The February 2007 PNEUMA INFORMER
In this issue
What's New at www.PneumaFoundation.orgNew Featured Online Articles
New Links and Content Worth Noticing
- Numerous articles are available on the Online Articles index. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/web_article_archive.jsp
- The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today Chapter Three: "Response" by J. Rodman Williams. Reprinted with minor updates from the author in the Fall 2002 issue of the Pneuma Review and now available online. Added January 25, 2007. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=JRWilliams-GiftHolySpirit3.xml
Read other chapters from this book here: http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article_archive.jsp
- New Guest Article: "Christmas 2006: Peace and Unity through Jesus Christ" Remembering those Christians who have suffered and are suffering today for the sake of Jesus. From the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin. Added February 9, 2007. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/article.jsp?article=/article_0076.xml
Reports from Around the World
Worldwide Persecution: 2007 expected to be a difficult year
(MNN) - 250-million Christians are expected to face persecution in 2007. That's the word from Release International, a persecution watchdog group. Release International also says persecution is growing the fastest in the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia continues to be one of the worst offenders, which is second on Open Doors' World Watch List of countries who allow persecution of Christians. Release also expects persecution to increase in India, Nepal, Nigeria, China, Bhutan, Burma, and Sri Lanka.
In a related report, International Christian Concern has just released it's Hall of Shame awards, listing the world's top ten persecutors of Christians. The report suggests that the source of persecution against Christians is shifting from nations with Communist governments to Islamic nations. In order, ICC has ranked the world's worst persecutors as: North Korea, Iraq, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Eritrea, China, Vietnam and Pakistan. Pray that believers will continue to share their faith despite the violence.
Source: Mission Network News, January 4 and January 5, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9454 amd http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9458
China: Believers Beaten; An "Immortal" Dies
China Aid Association reports that on 26 January, Beijing house church member and activist Hua Huiqi and his 76-year-old mother were attacked by police, kicked to the ground and wounded as they were out walking in the morning. They were taken to the police station where Mr Hua was seriously beaten before being taken away. Mr Hua's wife was later told her husband had been sentenced to a month's criminal detention.
Meanwhile, the last of China's "eight immortals," communist revolutionary Bo Yibo, died in Beijing on 15 January at the age of 98. The "immortals" are dead but the Church lives on, growing in numbers and influence despite everything the Communist Party throws at it. Hebrews 10:36,37
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin RLP 414 | January 07 Update
India: The Bible in a new language
(MNN) - Thanks to the work of the International Bible Society, the complete Bible is now available in a poetic language in Northern India. Speaking from India, IBS' PLM Murthy says they just dedicated the Awadhi language which is spoken by 20-million people. Since Hindu scriptures are also written in poetic languages, he believes many people will read it. Murthy is surprised by the response from scholars. "The University in North India is using the Awadhi Bible as a text book for the learners of the Awadhi language. We did not anticipate this at all." The use of the Bible in schools and media coverage of the dedication is driving demand. Murthy is asking for prayer. "Pray for us so that we can produce more copies and that God would enable us to take His word and reach these 20-million people who read this language, because that's our burden." Since the Bible has been accepted by Hindu intellectuals, they haven't seen any opposition.
Source: Mission Network News, January 12, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9481
Podcast helps shape future mission teams
(MNN) - Two major missions conferences kicked off 2007 - Urbana '06 and Passion '07. They were aimed at recruiting people into Great Commission Service. HCJB Global's Jon Hirst says they've launched a weekly podcast called "Missional Hands," with new ideas on what it takes to be a missionary in the 21st Century. "As they hear some key characteristics of missions in the 21rst century they'll begin to [ask themselves], 'Am I like that? Do I understand that concept?' And, 'How can I do that when I go on short-term missions this summer?' We really want them to listen and then, when they go this summer, we want them to apply those things." Hirst explains why it's needed. "One of the reasons for a podcast like Missional Hands is to begin to form 'What does it mean to be about missions?' It's not really that instant consumer culture, it's a very different reality to invest in the lives of people in another country and see them transformed for Christ." For more podcast info, read the full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9460
Source: Mission Network News, January 8, 2007.
