Wednesday, August 27, 2008

27 August 2008

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Ghanaian Presbyterian Leader Calls for Great Commission Outreach to Muslims
[2] Presbyterian Church of Nigeria Holds First National Convention
[3] Coca-Cola Cans To Celebrate Ramadan
[4] DNC Interfaith Gathering Includes President of Organization Tied to Muslim Terrorists
[5] Virginia Seminary Welcomes First Muslim Exchange Student
[6] Muslim Mob Storms Indonesia Church, Calls For Ban
[7] Iraqi Christians Fleeing to Lebanon
[8] Nine Detained Yemeni Christians in Grave Danger
Virginia Judge Rules In Favor Of Breakaway Groups Regarding Church Property
[10] Church of Scotland Heroine Featured in New Book by British Prime Minister

[1] Ghanaian Presbyterian Leader Calls for Great Commission Outreach to Muslims

At the 14-16 August 2008 meeting of the Presbyterian Global Fellowship in Long Beach, California, Pastor John Azumah, an ordained Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, spoke about his own Muslim family and told an audience of 1000 that Muslims have “a right to gospel of Jesus Christ,” but for several reasons the Christian church “has neglected the Muslim world.”

Azumah said, “Muslims have the right to accept or reject [the gospel], but they must have the opportunity to hear it,” and that the inadequate Christian outreach to the Muslim world “is the greatest omission of the Great Commission.”

Azumah pointed out that may Christians consider evangelizing Muslims to be a waste of time, but pointed out that “…if Saul could become Paul then there is nothing and no one the Holy Spirit cannot reach.”

Azumah counseled humility when evangelizing Muslims and said, “we are sent as witnesses and not as advocates or judges. The Holy Spirit is the one and only advocate and God is the one and only judge.” He added, “It is not our duty to judge, but to witness, to tell truthfully what we have seen. If only we can just mind our own business, then the Holy Spirit will do the rest of it.”

+ Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005

+ Presbyterian Global Fellowship, C/O Peachtree Presbyterian Church, 3434 Roswell Road Northwest, Atlanta, Georgia 30305, 404-846-4386,

[2] Presbyterian Church of Nigeria Holds First National Convention

After 161 years of gospel witness, the Presbyterian Church Of Nigeria held its first National Convention 16-19 August 2008 when 20,000 people gathered at the Hope Waddell Training Institution in Calabar, Cross River State.

Moderator the Rt. Rev. Dr. Ubon Bassey Usung spoke on ‘The Urgency of Evangelism And Missions’, based on Matthew 24:3-14 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, and made application saying:

“For every Presbyterian, it would be disastrous if we allow ethnic dichotomies [to] distract us from evangelism and mission. We have to stop the in-fighting and quarreling that cause us to lose grounds and members to others and even to the kingdom of darkness. We should rather unite and go out and bring souls into the kingdom of God. It is important however for all Christians to note that true witnessing is not the conversion of members from one denomination to the other; rather, non-Christians should be targeted, preached to and persuaded to repent and believe in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.”

Additionally, the church this month is opening Hope Waddell University in Ohafia, Abia State. Spokesman the Rev. Kalu Eme wrote, “…that the university project [is] in line with the church’s tradition of deliberate involvement in the education sub-sector as a vehicle for the emancipation of mankind and the overall development of the society.”

Erne added, “it is in this regard that the church set up one of the foremost educational institutions in Nigeria – the Hope Waddell Training Institution – which was founded…in 1895.”

+ Presbyterian Church Of Nigeria, 26 Ehere Road, Post Office Box 2635, Aba, Abia, Nigeria, 082-234-780

+ Punch on the Web, 1, Olu Aboderin Street, Onipetesi, P.M.B. 21204, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, 01-7748081,

[3] Coca-Cola Cans To Celebrate Ramadan

The Gateway Pundit blogger on 18 August reported that Coca-Cola will celebrate Ramadan by placing the Islamic crescent and star on its cans.

The same day, blogger Bob McCarty sent several emails to
the Coca-Cola Company asking if they were planning to put a cross on Coca-Cola cans at Christmas, and as of 27 August had received no answer.

+ Coca-Cola Company, 1 Coca Cola Plaza Northwest, Atlanta, Georgia 30313, 404-676-2121

[4] DNC Interfaith Gathering Includes President of Organization Tied to Muslim Terrorists

As a kickoff to their 2008 convention, the Democratic National Committee on 24 August held their first ever “interfaith gathering” at the Colorado Convention Center including speaker Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

ISNA is suspected of having worldwide ties to terrorist groups, is an unindicted coconspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case, and is supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical organization that calls on Muslim organizations in America to dedicate themselves to "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God's religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions."

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC
20006, 202-546-0054,

+ Florida Security Council,

[5] Virginia Seminary Welcomes First Muslim Exchange Student

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) on 20 August 2008 welcomed Salih Sayilgan as its first Muslim exchange student. The seminary says that it is encourage[ing] deeper cross-cultural conversations within the VTS community and equip[ping] students to envision new and creative ways to undertake ministry in the world.

In June, VTS received a three-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation that provides support for visiting Muslim scholars to teach at the Seminary.

Episcopal Church Center 815 Second Avenue New York, New York 10017, 800-334-7626,

Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, 110 West Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220, 800-346-2373

[6] Muslim Mob Storms Indonesia Church, Calls For Ban

On Sunday 17 August 2008, a Muslim mob stormed a church service in Cipayung, East Jakarta, forcing Christians to flee and then erecting banners in the street declaring a ban on “churches and religious services.”

While church members were celebrating the nation’s Independence Day at the service, the angry assailants arrived at the Pentecostal Church of Indonesia in Pondok Rangon village, Cipayung, at 9:30 AM shouting “Allahu Akbar!” or “God is greater!”

Some in the mob were neighbors, but the majority were not local residents, according to pastor Chris Ambessa. Local officials made no effort to intervene or prohibit the illegal banners.

