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tv   Christian World News  TLN  June 17, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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>> george: today on christian world news, finding sanctuary, why did he have to fight so hard to stay, and what made the swedes change their status. >> wendy: and witness to the united nations, pastor saeed abedini's wife pleads
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with iran to release her husband from jail, and delivers the gospel message to world leaders. >> george: plus superman flies again. we take you on the set of the new movie and learn about the religious symbols behind the "man of steel." sweden opens its doors to an iranian christian seeking asylum. hello, everyone, i'm george thomas. >> wendy: and i'm wendy griffith. a christian convert from islam is breathing easier today. the swedish government has decided it will not deport him back to his home country of iran. >> george: big news. migration officials reversed their decision after media reports, including a story by our very own story by dale hurd. today swedish christians are crediting cbn news as a factor in raza's freedom. >> reporter: in march, cbn news brought you this story
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of raza jabari, who along with many other iranian christians in sweden faced deportation back to iran and grave danger. the swedish government's attitude towards iranian christians facing deportation would seem to be as cold as the swedish winter. the iranians say sweden's immigration board simply does not care if they face prison or torture if they return to iran. ♪ >> reporter: jabari, a famous singer in iran, who refused to be a government informant, was hiding in sweden after his asylum request was rejected. >> in islam, it is shari'a and it is every muslim man who leaves the islam must be killed because this man is a prostate. >> reporter: his pastor still can't believe raza's asylum request was denied. >> i thought, this should be
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a piece of cake. i mean, this man has brought other muslims to the christian faith and the christian baptism. i mean, if he is a fraud, he is a very bad one because he is bringing people to christian faith. but, still, they denied him. that made me look into what is going on? >> reporter: what is going on? ab corg taccording to a swedish lawyer is a badly run asylum process and in some cases, anti-christian bias. >> when you apply for asylum, you have to present your case. if you claim you're a convert, you have to show some evidence of having been converted, certificate of baptism, or membership in a congregation. >> reporter: but donnor says that crucial evidence is often missing from asylum applications because too many state-appointed lawyers don't include it. ben spends his time trying to rescue christian
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asylum-seekers. >> about every week five or six churches call me and say these people who come to church, they are real converts. they are members in our church, but the immigration board, they don't believe they are christians. what shall we do? >> reporter: but raza's case has a happy ending. the swedish government has decided to grant him permanent residency, and his pastor, kye burger, says cbn's story changed the political climate for christian refugees seeking asylum. but others may be in jeopardy, like ali and their girl, sarina. they now face deportation. >> we have told our families in iran that we are christian now, and they have disowned us. so we don't have a family to return to. our blood is now halal, it is holy for muslims to kill us. >> reporter: the good news is raza can stay in sweden,
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but other iranian christians are still in danger. dale hurd, cbn news. >> wendy: thanks, dale. christians continue to speak out for saeed abedini. the iranian-born pastor is serving an 8-year prison sentence for sharing the gospel inside iran. the u.s. state department and the white house recently called on riern t iran to set him free, and his wife, naghmeh, appeared before the united nations to plead for her husband's release. for more than 250 days, saeed abedini has languished inside one of the most brutal prisons in the world. >> why is he being held? because he exercised his rights of religious freedom, expression, and peaceful assembly. >> wendy: recently his wife took her husband's case before the u.n. humans rights council in geneva. >> i hope that my presence here today will put a face to those who suffer when a government does not up hold its obligation to protect
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these freedoms. >> wendy: the 33-year-old iranian-born u.s. citizen is sentenced to eight years in prison for his christian faith and has endured torture. >> on at least two occasions the iran government has physically tortured my husband. it has caused my husband to have dozen symptoms of internal bleeding. >> wendy: the white house says it was deeply concerned about pastor abedini's plight, and promised to keeping pressing until he was back home with his family. >> we condemn iran's condemnation of the universal right of freedom, and call on the iranian authorities to release mr. abedini. >> reporter: but abedini is not alone. last month iranian authorities shut down the largest persian christian
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church, and authorities are reportedly targeting individuals and groups deemed dangerous, including growing christian churches. just before ending her u.n. speech, naghmeh said on facebook she wanted to use her appearance to plant the seeds of the gospel message before a global audience. >> saeed believes in forgiveness of sin through jesus christ, and whoever accepts this forgiveness of sin can be reconciled to the god of peace and love. this is the god of peace and love we're all searching for. >> wendy: pastor abedini is not alone in that prison. there is another iranian pastor in urgent need of prayer. he has been in jail longer than saeed abedini. he is suffering from internal bleeding and a painful skin condition, and he is walking with a limp because of a slipped disk in his back. he has led many iranian muslims to jesus christ.
