the calling of Barnabas Fund

The Church Food and caring for our education
Christian family

to sustain and strengthen

STOCK NOW AVAILABLE! Heroes of Our Faith a
Pat Patrick Sookhdeo o kh
In this outs anding devotional book you will find 366 stories tstanding v a k you 366 s of brave Christians who gave up their live for their Lord. s who gave ives o h r d These believers, from the dist m stant past to our ow day, r own d y witnessed to the truth and power of th Gospel by th ir ower f the p thei faithfulness to Christ. Their stories, which inspire us to live ries h o v wholeheartedly for Him, are interwoven with Bible verses, wove i verse hymns, prayers and words of wisdom and encouragement e nt. Spend a year with these great heroes of our faith and allow f u w God to touch your life.


Isaac Publishing, paperback, vi + 386pp, offer price £9.9 ce 9.99 including postage (RRP £11.99)

Who is the Real Jesus?
(New and adap ed edition of Jesus Human and Divine) dapt

H Dermot McDonald ot Do F Foreword by Patrick Sookhdeo t This Th compelling bo clearly presents the Biblical teaching ling book on Jesus Christ as both human and divine. e t That Th the Word of God beca e flesh is at the heart of the od ecam Christian faith Chr stian fa and clearly ta l taught in the New Testament. Othe religions acknowledg Je us as a prophet but deny her igions dge Jesu He is God. H. Dermot McDo ald exp ores evidence for s Derm cDonald expl Jesus’ huma natu e and puts the case for Christ’s deity, ’ uman atur e for s examines the titles given to Him and explains Hi saving s d x a n His s i work. The truth this book uncovers about the real Jesus ruth is ook c a Jesus will help Christia grow in their knowledge of Him. tians r i heir o
I a Isaac Publishing, paperback, vi + 12 c 122pp, offer price £5. ffer rice 5.99 including postage (RRP £7.99) cludi 99)


To order either of these books, please visit Alternatively, please contact your nearest Barnabas fund office (addresses on back cover). Cheques for the UK should be made payable to “Barnabas Fund”.
The paper used in this publication comes from sustainable forests and can be 100% recycled
Front Cover: Galatians 6:10 (NIV) To guard the safety of Christians in hostile environments, names may have been changed or omitted. Thank you for your understanding. 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


See How They Love One Another


he early Christians in Rome were renowned because they cared for all their own poor and needy and also for other people’s. While their care for outsiders brought them persecution, their care for their fellow Christians was admired. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth in the late 2nd century, wrote to thank the Church in Rome for the aid they had sent to his church. “From the beginning it is your custom to bestow your alms in all places, and to furnish subsistence to many churches. You send relief to the needy, especially to those who work in the mines; in which you follow the example of your fathers.” A few years later, Tertullian noted how the nonChristians would comment with astonishment about the Christians, “See how they love one another.” In the following century the pagan Emperor Julian (361-363) commented that “these impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae [love feasts], they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes.” The early Christians sought to fulfil the teaching of Matthew 25:31-46, in which our Lord Jesus, in His story of the sheep and the goats, commends those who provide practical care for even “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” (verse 40). This must be one of the most frequently misinterpreted verses of our age. To whom is Jesus referring? Does He mean the poor of the world, the sick, the disabled, the homeless? Or does He mean Christians who are poor, sick, disabled, homeless or otherwise in need? A number of modern Christian leaders are teaching that Jesus was referring to the poor of the world. But in