Korea: 2007 is the Centenary of the 1907 Pyongyang Revival
On the night of 14 January 1907, a small group of believers were studying the Bible in Changdaehyun Church, Pyongyang (capital of present-day North Korea), when the Holy Spirit came on them in a particularly powerful way. They each confessed their sins with tears and deep repentance through the night. The next day the spiritual fervor spread and triggered a massive revival that transformed the spiritual landscape, earning Pyongyang the title "The Jerusalem of the East."
World War Two and then the Korean War left the Korean Peninsula divided. Religious repression and persecution in North Korea has persistently been amongst the world's worst for the past 64 years.
Meanwhile, South Korea is free and home to some of the world's largest, most prayerful and mission-focused churches. On 14 January 2007, the executive secretary of the Christian Council of Korea, Rev Choi Hee Boum, addressed some 15,000 believers in Seoul at an early morning prayer meeting for North Korea. In calling for 2007 to be a Year of Prayer for North Korea he said, "As we mark this centenary day of the outbreak of the 1907 Pyongyang Great Revival, we desire to see love, freedom and peace restored in Korea."
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin RLP 414 | January 07 Update
Africa: AIDS threatens whole generations
News and Headlines
(MNN) - In just three years, sub-Saharan Africa will have so many AIDS orphans that it would take 80,000 orphanages that hold 500 children each just to house them. Teen Missions International's Bob Bland explains their orphan rescue units: "The idea is to take the orphanage to the orphans rather than bring the orphans into the orphanage. So, we go out into these villages, and we'll work a five-mile circle. In that five mile circle, there will be four to six hundreds AIDS orphans, so there's a great need to reach out to those children." Bland says while rescuing the physical person is important, the Gospel rescues the spiritual person. "Each unit has a number of little pup tents. Through that, we share the Gospel with them. We're starting now a new work called a 'Motorcycle Sunday School mission', in which we will put two of our graduates from our Bible school on motorcycles, and they will go from village to village, and they will literally run a Sunday school."
Source: Mission Network News, 19 January, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9504
for Current News and Links
See other news to pray and praise God about in the Prayer Requests department below.
Report the News
We are looking for stories about what God is doing in the world, reports about the persecution of Christians, and information about significant trends and ministry opportunities. If you have a news item to report, please send an email to the PNEUMA INFORMER. http://www.pneumafoundation.org/contactus.jsp
Society for Pentecostal Studies: March 8-10, 2007.
The Society for Pentecostal Studies will be coducting their 36th Annual Meeting, hosted at Lee University, Cleveland, TN, March 8 - 10, 2007.
See www.sps-usa.org for more information.
First Azusa Africa Event Scheduled in Ghana
When: August 7-11, 2007
Where: Accra, Ghana
The Azusa Africa Ghana Celebration is scheduled for August 7-11, 2007, in Accra, Ghana. This event will bring together leaders and ministries from across West Africa with a huge unity gathering planned for the final day. Thousands of people are already committing to attend this once in a lifetime meeting. If the "spirit of Azusa Street" is alive anywhere on planet earth, it is moving in today's Africa. The anticipation for this meeting is that there will be a release of supernatural power and a new level of spiritual unity to help prepare the African church for the challenges being faced. Other Azusa Africa events are being planned for Uganda and South Africa.
For more information and other events, visit: http://www.icfsr.org/events.cfm
From the International Center for Spiritual Renewal Press Release, February 5, 2007.
Resources You Can Use
Pentecostal Lecture on Pneumatology
Verna M. Linzey Lectures on Pneumatology Based on her book, The Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Site says: "Academic Credit Available." http://www.vernalinzey.podomatic.com
Church Website Assessment Tool
The new self-assessment tool from Internet Evangelism Day enables churches to analyze their sites and assess areas that could be developed in order to be more user-friendly to outsiders.
Source: Web Evangelism Newsletter January 2007
Book Review from the Winter 2007 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW
The PNEUMA REVIEW is a quarterly printed journal of ministry resources and theology for Pentecostal and charismatic ministries and leaders. For more information about the PNEUMA REVIEW, and to learn how to subscribe, please visit: Introducing the PNEUMA REVIEW. www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
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Book Review: Experiencing The Spirit
Robert Heidler, Experiencing The Spirit (Ventura, CA: Renew/Gospel Light, 1998), 259 pages.
