future.

Heather Sells brings us that story.

- This shelter is set to open in 2018,

and will provide care for 48 children,

just a fraction of thosewho need it here in Texas.

The need is overwhelming.

Trafficking survivor ToniMcKinley will work as a therapist

for the refuge when it opens.

- I can't tell you howmany phone calls I get.

I just got one a couple ofdays ago of law enforcement

asking me, what do you know that's open?

What's available, where can I take her?

- [Heather] As the officeroverseeing trafficking cases

in Austin, Sergeant KevinCovington often asks

those same questions.

- There's different things that we can try

but outside of them having the refuge,

and then put them on aplane and flying them

back home to wherever they're from,

there's no real good answer.

- [Heather] Just how manychildren are trafficked here?

A new study by the University of Texas

puts the number at 79,000.

It's a stunning number,considering that national estimates

overall reach the tens of thousands.

Regardless of the total,however, there's simply not

enough beds, let alonetreatment facilities

for these incredibly wounded kids.

And that can feed right into the cycle.

- The more that we find thesekids and don't have a place

to put them, a placefor them to get healing,

the more that they're not gonna trust us.

- [Heather] Meet themind behind the refuge,

Brooke Crowder, who says Goddownloaded the plans to her.

- I kept saying, whyare we not doing this?

And then it became, wellthen why am I doing this?

- [Heather] Right now,Texas has just 20 or beds

for its thousands of survivors.

It's hard to believe, but Crowder admits.

- It's just an issue we don'treally wanna talk about.

It's dark.

It's hard to hear about.

- [Heather] And even harderto do something about.

- [Brooke] It's a pretty complex response

that is required.

It's also quite costly.

And so it's, and there'sreally not a model out there

that people can say, okay,we'll build this here.

- [Heather] The refugemodel keeps the price down.

It builds strategic partnerships

with those already helping young people.

- We're not bearing the costof our onsite charter school.

The University of Texas is doing that

through their wonderful school program.

We're not bearing thecost of the medical care.

We're partnering witha federally qualified

healthcare clinic.

- [Heather] There's alsohelp with animal therapy

and other services.

Each survivor here willreceive a customized care plan,

and likely stay for atleast a year, if not longer.

Crowder hopes this ruralsetting will provide

both a sense of safetyand a feeling of community

that will take away any desire to run.

McKinley wishes she wouldhave had such an option.

Her first trafficking experiencecame in elementary school.

Later a teenager, a retired police officer

kept her in the trade.

- I completely trusted him.

And I also desired a father figure so bad,

like so bad that Ididn't question anything

even though I was afraid.

- [Heather] Both McKinleyand Crowder hope the refuge

will give survivors the ability to relearn

the very basics of human relationships.

Their biggest goal, helpingvictims release their shame

and understand how to trust.

- The type of people who buyyoung adults and children

are doctors, policeofficers, lawyers, teachers.

If you can imagine trying toprocess hundreds of rapes,

hundreds of rapes becausethese girls are being raped

10, 15 times a day,six, seven days a week,

some of them for years.

It's a lot.

And that's why it takes so much.

That's why so many peopledon't take this on.

They don't build placeslike this because it's hard.

- If the refuge can get it right here,

they would like to replicate this model

in other cities in Texas andeventually in other states,

providing care for thethousands of children

who so desperately need it.

Reporting in central Texas,Heather Sells, CBN News.

(moving music)

- [Announcer] When yougive, smiles grow bigger.

When you care, homes are heavier.

When you comfort,

the hurt goes away.

When we all come together to love,

miracles happen.

- Hello, I'm Terry Meeuwsen.

Did you know there are morethan 148,000,000 orphans

in the world today?

148,000,000.

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 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 tan 50 countries worldwide.

Thousands of childrenare now in safe homes.

They're being educated.

And they'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?

(cheering)

And do you love discovering things?

- [Kid] Yeah.

- Well, do you?

(kids cheering)

- [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 questions,and a whole lot more.

The new Superbook Kids Bible app.

(kids cheering)

Free downloads available oniTunes and Google Play now.

- The popular You Version Bible app says

their Bible plan got over1,000,000 new subscriptions

at the start of the new year.

The company says thatthe uptick of subscribers

on January 1st represents a62% increase from last year.

The Bible plan allows usersto pair daily passages

from the Bible with audio,video, or devotional content.

The plans are availablein more than 50 languages

and help guide people inreading through the Bible

over the course of 90 days,six months, or a year.

And George, that is quite an uptick.

- It's incredible, yeah.

I have it, that's what I use everyday.

It's always good to havethe actual word of God.

- Yeah, I like to, yeah.

- The last time I actuallyopened a physical Bible,

it's been a while.- Really?

- See, how it's?

There's so much.

- My phone's always dying,so that's my problem.

- Yeah, well.

Good news that you'restarting off the new year with

- Yes, the Bible app.

- Exactly.

Okay, 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.

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