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IN THIS ISSUE
Aliens and strangers: the plight of Christian refugees Equipping the Church: new series on key Christian teachings Young Christians become self-sufficient in Central Asia
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 1
WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR
16 October 2011 an Egyptian Christian schoolboy was beaten to death by some of his Muslim classmates, apparently at the instigation of a Muslim teacher at his school in Mallawi, Minya province. Like most Egyptian Christians, Ayman Nabil Labib (17) had a cross tattooed on his wrist. On that day, the teacher had asked him to cover it up, but Ayman instead revealed that he wore another cross around his neck under his shirt. The infuriated teacher is reported to have incited the other boys to attack their fellow student. By the time an ambulance arrived, Ayman was dead. Egyptian police arrested and charged the two students, but not the teacher or any other member of the school staff. Only three witnesses have come forward to make statements to the police. The parents of the other students are reported to be afraid of what the school might do to their sons if they made statements, as well as being afraid of the families of the two boys who have been arrested. Barely three weeks earlier, a Pakistani Christian schoolgirl also faced a life-threatening situation, simply because of a spelling mistake. On 22 September Faryal Bhatti (13), a pupil at Sir Syed Girls High School in Havelian, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, was reprimanded and beaten by her teacher because she had misplaced a single dot in a word while answering a question on a poem about Muhammad. Her accidental slip turned the word naat, which refers to praise of Muhammad, into lanaat, which means “curse”. As news of the incident spread, Muslim protestors called for Faryal to be punished for her “blasphemy”. According to Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, the crime of defiling the name of Muhammad carries a mandatory death sentence. Faryal was expelled from her school, and she and her family have fled the area. These shocking incidents cause us to rage against the violence and injustice meted out to innocent Christian youngsters. And they are but two examples of what our Christian brothers and sisters have to endure in so many parts of the world. At the start of a new year, let us resolve to speak out for them. How can we be silent when such injustices are occurring? We must cry aloud for justice. This new year brings with it both hope and foreboding. We believe in the Lord of history who holds this world in His hands, and thus we can face the new year with confidence. But also we see a rising tide of persecution, and we wonder what our fellow believers will be called to endure in the coming twelve months. A year ago, in January 2011, the “Arab Spring” was initiated by the self-immolation of a desperate young man in Tunisia. As events unfolded in the Middle East, I wrote of my concerns that the Arab Spring might become a Christian Autumn in the region, or even a Christian Winter. Sadly this has proved to be the case. Libya, freed from Gaddafi’s tyranny, is moving rapidly to become an Islamic state. On 22 October, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the leader of the Transitional National Council, emphasised the central role Islam will play in the new Libya: “We are an Islamic country. We take the Islamic religion as the core of our new government. The constitution will be based on our Islamic religion.” Jalili’s statement was greeted with approving cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“god is great”). He also said that laws contradicting sharia would be nullified, and specified that polygamy would be legalised. Tunisia has already voted in an Islamist party, Ennahda, and it seems virtually certain that the Muslim Brotherhood will gain political power in Egypt when elections are held (due soon after the time of writing). The Iranian view of the upheavals in the Middle East, as not an Arab Spring but an “Islamic Awakening”, certainly seems to have been justified. The rise of Islamism across the Middle East, and indeed the rest of the world, is accelerating. And Christians are caught in its wake. However, the West seems to have little concern for the plight of Christian minorities. The catastrophe of post-war Iraq and its horrendous
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR
effects on Iraqi Christians may well be replicated for the UK, stood against the oppression of in Syria this year. The tragedy of a tiny and Bosnian Muslims by the Serbs and also addressed beleaguered Christian population in Afghanistan, the discrimination and racism of British society with their even smaller refugee communities in directed towards Muslims and ethnic minorities. Islamabad and New Delhi, has gained neither Now we must cry aloud again, for the needs and international attention nor any kind of protection rights of our Christian brothers and sisters. by the West or NATO. Worse still, Western Barnabas Fund was much criticised last countries at this time are unwilling to give asylum year for speaking out on behalf of vulnerable and to these small groups marginalised Christian of Afghan Christians. minorities who cannot Long ago, speak for themselves. another innocent But we will not be and faithful believer silenced, whether by made a passionate fellow Christians, by Islamists or by plea for justice. Job’s words come to us with governments. devastating force, John Wycliffe, ringing down the the 14th century (Job 19:7, KJV). centuries. “I cry out English preacher who of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but suffered great persecution for his initiative to there is no judgment” (Job 19:7, KJV). This is the translate the Bible into English, anticipated that experience of so many Christians today who live he might die a painful martyr’s death but said, in conditions where their cries cannot be heard. “What! Should I be silent? Never! Let the blow But we who live in Western democracies fall; I await its coming.” We at Barnabas Fund will continue to cry will be heard if we cry out courageously and persistently. So we cannot be silent in the face aloud, whatever the cost, remembering Job’s of injustice against anyone. We must not be glorious affirmation of hope in the midst of his silent. For to be silent is to acquiesce in violence, suffering: “I know that my redeemer liveth, and injustice and unrighteousness. that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” In the 1990s I, together with the late (Job 19:25, KJV). Sheikh Zaki Badawi, the senior Muslim leader
“I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment”
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo International Director
The paper used in this publication comes from sustainable forests and can be 100% recycled
To guard the safety of Christians in hostile environments, names may have been changed or omitted. Thank you for your understanding. Front cover: Christian women in Kenya receive emergency food aid from Barnabas (Source: Robin Wyatt) Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version®. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and obtain permission for stories and images used in this publication. Barnabas Fund apologises for any errors or omissions and will be grateful for any further information regarding copyright. © Barnabas Fund 2012
Compassion in Action Famine relief in East Africa, teaching converts in Burundi
Biblical Reflection Barnabas: a model for Barnabas Fund
Newsdesk Christians threatened and murdered in the Middle East
Resources The growth of Islam in the UK; the dangers faced by converts to Christ
Equipping the Church What does the Bible say about itself?
In Touch Supporting Barnabas Fund by text or when shopping online Learning from the Persecuted Church Iraqi pastor standing firm for Christ in jail
Spotlight Persecuted Christians far from home
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 3
COMPASSION IN ACTION
£70,115 for school for disabled Christian children
£5,965 for Bible school and skills training
Training “tentmakers” in Senegal
Egypt: school for disabled “garbage city” children
Nine Bible school graduates are now bringing the Gospel to many regions of Senegal
Play-time during a celebration at the newly-opened school for disabled Christian children
Motoring Christian books to remote parts of Pakistan
Just as Paul worked as a tentmaker while bringing the Gospel to others, nine recent Bible school graduates in Senegal received a solid ninemonth Biblical grounding last year, while at the same time learning a practical skill to support themselves in their ministry. This was all made possible through funding from Barnabas. Every weekday from 8.00 to 13.00 they immersed themselves in theological training. In the afternoons they each learnt a skill such as farming, baking and breeding livestock. The nine graduates are now doing a three-month ministry placement in different areas of Senegal. Their mission field is enormous, because the overwhelming majority of people in Senegal are Muslim. Our project partner reports that they are “doing an excellent job”.
A pristine, white building in the middle of a garbage city in Cairo, Egypt, is now almost complete, built with support from Barnabas Fund. It has already started to function as a school for children with learning and physical disabilities. Twenty-four disabled children have recently started attending the school in the three completed classrooms. More will join them once the other classrooms are finished. The school is tailored to the children’s special needs with separate rooms equipped for IQ testing, speech therapy and physical therapy. One of the eight floors will be reserved for vocational training, so that the children can learn trades to support themselves, at least partially, when they are older. In total Barnabas Fund has now supported the school with £230,115 (US$368,310; €267,640).
A book-van brings Christian literature to remote areas of Pakistan
Two brave Pakistani Christians drove a van full of Christian books through remote areas of Pakistan for three months last year, selling the literature along the way. “Many people were able to buy books which they would not have been able to do if our book-van had not gone to these areas,” their ministry leader wrote to us. Barnabas Fund paid for the books and maintenance of the van for one year. Also with our help Wayne Grudem’s popular Systematic Theology: An is being translated and printed into Urdu.
Project reference 11-599
Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Project reference 41-596 and 00-360 (Christian book-van in Pakistan)
Project reference 45-862
COMPASSION IN ACTION
£1,135 for medical operation £10,652 for Christian literature
A simple gift can transform a desperate situation into one of hope and joy. Thank you for making it possible for us to help persecuted Christians around the world. You are sending them the clear message that their Christian brothers and sisters have remembered them in their time of need. Please pray as you read.
£391,081 for houses for homeless Christians
Joyful hospital witness in Azerbaijan
India: a home of their own
Newly-built house for a Christian family in Orissa Thanks to surgery a church worker in Azerbaijan can continue to be a blessing to children through her ministry
‘‘How did you live in this situation? How did you survive?’ I answered that God saved me.”