the past the overwhelming majority of Christian scholars and theologians understood Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” as Christian believers, and this view is still widespread today. It is better grounded in the language of Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus refers to His disciples as His brothers and sisters (e.g. 12:49-50). So in this story we are taught to prioritise care for the Christian community. This is in line with the new commandment that Jesus gave His disciples in the last few hours before His death, “Love one another” (John 13:34-35), which supplements the command to “Love your neighbour” (Matthew 22:39). It is also supported by Paul’s injunction in Galatians 6:10 that we should “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. Not either/or, but both/and, with the priority given to our Christian family. We live in a day of growing needs. The poor are getting poorer. It is right that governments, nations and agencies, both Christian and other, should work tirelessly to relieve their needs and bring about a more just and equitable world. But what of the Christian poor, and especially the Christian persecuted, whose needs are also growing in our world today, as they experience increasing marginalisation, discrimination, harassment and violence? As Christians we have a Biblical duty, a Gospel warrant and Christian compassion to assist our “brother or sister in need”, as 1 John 3:17 refers to them. To neglect them is to neglect Christ’s followers, which is to neglect Christ Himself. Just as the early Church were known for their love for each other, this should be the hallmark of our faith today too.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo International Director

Contents 8
Compassion in Action Literacy and small businesses for Christians in Pakistan Newsdesk Christians at risk in Sudan and South Sudan as war looms Equipping the Church PULL- What does the Bible say OUT about the Church?

11 11 12 14
Feeding Update Relieving urgent needs in Pakistan and Egypt Spotlight An aid agency with a difference Learning from the Persecuted Church A Muslim woman meets the living Lord

18 15 16 18
Campaigns Write to your MP about religious freedom Biblical Reflection Doing good to all… especially Christians In Touch Motorbiking for the suffering Church; Barnabas Persecution Updates

4 8



how barnabas
£9,750 for training for two years (US$15,000; €12,000) £19,669 for disaster relief (US$31,102, €24,370)

£15,051 for vocational training (US$23,794, €18,649)

Equipping pastors and church leaders in North Africa

Emergency supplies for displaced Christians in Mali

Uganda: embarking on vocational careers

North African Christians listen to a renowned theology teacher

Six two-week theological courses, offered to pastors and church leaders in North Africa over a period of a year, is providing these spiritual leaders with many new insights and a deepened understanding of their faith. Barnabas Fund is supporting the training for two years. Last year “Sofian” started applying the knowledge he acquired from the theological courses in his preaching and teaching seminars in various churches in his region. To many of the Christians who heard him the material was new and refreshing. He also recorded a series of 15-minute teaching sessions on “Christ in the Old Testament”. Last summer these shows were broadcast nightly during primetime on a Christian satellite TV channel and were even watched by Muslims in his country. Some of the pastors and church leaders take just one course, while others are taking multiple courses in order to complete a degree.

Converts learn how to operate a cloth-making machine

A displaced Christian in Mali

Project reference 02-837

Project reference 34-1057

The displaced Christians received corn and rice that covered their food needs for three months. We also supplied medicines for children and women, and covered housing costs for some of the families.

The church reports that the “impact is great” and that most can now provide for their children.



Project reference 56-934

Barnabas Fund is helping Christian families who fled the violence in northern Mali after rebel groups seized control in April, killing, ransacking and looting homes and raping women. One Islamist movement specifically targeted Christians, chasing them from their homes, occupying a Bible school and destroying all churches in the cities of Gao and Timbuktu, and now it has started to impose sharia law on the region, which includes the veiling of women and discrimination against Christians.

When many Muslims started coming to faith in Jesus Christ in an area of Uganda where Muslims are particularly aggressive towards converts, a local church realised that the new Christians needed equipping with practical skills so that they could stand strong if their Muslim families and friends disowned them and Muslim employers would not give them jobs. With help from Barnabas, the church has trained 120 converts in vocational skills such as sewing, cloth weaving and hairdressing. On their graduation Barnabas Fund provided the graduates with tools to embark on their professions: 60 received sewing machines, 45 cloth weaving machines and 15 hairdressing equipment.

is helping
£150 for upkeep of pastor (US$230, €186) £11,000 for Bible correspondence school (US$17,000, €13,500)


Your support and prayers have made a difference to the lives of all the Christians described below and many more as well. They represent just a small segment of all those we are helping. Thank you for enabling Barnabas Fund to help Christians around the world in their time of need. Please pray as you read.