Ambessa has been in a dispute over his house church. Previously, Cipayung officials had ordered him to dismantle the second floor of his home. On 13 July, the officials ordered him to cease religious activity for an indefinite period following neighborhood protests against his house church. Neighbors had demanded that Ambessa completely demolish the building.

+ Compass Direct News Service, Post Office Box 27250, Santa Ana, California 92799, 949-862-0304, Fax: 949-752-6536,

[7] Iraqi Christians Fleeing to Lebanon

The recent military successes of coalition forces in Iraq have forced al-Qaida fighters into their last stronghold in northern Iraq, which includes Christian communities where their gunmen frequently threaten the residents with death if they do not convert to Islam.

As a result, many Iraqi Christians have fled to Lebanon where they face squalid living conditions and receive no protection from the Lebanese because they are considered illegal immigrants regardless of their status as refugees fleeing religious persecution.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
says that as many as 40 percent of the Iraqi refugees come from Christian minorities, despite representing only four percent of the Iraqi population.

+ Assyrian International News Agency

[8] Nine Detained Yemeni Christians in Grave Danger

International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that nine Yemeni Christians who converted from Islam are being detained by the Political Security Office which is known “for carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture and other egregious human rights violations with impunity.”

ICC notes that Associated Press and Fox News are now following the story, and asks those concerned to sign a petition to the Yemeni Embassy in the United States.

+ International Christian Concern, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest #941,
Washington DC 20006, 800-422-5441, Fax: 301-989-1709,

[9] Virginia Judge Rules In Favor Of Breakaway Groups Regarding Church Property

In the third ruling so far in this case, Fairfax County Circuit Judge Randy I. Bellows ruled 19 August 2008 that an 1867 law allowing a majority of a breakaway church to retain church property applies to the eleven conservative and now Anglican District of Virginia churches that broke away from the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia over issues of biblical authority and the 2003 election of the openly homosexual Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

A trial is set for October where additional issues will be addressed, and where the Diocese of Virginia will continue in their view to, “…[remain] firmly committed to ensuring that loyal Episcopalians, who have been forced to worship elsewhere, will be able to return to their Episcopal homes."

+ The Washington Times, 3600 New York Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-636-3205

Anglican District of Virginia, 10520 Main Street, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, 703-273-1300 x440, Fax:703-591-0737

+ Episcopal Church Center 815 Second Avenue New York, New York 10017, 800-334-7626,

+ Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, 110 West Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220, 800-346-2373

[10] Church of Scotland Heroine Featured in New Book by British Prime Minister

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will soon publish a book about wartime heroes that includes the story of Church of Scotland missionary Jane Haining.

Haining went to Budapest, Hungary in 1932 to work as the matron of the Church of Scotland-run girls' home where 400 mostly-Jewish girls studied. Ordered by the Church to return home after Hungary joined the Nazi Axis, she chose to stay in Budapest with the girls and was reported to have used her leather luggage to resole the girls’ shoes.

In 1944, Haining was betrayed to the Gestapo by a Nazi school employee, and was charged with working among the Jews and with weeping when she saw her students forced to wear yellow Stars of David on their clothing.

Haining was sent to Auschwitz and died two months later when she is thought to have been killed in the concentration camp’s gas chambers.

Haining is honored in Jerusalem on the Mount of Remembrance and the Avenue of Righteous Gentiles. A movie about her life is in the planning stages and awaits sufficient funding.

The Scotsman, Barclay House, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 8AS, 0131-620-8620

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 4YN, 0131-225-5722

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20 August 2008

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Death of John William Robbins
[2] 2008 Confessional Presbyterian Soon Being Printed
[3] Reformed Church in Tshiawelo Celebrates 40th Anniversary
[4] Editorial Assistant Wanted
[5] New King James Version (NKJV) Warnings
[6] California State Senator Compares Minister’s Testimony to [Male Bovine Manure]
[7] Chinese Christians Plead For Relief As Olympics Continue
[8] Saudi Kills Daughter for Becoming a Christian
[9] Federal Judge Rules University of California Can Reject Christian School Classes
[10] California Supreme Court Denies Freedom of Conscience to Doctors

[1] Death of John William Robbins

John William Robbins, Ph.D., 59, died at his home in Unicoi, Tennessee on 14 August 2008. A funeral service was held in Johnson City, Tennessee on 18 August.

Dr. Robbins received an A.B in Political Science from Grove City College, and a Masters in Political Theory and a Doctorate in Philosophy and Political Theory from The Johns Hopkins University. He served on the staffs of two U.S. congressmen, and over a 20 year period served several public policy institutions.

Robbins was an ordained PCA Elder and licensed to preach by Westminster Presbytery. At his death, Robbins served as Elder and taught Scripture in the Presbyterian and denominationally unaffiliated Reformation Church of Unicoi, Tennessee.

In 1977, Robbins founded and began directing a Christian think tank, The Trinity Foundation, which has published 75 books, 180 lectures, and 275 essays; hosted conferences and seminars in several states; and published a monthly newsletter.

Dr. Robbins is survived by his wife of 35 years, Linda; three daughters, Juley Grady, Laura Juodaitis, and Meri Robbins; two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren.

+ The Trinity Foundation, Post Office Box 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692 423-743-0199, Fax: 423-743-2005,

[2] 2008 Confessional Presbyterian Soon Being Printed

The 2008 issue of The Confessional Presbyterian (4) is in preparation and is almost ready to be printed. Orders are being taken for fall delivery, with the 2008 issue priced at $US18 for U.S. addresses and $US25 for Libraries and addresses outside the U.S., and a special offer of all four issues for $US50 for U.S. addresses and $US80 for addresses outside the U.S.

+ The Confessional Presbyterian, Post Office Box 141084, Dallas, Texas 75214

[3] Reformed Church in Tshiawelo Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The Reformed Church in Tshiawelo, Soweto, South Africa celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special service on 17 August.