A young children’s ministry worker in Azerbaijan successfully underwent an urgent operation for removing exceptionally large benign tumours from her womb, thanks to Barnabas. The tumours were so large that he doctors were amazed that she survived the operation. During her seven days of recovery in the hospital she continually witnessed about Jesus and how she herself left Islam to follow Christ. When she gave copies of the Jesus film and Christian cartoons to patients and nurses, others came to her bedside asking for the films for themselves and their relatives. By the end of her treatment she had given away 130 Christian DVDs. Her steadfast faith shines through when she adds,
A young Christian family from Orissa are so happy with their newly-built home (see photo above), built with a grant from Barnabas of £755 (US$1,195; €885). Their joy is clear to see as they talk with one of our project partners. This young family has been in desperate straits for years, as have thousands of other Christians from Orissa whose homes were destroyed during anti-Christian riots in 2007 and 2008. “I want to give the best for my children; in the past they often got sick due to poor housing condition,” says the mother. With the help of Barnabas many Christians in Orissa now have their own home, a place from which to restart their lives. “I thank God and you for providing us this house,” she concludes.
Project reference 21-723
“When people asked me, ‘What do you do now? You can’t marry or have children,’ I answer them that if God thought it was needed He would save it. If He needs me to marry, He will do this and if He needs me to have children He will do this miracle too!”
Project reference 00-671 (Medical Fund)
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 5
COMPASSION IN ACTION
Young Christians become self-sufficient in Tajikistan
“I have always wanted to open a business in the village of providing computer services. We do not have such a business in the village. I heard about the training from a friend in our church and decided to take training. I bought a printer, found a seat and started a business. At the moment, it brings me some income.”
Dilafruz, course participant How do you start your own small business? Scores of young Christians in Tajikistan were eager to learn and find their way out of poverty when the opportunity arose to take a five-day course in their local church. Through the support of Barnabas Fund nine of these courses took place last year, involving 117 students. The 16- to 35-year-olds learned about the importance of financial planning and how to make a business plan. plan received a loan from their church. They started small businesses, including selling watermelons, washing cars, and repairing electrical household appliances. All are doing well and are paying back their loans over time. Shahzoda is one of those who received a loan. She loved her work as a seamstress but did not have the means to buy her own sewing machine. After completing the course, she could buy the sewing machine for starting her own business.
Young Christians in Tajikistan learn how to become self-sufficient in their povertystricken country
£2,671 for small businesses
Project reference 50-884 Twenty-nine of the 37 who handed in a business
“I am now taking orders from home. It is very convenient and safe. My business is going very well today.” Shahzoda
Burundi: solid, basic teaching for converts from Islam
Converts from Islam need clear Christian teaching specially designed to help those from a Muslim background and a safe place to ask all their questions. In Burundi 108 Christians with a Muslim background received a five-day foundational Christian training course through the help of a grant from Barnabas Fund. Much of what they learned was new to them, especially to 60 who have found the Lord very recently. Our project partner writes that the sharing of testimonies were a “great blessing and inspiration to all of us”. He reports that the atmosphere was very open and that all students felt free to ask questions and make comments on the teaching. Barnabas also funded three Christian conferences in Burundi. Hundreds of Christians, many of them recent converts, attended. The leaders used the textbook Unveiled, published by Barnabas Fund, for their teaching on the differences between Christianity and Islam. Participants said afterwards that they were greatly renewed by sharing the Word of God and equipped through the teaching on Islam. They hoped there would be more conferences in the future.
Christians in Burundi crowd together at a conference, eager to deepen their faith
£7,500 for conferences training converts from Islam (US$12,000, €8,700)
Project reference 67-682
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Feeding starving Christians in East Africa
“We are witnessing the manna from heaven.”
Our project partners continue to work around the clock to bring food to hungry Christians in East Africa. More than 82,000 Christians have been helped (at the time of writing) in drought-affected areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, all made possible through generous donations from our supporters. Often the food arrived just in time. Many times Christians receiving aid told our project partners that they had completely run out of food and were close to desperation. When they then received the bags of food, they cried with joy and relief. At a huge refugee camp in Kenya the small Christian minority tended to be overlooked when aid from other agencies was handed out. In these situations help from Barnabas Fund can be a lifeline for Christians. We are helping 630 Christian families there. Each family received emergency packs consisting of five 5 kg of rice, 5 kg of beans, 1 kg of sugar, and three litres of cooking oil. A Muslim truck driver who had been hired by the refugee camp leaders to help our partners transfer the food, was touched to see Christians giving food to their fellow believers. Getting the food to the locations is often timeconsuming and difficult. When arriving at a distribution point in Kenya, Christian women greeted the truck with hands raised and singing joyfully while walking alongside the vehicle. There was a time of worship before the food was handed out, enough food to last each Christian family for five months.
COMPASSION IN ACTION
Porridge for the youngest
£960,087 for famine relief
Children under the age of five are a very vulnerable group when famine strikes. That is why one of our Kenyan partners set up a programme especially for those little ones by providing them daily with a nutrientrich porridge. Two women volunteered to make the porridge daily for a group of children registered at a particular church in Kenya. They had planned to feed 100 children daily, but each week more children showed up, forcing up the number to 230 children. Every morning the meal was scheduled for 10.00. But at 7.00, three hours too early, the children were already pouring in and queuing up with bowls and cups in their hands. Many of them had not had an evening meal the night before. Our project partner commented that the “need is frightening but we are prepared to tackle it”.
Project reference 25-359
Hungry Christians in Kenya receiving food aid
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 7
SUICIDE BOMBEr TArGETS CHUrCH
INDONESIA: A suicide
bomber disguised as a churchgoer detonated explosives outside a church in Indonesia as worshippers were leaving the Sunday service on 25 September. The blast at the Bethel Injil Sepuluh Church in Keputon, Solo, Central Java damaged parts of the church building and left 28 people injured. The one fatality from the incident is believed to be the bomber. An eyewitness said, “Everyone was screaming. I saw fiery sparks and, near the entrance, a man dead on the ground...” Reports suggested that the bombing was a response to clashes between Muslims and Christians in Ambon, one of the Maluku Islands, earlier in September when seven people were killed, scores more injured and homes and vehicles torched. The conflict in Ambon was sparked by false rumours, circulated by text message to Muslims in the area, that Christians had killed a Muslim motorcycle taxi driver; police said he died after losing control of his vehicle and crashing. The Maluku Islands were the scene of serious
Solo, Central Java, where the church attack took place (Source: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by Dillan K)
Christian man killed by Islamic militants was found in the Bakool region of south-western Somalia on 2 September. Juma Nuradin Kamil was killed by the terrorist group al-Shabaab and his severed head put on his chest. Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda that controls most of southern Somalia, wages war against “enemies of Islam”. The group imposes an extremely strict version of sharia, and in all versions of sharia law, death is the penalty prescribed for adult male apostates from Islam. Somalia is almost 100% Muslim, and the small number of Christians, all converts from Islam, are extremely vulnerable. Many Somali Christians have been martyred by Islamic militants in recent years.
CHrISTIANS THrEATENED IN ANTI-GOVErNMENT UPrISING
sheikh has issued an implicit threat to the country’s Christians, saying that all those who oppose the revolution will be “torn apart, chopped up and fed to the dogs”. Sheikh Adnan al Aroor, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, has become a key motivating figure of the Syrian uprising. In his speeches broadcast on an Islamic satellite channel al-Safa that is widely watched in Syria, al Aroor often urges people to continue demonstrating until President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is brought down. In one sermon, he explains that Syrians can be divided into three groups. The first comprises people who are for the revolution and against Assad. The second group consists of people who are neither for nor against the revolution and can therefore expect no privileges from the new regime. The third group opposes the revolution and backs Assad. This group is likely to be seen as including Syrian Christians because they are assumed to be supporting the government, having been welltreated and given a good measure in some cities, such as Homs, believers are afraid to leave their homes. A senior church leader in the area told Barnabas Fund that heavy gunfire had prevented church leaders and worshippers from attending church and, according to reports, some church buildings have been
SOMALIA: The body of a SYRIA: An influential Syrian
“...heavy gunfire had prevented church leaders and worshippers from attending church...”
of religious freedom under President Assad’s regime. Christians, who comprise around 10% of the population, have mostly stayed away from the protests despite pressure to join the uprising. They are fearful of what may replace the government as Islamists gain increasing influence over the demonstrations. A number of Christians have been killed and, burned down, indicating growing anti-Christian hostility. Until last year, Syria had had a long record of peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians. On 30 October, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned of an “earthquake” if the West intervenes in his country, saying that involvement risked turning Syria into “another Afghanistan”. formally issued in November 2010. The referral is likely further to delay the issuing of a written verdict, which had been expected within a week of Nadarkhani’s latest court hearing in Rasht at the end of September. At that trial, the father of two was asked on three separate occasions to renounce his faith in
IRAN: The case of condemned
SUPrEME LEADEr TO rULE on Pastor’s Case
pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been referred to the country’s Supreme Leader, the ultimate political and religious authority in Iran. Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei will now determine the outcome for Nadarkhani, who has been appealing against his death sentence for apostasy, which was
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
NEWSDESK violence between 1999 and 2002 by down or demolished by the authorities protests from radical Muslim groups. One recent example of Islamic extremists against Christians, in Indonesia since the start of 2010, including in some areas a full-scale often following pressure from Islamist discrimination by the authorities is the campaign of ethnic cleansing. In groups, according to the Jakarta treatment of GKI Yasmin Church in Central Sulawesi and the Maluku Christian Communication Forum Bogor, West Java. The congregation Islands hundreds of churches and (FKKJ). has been holding services on the thousands of homes were street in front of its half“Everyone was screaming. I saw destroyed; according to constructed church since its fiery sparks and, near the entrance, some estimates 30,000 building permit was revoked a man dead on the ground...” Christians were killed and in 2008. Bogor city chiefs, about half a million driven out. The official reasons given for spearheaded by the mayor, have Islamist groups intent on the closures were that the buildings refused to comply with a Supreme eliminating Christianity from Indonesia were being used as places of Court order issued in December 2010 and bringing the whole country under worship without a licence or without instructing that the church could be the rule of sharia law have been the minimum required number of 60 reopened. The mayor has said that waging an aggressive and often worshippers. But, the FKKJ asks, churches should not be built on a violent campaign against Christians “Why is this only applied to the street with an Islamic name; GKI over recent years. Churches Christian churches and not other Yasmin is situated on a road named frequently come under attack; more places of worship?” In most cases, after an Islamic leader from West than 50 churches have been shut measures were taken following Java.
