tv Christian World News TLN September 30, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
>> today on christian world news, grief and outrage in pakistan. suicide bombers kill 85 people outside the church. it's the worst attack against christians in that country's history. wer >> wendy: plus, one year after iran imprisoned pastor saeed abedini, thousands across the world gathered to pray for his freedom. we'll look at how the ordeal has affected his family. >> george: and rising above the refuge. helping egypt's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. ♪ >> george: pakistan's christians suffer the most devastating attack in their history. hello, everyone, i'm george
thomas. >> wendy: and i'm wendy griffith. such a sad story to report. the church attack that killed 85 christians in pakistan is the deadliest ever there. >> george: and now pakistan's christians are demanding greater security from the government and the arrests of those behind it. heather cells reports. >> reporter: angry pakistani christians deemed the attention of their government. hundreds of demonstrators gathered in karachi chanting "stop killing christians." officials say more than 80 people were killed in sunday's bombings. over 140 were wounded. >> i fell down and my daughter, who was in my lap, died in front of me. >> reporter: the attack happened as the church service was letting out. a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up as hundreds of worshippers were coming out of an historic church in peshawar to get a free meal. a spokesman for a wing of the taliban immediately claimed responsibility. the bombings raise new
questions about the pakistani government's push for a peace deal with the terrorist organization. >> the whole government is shocked by this. the peace process is going on, and everybody is talking about the peace process between the taliban and the pakistani government. and in the same time this incident happened that shows the non-seriousness of the peace process of taliban. >> reporter: the taliban spokesperson said the attack was in response to drone trikes by the u.s. gary lane explained why that is causing pakistani christians to be targeted. >> christians are seen aligned with the west. so they attack the christians because they know they will get attention if they do that. so that's why they target them. plus they're the weakest, the most vulnerable. and there are churches, like this all saints church, a very visible church, easy target. >> reporter: christians make up less than 3% of
pakistani's population. roughly 96% are muslim. heather cells, cbn news. >> wendy: u.s. lawmakers are taking action that will helpers cuteed christians help. helperhelp persecuted christians. they created an envoy that would help develop policy options to ensure the protects of minority-safe communities, and serve between the u.s. and foreign governments. the measure still has to pass the senate. >> george: lena shay is direc director of the center and joins us from washington, d.c. in egypt, syria, and pakistan, and across the middle east and parts of asia. christians are the targets. how can a special envoy for religious minorities help them? >> an envoy position in the state department means that policy will focus on one person. there will be one person working day and night on the
issue. it won't fall through the cracks, like we saw what happened with the egypt burnings and attacks on coptic churches in august, and the administration really failed to address that. >> george: this idea of a special envoy modeled after the special envoy for sudan back in 2001, did it make a difference, pointin appointing the envoy for sudan? >> the envoy made a huge difference. he was able to develop negotiations, bring both sides to the table, and develop a comprehensive peace agreement and eventually a referendum, which ended up in ending the conflict and allowing south sudan to become an independent country, so there is religious freedom there now in south sudan. >> george: now, this has passed the house, but it still has to pass the senate. will it pass? and if not, who is standing in the way? >> well, in the past, this
bill has been introduced by congressman frank walls in the house, and passed overwhelming each time, but it has been blocked in the senate by the democrats, by the senate democrats in the end. and this is because the administration does not want to create another post, they say. they say there is already ample bureaucracy to deal with it. but we do need another person who has this as their sole portfolio. it is a very critical time for these vulnerable minorities. >> george: to that point, lena, in egypt and syria, the attacks on christians are growing worse. is it now open season on christians? >> it is open season on christians. islamists have risen up and blown up christians in their churches as they worship on sunday morning, as we saw with the protestant church in pakistan last weekend. scores of coptic orthodox and protestant and catholic churches in egypt were blown up or destroyed by angry
mobs, escaping the cops in august. syria, i heard that a quarter of the population of christians now, half a million people, have been displaced from their homes. and many of them are targeted for their faith. >> george: why are journalists missing this catastrophe, especially those in the so-called mainstream media. >> i think they have a blind spot, as many of our national media do as well. it's had a very record in getting the story straight and really connecting the dots. seeing the pattern. it is not just happening here or there. it is really happening across the muslim world, particularly in the middle east, and in south central asia. and it is because there is a rising fanatical strain of islam in those places. >> george: you talked about this earlier in the interview, you fear there could become a day where the middle east is totally