The church was started in 1968 by missionaries from the Reformed Church in South Africa.

Today, the church has branches in Pretoria, Central Johannesburg, Midrand, and Protea Glen.

An outreach ministry of the church has established chapters of the Reformed Youth Fellowship at Wits University, Vaal University of Technology and Medunsa – the Medical University of Southern Africa.

+ The Sowetan, 61 Commando Road, Industria West, Johannesburg 2142, South Africa, 011-471-4093,

[4] Editorial Assistant Wanted

The Education & Publication Office of the RPCNA has an immediate opening for an editorial assistant to work 30 hours per week. The job involves assisting in the work of the RP Witness and Crown and Covenant Publications. Clerical and organizational skills are a must. Working knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software is important. Knowledge of page layout software would be ideal.

Inquiries and resumes should be addressed to Drew and Lynne Gordon, 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208 or sent to

+ Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-731-1177, Fax: 412-731-8861

+ Crown and Covenant, 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-241-0436,

[5] New King James Version (NKJV) Warnings

The January 2008 issue of The Banner of Truth contains an article from The Friendly Companion titled “Warning! The New King James Version of the Bible.”

The article states that the NKJV is actually a new Bible translation rather than being an update of the Authorized King James Bible (AV) “…with just a few archaic words modernized,” and that in order to receive a copyright for their Bible, the publisher Thomas Nelson “…made over 100,000 alterations…” that including removing approximately 20,000 words.

The article continues that the NKJV translators claim to have used “…the reliable, underlying Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek text known as the Received Text or the Textus Receptus,” but in some instances copied the wording from “…the Critical Text and the corrupted Westcott-Hort Text.”

The article concludes by stating that “…Satan is attacking the church from within by casting doubts upon the traditional text of the [AV] by bringing about a multitude of different versions, thus sowing confusion among the churches,” and urges reading of the book Three Modern Versions by Alan J. MacGregor for a more detailed examination of the NKJV’s textual errors.

+ The Banner of Truth, 11 Split Rock Road, Boonton Township, New Jersey 07005,

+ Netherlands Reformed Congregations of the United States and Canada

[6] California State Senator Compares Minister’s Testimony to [Male Bovine Manure]

Pastor Robert Jones of Oak Park United Methodist Church in Sacramento, California recently testified before a California Senate committee informational hearing regarding California cutting global warming emissions that, when government imposes mandates and taxes to combat global warming, it hurts the poor and most vulnerable in our communities.

Less than two minutes into Pastor Jones’ testimony, Senator Pat Wiggins who represents the 2nd Senate District, which includes portions or all of the counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma, interrupted Jones’ testimony saying, “Excuse me, but I think your arguments are [male bovine manure]."

Karen England, executive director for the California family values public policy organization Capitol Resource Institute (CRI), stated “This type of behavior from an elected official is simply unacceptable. This is the attitude that many in the majority party have towards the ‘little people’ who come to Sacramento to participate in the legislative process. Even when our staff is belittled publicly by arrogant lawmakers, we have never been cursed at; this is beyond the pale.”

CRI is urging people to call Senator Wiggins and demand that she publically apologize to Pastor Jones.

The California Beef Council provided no apparent comment on the matter.

+ Capitol Resource Institute, 660 J Street, Suite 250, Sacramento, California 95814, 916-498-1940, Fax: 916-448-2888

[7] Chinese Christians Plead For Relief As Olympics Continue

House church pastor Hua Huiqi wrote an open letter to U.S. President George Bush on Sunday 10 August, asking for prayer for his personal safety and for freedom of belief for all Chinese people.

Policemen had earlier detained Hua to prevent him participating in a service at the government-approved Kuanjie Protestant Church in Beijing, where Bush was scheduled to attend. Hua slipped away from police officers, and as of 13 August was still in hiding.

Hua’s letter to Bush expressed regret at not being able to attend the Kuanjie service, and described how policemen had kicked and punched him before seizing him and his brother. While in detention, Hua was told that his legs would be broken if he tried to attend the Kuanjie service.

Other Christians remaining in detention or under house arrest as the Games continue include Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan who remains in custody after being arrested 28 November 2007, released 4 January 2008, then rearrested on 19 March 2008. Shi’s lawyer reports that Shi is in poor health and in need of urgent medical attention.

In Shandong province, two staff members from a house church seminary await trial for running an “illegal business operation” after they attempted to purchase Bibles from Amity Press, China’s official Bible printing facility.

House church pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his wife Xie Fenglan, were detained the week of 4 August after they agreed to an interview with a BBC journalist and are still in police custody.

+ Compass Direct News Service, Post Office Box 27250, Santa Ana, California 92799, 949-862-0304, Fax: 949-752-6536,

[8] Saudi Kills Daughter for Becoming a Christian

A Saudi man working with the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi Muslim religious police, recently cut out his daughter’s tongue then burned her to death because she had become a Christian.

The father is reportedly in police custody and being investigated for an honor-related crime.

+ Assyrian International News Agency

[9] Federal Judge Rules University of California Can Reject Christian School Classes

U.S. District Court Central District of California Judge S. James Otero ruled on 8 August that the University of California, for student admissions evaluation, can reject science and history classes taught at Christian high schools that teach creationism and biblical authority.

The university contended that a biology course using the text Biology: God’s Living Creation failed to teach critical thinking and did not adequately teach evolutionary theory. The university further contended that a Bob Jones University Press history text, which teaches that "the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events”, does not include modern historical analysis methodology.

Judge Otero ruled that the plaintiff, Calvary Chapel Christian School of Murrieta, California, did not adequately refute the university’s findings and that the university did not reject the courses out of animosity.

+, Salem Communications, 4880 Santa Rosa Road, Camerillo, California, 805-987-0400

[10] California Supreme Court Denies Freedom of Conscience to Doctors

The California Supreme Court ruled on 18 August against two doctors who refused upon principles of their Christian faith to artificially inseminate a lesbian. The doctors strongly believe that children should be raised whenever possible by a mother and father, and they did not want to participate in the deliberate exclusion of a father.