PEACEFUL PrOTEST BY CHrISTIANS TUrNS DEADLY
EGYPT: Christians were mown
down by military vehicles when they took to the streets in Maspero Square, Cairo, Egypt on Sunday 9 October to protest against the destruction of a church. The church of St George in the village of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan Province had been attacked by a mob of Muslims following a dispute over the building’s renovation in September. The mob demolished the church, set fire to the church depot where the wood that was to be used for the construction was stored and torched four homes and a shop belonging to Christians. In protest, thousands of Christians staged a peaceful demonstration, but they came under brutal attack from security forces, Islamists and violent thugs. Video footage of the violence showed military vehicles charging at Christians. The protestors were also order to secure an annulment of the charge of apostasy and lifting of the death sentence, but he refused each time. His lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, said that it was unusual for a judicial case to be forwarded to the Supreme Leader and that he hoped the death sentence would made for the resignation of the military council. The following week, generals from the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces denied firing on Christian protestors and running over them in armoured vehicles. Instead, they blamed the Christians for the violence, accusing them of “savage” attacks on the military. But autopsies and forensic reports refute the military’s version of events; a third of the victims – most of whom were Christians – were killed by being run over, while two-thirds were shot with live ammunition. Violence against the Christian community is driving thousands of Christians out of the country. A report by the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organisations (EUHRO) said that 100,000 Christians had emigrated from Egypt since March 2011.
A peaceful protest by Christians against the destruction of a church in Egypt in September led to large-scale violence (Source: Omar Robert Hamilton, Flickr)
shot at, beaten and dragged through the streets; 25 people were confirmed dead and hundreds injured. In a bid to control reporting of the incident, the military forcibly closed at least two independent media outlets, while state television broadcast antiChristian statements and called
for people to take to the streets to “protect” the army. Although Muslims were among the aggressors, some were also reportedly present to defend the Christians from the security forces and to protest against the military’s continued hold on power. Calls were be overturned in keeping with Iran’s international agreements. The Iranian authorities appear to be trying various tactics, perhaps in response to sustained international pressure to overturn the death sentence and release Nadarkhani. In an apparent attempt to justify the penalty, fabricated charges were
levelled at him on 30 September by the deputy governor of Gilan province, where the trial took place; he said that the pastor was a rapist, an extortionist and a Zionist and was guilty of “security-related crimes”, adding, “No one is executed in Iran for their choice of religion.”
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 9
ATTACKS ON CHrISTIANS CONTINUE
IRAQ: Two Christians were found
dead in three days in northern Iraq. The body of Emmanuel Hanna Paules (60) was found in Kirkuk on 30 September; it appears that he had Yelda (43), Ashor Dawood (61) and their Turkmen companion Junkies Ezzeddine were taken hostage near Kirkuk by unidentified gunmen while on a hunting trip. They were released
“The attacks on Christians continue and the world remains totally silent. It’s as if we’ve been swallowed up by the night.” A Barnabas contact in Kirkuk
been strangled and shot. Another Christian, Bassam Eshoo (30), was shot dead by a group of unknown assailants in the restaurant where he worked in Mosul, on 2 October. These deaths came as three kidnapped Christians were released after the payment of a hefty ransom. Pertus Georges (60), Noweya on 30 September, having been held captive for just over a week. The killings and kidnappings followed a spate of attacks on churches in Kirkuk. In August 2011, five churches were targeted with bombs in the space of three weeks; two bombs exploded, damaging the church buildings.
Three Christians and their companion were taken hostage and released after payment of a ransom (Source: Emad Matti, ankawa.com)
CHrISTIAN MOTHEr KILLED BY MUSLIM ATTACKEr AFTEr rAPE ATTEMPT
PAKISTAN: A Christian mother her, locking the door behind them.
of four was murdered by a Muslim colleague in Pakistan after she resisted his attempt to rape her at the factory where they worked. When he attempted to assault Zubaida sexually, she cried for help, at which point the attacker pulled out a dagger and slit her throat. She died said, “I want justice... My wife was innocent and noble lady. She was working for our children.” Christian women are particularly vulnerable to sexual attacks by
rESTrICTIVE NEW rELIGION LAW GAINS PrESIDENTIAL APPrOVAL
KAZAKHSTAN: In the November/ December 2011 edition of Barnabas Aid, we reported that the government of Kazakhstan had approved a new religion law, taking the country a step closer to introducing new legislation that would severely restrict freedom of religion in the country. On 13 October this new religion law, which requires all religious groups to re-register with the state under a complex four-tier system, was approved by Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Changes were also made to another law to widen the range of violations punishable under the religion law. Both laws were adopted with what one observer called “unprecedented speed”; sources reported that the laws were being implemented before they had officially come in to force on 24 October.
“...My wife was innocent and noble lady. She was working for our children.”
Zubaida Bibi (35), a cleaner at a garment factory in East Karachi, was attacked by a Muslim co-worker on 12 October. She went into the bathrooms to clean the facilities and he followed at the scene. He was arrested at the factory after the management called the police. Zubaida leaves a husband and four children. Her husband Younas influential Muslims in Pakistan, and incidents are on the rise. They often go unreported, and if a case does reach the courts, the Muslim culprits often walk free.
IRAQ: In a rare piece of
good news, Christians in the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan have been given two acres of land by the governor of the regional government in Dohuk to build a multi-purpose centre that will include a church, seminary, medical clinic and school. The Grace
10 BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
Baptist Cultural Centre will be built in the town of Simele, with the first phase of the facility scheduled to be completed next year.
EQUIPPING THE CHURCH
In this issue of Barnabas Aid we are beginning a new series of pull-out supplements on some of the key teachings of the Christian faith.
The West now supports a huge range of different religions and philosophies. Christians face the demanding task of keeping on in our faith in the face of numerous alternatives, many of them openly hostile to orthodox Christianity. If we are to rise to the challenge of answering other views, we need a good working knowledge of the Bible and the Christian message. Like someone comparing an authentic painting with a forgery, it is only when we look closely at what is true that we can clearly discern what is not. These articles are intended to help us not only to understand our faith, but also to share it more effectively, especially with our Muslim neighbours and people of other religions or none. In setting out a Biblical view of these vital issues, we shall show how it differs from some other views and why the differences matter. A robust grasp of the Bible’s teaching should help us to understand some of the disputes between Christians and others and respond to their objections to our faith. We begin by considering the Bible’s view of itself.
What does the Bible say about itself?
Introduction Songs) record their thoughts on and reactions to His activity he Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of in their lives and circumstances. faith and practice in the lives of Christians. The Some of the OT consists of words attributed directly to second letter to Timothy says that “All Scripture God, which He speaks to (and through) His servants. Much of is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, re- the legal material in Exodus to Deuteronomy is of this kind, buking, correcting and training in righteousness, and so is much of the prophetic literature (Isaiah to Malachi), so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every though many of these books also contain elements of story. good work” (3:16-17, TNIV). A right understanding of what they also include the varied responses of God’s people (and the Bible is can also help us to share our faith more effectively. others) to His words. In this article we shall look at the Bible’s view of itSo the OT contains words spoken by God to His people, self, and at how this relates to our mission among Muslims words that report events or express experiences in which He and others. makes Himself known, and words that convey the human responses to these divine disclosures. the ot records God’s revelation of Himself and so also reveals Him itself.
The Bible on the Bible
In the period covered by the Old Testament (OT), God reveals Himself in the history of His relationship with the people of Israel. His nature and character, His purpose and will, are all disclosed in the unfolding events and in His people’s responses to them, recounted especially in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the OT) and the historical books (Joshua to Esther). God also makes Himself known through the experience of His people. The OT wisdom and poetic books (Job to Song of
1. The old Testament’s view of itself
The New Testament (NT) writers see the whole OT as having its origin in God. They not only assert the divine source of those passages in which God speaks directly, such as the law of Moses or direct prophecies (e.g. Mark 7:10 or Acts 2:1721); they also assign the other kinds of writing to His hand. Thus in Matthew 19:5 the words of Genesis 2:24 are ascribed to God, even though in Genesis they are a narrator’s comment and not spoken directly by God.
