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tv   Christian World News  TLN  June 24, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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>> george: today on christian world news, iran elects a new president. what does he believe, and what will the impact be on christians? >> wendy: plus, secret believers, christians from several nations the former soviet union came together recently. we were there to witness this once in a lifetime event. >> george: and she truly is the blind leading the blind. but this christian woman is helping muslim children overcome their disabilities and live their lives to the fullest. >> george: historic, the islamic republic of iran has a new president. hello, everyone, i'm george thomas. >> wendy: and i'm wendy griffith. after eight turbulant years of makmud ahmadinejad, iran has a new president. his name is haseed ruwan
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assa assani. >> reporter: iran noos new leader is western educated, with a long resume in iran's revolution. he presents a softer image. his election led some western elections to brand him a moderate, who can change iran. hebrew university professor moshi says he differs from macmoud in a few ways. >> this nice-looking man, has a fatherly face, and speaks the right language -- speaks the language he knows the west wants to hear, with exactly continuing the plan of iran. >> he is a clergy, as i
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said. he is a high degree of clergy. not ayatollah, but pretty high in the ranks. >> reporter: iranian expert hamar says a cartoon posted on facebook shows the essence of his election. where he is shown painting a beautiful iranian missile. >> it looks much better, but it is still a missile. he said they're not going to stop the centrifuges. >> reporter: while the president is the face of iran, the real power lies with ayatollah khamenei. >> don't think ruanin is going to have his on policy. he is going to present a policy, which is going to continue to be created by the supreme leader. >> reporter: those policies include iran's nuclear program, its support of syria, and alliance with russia. and rohani has a long
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history in a regime that per persecutes christians. they say the centrifuges will keep spinning, while iran draws closer to a nuclear bomb. >> the danger is that because he is nicer, he can buy more time. and then it might be too late. >> reporter: chris mitchell, cbn news, jerusalem. >> george: joining us now is david ignazar. david, great to have you back on the show. his election, do you see this as a positive development for christians? and if so, why? >> well, i would say that the election of rohani as the president could be reason for some cautious optimism for christians. and that is not because he is a reformer who wants to change the islamic republic, but because he is a pragmatist who realizes he needs to do a deal with the
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west in order to lift some of the sanctions that have hurt iran. >> george: do you think that pragmatism could work out badly for christians? >> the reality is even if the pressure is lifted, the christians will continue to be monitored. they'll continue to be observed by the government, and they will live with the pressure that any time persecution could come back. and so it is important for us to continue to pray. this is certainly that nothing has changed, and it won't change overnight. there could be some better days ahead, but at the same time, the fundamental system is not going to change, and christians will live with the knowledge that pressure could come back at any time. persecution could come back at any time. >> george: in 2005, macmoud began his term by cracking down on christians. eight years later, what has been his legacy as it relates to the underground
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church in iran. >> under president makmud ahmadinejad's presidency, hundreds have been arrested. people are still in prison, and some are suffering greatly for a long time in the prison. at the same time, the church has grown. most iranian christians will look at the hardship, but really look that over the past eight years, the church has grown. and whatever they did to try and put pressure on the church to mac it g make it go away, and stop people from turning to christ, has not worked. in fact, more people are coming to christ now than when makmud ahmadinejad first came to power. they need to realize that persecution will not stop the church growing. >> george: however, david, we learned this week that several house church
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christians have been sentenced to jail. might that be a sign of rohani's strategy? or what is going on here? >> i don't think it has necessary anything to do with rohani. i think it was in the pipeline beforehand. although i don't know the exact details on that. but we are hopeful there will be some help for the church, but at the same time, we understand that that doesn't mean that fundamentally things are going to change under this regime. >> george: just before the election, the state told the assembly of church god in tehran to close its doors. do you have an update on their situation for us, david? >> reporter: well, it is a sad situation that basically because this church, the central assemblies of god church in tehran has their services in persian, they have been told to cease their activities. as far as i know, that hasn't changed.