The high court unanimously ruled that the state's civil rights laws offer virtually no exceptions for people of faith, thus implying that everyone in the state's wedding industry must service same-sex weddings and that California family law attorneys must handle adoptions by homosexuals, same-sex divorces, and so on.

+ Pacific Justice Institute, Post Office Box 276600, Sacramento, California 95827, 916-857-6900 Fax: 916-857-6902,

Friday, August 15, 2008

15 August 2008 - PCUSA Special Edition

Presbyterians Week

Special Edition

Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) News

[1] PCUSA Elder Charged with Civil Fraud by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Stanley W. Anderson, an elder in Central Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Denver, Colorado along with four business partners was charged 28 July 2008 by the SEC with two claims of Fraud in the Offer or Sale of Securities, one claim of Fraud in the Purchase or Sale of Securities, one claim of the Sale of Unregistered Securities, and one claim of Acting as Unregistered Broker-Dealer in a Ponzi-type scheme where they are alleged to have misappropriated funds of more than $US5.1 million raised from at least 100 investors.

Investors, with the exception of those who received Ponzi scheme-like payments, i.e. money taken from one investor to compensate another investor, lost their total investments.

The SEC alleges that the defendants engaged in a primary bank fraud scheme between about April 2005 and at least July 2007 individually and through Trinity International Enterprises, Inc. and Global Asset Services where they represented that investor’s funds would be used to trade in European medium term notes that would pay nearly immediate returns ranging from 200 to 1000 percent.

At the PCUSA’s 217th General Assembly in June 2006, it was announced that Anderson had contributed $US150 million for the denomination’s Loaves and Fishes Church Growth Fund which was to distribute grants between $US250,000 and $US1 million to the presbyteries. Joey Bailey, chief financial officer for the PCUSA, told the Presbyterian News Service that the church had not received any money from Anderson’s pledge.

The SEC is demanding a jury trial for the defendants.

[2] Rev. Marian McClure Serving as Associate Director for “Edinburgh 2010: Witnessing to Christ Today"

The Rev. Marian McClure, former director of the PCUSA’s Worldwide Ministries Division, is serving as associate director for “Edinburgh 2010: Witnessing to Christ Today”, a centennial celebration of one of the most influential missionary conferences in church history. She is also the North American representative for mobilizing involvement in “2010” preparations, including a worldwide study process focused on nine key mission themes that are posted on the Edinburgh 2010 web site.

[3] PCUSA Stated Clerk Undergoes Successful Aortic Aneurysm Repair

The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the PCUSA, underwent successful five hour open heart surgery on 7 August at the Cleveland Clinic.

Parsons is scheduled to be hospitalized through about 12-14 August and then return to his home in Louisville, Kentucky to recuperate for the remainder of August.

[4] Pittsburgh PCUSA Minister to be Tried for Conducting a Marriage Ceremony for Two Women

The Rev. Janet Edwards, an “at-large” minister of the PCUSA’s Pittsburgh Presbytery, on 1 October 2008 is scheduled to go before the presbytery’s Permanent Judicial Commission to face charges related to her conducting a marriage ceremony for two women in June 2005.

The charges allege that Edwards knowingly acted in defiance of her ordination vows and of the PCUSA’s Constitution by performing the ceremony. If convicted, Edwards could face a number of punishments including removal from ordained ministry.

Edwards is a direct descendant of Jonathan Edwards, the Puritan minister, theologian, and president of what is now Princeton University.

[5] Terry Schlossberg Changes Her Presbyterian Coalition Role

Terry Schlossberg is retiring as executive director of the Presbyterian Coalition, an alliance of renewal groups within the PCUSA, to assume a new position with the organization as coordinator of the effort to defeat the amendment of G-6.0106b in the church’s Constitution.

The proposed amendment, approved by the recent 218th General Assembly, would replace the requirement that church officers practice “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” with a standard that ties ordination decisions more closely to the ordination vows currently in the church’s Book of Order without singling out a sexual conduct standard. The proposed amendment must be ratified by a majority of the PCUSA’s 173 presbyteries within the next year.

In a related move, the Coalition has hired Sarah Hill as associate director. Hill, wife of the Rev. Keith Hill, pastor of St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, has been serving as conference administrator for Presbyterians for Renewal, a member of the Coalition. After a brief period of transition, the Coalition offices will move to Richmond from Dumfries, Virginia.

With the staffing changes, the Coalition has renewed its search for an executive director. Those interested in the position or with suggestions about candidates for the position can send an email to

+ Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005

[6] Presbyterian Coalition Gathering XI in California 13-15 October 2008

The Presbyterian Coalition is hosting Gathering XI at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California 13-15 October 2008.

The Presbyterian Coalition is a movement of people committed to life and transformation in the PCUSA by exalting Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, energizing its congregations, and upholding historic biblical leadership standards . . .

by coordinating with all individuals and groups who share the convictions expressed in the Coalition's Declaration, "Union in Christ," and who are working for a revitalized church;

by reaffirming the Coalition's commitment "that this work of renewal be carried on in and through the existing structures of the PCUSA whenever possible";

by encouraging all individuals, groups and governing bodies who share our convictions, to act creatively and passionately to identify and implement strategies consistent with these convictions and purposes.

+ The Presbyterian Coalition, 4604 Grove Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23226, 804-615-3243,

[7] Presbytery of Greater Atlanta Representative Meets with Session of Newnan Presbyterian Church

Steve Pelham, a former member of Newnan Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and currently a member of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta’s Committee on Ministry met with the Newnan Session on 29 June to talk about the many opportunities for people from local congregation to become involved with activities on the presbytery level.