2. The New Testament’s view of the old
APPROACHING THE ISSUE
Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that it has authority over the faith and life of Christian people. Within this broad consensus there are different views of what this means and of how the Bible should be read and understood. Sometimes the debates between supporters of these different views become quite intense. They are often focused on particular theological terms that are not actually used within the Bible itself. As a result they can generate more heat than light, cause unnecessary divisions, and even obscure the central Biblical truths about the Scriptures. In this article we try to avoid the use of such terms and focus instead on what the Bible tells us about itself. This includes not only its specific statements on the subject (such as 2 Timothy 3:15-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21), but also the kind of material that it contains and the ways in which later writers use earlier ones. This approach should appeal to all Christians who want to follow Scripture.
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
EQUIPPING THE CHURCH
What does the Bible say about itself?
For this reason the NT also treats every part of the OT able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ as having authority over Christian faith and life. But more than Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, this, it presents Jesus and the early Christian community as rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all the fulfilment of the ot God’s people may be Scriptures. These basic thoroughly equipped “For us the supreme sanction of the Old Testament is that which convictions can be ilfor every good work” it derived from Christ Himself… What was indispensable to lustrated from various (2 Timothy 3:15-17, the Redeemer must always be indispensable to the redeemed.” parts of the NT. TNIV). Every part of Professor G.A. Smith The Gospels and the OT has its source Acts. In all four Gospels the Lord Jesus accepts the OT as the in God, and God has made it useful and sufficient for its diWord of God. He refers repeatedly to its authoritative teach- vinely intended purpose, that is, to guide people to salvation ing: whether in explaining the purpose of parables (Matthew and the way of life that goes with it. For this purpose it is all 13:14-15), declaring God’s purpose for marriage (Mark 10:6- fully reliable: its history, its theology, its ethical teaching and 8), foretelling His betrayal (John 13:18-19) or interpreting His everything else. The rest of the NT. the other nt books also affirm the death and resurrection (Luke 20:17). He also sees the OT as defining the way of life that God requires of His disciples. He authority of the ot scriptures and their fulfilment in Christ makes the bold statement in Matthew 5:18-19 that not even and the Christian community. The letter to the Hebrews is the the smallest part of the law will pass away, and that whoever clearest witness on these matters. It is largely an exposition of breaks the least of its commands will be called least in the various OT texts (e.g. Psalm 95:7-11 in Hebrews 3:7-11; JerKingdom of Heaven, and He also mentions some specific emiah 31:31-34 in Hebrews 8:8-12). The author ascribes some ways in which the OT shows disciples how to live (e.g. in texts explicitly to God (e.g. in 1:5-8, 4:3-7), even though not Matthew 19:18-19 and Mark 12:29-31). His understanding of all of them are direct divine speech in the OT, and he regards the OT is carried forward into the early Christian communities ot themes and concepts (notably priesthood and sacrifice) in the book of Acts (e.g. 7:49-50; 23:5). as standard for Christian faith and life (4:14-16; 10:19-25). Jesus and the Gospel writers also view the promises One purpose of his discussion is to show that these things and prophecies of the OT as coming true in His life and min- have been fulfilled in God’s new covenant in Christ (8:1-13). istry, death and resurrection. In fact who Jesus is and why He The other most explicit NT statement about the OT came are defined by the ot: in these writings God has laid declares: “no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own down His plan for His people and His world, and this has now interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, reached its fulfilment in Jesus, whose life follows the pattern but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from revealed in the text. Matthew in particular develops this point, God” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NrSV). The prophecies of the OT using numerous quotations to relate Jesus’ life and actions to were in effect spoken by the Spirit; the prophets were so driven the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy (e.g. 1:22-23; 4:14-16; by the Spirit that what they said came from God. 12:17-21; 21:4-5; 27:9-10). And Luke takes over this idea and develops it further in Acts, where not only the coming of 3. New Testament interpretation of the old Jesus but also the experience of the early churches is seen as so the nt writers accept the ot’s view of itself as revealed fulfilling the ot (e.g. 4:25-26; 13:47). by God. They treat it as having authority over the churches, Paul’s writings. Paul’s teaching is thoroughly ground- and they see it as being fulfilled in Christ and His people. But ed in the OT Scriptures. He sees them as “words of God” they also believe that God has revealed Himself supremely (romans 3:2) that embody what God said in former ages to and finally in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and that Moses and the prophets (romans 3:21). He too appeals to this new and greater revelation is being further worked out by the authority of OT teaching: for example, on universal sin- the Holy Spirit in the early churches. fulness (romans 3:12-18), about righteousness being based Thus in the opening verses of his Gospel, John says the on faith (Galatians 3:11) and on the future defeat of death grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ are an advance (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). and he affirms its continuing role on the grace that was given in the law of Moses (John 1:16-17). in shaping the lifestyle of God’s people (e.g. romans 12:20; Because Jesus is God the one and only, who is at the Father’s 2 Corinthians 13:1). side, He is uniquely able to disclose God to the world (John Paul also presents the coming of Christ as the climax 1:18). Later John goes on to say that the role of the Spirit is to the story of Israel told in the OT (romans 9:4-5). God has both to remind Jesus’ disciples of what He has said and to exset out His plan in the Scriptures (romans 1:2), and all His plain its significance; the spirit confirms and interprets God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:23-24). revelation of Himself in Jesus (14:26; 16:12-15). So the NT writPaul relates the work ers do not read the OT of Christ to OT teach“The old is in the new revealed, the new is in the old concealed.” ing in specific ways text just as it might Augustine of Hippo, altered (e.g. romans 15:3; have been read before Galatians 3:13), and also the experience of the early Chris- Christ came; they believe that it must now be interpreted in light of His coming. For them it is a set of writings that point tians (e.g. romans 8:36; 1 Corinthians 2:16). In 2 timothy we find one of the most explicit state- forward to Him and explain His significance; it cannot be ments about the OT in the NT: “the Holy Scriptures … are properly understood in isolation from Him. This means that
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What does the Bible say about itself?
although the ot is still authoritative for God’s people, it must Finally, 2 Peter 3:16 says that Paul’s letters “contain be read in light of God’s final revelation of Himself in Christ some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and and by the Spirit. unstable people distort, as they do the For instance, “The value of these Writings, historical and spiritual, is out of all other Scriptures, to Paul devotes most of proportion to their number and length, and their influence upon his letter to the Galalife and history is incalculable. Here is the noontide of the day their own destruction” tians to arguing that which began to dawn in Eden. The Christ of Prophecy in the Old (emphasis added). Gentiles who are in Testament becomes the Christ of the History of the Gospels; the This statement strongChrist do not need to Christ of Experience in the Epistles; and the Christ of Glory in the ly indicates that by the be circumcised, even Revelation.” W. Graham Scroggie time 2 Peter was writthough this was the ten, Paul’s letters had most basic command laid on the people of Israel in the OT been given the same status among the churches as OT Scrip(2:15 – 5:12). The writer to the Hebrews takes several chapters ture, and it is likely that by then the same honour had also been (7 – 10) to make the case that the ot sacrificial system has now given to other NT books. been superseded, since Christ has offered a perfect sacrifice for So the NT writings present themselves as having ausin once and for all. And Jesus Himself, in the Sermon on the thority, based on their relation to Christ, and by the close of the Mount, offers new interpretations of a series of OT commands NT period at least some of them were regarded as Scripture. in light of the coming of the Kingdom (Matthew 5:21-48). The same reasons that led to their acceptance as Scripture Thus whilst the NT writers have the highest respect would eventually extend that acceptance to the whole NT. for the OT, the way they bring this together with their convictions about Christ and the Spirit allows them to interpret 5. summary it in new ways. The Bible’s understanding of itself develops through the course of the story that it tells, but a clear picture emerges 4. The New Testament view of itself at each stage: There are various indications in the NT that its writers saw their ● the ot presents itself as a record of God’s disclosure work as having authority for the early churches, and one hint of Himself in the time before the coming of Christ, in (2 Peter 3:16) that it was being read as Scripture even before the history and experience of Israel and in His direct all the NT writings had been completed. speaking to them. Jesus’ words and deeds were basic to the first Christian communities. They had put their faith in Him as Lord and ● The NT sees the OT as having authority for Christian Saviour, and they were committed to receiving His teaching, understanding and behaviour, and presents Jesus and the following His example and obeying His commands. The Gosearly churches as the fulfilment of it. pels were regarded as having authority because they brought ● The NT writers believe that God has revealed Himself together traditions about Him that had been accepted, passed supremely in Christ and the Spirit, and that the OT must on and eventually written down. therefore be reinterpreted in light of Christ’s coming. All the Gospel writers tie their writings carefully in with the OT, and Luke in particular seems to see his two-volume ● The NT writings are presented as having authority for work (Luke and acts) as continuing the ot story of God’s the churches, derived from Christ, and even within the mighty acts for the salvation of His people and His world. NT period some are already being read as Scripture. John’s teaching on the work of the spirit, mentioned above, suggests he believes that God is enabling him to remember and interpret His revelation of Himself in Jesus. Some of the NT authors write as apostles sent by Christ Adherents of non-Christian religions and philosophies hold a (Paul, Peter) or as other senior figures with authority over the variety of different views about the Christian Bible. Some of churches (e.g. James, Jude). According to Paul, the apostles them contrast it unfavourably with their own sacred writings. have the leading ministry in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28), For example, the Muslim view of the Bible and its relation and he claims explicitly that at least some of his own state- to the Quran, the Muslim holy book, are very different from ments have divine authority (e.g. 1 Corinthians 7:25, 40). In mainstream Christian views. Ephesians 2:20 and 3:5 apostles are said to be part of the the Bible’s understanding of itself, as set out above, can foundation of the Church, suggesting that their teaching (and help us to grasp some of these issues and respond to Muslim writings) are meant to define it. (and other) criticisms of the Bible. We conclude by looking The prophets mentioned in Ephesians 3:5 share at three of the most important issues. in this foundational role; their task was probably to interpret and apply the apostles’ teaching and the traditions Inspired by God about Jesus. The last book of the NT not only calls itself Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of the god of a “revelation” that God has shown to the author (rev- Islam in a unique sense. They claim that Muhammad merely elation 1:1), but is also presented as a sacred prophecy received the word and passed it on as an exact copy of an (22:18-19) that carries the authority of God and of Christ. original in heaven. It supposedly bears no mark of Muhammad’s character, and in Islam it is blasphemous to ascribe it
EQUIPPING THE CHURCH
The Bible in mission
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 III
EQUIPPING THE CHURCH
What does the Bible say about itself?