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we need to continue to pray for a pastor, one of the leaders of that church, who was arrested. and the members of the church who are still without a church building to go to. but what we do know is they will continue to meet together in their homes because that's their right, to worship the lord and practice their faith. >> george: david, thank you so much for joining us on the broadcast. >> thank you. >> george: and to learn more about elan ministries and their work in iran, you can go to our website, cbnnews.com. >> wendy: supporters of egypt's coptic christians met this week in washington. they warn the coptics face growing persecution under mohammed morsi. they quoted a nigerian bishop who has seen islamist persecution in his own country. >> he said if we have a faith worth living for, it is a faith worth dying for. don't you -- that's us --
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compromise the faith we are living and dying for. i said, we are compromising that faith. the coptic christians in egypt are living and dying for it. i believe we will have freedom, and we must use our freedom to defend the freedom of others. >> wendy: baroness cox is chief executive of the humanitarian aid trust. >> george: a week of massive protests have shaken the nation of brazil. protestors say they are tired of paying high taxes while getting low quality services from a corrupt government. meanwhile, there are security concerns for thousands of the foreign visitors attending an international soccer tournament. the brazilian church is praying and taking action. a coalition of ministries has mobilized thousands to share their faith near the stadiums and among the protestors. [speaking a foreign language] >> reporter: the bible society of brazil is coordinating a movement "fair play brazil."
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which is an effort to awaken people to ethical principles. the principles of life that the bible presents. >> george: churches are also preparing to share the gospel with hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to brazil for the world cup soccer tournament in 2014, and the summer olympic games in 2016. >> wendy: well, hope, faith, and love were in great abundance as hispanic christians across the u.s. joined together for a three-day conference to talk about issues affecting the latino community. it culminated with a powerful prayer breakfast. paul strand was there. ♪ >> reporter: music and prayer. [speaking a foreign language] >> reporter: filled the room at the national hispanic prayer breakfast. hundreds gathered to pray for the nation, their leaders and communities, world peace, and more. >> we know that there is power in number. the bible says three bonded cord is a lot stronger than
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a two-bonded one. i think that is true in every sense of the world. >> reporter: one topic on everyone's mind? >> it has been so many years since president bush declared that we needed to create some comprehensive immigration reform. and now president obama is in his second term, and he promised in his first term he would do something and nothing happened. >> reporter: will it pass, and if so, when? >> we spoke with senator reid and we're hoping by july 4th the senate will have an agreement. we spoke with leaders of the republican house, mr. cantor and his leadership team, and they're going to be picking it up right away. it is our hope and prayer we will have immigration reform before the summer is over. >> reporter: even though the measure appears to be gaining steam, it could still take time. >> romans 2: 12 tells us, "rejoit rejoice in hope. be patient in tribulation,
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be constant in prayer." i can't think of another community that romans describes better than yours. >> reporter: immigration wasn't the only thing on people's minds. >> education is the key. i'm talking about education in terms of learning the language effectively, learning a profession. if you learn the skills to be paid a little more money, and you can live, you know, at a better income level, better standard of living, and therefore improving the possibilities for your children to do better in life. >> reporter: and there was one common theme at the event. >> we live in a world that is in chaos, and the truth is the church is there to present hope. and we're here to represent the arms and the feet of jesus. >> reporter: paul strand, cbn news, washington. >> george: coming up, they came from across central asia, secret believers who are truly living out the gospel under tremendous
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>> wendy: 100,000 christians are murdered because of their faith every year. and in many cases, governments are to blame because they passed laws that restrict religious freedom. >> george: a few months ago, i had exclusive access to a gathering of secret believers inside a former soviet republic. and i got this close-up look at what life is really like for christians who face daily persecution. >> george: the setting could not have been more ideal. this is a beautiful location, 70% of the country is mountain. locals call it a second citizen of asia. >> george: it is wintertime in curd kurdistan. >> our goal was to find a
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safe place away from the city, to not draw the attention of the authorities. >> george: for a few days, fatali and a handful of christians gathered in this secluded villa, about a two hours drive outside the capital city. >> we worship, pray, and strategize how to effectively share the love of christ's in our countries. >> george: cbn news cannot show you their faces or reveal their real names for security reasons. people from kurdistan, uzbekistan, kazakhstan, all former republics in central asia, experiencing a rising tide of hostilities against believers. all are members of a christian community that is reaching young people in the former soviet union. >> it is impossible to openly share about jesus christ. doing so will get you beaten, arreste arrested or killed. >> last year was a difficult year for you? >> fortunately, i wasn't
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arrested, but i was interrogated by secret police. accused of gathering people in my house. >> george: he runs training of uzbec leaders. >> you can't relax. you're constantly under stress. you can't trust anyone. >> george: daud is from kazakhstan, the largest of the five countries. there were no kazak christians basketball in the 1990s, today, however, there are 16,000, but strict religious laws make it very difficult for churches to register. >> according to our law, you cannot attend church until you are 18 years old. that means we cannot hold youth meetings or bible studies. >> george: terruz is from kazakhstan. this is home video of his secret house church, smuggled out of the country and obtained exclusively by cbn news. the meetings are small. >> the people in this video know exactly what is at