The Presbytery of Greater Atlanta along with the Cherokee and Northeast Georgia Presbyteries are sponsoring a Presbytery Fall Leadership Event 16 August 8 AM – 3:30 PM at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

+ The Times-Herald, Post Office Box 1052, Newnan, Georgia 30264, 770-253-1576,

[8] Witherspoon Society Speaker Says Christ’s Death on the Cross Has No Place in Authentic Christianity

Parker T. Williamson reports that at a pre-218th General Assembly gathering hosted by the Witherspoon Society, featured speaker Rita Nakashima Brock, theology teacher at the University of California at Berkeley, said that Christ’s death on the cross has no place in authentic Christianity. Additionally, Brock characterized the sacrament of communion as “ritualized murder, sacred murder…salvation that is achieved by violence.”

Brock believes that the idea of the atonement was a concoction of male church leaders to justify violence, and that Jesus’ death as a sacrifice for our sins was not a part of early church teachings.

Brock places the introduction of the doctrines of sin, guilt, and atonement in the 10th century as a means of exercising power over people. She believes that making people feel guilty and then offering a release from that guilt is a form of manipulation and control.

Brock said, “Another Christianity is possible,” and, “We already live on holy ground. It does not belong to any individual, nor even to God…We actualize it when struggling in community.”

+ Presbyterian Lay Committee, Post Office Box 2210, Lenoir, North Carolina 28645, 828-758-8716, Fax: 828-758-0920,

+ Witherspoon Society, 2800 White Oak Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30032, 404-254-4528,

[9] PCUSA Reform Organizations Respond to the 218th General Assembly

Following the PCUSA’s 218th General Assembly, several responses from PCUSA reform organizations were published in the July 2008 issue of The Layman.

The Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Lay Committee described the 218th General Assembly as waging “a frontal assault on Biblical Christianity. The assembly disregarded historic Reformed standards, undermined its Constitution and failed to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ with its actions.”

Presbyterians for Renewal lamented the PCUSA’s embrace of our culture’s beliefs and morals, and described the actions of the 218th General Assembly as “[making] it clear that the PCUSA’s compromise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has reached an unprecedented level.”

The New Wineskins Association of Churches described the 218th General Assembly as “[having] become theologically unhinged from our Biblical and Reformation foundation,” and described the assembly’s actions as “schismatic,” and “foster[ing] division within our denomination and threaten[ing] the sundering of the denomination from the world Church of Jesus Christ.”

The Presbyterian Renewal Network’s response to the 218th General Assembly’s “[sweeping] aside prohibitions against ordaining gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people:” was to describe the PCUSA as “[laying] gravely wounded, by the hand of its own General Assembly” who “has struck multiple blows, threatening to sever the sinews that hold us together as a Christian body and as a part of the larger body of Christ.”

The organizations called Presbyterians to prayer, repentance, faith, and renewal of the PCUSA through the Bible and the principles of the Reformed confessions.

+ Presbyterian Lay Committee, Post Office Box 2210, Lenoir, North Carolina 28645, 828-758-8716, Fax: 828-758-0920,

+ New Wineskins Association of Churches, 8800 Peebles Road, Allison Park, Pennsylvania 15101, 888-754-9693,

+ Presbyterians for Renewal, 8134 New LaGrange Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40222, 502-425-4630, 502-423-8329

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

13 August 2008

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn
[2] Protestant Reformed Churches 2008 Synod Hears Appeals Regarding Article 21, Christian Schools, and Homeschooling
[3] California Appeals Court Reverses Earlier Home School Ruling Requiring State Teaching Credentials
[4] Home Schooling Family in Germany has Five Children Seized by Government
[5] Overisel Christian Reformed Church Celebrates 125th Anniversary
[6] Reid Priddy on USA Olympic Volleyball Team
[7] Judge Rules Nude Dance at Strip Club by Underage Girl is Protected Art
[8] Tyson Foods Gives Poultry Plant Workers Muslim Holiday
[9] Court Rules Williamsburg-James City County (Virginia) Schools Discriminated Against Good News Clubs
[10] Missionary Team Arrested in China Back in USA

[1] Death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Alexander Solzhenitsyn died 3 August at age 89 in his Russian homeland to which he returned after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Paul Weyrich’s 4 August tribute to Solzhenitsyn called him “…the most important freedom fighter of the 20th century,” describing how he was put into the Soviet Gulag for criticizing Josef Stalin in a World War II letter to a friend.

A despairing Solzhenitsyn was dissuaded from an escape attempt and certain death by a stranger he had never seen before or saw again afterwards that he described as having “…a warmth he had never experienced before,” and who “…he came to believe was Christ himself.” Shortly after this event, Solzhenitsyn was freed from the gulag, expelled from the Soviet Union, and came to the United States.

Once he reached the West, Solzhenitsyn discovered that Senator Jesse Helms and AFL-CIO stalwart George Meany played the most important role in the effort to free him, and Solzhenitsyn and Helms subsequently became close friends. In an incident Weyrich called “one of the most disgraceful episodes in American history,” President Gerald R. Ford refused to invite Solzhenitsyn to the White House.

Solzhenitsyn stayed out of American politics, except for one prophetic speech at Harvard University “in which he warned the West that it was in mortal danger of disintegration if it did not maintain its principles.”

Solzhenitsyn was “a fervent Orthodox Christian” and was by that church commended to the Lord later in the week.

+ Newsmax, Post Office Box 20989, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33416, 561-686-1165, Fax: 561-686-3350

[2] Protestant Reformed Churches 2008 Synod Hears Appeals Regarding Article 21, Christian Schools, and Homeschooling

The 2008 Synod of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC) commenced 10 June 2008 at Hope PRC in Walker, Michigan.

Business conducted included a sustained two-day examination of seminary graduate Heath Bleyenberg, and approval of Professor David Engelsma’s retirement after 25 years of pastoral and seminary service.

Several appeals were heard related to Article 21 of the Church Order, “The consistories shall see to it that there are good Christian schools in which the parents have their children instructed according to the demands of the covenant.”