Read the full review at PneumaReview.com: Robert Heidler: Experiencing The Spirit
John Lathrop is a graduate of Zion Bible Institute and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. He currently servers as a pastor at Christian Pentecostal Church of Newton, Mass.
Read more reviews and articles from the Fall 2006 issue of the PNEUMA REVIEW www.pneumafoundation.org/intro_pr.jsp
- Sri Lankan security forces kill pastor. (MNN) – The World Evangelical Alliance mourns the murder of a pastor in Sri Lanka. Security forces killed the Rev. Nallathamby Gnanaseelan on February 13. He was the Pastor of Tamil Mission Church in Jaffna. Security forces claimed they thought Gnanaseelan was carrying explosives and presented a security risk. However, the region is known for their persecution of believers. He leaves behind a wife and daughter. Continue to pray for the strength of testimony for believers in Sri Lanka.
Source: Mission Network News for January 18, 2007. Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9500
- The Pneuma Foundation was recently asked to return a donation that was sent to us in error. Please join the volunteer staff to pray that we will be able to return these funds quickly without halting our normal operations.
- Seduction and Persecution of the Church in Iran: Before Christmas, while Iran's secret police were interrogating more than a dozen newly imprisoned Christian house fellowship leaders, Iran's President Ahmadinejad wished Iran's Christians a happy Christmas. So while Ahmadinejad attempts to seduce the historically Christian ethnic Armenians and Assyrians, he is dramatically escalating his persecution of Persian Christians and those who evangelize Iranian Muslims. Reportedly the government is moving to place the official church even more under the thumb of the intelligence ministry and security forces. The government may be seeking collaborators. Please pray for all Iran's Christians and churches as 2007 threatens to bring further difficulties and suffering.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 411 | Iran: Seduction and Persecution of the Church
- Harsh oppression follows Ethiopian believers
(MNN)- There have been two attacks on Christians within days of each other in Ethiopia. Voice of the Martyrs-Canada sources say the first attack took place on January 5, where a Christian was murdered in a small town in Central Ethiopia. Then, on January 8, Muslims burned the homes of three Christian families in Western Ethiopia. At last report, police have taken little action in either case. Evangelists continue to work at risk of their lives. Pray that God will sustain them despite trying circumstances.
Source: Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9507
- Christians under mounting pressure in Central Asia. Religious liberty for the churches in Central Asia is worsening. Governments are increasingly negative about outreach, especially amongst the Muslim population, and want to control it more or stop it completely. In some instances governments legislate to control minority religious bodies due to concern about the activities of Islamic groups. However Christians as a religious minority are restricted by such laws along with these Islamic and other minority religious groups. New or revised religion laws are being introduced for tougher control of religious groups and their outreach. Local Muslim communities regard Muslim converts to Christianity as 'traitors' and enemies and persecute them in various ways. Please pray that Christians will stand firm amidst so many pressures.
Source: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - RLP 413 | "Central Asia: Christians Under Mounting Pressure"
- Christians in India face violent intimidation.. (MNN) - Hindu militants are stepping up their campaign to terrorize Christians in [Northern] India. Grand Rapids-based Mission India's Dave Stravers says this was proven true yet again with a new church plant in Assam State. "The 24 members of this church were attacked in the middle of the night. About 70 Hindus raided their homes, beat them up, chased these families all out of the village and they are now homeless and living dispersed in several other villages nearby with friends or relatives." This attack happened right before Christmas. Stravers thinks that the militant Hindus are stepping up their aggression because of how people are responding to the Gospel. "The Hindu militants, themselves, have been publishing some inflammatory material. One of the articles published by a political group called the RSS said, 'Wake up, Hindus! If the present trends continue, our country will be majority Christian by the year 2050.'"
Source: Full story: http://mnn.gospelcom.net/article/9419
- Condolences to the Kevin and Linda Williams family on the passing of Linda's father on Sunday, February 4. Kevin has been a regular contributor to the PNEUMA REVIEW since the journal was first published in 1998.
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