emptied of christians. that's your big fear, right? >> i do fear that. because we're seeing only four countries with significant christian populations in the last 10 years. and that is egypt, iraq, syria, and lebanon. and three of those countries now are really -- the christians are terribly persecuted. and only lebanon has not seen that. and there is only about a million christians left there. this is the cradle, the birthplace of christianity, and it is going to be a huge loss for the church. it is going to be a huge loss for the region. and it is going to be a national security problem for us because this region will have no experience of living with christians. >> george: lena shay, someone who has been a voice for the voiceless for many, many years. thank you so much. with the hudson institute. as always, thank you for joining us on the show today. >> thank you. >> wendy: south sudan bishop elius tubon has been named the latest for the
citizen award. despite a brutal and impoverished childhood, he came to know jesus christ as his savior, and now he is spreading the gospel throughout africa. >> if i hadn't accepted jesus christ as my lord and savior, i don't know where i would be. >> wendy: amen. bishop tubon has provided key humanitarian assistance to the sut south sudanese through his water wells, schools, and more. you can go to our website for our exclusive interview with the bishop about his work and ministry. cbn.com. >> george: up next, meet the wife of pastor saeed abedini. now she is fighting for her husband's freedom and keeping her family >> george: this week christians around the world
held prayer vigils for pastor saeed abedini to mark the one year anniversary of his impressionment in iran. the american center for law and justice helped organize some of the events, including one outside the white house. members of congress and the state department representative were at the d.c. vigil. ssaeed is serving an eight year sentence, but international pressure for his release continues to build. >> reporter: pastor aberdini was in iran building an or nage when he was arrested. his crime, according to iran authorities, endangering national security. his wife, naghmeh. >> they didn't know where he was. they kept coming to the computer saying, mommy, can we see daddy? can we hear his voice? i couldn't explain to them why, that he was physically taken to prison. finally they kept saying, does daddy not love us
anymore? does daddy not want to hear our voice anymore? and i had to tell them that he was in prison because he loved jesus. >> reporter: pastor aberdini has paid a terrible price, suffering beatings and torture, and deteriorating health from untreated medical conditions. >> the doctors have confirmed the internal bleeding we discussed on cbn news because of the initial beatings he faced and the severe physical torture he faced early on in his imprisonment. >> reporter: but pressure on iran's new president is ramping up. last month secretary of state joh john kerry called for pastor aberdini's immediate release. >> we call on the iranian authorities to respect mr. aberdini's human rights and release him. we will continue to pursue this in every way we
possibly can through every channel we possibly can. >> reporter: and this week naghmeh was able to hand deliver a letter pleading for her husband's release. observances marking the one year anniversary of pastor aberdini incarceration are held at 40 states, in city parks and churches. and the reverend billy graham has written iran's new president, calling pastor aberdini a man of god, and asking the iranians to release him. >> george: pastor aberdini's cause is getting worldwide attention. and the big reason for that is the dedication of his wife, naghmeh. >> wendy: and earlier this year, i had the privilege of sitting down with naghmeh for an exclusive interview about her love for her husband and her ongoing fight for his freedom. their love story began in iran. naghmeh, an american citizen since early childhood, believed god was leading her to return to her homeland in
2001 to minister to muslim women. that's where she first saw saeed abedini. the young preacher was leading worship at one of the underground house churches he helped form. >> wendy: what made you fall in love with him? >> his passion. i think as a young woman, i always prayed, i said, lord, i can't marry someone who is mediocre. i want to marry someone who is passionate for you. i had no idea how he would answer my prayer. i had no idea it would be so radical. >> wendy: not long afterwards, the two married in iran. their wedding drew hundreds of well wishers, and aroused the suspicion of the iranian revolutionary guard. >> our wedding was a miracle because we were both muslim converts, and they allowed us to have a christian wedding. bibles were passed out, and many people came to know christ, hundreds.
>> wendy: it takes a special woman to be able to share her day. >> you imagine that day it was going to be all about you, and it wasn't. it was just a big -- it was amazing. it is what we both would have wanted for a wedding. >> wendy: but nine years and two children later, 4-year-old jacob, and 6-year-old rebecca, naghmeh is now living her worst nightmare. then in january, the iranian revolutionary court's so-called hanging judge sentenced to him to eight years in iran's brutal and deadly evan prison. his crime: preaching the gospel. in these photos, you can see men hanging outside the prison, an attempt to bring even more terror to inmates and family members. >> just the name really scared me. i've dreamed of people we knew and also family members who were hanged in that prison and killed and abused
and raped. >> wendy: before he was sentenced, saeed could skype with his family. now they have no personal contact. only reports and letters from family members in iran. the latest telling them that saeed is being tortured and pressured to renounce his christian faith. >> i said to myself, they don't know who they're dealing with. saeed came from a very radical muslim background. and since he has accepted christ and his life changed, he was very committed. it doesn't matter what beatings he goes through. it didn't matter if they say we're going to kill you. >> wendy: as a wife, what has been the hardest part of all of this for you. >> the lord has given me grace to go to his presence and just get my comfort. but as a mom, every time is like a stab in my heart when i see them struggling and i can't do anything about it. my son is very -- his character has changed 100%.