The appeals involved a PRC minister that withdrew his children from a Christian school because of criticisms of the school, without giving adequate explanation to the congregation. The consistory examined the matter, approved the minister’s actions, and notified the congregation of the decision. Disapproving congregation members appealed to Classis East.

Classis East decided that Article 21 is binding on PRC officeholders, mandated consistories to facilitate Reformed Christian schools and to compel parents to use these schools, stated that Article 21 refers historically to parental Christian day schools and not to home schools, stated that office bearers who do not send their children to these Christian schools without consistory approval are not fulfilling their Article 21 duties, and said that the consistory’s judgment in these matters is binding over a pastor’s conscience.

Synod rendered decisions that did not modify the basic positions of Classis East, but did clarify and moderate the details. Those interested in the full decisions are urged to read the Acts of Synod.

+ The Standard Bearer, 1894 Georgetown Center Drive, Jenison, Michigan 49428, 616-457-5970, Fax: 616-457-5980,

+ Protestant Reformed Churches in America, 4949 Ivanrest Avenue, Grandville, Michigan 49418

[3] California Appeals Court Reverses Earlier Home School Ruling Requiring State Teaching Credentials

The California Court of Appeal on 8 August reversed an earlier decision by ruling 3-0 that the state's education code allows parents to home school their children.

In early March a three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal determined that parents in had no legal right to home school, setting in motion efforts by groups including the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Counsel, Home School Legal Defense Association, and Focus on the Family to provide information to the court that compelled the court to uphold parents' constitutional right to educate their children at home.

+ American Family Association, Post Office Drawer 2440, Tupelo, Mississippi 38803, 662-844-5036

[4] Home Schooling Family in Germany has Five Children Seized by Government

The home schooling Gorber family of southern Germany in January had six of their children seized in a surprise raid by the youth welfare office (“Jugendamt”) and police while Mr. Gorber visited his wife at a local hospital where she had been admitted due to complications from pregnancy with her ninth child.

The Gorber’s regained custody of their three-year-old son after a six-hour German Family Court session the week of 28 July. Five of their children remain in foster care, though the court did increase the time the Gorbers could visit these children up from the one hour every two weeks imposed after the initial raid.

A 5 July 2008 change to the federal youth welfare law signed by German President Horst Koehler establishes the standard by which family courts are to determine whether custody of parents can be taken away when the children are “endangered.” Endangerment is not defined in the law. The highest German courts have ruled that homeschooling is not tolerated because it creates “parallel societies” and is an abuse of parent’s rights. Administrative agencies and courts have stated that the failure to send children to school is by definition “endangerment.”

Opponents have accused the child welfare system in Germany of corruption driven by exorbitant payments by the government to children’s homes and foster care providers. The local operating youth welfare committees include privately owned and for-profit children’s care institutions who participate with legal sanction on the committees with two-fifths of the total vote.

+ Home School Legal Defense Association, Post Office Box 3000, Purcellville, Virginia 20134, 540-338-5600, Fax: 540-338-2733,

[5] Overisel Christian Reformed Church Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Overisel Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in Overisel Township, Michigan is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a dinner on 22 August and special services on 17, 24, and 31 August.

Overisel CRC was organized by 30 families on 13 August 1883. Services were in the Dutch language for almost 68 years, and on the churches 75th anniversary in 1951, the history book written on that occasion stated that, “…our older people have not lost their love for the grand old Holland Psalms, which have been a source of great inspiration and comfort to former generations in times of trouble and sorrow.”

+ Holland Sentinel, 54 West 8th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423, 616-546-4200, Fax: 616-393-6710,

+ Christian Reformed Church in North America, 2850 Kalamazoo Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49560, 616-241-1691, Fax: 616-224-0803

[6] Reid Priddy on USA Olympic Volleyball Team

Reid Priddy, 30-year-old son of ARP Outreach North America Director of Church Renewal and EPC Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic Church Development Director Dr. Ken Priddy, is a member of the 2008 USA Olympic Volleyball Team.

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Center, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729

+ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 17197 North Laurel Park Drive Suite 567, Livonia, Michigan 48152, 734-742-2020, Fax: 734-742-2033,

[7] Judge Rules Nude Dance at Strip Club by Underage Girl is Protected Art

Fremont County, Iowa Judge Timothy O'Grady in late July ruled that nude dancing in strip clubs is "artistic" even when performed by an under age girl, and that strip clubs are “theatres” in the legal sense.

After the 17-year-old niece of the local Sheriff, Steven MacDonald, did a nude dance at the Hamburg, Iowa Shotgun Geniez club, the owner, Clarence Judy, was charged with violating Iowa's public indecent exposure law.

Fremont County Attorney Margaret Johnson responded that the case was straightforward: an underage girl danced naked at the club, which is illegal.

The judge ruled, however, that prosecutors failed to prove that the strip club does not qualify as a theatre saying, "Given the First Amendment implications of a statute that may limit expression, it is not the role of the Court to judge the taste or quality of the art represented at Shotgun Geniez when determining whether or not it is a theater…"

+, Incorporated, Post Office Box 25382, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220, 866-787-9947,

[8] Tyson Foods Gives Poultry Plant Workers Muslim Holiday

After Tyson Foods replaced Labor Day as a paid holiday with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr at their Shelbyville, Tennessee plant, union members overwhelmingly voted to overturn the holiday change and reestablish Labor Day as a paid holiday.

Workers will get paid holidays for both Labor Day and Eid al-Fitr in 2008 for a total of nine paid holidays, and beginning in 2009, workers will have eight paid holidays with the choice between Eid al-Fitr or another day of their choice as one of the eight paid holidays.

+ Shelbyville Times Gazette, Post Office Box 380, Shelbyville, Tennessee, 37162, 931-684-1200, Fax: 931-684-3228,

[9] Court Rules Williamsburg-James City County (Virginia) Schools Discriminated Against Good News Clubs

On 11 August, a federal court ruled in favor of Child Evangelism Fellowship of Virginia (CEF), granting an injunction against the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. The court ruled that the school board engaged in unconstitutional discrimination by charging CEF a fee for holding after-school Good News Clubs at area schools, while granting free use to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other organizations.