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if you want to help pastor irani and pastor abedini, you can visit our website,, and there you'll find links to petitions where you can sign on their behalf. >> george: the united states is stepping up its assistance to rebel forces in syria. the white house confirmed that the assad regime has used chemical weapons in the civil war. about 150 people died in those attacks. president obama says syria has crossed a, quote,"red line" that requires the u.s. to respond. but the white house hasn't made clear what kind of assistance it will provide to the so-called rebels. there are concerns that the u.s. could end up arming some of its enemies since some of the groups are affiliated with al-qaeda. >> wendy: a u.s. senator says america should not give funding to the enemies of christians in syria and across the middle east. kentucky's rand paul made that argument at a faith and freedom of religion
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coalition in washington, d.c. he says people are on the run and being persecuted, and america should stop helping the people who are change them. >> there is a war on christianity, not just from the liberal elites here at home, but worldwide. and your government, and more correctly, you are having to pay for it. you're being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of christians, but openly hostile. >> wendy: senator paul pointed out that some regime put christians to death for blasphemy against islam, or they kill muslims who convert to christianity. >> george: joining us is our course sponder gar -- correspondent gary lane, who is just back from the syria boarder. what do you make of this u.s. taxpayers' money going to persecute christians around the world? >> he is spot on about that,
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george. think about pakistan, where the government doesn't protect christians, and $8.5 billion we have center there, and egypt, $2 billion a year. >> george: we just send them the money? >> we send them the money and they use it how they want to use it. and they're persecuting christians there. >> george: let's talk about syria, and these so-called rebel groups. the united states says they're going to start arming the opposition fighters. what do we know about them? can we trust them? and how do they view christians? >> they had an intensive lobbying effort on capitol hill. people think it is just one group. there are a multitude of groups. and there are malitias. and there is a group we feel we can trust, and they're not al-qaeda. we can send the weapons to them. but can we keep them out of the hands of the al-qaeda?
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we'll see. that's why the president has been reluctant to send anti-aircraft missile because they can turn around and use them against our commercial aircraft. >> george: you were at the border, specifically focusing on the wave of refugees coming across the border. the majority are muslims, but the ones reaching out to them are christians? >> yes. it is wonderful, and they're responding. the muslims are responding to that. i went into a tent for some muslims and they allowed me to pray for them. and rarely do they turn the christians down on that. the christians are the once who are the first responders, and they're feeding them and administering to them. and they're saying how else can we help you? we're interested in you and your future and your family. >> george: real quickly, we reported on the story of the mass exitous of christians out of the middle east. what can be done to stop this mass exitous? >> politically we have to put pressure on those governments to stop the
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persecution and to protect the christians. and don't underestimate the power of prayer. ask god to protect them and help them. >> george: and they definitely need our prayers. >> yes, they do. >> george: thank you, gary. >> wendy: a big victory for churches in the czech republic. the country's highest court upheld a government plan to pay billions of dollars to religious groups. the money is compensation for property the former communist regime seized from the group. the church has been fighting this battle since the 1989 fall of commple. communism. under the plan, 16 religious groups, including catholics, protestants, and jews, will get $3 billion over the next 30 years. and they'll get 56% of their property now held by the sta >> wendy: it's one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, "man of steel" opens in theaters worldwide this week, but many are wondering who is this new
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superman? i had the chance to sit down with some of the stars of the film, including little known british actor henry kaville, who plays the man of steel, to talk about his role of a lifetime. >> it's going to change the world. >> wendy: you might say henry kaville was born to play superman, although until now, many people were saying henry who? are you ready for the super stardom that superman is going to bring you? >> i don't know if anybody can ready for that. i'm going to have to be as ready as i can be and ride the wave and enjoy it and roll with the punches if they come. >> wendy: in "man of steel" there are plenty of punches as superman tries to keep the evil general zod from wiping out life on earth. >> to some, he was the guardian angel. >> wendy: reporter lois lane teams up with superman
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to save the day. isn't she sort of a hero, too? >> yes. she definitely is willing to put her own safety at risk. >> wendy: it has been said since superman's creation that superman is a kind of type creature. his cryp cryptonian sends his only son to earth to save mankind, and superman is 30 years old when he finally reveals his super powers, the same age as jesus when he went to the cross. the director says the symbolism is a part of the superman story he wanted to embrace. >> allowing people to have a conversation about whatever relationship they have with jesus, or the jesus story through the movie, i think is undeniable in the material. and if you don't include it in the film, then you really sort of deny the mythology that is superman. >> wendy: russell crowe plays superman's father, and
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kevin costner play's superman's earthly father, who realizes early on his son has super powers. >> can i just pretend i am your son. >> you are my son. >> i think that's the great thing about life, being able to make discoveries on your own. but what happens is sometimes a parent can frame it for you. and if you adore your parents, you want to end up on the side of what you feel is right. >> wendy: and we learned something very interesting about the famous "s" on superman's chest. >> it is not an "s." in my world, it means hope. >> wendy: what hope does superman bring? >> it is that hope against the odds, to beat all odds. no matter how steep or how grand. and it's just standing up, facing the troubles, and going, i will not surrender. >> george: you have watched the movie.