to him in even a secondary sense. To Muslims the attribution of the Biblical writings to their human authors shows that the Bible is inferior to the Quran. It is true that only some parts of the Bible came by direct prophetic inspiration; that is, in words spoken directly by God, for example to Moses or the OT prophets. The rest consists of human reports about and responses to God’s self-disclosure, and this has clearly been produced through ordinary oral and literary processes. Each book bears distinctive marks of its human author/s; even Mark, Matthew and Luke write very differently, despite describing many of the same events. And even the words ascribed explicitly to God are spoken in different ways according to the prophet or writer who receives them: compare, for example, Leviticus with Isaiah. So the Bible presents itself as a fully human book, but its human character does not undermine its status as divine revelation. We have also seen that it is “inspired by God” or “God-breathed”; the Spirit of God was at work through all the processes of its composition so that the whole product may be said to come from Him. God worked not by divine dictation that wipes out the distinctiveness of the human authors, but by divine inspiration that works through their various human personalities, agendas and approaches. The Bible is 100% the work and Word of God while also being 100% the work and words of humans. as the Word of God. In any case, the Muslim claim that present-day Biblical manuscripts are badly corrupt lacks historical support. When did the change happen? If Muslims claim that it happened before Muhammad, they contradict the positive statements in the Quran about the Bible. If they claim that it happened after Muhammad, they ignore the many manuscripts of the Bible that predate Muhammad by several hundred years, and that in every important respect support the present Biblical texts.
Muslims also believe that the Quran is the supreme and final revelation of the god of Islam, which fulfils and supersedes all earlier ones. Although they revere the Bible, at least in theory, they see the Quran as going well beyond the Bible’s teachings, adding new truth and commands to what their god has already revealed. So they believe that the Quran surpasses all the earlier Scriptures, and Christians who look only to the Bible as God’s Word fail to realise the fullness of divine revelation. this view does not do justice to the Bible’s testimony about itself and about Christ. We have seen how the NT writers regard Christ as God’s supreme and final revelation to the world. The OT points to Him and is now to be interpreted in the light of His coming, and the NT writings derive their authority from Him. Second Timothy 3:17 also says that through Scripture God’s people are equipped for every good work. This statescripture cannot be broken Muslims believe that Jesus and some other Biblical figures are ment refers directly only to the OT, but it can also be applied prophets, and that the OT and NT are genuine revelations from to the NT by extension. It suggests that the Bible is not only the god of Islam. But since they also believe that the Quran is profitable for its God-given purpose, but also sufficient for final and perfect, they will dismiss any part of the Bible that that purpose; there is no need for God to disclose any truth contradicts it, claiming that the original Biblical manuscripts additional to what is in the Bible (though He does of course have been seriously corrupted and changed. For example, ref- interpret and apply Biblical truth for us through the Spirit). erences to Christ’s deity and divine sonship, and to His death so the whole Bible is God’s testimony to His ultimate by crucifixion, conflict with Quranic teaching and are therefore revelation of Himself in Christ, and it is a sufficient testimony. rejected. Thus in Islam the authority of Christian Scripture is This means that if the Bible needs to be superseded or added to, only relative, not absolute; Muslims believe that parts of it can as Muslims believe, then so also does Christ – which means be set aside in light of the later and more authoritative Quran. in turn that He is not after all God’s supreme and final revelaIt is clear from the above survey of Biblical teaching tion. To diminish the Bible in the way that the Quran does is that this is not the Bible’s view of itself. In Matthew’s Gospel to diminish Christ Himself. Jesus denounces those who make void the written Word of God (Matthew 15:6), and in John He declares that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). The authority of the OT The Muslim downgrading of the inspiration, authority and as defined in the nt, and by extension that of the nt itself, adequacy of the Bible is not true to the Bible’s view of itself. does not allow parts of Scripture to be set aside or contradicted. Nor are similar attacks on the Bible by other religions and We have already seen how 2 Timothy 3:15-17 suggests ideologies. Understanding the Biblical teaching on this subject that God has made the Bible what He wants it to be to fulfil its will enable us to uphold the true nature of Scripture against divinely intended purpose, which is to lead people to salvation attack and help us to be faithful to its teaching. But even more and its associated lifestyle. For this purpose the Bible is all importantly, it will enable us to maintain the honour of the an entirely trustworthy statement of God’s self-revelation to Lord Jesus Christ, to whom Scripture bears witness and from humans. This is another reason why it should all be received whom it derives its character.
BARNABAS FUND HOPE AND AID FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
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Aliens and strangers
The plight of Christian refugees
In Afghanistan the few thousand converts from Islam put their safety and even their lives at very great risk to follow Christ. They are extremely vulnerable, both to detention and possible execution by the authorities and to violence or death at the hands of the Taliban. Some flee to the relative safety of India, but there they are constantly at risk of arrest and/or return to Afghanistan; at least one who was sent back was later murdered. Western countries are unwilling to accept them. The plight of these Afghan believers reflects that of hundreds of thousands of Christians across the world who have become refugees because of persecution and discrimination. In their flight from their homelands they are following in the footsteps of their Lord. Jesus was a refugee After the Magi had visited the new-born baby Jesus in Bethlehem, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Matthew 2:13). Joseph, Mary and the baby fled to Egypt, where they stayed until Herod’s death. Jesus and his family were forced to become refugees to escape a tyrant who wanted to murder him, and who went on to kill all the male children in and around Bethlehem under the age of two. Today, the flight of this young family is re-enacted by millions of people around the world, who risk their lives crossing deserts, jungles and stormy seas to escape war and violence, oppression or natural disasters. Many of them are Christians, escaping persecution in their homelands. Often they end up in cramped and squalid conditions, perhaps in refugee camps, for months or years on end, hoping against hope for a better future. Who is a refugee? According to the UN, all citizens are entitled to the protection of their fundamental human rights by their government. When governments are unable or unwilling to provide this protection, individuals may suffer such serious violations of their human rights that they are forced to leave their homes and their communities to find safety elsewhere. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees considers people to be “refugees” when they have crossed the border from their home country to seek protection in another country because they fear persecution if they return home. The refugee “phenomenon”1 is one of global proportions, affecting millions of people and impacting the policies and practices of virtually every government in the world. At the beginning of 2011, the number of refugees for whom the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is responsible stood at 10.4 million.2 More than half of these are in Asia; a further 20% are in Africa. The figure refers to those who are recognised by the UN as refugees, and does not include many others who have been uprooted (e.g. internally displaced people and those who do not have official UN refugee status).
Refugee: someone who “is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution” (Article 1, 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees). Asylum Seeker: The term given to the individual who is applying to be recognised as a refugee and given permission to remain in the country to which s/he has fled.
Internally Displaced Person (IDP): Individuals who are forcibly uprooted from their home because of persecution, conflict, or environmental reasons, but who do not leave their country’s borders. There is no international convention to protect these individuals, leaving them extremely vulnerable. Intervention depends on the will of the internal government and the capacity of aid agencies to assist. There may be as many as 27.5 million IDPs.