+ Liberty Counsel, Post Office Box 540774, Orlando, Florida 32854, 800-671-1776,

[10] Missionary Team Arrested in China Back in USA

Three members of a Faith and Action missionary team arrested 7 August in Beijing for protesting China’s forced abortion policies and human rights violations were expelled by the Chinese and arrived back in the USA on 8 August.

The team said they were treated well by the Chinese government, other than being dragged away, detained for 10 hours, and threatened with a lengthy jail stay.

The team once in China went to Tiananmen Square where they unfurled a banner that said "Jesus Christ is King”.

Team leader Rev. Pat Mahoney said that uniformed Chinese officers confiscated the banner and escorted them out of the square.

Mahoney is Reformed Presbyterian pastor and Director of the Christian Defense Coalition. The other team members are Brandi Swindell and Mike McMonagle of Generation Life.

+, 555 17th Street, Suite 700, Denver, Colorado 80202,

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Extra 7 August 2008

Presbyterians Week Extra

USA Missionary Team Arrested in China

Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital reported on 7 August that their
China missionary team has been arrested and detained in an unknown location after they held public prayer and preaching services in Beijing, China. Team leader Rev. Pat Mahoney said, “We were in Tiananmen Square publicly praying for the people of China when police forcefully dragged us across the street."

Faith and Action President Rev. Rob Schenck describes the team’s efforts as, “a bold and prophetic witness against the tyranny and brutality by the Chinese government against their own people. As the Summer Olympics are being celebrated, millions of Christians and those with other faith traditions are routinely oppressed, tortured and jailed by Chinese officials.”

Rev. Schenck requests prayer “for our team’s safety and continued success as they stand in solidarity with oppressed Chinese believers and carry the hope of the Gospel to those fellow Christians in China who risk their lives every day.

+ Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, 109 Second Avenue Northeast, Washington DC 20002, 202-546-8329, Fax: 202-546-6864,

+ Peoples Republic of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Number 2, Chaoyangmen Nandajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100701, China, 86-10-65961114

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

6 August 2008

Presbyterians Week Headlines

National Council of Churches GA Scheduled 11-13 November
[2] Christian Woman In Eritrean Prison Dies Of Malaria
[3] Family Enrichment Conference at Bonclarken 12-14 February 2009
[4] Pennsylvania Supreme Court Overturns Hate Crime Legislation Slipped Into Agricultural Bill
[5] Intown Presbyterian Church Pastoral Search
[6] Oak Hill Christian School Offers Online Biology and Free Market Economics Courses
[7] Liberal Theologian Compares Biblical Position on Homosexuality to Pro-slavery and Pro-apartheid Views
[8] Church of the Brethren Celebrates 300th Anniversary in Schwarzenau, Germany
[9] Montana Church Appeals Ruling Requiring Registration as a Political Committee
[10] Algerian Christians Sentenced For Spreading Faith

National Council of Churches GA Scheduled 11-13 November

This year’s General Assembly of the National Council of Churches USA and Church World Service will be held in Denver 11-13 November.

The theme of the 2008 General Assembly is, "Jesus Said ... Whoever is Not Against You is For You," from Luke 9:50.

Topics planned for discussion at the General Assembly include immigration reform, the meaning of Christian unity in a pluralistic era and the "phobias" that stand in the way of ecumenical unity, racial justice, and interfaith dialogue.

+ National Council of Churches USA, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 880, New York, New York 10115, 212-870-2228, Fax: 212-870-2030,

+ Church World Service, 28606 Phillips Street, Elkhart, Indiana 46515, 800-297-1516, Fax: 574-262-0966,

[2] Christian Woman In Eritrean Prison Dies Of Malaria

Azib Simon, 37, imprisoned and tortured for her Christian faith since December, died of malaria the week of 14 July in Eritrea’s Wi’a Military Training Center.

Weakened by ongoing torture, Simon contracted malaria only a week before she died. Christians in the prison are rarely given medical attention, and authorities refused to provide treatment for Simon’s malaria.

Simon had attended the Kale-Hiwet Church in Assab, one of the independent evangelical churches that have been targeted by the country’s Marxist-leaning authoritarian regime.

Prisoners at the Wi’a military camp are under constant pressure to recant their faith.

Simon’s death makes a total of five Christians whom Compass Direct News Service has confirmed have died in Eritrean prisons after being tortured for refusing to recant their faith.

Since 2002 the oppressive regime has outlawed all independent Protestant churches, closing their buildings and banning gatherings in private homes. Worshippers caught disobeying the blanket restrictions are arrested and tortured for weeks, months or even years. They are never allowed legal counsel or brought to trial.

The government only recognizes Islam and Eritrean Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran Christian denominations as “historical” legal religions.

It is estimated that more than 1,000 Christians are imprisoned at any given time. Many of the arrests of Christians take place in groups when the government breaks up local house meetings.

+ Compass Direct News Service, Post Office Box 27250, Santa Ana, California 92799, 949-862-0304, Fax: 949-752-6536,

[3] Family Enrichment Conference at Bonclarken 12-14 February 2009

The Sessions of Christ Reformed Church of the Carolinas and Christ Church of the Carolinas are presenting a Family Enrichment Conference at the Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, North Carolina from Thursday evening 12 February 2009 until noon on Saturday 14 February.

The featured speakers are Dr. and Mrs. Glen C. Knecht. Dr. Knecht is the former pastor of First Presbyterian Church (ARP), Colombia, South Carolina. He is currently pastoring Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis, Maryland.

The target audience is adult singles, married, those divorced
and remaining unmarried, et cetera. Parents are asked to not bring their children to this gathering.

Registration will be handled through Christ Church of the Carolinas.