since the arrest, he won't talk as much. he is very reserved. and then my daughter, she just cries a lot. what does it say? >> i miss you, dad. >> and these of your tears? >> yes. >> wendy: naghmeh admits as first she sank into dispair. >> i was in extreme depression and anxiety and worry. and i could see that where i was almost being broken. i would have had to check myself in, but the lord didn't let me break. i called to him and cried out to him, and i said, lord, you promised you would give peace beyond understanding. and he gave me that peace. so the scripture is true. i want people to know if they cling to him and believe in his scripture, and don't let him go, hold on tight, he is going to get you through whatever it is. >> wendy: in the meantime, the american center for law and justice is going full
throttle with both a legal and media campaign. jordan sekulow says publicity could be a life safer for pastor aberdini, as it was for another pastor who was sentenced to death, and thanks to a major prayer campaign, nardarkhani was freed. >> chance-wise, surviving one day is not a great chance, honestly. you can be beaten to death by the guards. you can be beaten to death by a fellow inmate. if the story is talked about, people don't get beaten as badly. >> wendy: the good news, people are talking. do you believe you'll see him again? >> i do, you know. it is the flesh versus the spirit. my flesh wants to say he is not going to survive that prison. but when i pray, i feel like the lord, he is a god of hope. and he tells me that it's at
his time that he will release saeed. >> wendy: george, since we've done this interview, naghmeh has been before the u.n., before congress, and she is constantly on television. she is relentless. it has been a year. i really believe that prayer is going to make the difference. >> george: and i think the latest report is he has led 30 prison inmates to christ. >> wendy: no doubt about it, god is getting the glory from this. if we all make it a daily duty to pray for him, i think we're going to see him walk free. that's my prayer, anyway. coming up... >> george: coming up, he lived in the shadows, struggling to survive, until these christians took him into their hearts.
chaos in egypt has wrecked that nation's economy. children are among the hardest hit, and some are helping their families survive by scavenging through garbage heaps for scraps they can sell. >> wendy: however, a christian ministry is stepping in to help bridge the gap. gary lane shows how cbn is working to improve their lives. take a look. >> reporter: the recent wave of violence and destruction rolling across egypt is taking a toll on younger generations there. some children suffer trauma. many older kids wonder if hope and opportunity will be restored. some even drop out of school to support their family. even though egypt's constitution guarantees them a free education. even then the nation's 25% youth unemployment rate makes it almost impossible to get a job. while egyptian law requires school attendance for kids ages 6 to 14, many young children don't go. and a third of girls in
upper egypt never attend school. kids like these two boys hang out on the streets, trying to hustle a few egyptian pounds each day. they work from dawn to dust, sifting through garbage. >> when i get up in the morning, i start collecting plastic and cans. i do it so i can give money to my father. >> reporter: 90% of the garbage collected comes right here. and some of it is collected and sorted by children like these. if they are to have a brighter future, they need quality hygienend a better education. >> most of the day they are in the street collecting plastic bottles and cartons, and no one is looking after them or caring for their needs or education. it is a big problem. but the main issue is with the parents. they do not see the need to provide or care for a child they have brought into this world. >> reporter: hoda is an
egyptian mother who works with cbn to help street children. >> these children have no one to look after them. so they come to our center, and we give them a shower. >> reporter: while the kids clean up, workers wash, dry, and fold their clothes. after a shower, the kids put on clean outfits, and then it is time for coloring, a hot meal, and learning some basics. >> i like learning, especially writing and coloring. >> this is what i like. >> reporter: and before they turn om for the night, they enjoy playing some games. >> the children are very grateful that someone is taking care of them and looking after their needs. the families of these children are also very happy because they don't have to pay us or give us anything in return. >> reporter: what motivates the women and staff who give care and education to these children? >> god has blessed us so we may give to others and bless them. these children need support
and understanding if they are to bear fruit in the future. i hope americans will continue to assist us in meeting their needs. come and give us a hand. >> i'm very happy here and i want to keep on coming. >> reporter: so in the midst of a volatile political crisis, cbn and its partners are helping egyptian children rise above the refuse, bringing them value and the promise of a better tomorrow. gary lane, cbn news, cairo. >> george: and to learn how you can help cbn make a difference in the lives of others around the world, visit our website, cbn.com. we'll be back right after this.
volunteers from cbn disaster relief are there to help residents who have been terrorized. the cbn team is giving aid, including food, trauma, counselling, and therapy for the children. they're even playing games with kids and showing them "superbook" to help them feel a sense of normalcy. you've been there. >> wendy: i was just there a year ago, walking through the streets of zamboanga, and it was completely peaceful, and a year later, everything has changed. we're praying for our crew there on the ground to have a safe time there. >> george: tha it. >> wendy: until next week, good-bye and go
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