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SPOTLIGHT The 1951 Convention and its subsequent 1967 Protocol are the only international agreements that cover the most important aspects of a refugee’s life. Countries that have signed either of these legal instruments are obliged to protect refugees and treat them according to internationally recognised standards. In April 2011, there were 147 signatories to the 1951 Convention, the 1967 Protocol or both, out of 195 countries in the world. Why Christians flee Christians are persecuted for their faith in many countries, and converts from Islam to Christianity often find themselves particularly targeted. They can experience harassment, social exclusion, violence and even death at the hands of family members, neighbours, employers or from the authorities. In these circumstances, Christians may have little choice except to flee in the hope of leaving the persecution behind and finding a better life elsewhere. Sometimes it is safe for them to move to another part of their own country, but where it is not, they have to flee abroad. There can be other causes too: in Sudan, five million people from the South, mainly Christians, fled to the North and to surrounding countries during the civil war (1983-2005). The countries that have not signed up to the 1951 Convention or the 1967 Protocol (see map, right) are not required to accept refugees; many of these are Muslim-majority countries or notorious for their persecution of Christians. Suffering far from home When Christians enter a new country as refugees, they sometimes find themselves in worse conditions than those they left behind. Eritrea is regarded as one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world, and many Eritrean Christians suffer at the hands of the brutal regime. Viewed as a threat to national unity because they give their ultimate allegiance to God and not to the state, they may be tortured for their faith and imprisoned in horrendous conditions. Every month hundreds of Eritrean Christians leave their homeland to escape this persecution and make the arduous 900-mile journey across the Sinai desert in Egypt, hoping to find safety and freedom in Israel. Some die along the way;
United Nations mechanisms for protecting refugees
Since refugees do not enjoy the security provided by a home government, the international community has stepped in to ensure their rights and physical safety. During World War II, millions of people fled their homes to seek safety and refuge in more stable countries. On 28 July 1951 the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees was approved to protect European refugees after the war, but as the number of refugees continued to grow, a Protocol was issued in 1967 removing its geographical and time limitations, thus increasing its scope. Refugees deserve, as a minimum, the same standards of treatment enjoyed by other foreign nationals in a given country, including the right to housing, the right to work and freedom “to practise their religion and the religious education of their children” (Article 4 of the 1951 Convention). Refugees seeking protection must not be prevented from entering a country, nor can they be forcibly returned to a country where their lives or freedoms could be threatened (Article 33, 1951 Convention). Under international law, this principle of non-refoulement is binding on all states without exception, regardless of whether they have acceded to the Convention or Protocol. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ensures that refugees are treated in accordance with internationally recognised standards of law. It seeks to ensure that genuine requests for refugee status are granted and that refugees are not forcibly returned to the countries from which they fled. It upholds the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol, helping refugees to restart their lives through local integration, voluntary return to their homeland or resettlement in third countries.
Parties to only the 1951 Convention Parties to both
Parties to only the 1967 Protocol Non-members Some Eritrean Christians claim asylum in Egypt, but often their claim will not be processed and they will end up in prison. There they may be denied medical care and suffer malnutrition as a result of the meagre daily rations. Christians receive more severe treatment than Muslim
others are shot dead as they attempt to cross the Egypt-Israel border; others are taken hostage for ransom by Bedouin Muslim nomads; and those who are caught may be sent home to face the prospect of torture and death.
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SPOTLIGHT prisoners because of their faith. In early November 2011, it was reported that more than 100 Eritrean Christians had been repeatedly beaten until they signed “voluntary repatriation requests”. The Eritrean refugees can suffer rape, sexual harassment, torture, beatings and even slavery. There is also evidence that traffickers have developed a lucrative sideline in harvesting organs and body parts for sale. There are currently 500-600 Eritrean prisoners in custody in Egypt and an estimated 100-200 in the hands of traffickers. Seeking refugee status Christian refugees may be thousands of miles from home, in a country that does not want them. They probably do not speak the local language, and they have no legal papers, so it is difficult for them to find homes or employment. Their only hope is to seek refugee status either through the UNHCR or through national systems such as that operated by the UK Border Authority. But this process can be long-winded, complicated and frustrating. People applying for refugee status have to establish that there is a “reasonable possibility” that the persecution they fear will actually happen if they are returned to their country of origin. Christians seeking refugee status may well meet this criterion but, because they are unable to express the facts clearly and persuasively, their applications are denied. Case workers and translators may intimidate applicants and introduce prejudice or bias into the process. This can be a particular problem for converts from Islam who are interviewed by Muslims. In one case, a young Christian man seeking refugee status in the UK was asked in an accusatory tone by the case worker at the detention centre, “Why do you want to leave Islam?” There can also be problems with converts being interviewed by non-Christians who try to ascertain whether their conversion is genuine, often with very irrelevant questions. Proper assistance for the applicant and expert advice for the decision-maker are rarely available even when the case has life or death consequences.
Insecurity for Iraqi Christians
“If you stay [in Iraq], you die. If you leave, you live. They ask you, ‘Why are you a Christian? Why do you live here? It’s not a Christian country.’ A couple of guys with guns came and tried to kill us. After that moment I can’t live there any longer. It’s a matter of life or death. [In Sweden] I can now live without fear... you feel more human.” These were the words of “Matthew”, a 29-year-old Iraqi doctor who, like many Iraqi Christians, left his homeland and found refuge in Sweden. But Sweden can no longer cope with the numbers of Iraqi refugees and is beginning to send some of them back. In 2010, Sweden forcibly deported five Iraqi Christians back to Iraq, despite criticism from many organisations, including the UNHCR. The Iraqi delegation at a meeting in Stockholm called on Sweden to stop deporting Iraqi refugees whose applications for asylum were rejected, saying, “We cannot receive Iraqi refugees deported forcibly from Sweden because we cannot protect them and their lives will be at risk if they are returned to Iraq.” Iraq’s Christians have endured repeated attacks since the US-led invasion in 2003. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee as a result; the number of Christians in the country has fallen from 1.5 million in 1990 to perhaps as low as 400,000 today.
Barnabas helping Christian refugees
In India and elsewhere, Barnabas Fund is giving practical help to converts who have fled Afghanistan. India is not party to the 1951 convention and, in many cases, Christians who apply for refugee status there are turned down. Elsewhere Barnabas is engaged in a training initiative to equip local churches to support applicants through the process. In the UK, a number of applications for asylum made by Afghan converts to Christianity have been denied initially. Barnabas has provided material evidence for the likelihood of persecution if converts were to be returned to their country of origin, thus helping the applicants to appeal against the decisions. Barnabas Fund is also supporting Christian refugees from Eritrea in Egypt, providing basic necessities (medicine, food and clothes) for prisoners and legal costs to secure the release of some of the most vulnerable, such as women with children or those with health problems. Needy Iraqi Christians, both those displaced within their homeland and those who have fled to neighbouring countries, are supported by Barnabas with food, medical aid, schooling and housing. In addition we have helped many Christians displaced within Iraq to support themselves by providing skills training or fruit trees, sheep, chickens, bees and other means to earn a living. Barnabas Fund has supplied food, medicine and temporary shelter for Christian families from India, Iraq and Burma (Myanmar) who have fled their homes because of persecution. We have funded school places for Christian refugee children from Burma, Sudan and Iraq. We have also assisted Iranian and Turkish converts who have had to flee.
Christian schools for displaced children in Sudan
Feeding Iraqi Christian families in neighbouring countries
Eritrean refugees in Egypt
Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt. (Exodus 23:9).
UNHCR, The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Geneva: Department of international Protection, 2001 http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c1d.html
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a model for Barnabas Fund
Paul and Barnabas at Lystra by Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem (1650)
Sometimes people ask why our organisation is called “Barnabas Fund”. They probably know that Barnabas is a character in the New Testament, but they wonder what makes his name so suitable for an agency that brings hope and aid to persecuted Christians.
ne of our reasons for choosing the name is that the idea of Barnabas Fund was conceived at a conference held in Cyprus, and according to Acts 4:36 Barnabas was a native of that island. But the story of this enterprising and courageous figure has also been an inspiration and guide for our work from the beginning. with them and encouraging them to act upon it faithfully. Converts to Christianity today, especially those from a Muslim background, face many pressures, and sadly this sometimes includes the suspicion and even the hostility of their fellow-Christians. Barnabas Fund makes support and care for converts a cornerstone of our work, taking the risk of standing up for them when others prefer to look away. In this way we help to integrate them into the body of Christ and enable them to flourish in His service.
The son of encouragement
Most of what the Bible has to say about Barnabas is found in the Acts of the Apostles. Luke tells us that originally he was called Joseph, and that Barnabas was a name given to him by the apostles (Acts 4:36). It is sometimes translated “son of consolation” (like its nearest Old Testament equivalent, Nehemiah, which means “one who brings comfort”), but a more common rendering is “son of encouragement / exhortation”. The Semitic name could also be understood as “son of prophecy”, which may suggest that Barnabas’ ministry of exhortation reflects the Old Testament prophetic pattern. At Barnabas Fund we are committed not only to comforting Christians who suffer because of their faith, but also to strengthening their ability and resolve to persevere in the face of their trials. Like Barnabas, we seek to “exhort them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts” (Acts 11:23). We aim to exercise this ministry prophetically, discerning and sharing the word of the Lord
Barnabas first appears in Acts selling a field that belongs to him and donating the proceeds to the Jerusalem church (Acts 4:36). In giving his resources to meet the needs of other Christians he is an example of the sharing and generosity that marks the first Christian community and that demonstrates the power and grace of God at work among them. Barnabas Fund provides a channel for other generous Christians to share their resources with their needy brothers and sisters. The remarkable and moving response of our supporters to the plight of persecuted believers is a powerful testimony to the transforming love of God within the worldwide Church, as those who have more give sacrificially to help those who have less.
After the former persecutor Saul is converted, he tries to join the church in Jerusalem, but the disciples are afraid of him. So Barnabas brings him to the apostles and describes what happened to him on the road to Damascus and his bold preaching there. By taking the risk of supporting and caring for a new convert, he overcomes the believers’ suspicions, and Saul is included in their fellowship and ministry (Acts 9:26-31).