+ Christ Church of the Carolinas, 1824 Barnwell Street, Colombia, South Carolina 29201, 803-254-5055,

[4] Pennsylvania Supreme Court Overturns Hate Crime Legislation Slipped Into Agricultural Bill

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on 23 July struck down legislation that added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to Pennsylvania's “ethnic intimidation” law through an amendment slipped into an “agricultural crop destruction” bill. The justices ruled that the legislation violated the Pennsylvania Constitution’s provisions prohibiting altering or amending a bill in order to change its original purpose.

The overturned provisions of the ethnic intimidation law were used to arrest and charge Christians for evangelizing at a 2004 homosexual parade in Philadelphia.

Michael Marcavage, director of Repent America and one of those arrested at the parade characterized the legislators that managed the tainted legislation as using methods that “…were extremely devious and yet another chilling example as to how far politicians are willing to go to silence Christian speech…”

+ Foundation for Moral Law, Post Office Box 4086, Montgomery, Alabama 36103, 334-262-1245, Fax: 334-262-1708,

[5] Intown Presbyterian Church Pastoral Search

Intown Presbyterian Church (PCA) of Portland, Oregon has begun the search process for a Senior Pastor.

+ Intown Presbyterian Church, Post Office Box 6505, Portland, Oregon 97228, 503-227-8354,

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001,

[6] Oak Hill Christian School Offers Online Biology and Free Market Economics Courses

Oak Hill Christian School of Reston, Virginia is offering online high school courses in biology and in free market economics using the Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro web conferencing and e-learning tool.

+ Oak Hill Christian School, 11480 Sunset Hills Road,
Reston, Virginia 20190, 703-796-6887, Fax: 703-796-0582,

[7] Liberal Theologian Compares Biblical Position on Homosexuality to Pro-slavery and Pro-apartheid Views

At a Lambeth Conference event the week of 28 July, the Rev. Dr. Richard Burridge, Dean of Kings College London, likened advocates of biblical positions on homosexuality to those who are pro-chattel slavery and pro-apartheid.

Burridge said that Jesus supported inclusiveness in his earthly ministry, that apparent biblical condemnations of homosexuality must be read in the context of other condemnations that we no longer consider valid, and that Paul's treatment of homosexuality was characterized by “concern for an inclusive community."

Meanwhile, a leading Anglican bishop also raised the issue of slavery in the context of homosexuality. The Rt. Rev. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa, denounced on Friday 1 August the "advocacy of unscriptural practices." He diagnosed sexual obsession, including homosexuality, as "a new form of slavery: a slavery to modern secular culture and to immoral desires and lusts."

+ VirtueOnline, 1236 Waterford Road, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380

+ The Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU, England, 020-7898-1200, Fax: 020-7261-9836

[8] Church of the Brethren Celebrates 300th Anniversary in Schwarzenau, Germany

Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford reports that about 1000 people gathered 2-3 August in Schwarzenau, Germany to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Brethren movement on the banks of the Eder River, where the first group of eight Brethren, led by Alexander Mack Sr., were baptized in 1708.

Keynote speaker Marcus Meier, a research fellow at the Institute for European History in Mainz and a German academic authority on the early history of the Brethren, spoke about the influence of Pietism and Anabaptism on the early Brethren. Meier described the baptisms in Schwarzenau as being "the primal seal for [today’s] many-branched Brethren movement.... Here a group of eight people first counted the cost," he said, quoting a phrase from a hymn by Alexander Mack.

Preaching for worship were Fredric G. Miller Jr., pastor of Mount Olive Brethren Church in McGaheysville, Virginia, and James Beckwith, the 2008 moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and pastor of Annville, Pennsylvania Church of the Brethren.

Five of the six major Brethren bodies were represented at the celebration: the Church of the Brethren, the Brethren Church, the Old German Baptist Brethren Church, the Dunkard Brethren Church, and the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. The representative from the sixth major body, the Conservative Grace Brethren Churches International, was unable to be present.

+ Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, Illinois 60120, 800-323-8039, Fax: 847-742-6103,

[9] Montana Church Appeals Ruling Requiring Registration as a Political Committee

On 4 August, Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church of East Helena, Montana is scheduled for a hearing before the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to contest a 2004 ruling by the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices that that the church violated a Montana political practices law by supporting a proposed state marriage amendment without registering as a political committee.

After a complaint filed by homosexual activist group Montanans for Families and Fairness that claimed that the church violated a Montana political practices law by supporting a proposed state marriage amendment without registering as a political committee, the commissioner held that the church should have organized, registered, and reported as an “incidental political committee.

Representing the church is Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt who stated that “Churches have the right to apply biblical truths to societal issues without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate churches into giving up their constitutional rights. Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church was simply doing what churches do—addressing social issues from a biblical perspective. It should not be required to register with the government to do that. A church does not become a political committee simply because it speaks on an issue like marriage.”

+ Alliance Defense Fund, 15100 North 90th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260, 800-835-5233, Fax: 480-444-0025

[10] Algerian Christians Sentenced For Spreading Faith

On 2 July, a court in western Algeria convicted two Muslim converts to Christianity for illegally spreading their faith. The court in Tissemsilt, 110 miles southwest of Algiers, handed Rachid Muhammad Essaghir, 37, and Djallal Dhamani six-month suspended sentences and 100,000-dinar ($1,660) fines. The men were found guilty of “distributing documents to shake the faith of Muslims.”

Essaghir has now moved from Tiaret to the coastal city of Oran with his wife and 1-year-old daughter after police shut down his Internet café in April. Officials closed the business for failure to obtain necessary written permission from local police, but Essaghir said that this was an excuse to harass him for his work as an evangelist, as many Internet cafés in Algeria function without such permission.

A friend of Essaghir said that “despite his numerous convictions, he doesn’t care anymore; God is in control.”

+ Compass Direct News Service, Post Office Box 27250, Santa Ana, California 92799, 949-862-0304, Fax: 949-752-6536,