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are the religious symbols subtle? >> wendy: no. you can't miss them. there is a huge mural of jesus behind him, and it is really interesting how they weaved that religious symbolism into the movie. i think christians will enjoy it. it is well-done. >> george: ok, coming up, we travel to dagestan, and we meet christians in the region who risk their lives to tell how god is at work in the muslim country.
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>> george: and welcome back to this show. checchechnya, dagestan, north caucuses, places people probably never heard of before the boston marathon bombings. the two brothers accused of carrying out the attacks lived in this violent area of russia before moving to the united nations. today radical muslims are still fighting for control of the region. in a fall three-bedroom house on the outskirts of town, ramza and his wife spend a few quiet moments reading the bible and praying. >> i'm not a political person, never have been, never want to be be. my focus is on loving people. >> george: speaking on the condition, we hide his identity, ramza is among a handful of christians secretly sharing the gospel in one of russia's most dangerous places. >> i've been arrested many times. i'm constantly watched by the russian police and
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radical islamists, but i will never stop preaching. this is my home. >> george: home is the north caucuses region. for nearly two decades, radical muslims have fought almost daily to take over the region for islam. their goal, to turn five russian republics, including chechnya and dagestan, into one huge islamic emirate. >> the people of north caucuses historically protective the traditional form of islam. but that has changed as more people embrace a radical form of islam. >> george: the two brothers suspected in the boston marathon attacks were born and raised in the north caucuses before moving tw to the u.s. in 2010, the older brother spent six months here in dagestan. he made regular visits to this mosque in the capital city. tamaran reportedly met two
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islamic terrorists, both of whom were later killed in shootouts with the russian forces. chechnya was once the epicenter of the islamists' battle. russia fought two brutal wars against chechynan fighters in the 1990s, trying to stop them from islamizing the province. he was only a year old when the first war started. >> as i grew older, i heard stories from my parents of how horrible it was back then. >> george: tens of thousands were killed, and hundreds of thousands of chechens displaced. >> i remember my parents and i crossing the border to a neighbouring province, once the bombs started falling. >> george: it left the province in ruins. the capital city, cozni, was did mated. was-- decimated. the russian government has been pouring in billions of
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dollars, and in fact today chechnya receives the most money out of all 85 provinces. the evidence is everywhere: rebuilt streets. walls once riddled with bullet holes are gone. new apartments going up, and skyscrapers rising to the skies. >> i don't think anyone could have imagined the changes happening this fast. >> george: and the kremlin imposed a leader of chechnya, who has ruled with an iron fist, cracking down severely on radical i islamists in the province. >> he has managed to keep them under control for now. >> george: but now those ti too scared to speak on camera speak of the anger. the jihadists have no taken the fight to the province of dagestan. in may, a female suicide bomber attacked the capital, injuring thousands. they are called black widows
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because many are killed by security forces. more than a dozen black widows have carried out suicide missions since 2000. back in 1999, a group of radical muslims attempted to turn dagestan into an emirate ruled by islamic shari'a law. the russian army stepped in and quickly stamped that out. but since then, this province, home to about 2.5 million people, has today some 3,000 mosques and growing. sasha, another secret christian believer lived next door to two islamic insurgents killed during a police raid. we have taken similar precautions to protect his identity. sasha says he actively shares the gospel with muslims in the north caucuses, but it isn't easy. he was twice beaten by muslims. >> i always thought god would protect me as his son. but then i understood if we have the honor to believe in our savior, we also have the honor to endure things he went through in some ways. when we are persecuted and
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feel physical pressure in our lives, then we in reality start to understand and feel how close god is to us. >> george: the provinces of the north caucuses are one of the least evangelized places on earth. the rising islamic fervor has prevented many russians from even visiting the region. but for ramza, sasha, and other believers who work quietly in the shadows, it is a risk worth taking to make the life of jesus known. >> only jesus can change lives. >> wendy: what a great experience. >> george: and the challenge is that the believers have to deal with this on a daily basis, on trying to minister the gospel of jesus christ in a very, very hostile, and difficult condition. but they did it because they believe this name can bring freedom and liberty. >> wendy: amen. great report. thanks, george. stay with us. we'll be right back.
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>> george: cbn's "orphans' promise" is literally bringing light to an
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orphanage in cambodia. >> wendy: teams installed a solar-powered system to the orphanage. and it runs lights so the 90 children can study in the evenings. bedrooms and classrooms are also cooler now that fans can run. i know they're loving that. nothing like a.c. when it is 1 °. >> george: that's right. folks, thank you so much for joining us on this week's edition of christian world news. >> wendy: until next week, from all of us here, good-bye and god bless you.
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>> robert lopez was raised by his lesbian mother and her partner and he embraced the homosexual lifestyle. in his late 20's he unexpectedly fell in love with a woman. his story and thoughts on the current debate about redefining marriage, next. >> hello and welcome to significant insights. i'm jerry rose. today we're bringing you a very interesting conversation between greg and dr. robert lopez. he is an assistant professor in the english department at california state university north ridge. now, a novel could be written about his personal story. his parents were divorced when he was very young and he was raised by his mother and her lesbian partner. as a young adult surro


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