When the church in Jerusalem hears about the thriving Christian mission among Gentiles in Antioch, they send Barnabas to visit them. Because he is a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, he rejoices to see God’s grace at work and encourages the new Christians; many more are added to their number. He then goes to fetch Saul from Tarsus, and they share in ministry in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26). Antioch was a multi-racial and multi-cultural city, and the list of the church’s prophets and teachers in Acts 13:1 suggests that it was an international community without distinction of race or culture. In all that we do, Barnabas Fund also tries to reflect the goodness of God through faith in Christ and dependence on the Spirit. We rejoice to see the many powerful signs of God’s grace at work among the persecuted churches and aim to share in their upbuilding and growth. We help to enable
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BIBLICAL REFLECTION their ministry and partner with them in it. And we provide support across national boundaries and without distinction. the Gentiles. Later they help to deliver to the churches the decision of the council that Gentile Christians need not be circumcised (Acts 15:1-35; cp. Galatians 2:1-10). solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters, and we are privileged to work as partners with them and encourage their own ministry. Barnabas was prepared to risk even his life for the Name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 15:26), and his example calls us to lay down our lives in the service of His people.
Barnabas is sent by the church in Antioch to Jerusalem to bring famine relief to the believers there (Acts 11:30; 12:25). He is then sent with Saul (Paul) on mission to Cyprus and various cities in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), where they proclaim the Gospel and establish churches (Acts 13 – 14). Thus his ministry is both practical and spiritual, and it may also have been selfsupporting (1 Corinthians 9:6). Like our namesake, Barnabas Fund seeks to meet both practical and spiritual needs. For example, we provide food for hungry Christians, supporting hundreds of needy families in countries where they are living in poverty as a result of natural disaster or persecution; and we support evangelists and church planters by contributing to their upkeep and supplying them with training and resources. Where congregations are very poor we also sponsor small business projects to encourage church leaders to be selfsufficient.
Barnabas Fund too is called to stand for the truth. We provide a voice for persecuted Christians, telling the unknown story of their plight to those with power to make a difference.
We tackle persecution at its root by explaining those aspects of non-Christian religions and ideologies that result in the oppression of Christian minorities. And we witness to the love of God in Christ and seek to build His Kingdom.
A great example
Supporting the weak
Barnabas is not a perfect or complete example for Barnabas Fund. Paul says that he was led astray by the hypocrisy of Jewish Christians in Antioch who separated themselves from table-fellowship with Gentile believers (Galatians 2:11-14), which suggests there may have been more to the breach between them than a disagreement over Mark. And not every aspect of our work is modelled, consciously or otherwise, on the Biblical story of Barnabas. Yet Barnabas is still a great example for us. His godly and righteous character issues in a lifestyle and ministry that meet the needs of Christ’s body in numerous ways, and that support and build it up in the face of great pressure. His humility and openness before God and His calling are essential to the fruitful Christian ministry that we seek to exercise. In following the pattern of Barnabas we also begin to fulfil our Lord’s call for us to love one another as He has loved us, and also to address the plight of our Christian family who suffer most for His sake. Barnabas may have his faults and limitations, but in Christ we have the perfect and complete example for our work.
Some Jewish Christians in the early Church believed that Gentile believers in Christ should become Jews by being circumcised. Barnabas joins Paul in disputing this view, which threatens both the integrity of the Gospel and the unity of the Church. They are sent from Antioch to discuss the issue with the leaders in Jerusalem, where they testify to God’s work through them among
After a further period of teaching and evangelism in Antioch, Barnabas is invited by Paul to join him in re-visiting the churches that they founded. But Barnabas wants to take John Mark (who may have been his cousin; Colossians 4:10), despite Mark having deserted them on their first mission. When Paul objects, their disagreement becomes so intense that they separate, and Barnabas goes to Cyprus with Mark while Paul leaves for Asia Minor (Acts 15:36-41). Barnabas Fund’s determination to stand up for the weak – for Christians who suffer discrimination and harassment for their faith – sometimes provokes a negative response, even from other Christians. But we are ready to accept disagreement and trouble in order to affirm our
QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL STUDY OR GROUP DISCUSSION
1. Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement / exhortation”. What do you think it means to encourage or exhort other Christians? How have people encouraged or exhorted you? 2. The name can also be understood to mean “son of prophecy”. What does it mean to be prophetic? How can we be prophetic in standing up for justice on behalf of Christians who suffer for their faith? 3. Read Acts 4:32-37. What did Barnabas do, and how did it reflect what the church was doing? In what ways can we give generously to other Christians? 4. Read Acts 9:26-31. Why was Barnabas taking a risk here? How do the new Christians we know need to be cared for, and how can we provide that care? 5. Read Acts 11:19-26. What does Barnabas do in Antioch and what is the result? How can we reach across racial and cultural barriers with the Gospel or within the Church? 6. Read Acts 11:30 and 14:1-3? In what kind of ministries was Barnabas engaged? How can we model our churches’ ministries on this pattern? 7. Read Acts 15:1-12, 22-29. How does Barnabas stand for the truth in this episode? Where do we need to stand for the truth of Christ, and how should we do it? 8. Read Acts 15:36-41. What is Barnabas’ attitude to Mark as shown in this passage? Who in our own church needs this kind of affirmation, and what can we do to help them?
(Other passages relating to Barnabas are 1 Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 2:1-14; Colossians 4:10; and the rest of Acts 13 – 15. If you have time, read these too and reflect on what the example of Barnabas could mean for you.)
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 15
This month we feature two books from Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, on the dangers faced by converts from Islam and the challenge of Islam to British society.
allegedly leaving Islam. But it is not only in Iran that Muslims who become Christians, or who leave Islam for other reasons, face serious penalties. All schools of sharia law specify the death sentence for adult male Muslims who choose to leave their faith. Most require the same punishment for women. The law creates powerful hostility towards apostates, so even where the death penalty is not written into the legal system, converts from Islam may still be attacked, beaten or murdered by zealous Muslims. But change is possible. This book has been written to raise awareness about Islam’s apostasy law and to promote the case for its abolition. Patrick Sookhdeo main Islamic beliefs and practices, figures and institutions, including the radical Islamist groups with their openly political agendas. The author shows how the development of British Islam is leading to the subtle but progressive Islamisation of national life, and he asks searching questions about how the authorities may be furthering this process. This invaluable study will give Christian readers a compelling overview of the current UK scene, and its insights are readily transferred to other countries with sizeable Muslim minorities. Isaac Publishing, paperback, 370 pp, offer price £10.49 including postage (RRP £10.99) To order these books, please visit www.barnabasfund.org/shop. Alternatively, please contact your nearest Barnabas Fund office (addresses on back cover). Cheques for the UK should be made payable to “Barnabas Fund”. sets out the Muslim teaching on apostasy from the Islamic sources; he looks at the debate about the apostasy law among Muslim scholars; and he describes how converts from Islam are treated in the world today. Some brave Muslim leaders are arguing that the apostasy law should be abandoned, so that people can leave Islam without fear of reprisals. Their voice will be strengthened by nonMuslims also calling for repeal of the law. Read this important book and join the movement for change! Isaac Publishing, paperback, 176 pp, offer price £8.99 including postage (RRP £8.99)
Freedom to Believe: Challenging Islam’s Apostasy Law
Patrick Sookhdeo On page 8-9 of this issue we report on the case of Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor who is on death row for
A Christian guide to making and changing your will
Many of us put off making our will. Perhaps we expect to do it later in life, or we would just rather not think about it at all. But the result is that in the UK most people die without a legally valid will, and so they have no say in what then happens to their money and possessions. We have prepared this booklet to explain how important it is for Christians to make a will and to offer advice on how to go about it. It offers a Christian perspective on the task and provides a guide on “How to make your will in 5 easy steps”, with further advice on changing your will and leaving a legacy to Barnabas Fund.
Available free from your nearest office or as a download from www.barnabasfund.org/resources.
Faith, Power and Territory: A Handbook of British Islam
Patrick Sookhdeo Islam is more than just a religion. It makes a claim on the whole of life: personal, social, cultural, economic and political. Radical Muslims are working hard to transform the societies where they live, not only in Muslimmajority countries but also in the West – including Britain – to bring the whole world under the rule of Islam. This book is an easy-to-use guide to Islam in Britain today. It covers the
16 BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
We are very grateful to Mr John Burgess from Esher Green Baptist Church, Surrey, who raised £120 for Barnabas Fund at his church weekend away. John offered to paint a series of half-hour watercolour portraits of some of his church friends during the free Saturday afternoon, and the time was spent in a concentrated flurry of posing and painting. John says,
Painted por traits raise pounds
“There were one or two disasters and some moments of high stress, but overall I was quite pleased with the results and we had a lot of fun doing it.”
If you have a Smartphone with a feed reader, why not subscribe to our daily prayer feed? By visiting www.barnabasfund.org and signing up to our RSS feed, you can receive news updates and prayer points from Barnabas Fund direct to your phone.
Praying on the move Redesign
John took his inspiration from a holiday in the south of France, where in the evenings many stalls were laid out along the promenade and at one of these a lady was drawing portrait sketches.
At Barnabas Fund, we are constantly trying to freshen up our printed material. As you have been reading through this edition of Barnabas Aid, you will probably have noticed that we’ve made some significant changes to the design, layout and content of the magazine and prayer diary. We hope that you like our new design; please contact us if you would like to comment on the changes.