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stake. our parents told us since childhood, that one day we may have to sacrifice our lives. >> george: 1,000 of them are christians. >> be thankful every day, rejoicing every soul that comes into heaven, that's what keeps us going. >> george: religious freedom exists in all five countries under the constitution, but barely. a more radical movement is taking place in central asia. detredimitri is a human rights lawyer in uzbekistan. he says they control all religions. >> groups from saudi, turkey, and elsewhere are coming with a different interpretation of islam. some of the radical groups have engaged in terrorist activities. >> george: oreck works in remote villages of
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kazakhstan. >> there was a lot of people in the '90s, people could openly share the gospel, but eventually islam started to gain movement. >> george: here in the multiplies of kurdistan, the horses and other popular modes of transportation, especially to get around some of the tough terrains and the steep hills -- you know, for the believers, this is a spiritual oasis because it is an opportunity to get away from the almost daily routine of harassment and persecution from the authorities, and to come together in a safe place, a beautiful place, and to get spiritually energized. >> the beauty, the backdrop, the scenery, what a wonderful distraction from our daily challenges. to see these believers in the same place at one time is so encouraging. we draw strength from each other. we know we're not in this spiritual battle alone. >> george: encouraged and
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reenergized, the believers are back home now, and uncertain of the days ahead. yet they stand boldly convinced of a calling to make the name of jesus christ known. no matter the cost. >> wendy: it's a beautiful place. >> george: you know, it is a respite, an oasis, in the midst of all of the challenges they face. they come together and they get refreshed and energized, and they realize they're not in this alone. they're together with other believers. >> wendy: a fantastic report. thanks for making the journey over there. coming up, in east jerusalem, a blind christian woman leads muslim children to hope.
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>> george: and welcome back to this week's edition of christian world news. our next story gives new meaning to the proverb "the blind leading the blind." it is happening in a small learning center in east jerusalem. >> wendy: that's where disabled palestinian women are learning skills that
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give them confidence and hope for a more productive life. all because of a palestinian christian who would not allow her own blindness keep her from helping others. >> reporter: every time lidia goes grocery shopping, she faces obstacles. >> the rows are very, very difficult, and they never think of blind people, at least not in east jerusalem or the west bank. >> reporter: miss lidia shops not only for herself, but for the educational center she founded 30 years ago in east jerusalem. although she is a palestinian teacher, her students are mostly muslim. >> the purpose of this center is to help these women to be independent. if we hadn't started this center, many people would be left without education, without a job, without any
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interest, perhaps, in life. >> reporter: carema joined the staff after going through the school's vocational training program. >> they gave me the permission to do everything, and i feel confidence in myself. >> reporter: students learn to read and write,-along with skills they need to take care of themselves. they create products to sell, giving them an opportunity to earn an income. >> each individual has special attention, and we get through the individual, just up to where they need to go. some finish universities, and if not, they go to the vocational center. at least they have something to help them in the future. >> reporter: miss lidia was born near jerusalem and lost her sight when she was only two. but she was determined that blindness would not hold her back. >> as i grew up, if i took over something, i was always determined to do it.
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if i was quite convinced that this had to be, i always got through. >> reporter: that same determination is now turning other lives around. muna couldn't speak when she arrived at the center. weeks later her family noticed a striking difference. >> we were really surprised because she was talking and understanding what she is saying. there was a lot of joy and the family because she also was happy she could say things and people can understand what she is wanting and what she is trying to say. >> reporter: muna's father understands disabilities. he overcome childhood polio to earn a degree in business. now his daughter is on her way to a more fruitful life as well. there are many more women in east jerusalem and the west bank who could use this kind of help. >> i'm, all the time, praying that the lord would give us a building that we could do all our work in one -- under one roof. but if we do not have a
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building large enough, we cannot help half the people that we really need to help. >> reporter: yet she is determined to keep the center's doors open. >> everybody in life, every child, has to be given a chance to prove what they can do. some people are going to be very successful. others, not. it has nothing to do with blindness at all. but i believe that everybody should be given an opportunity. >> reporter: heather cells, cbn news. >> wendy: a great story. you can learn more about the peace center for the blind on our website. just go to cbnnews.com. we'll be right back.
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>> george: finally this week, cbn's "superbook" aired nationwide in the file pienspiens-- philippines. >> wendy: to rave
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reviews. an estimated 1.2 million people watched the episode. and it was rated one of the top shows of the day, and there were more than 1800 salvations that we know of. hopefully even more. >> george: terrific production. >> wendy: very excellent. well-done. it is good fun to watch. >> george: well, you now what? it is the end of the show. we've got to go. thanks for joining us, everybody. >> wendy: until next week, from all of
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