John Burgess (second from left) raised £120 for Barnabas Fund painting portraits at his church weekend away. His willing subjects included (l-r) Jean Osborn, Alison and Bruce Langford and Keith Kirby
Barnabas Fund is registe red with Everyclick.com , an award winning fundraisin g company for UK chari ties. Everyclick has a range of products that are desig ned to generate extra incom e for the charity at no co st to supporters. • Search the web with Everyclick and donate money to Barnabas each time yo u search online, at no co st to you. Simply go to www.e veryclick.com and down load the Everyclick searchb ar. • Shop with Give as yo u Live: thousands of sto res will donate money to Barna bas Fund through Every click when you shop online. Sign up, download and install Give as you Live, selec t Barnabas Fund and the n start shopping at your fav ourite online shops. Su pport Barnabas Fund for free without changing your online shopping habits.
Text Donations for Barnabas Fund
Did you know you can help your persecuted Christian brothers and sisters wherever you are with our quick and easy SMS text donation service?
To donate £3 to the Barnabas General Fund, simply text the word “Barnabas” to 70007*. You will receive one confirmation message, charged at £3. Barnabas Fund will receive a minimum of £2.95 of each gift. Your donation is anonymous unless you Gift Aid it by accessing the link that will be sent to your phone (your standard data charges may apply). This is a great way to support Barnabas Fund, and your gift may be used in a variety of different ways. For example, a £3 donation using this method can provide anti-malarial protection for an impoverished Christian family in Niger; it can print 20 copies of He Died for You, an evangelistic book in the Uzbek language for believers in Russia; or it can supply two week’s yeast for a Christian-run bakery in North Korea. For help please contact the Pewsey office (address on back cover) or visit www.barnabasfund.org/terms.
*Messages charged at standard network rate. The amount will be added to your next bill or deducted immediately if you use a pay-as-you-go phone.
• Create a fundraising page and collect sponso rship online. Everyclick proce sses and manages all do nations and transactions, includ ing Gift Aid, and passes the amount (less a small fee ) onto Barnabas Fund. The Times newspaper says, “Every time you se arch the internet, the search engin e you use rakes in adve rtising revenue. Use Everyclic k and half that cash could go to the UK charity of your choic e.” Why not join the thousan ds of fundraisers who are raising money for Barnabas Fu nd online right now? Fo r more information, visit www.every click.com.
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 17
Yes, I would like to help the persecuted Church
Here is my gift of ______________________
Please use my gift for Wherever the need is greatest (General Fund) Other ___________________________________________* I enclose a cheque/voucher payable to “Barnabas Fund”. Please debit my Visa Maestro Number Maestro issue number Expiry date
Please send the following resources (indicate quantity required): A Christian guide to making and changing your will Gift Aid Declaration (Applicable to UK tax payers only)
I authorise Barnabas Fund, registered charity no. 1092935, to treat all donations I have made since 6 April 2007 and all subsequent donations as Gift Aid donations until I notify you otherwise. Signature ___________________________________ Date ____________
If you have previously signed a Gift Aid Declaration for Barnabas Fund, you do not need to sign again. To qualify for Gift Aid, what you pay in income tax or capital gains tax must at least equal the amount of tax reclaimed on donations to registered charities in the tax year. Please inform us if you change your name or address or stop paying tax.
CAF card /other charity card
or issue date
I do not require an acknowledgement of this gift. I would like to give regularly through my bank. Please send me the appropriate form. (UK supporters may use the Direct Debit form below.) Alternative Gift Card To make an alternative gift for a loved one, please Mag contact your national Barnabas office.
Please return this form to Barnabas Fund at your national office or to the UK office. Addresses are on the back cover. Barnabas Fund will not give your address or email to anyone else. Phone 0800 587 4006 or visit our website at www.barnabasfund.org to make a credit card donation. From outside UK phone +44 1672 565031.
Registered Charity number 1092935 Company registered in England number 4029536 *If the project chosen is sufficiently funded, we reserve the right to use designated gifts either for another project of a similar type or for another project in the same country.
Supporters in Germany: please turn to back cover for how to send gifts to Barnabas Fund.
DIRECT DEBIT for UK supporters who would like to give regularly
I/We want to bring hope and aid to the persecuted Church by a regular gift, to be used where it is most needed (General Fund) or for ________________________________*(give reference number of project to be supported) Name Address
I would like to give a regular gift of £_______________________________ (amount in words) _____________________________________________ Starting on 1st / 11th / 21st _________________ and then every month/quarter/year (delete as applicable) until further notice.
This Direct Debit is a new one / in addition to / replaces an earlier Standing Order / Direct Debit in favour of Barnabas Fund. (delete as applicable).
Instruction to your bank or building society to pay by Direct Debit
Please fill in the whole form including official use box using a ball point pen and send it to: Barnabas Fund, 9 Priory Row, Coventry CV1 5EX Name and full postal address of your bank or building society Service User Number
2 5 3 6 4 5
Reference (Barnabas Fund to complete) Instruction to your bank or building society: Please pay Barnabas Fund Direct Debits from the account detailed in this instruction subject to the safeguards assured to by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I understand that this instruction may remain with Barnabas Fund and, if so, details will be passed DD18 electronically to my bank/building society.
Name(s) of account holder(s) Bank/building society account number Branch sort code
*If the project chosen is sufficiently funded, we reserve the right to use designated gifts either for another project of a similar type or for another project in the same country.
ThE DIRECT DEBIT GUARANTEE This Guarantee is offered by all Banks and Building Societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits. If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit Barnabas Fund will notify you 14 days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request Barnabas Fund to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request. If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit by Barnabas Fund or your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from from your bank or building society. If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when Barnabas Fund asks you to. You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.
BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012 19
The Barnabas Fund Distinctive
What helps make Barnabas Fund distinctive from other Christian organisations that deal with persecution?
WE WORK BY: n directing our aid only to Christians, although its benefits may not be exclusive to them (“As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10, emphasis added) n aiming the majority of our aid at Christians living in Muslim environments n channelling money from Christians through Christians to Christians n channelling money through existing structures in the countries where funds are sent (e.g. local churches or Christian organisations) n using the money to fund projects that have been developed by local Christians in their own communities, countries or regions n considering any request, however small n acting as equal partners with the persecuted Church, whose leaders often help shape our overall direction n acting on behalf of the persecuted Church, to be their voice – making their needs known to Christians around the world and the injustice of their persecution known to governments and international bodies WE SEEK TO: n meet both practical and spiritual needs n encourage, strengthen and enable the existing local Church and Christian communities – so they can maintain their presence and witness rather than setting up our own structures or sending out missionaries n tackle persecution at its root by making known the aspects of the Islamic faith and other ideologies that result in injustice and oppression of non-believers n inform and enable Christians in the West to respond to the growing challenge of Islam to Church, society and mission in their own countries n facilitate global intercession for the persecuted Church by providing comprehensive prayer materials WE BELIEVE: n we are called to address both religious and secular ideologies that deny full religious liberty to Christian minorities – while continuing to show God’s love to all people n in the clear Biblical teaching that Christians should treat all people of all faiths with love and compassion, even those who seek to persecute them n in the power of prayer to change people’s lives and situations, either through grace to endure or through deliverance from suffering
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
How to Find Us
You may contact Barnabas Fund at the following addresses: UK 9 Priory Row, Coventry CV1 5EX Telephone 024 7623 1923 Fax 024 7683 4718 From outside the UK Telephone +44 24 7623 1923 Fax +44 24 7683 4718 Email email@example.com Registered charity number 1092935 Company registered in England number 4029536 For a list of all trustees, please contact Barnabas Fund UK at the Coventry address above. Australia Postal Suite 107, 236 Hyperdome, Loganholme QLD 4129 Telephone (07) 3806 1076 or 1300 365 799 Fax (07) 3806 4076 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Germany German supporters may send gifts for Barnabas Fund via Hilfe für Brüder who will provide you with a tax-deductible receipt. Please mention that the donation is for “SPC 20 Barnabas Fund”. If you would like your donation to go to a specific project of Barnabas Fund, please inform the Barnabas Fund office in Pewsey, UK. Account holder: Hilfe für Brüder e.V. Account number: 415 600 Bank: Evang. Kreditgenossenschaft Stuttgart Bankcode (BLZ): 520 604 10
Jersey Le Jardin, La Rue A Don, Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands JE3 9GB Telephone 700600 Fax 700601 Email email@example.com New Zealand PO Box 27 6018, Manukau City, Auckland, 2241 Telephone (09) 280 4385 or 0800 008 805 Email firstname.lastname@example.org USA 6731 Curran St, McLean, VA 22101 Telephone (703) 288-1681 or toll-free 1-866-936-2525 Fax (703) 288-1682 Email email@example.com International Headquarters The Old Rectory, River Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5DB, UK Telephone 01672 564938 Fax 01672 565030 From outside UK: Telephone +44 1672 564938 Fax +44 1672 565030 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
barnabasaid the magazine of Barnabas Fund
Executive Editor Steve Carter Published by Barnabas Fund The Old Rectory, River Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9 5DB, UK Telephone 01672 564938 Fax 01672 565030 From outside UK: Telephone +44 1672 564938 Fax +44 1672 565030 Email email@example.com
© Barnabas Fund 2012. For permission to reproduce articles from this magazine, please contact the International Headquarters address above. The paper used is produced using wood fibre at a mill that has been awarded the ISO14001 certificate for environmental management.
20 BARNABAS AID JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2012
To donate by credit card, please visit the website or phone 0800 587 4006 (from outside the UK phone +44 1672 565031).
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