£739 for small businesses for victims of violence (US$1,168, €916)

Pastoring the homeless in Pakistan

Spiritual transformation in Nepal

A ray of hope amid persecution in Pakistan

Farzana and her daughter can now survive Christian children stand in a muddy alleyway amidst the tents in which they live Tutors from the Western Region of Nepal

“I feel happy to work among the people here,” says Arif, pastor of about 120 homeless Christian families who have been living together in tents on the outskirts of Islamabad for three years. Monthly support of just £25 (US$38, €31) from Barnabas Fund makes it possible for him to shepherd his destitute flock. “Most of the families are illiterate and in great need of spiritual teaching,” he adds. And so, when he visits them in their tents, he teaches them the fundamentals of the Christian faith, such as how to ask for God’s help in their difficulties and pray for the future of their children. The tents are partitioned by cloths hanging on strings. The camp is very hot and dusty with little protection from the strong sun. Despite the difficulties the pastor testifies, “Whatever the situation the Lord is faithful to us.” Barnabas Fund supports 120 full-time pastors and other Christian workers in Pakistan.
Project reference 41-432

“The courses ... brought about spiritual revolution in my life, increased love in my heart and has added lots of blessings,” writes Dhruba from Nepal about a Bible correspondence training course that is supported by Barnabas Fund for two years. Dhruba is one of many converts from Hinduism who have benefited from the course. Through it he also learnt how to preach with confidence, and he is now a church leader close to the India border. Other students write that they started to understand the importance of fellowship and living according to the Bible. Most of the churches in the country use the courses as their regular Bible study. The Nepalese church has seen remarkable growth. Before 1950 no Christians were officially allowed to live in Nepal, while official figures suggest that there are now more than half a million. Of the 5,153 students actively following correspondence courses about 85% have converted from Hinduism.

Barnabas Fund provided a push cart costing £92 (US$145, €114) for the bride’s father on which he can sell vegetables. Javed, a skilled welder, received tools for his trade, costing £458 (US$458, €567). Now they can support their families again. Three other victims of violence in Pakistan were also helped to set up small businesses.


Project reference 00-345 (Victims of Violence)

At the wedding of a Christian couple in 2009, guests threw coins into the air, in keeping with tradition. But because they were so poor, the coins were circles cut from paper instead of real ones. Muslim neighbours, who had wanted to take over the Christians’ land for some time, accused them of desecrating the Quran by cutting pages to make the coins and burnt down the houses of Christians in the village. Desecration of the Quran is a serious crime in Pakistan and carries a mandatory life sentence under the Pakistan Penal Code. The couple, Farzana and Javed, and the bride’s father, fled their village and ended up living in squalor elsewhere in Pakistan for years, unable to find work to support themselves.
Project reference 89-946


bringing hope,
of sewing, she was immediately enthusiastic. Now after three months of following this course, which is funded by Barnabas for one year at a cost of £56 per person, she says, “My attitude has changed. Before I was often very irritated. Now I can come here.” When a Barnabas Fund staff worker visited the project earlier this year, Hina was clearly enjoying the course, laughing and joking with the 16 other participants, who are all Christian women from impoverished backgrounds, while they worked on producing new garments. Learning to read is opening up a new world to her. “I enjoy reading the Bible the most,” she says demonstrating her progress by reading John 3:16 out loud. Her father, who is illiterate, is very proud that his daughter can now read. Hina is most excited about what she can do after the one-year course. She says, “My mother is a domestic worker in a Muslim house,” a job in which Christian women are often attacked, mocked or pressured to convert to Islam. “Once I have completed the course I will ask my father to buy a sewing machine for me. I will start earning money from home, and then I will tell my mother that she can stop her work.”

Focus on Pakistan Opening up new worlds through sewing and literacy
“Before I started on this course I did nothing. I was always at home.” Bored and restless, Hina (19) helped her mother with household chores. It was a difficult situation: her mother never left her alone at home out of fear that her teenage daughter might be attacked or raped by their Muslim neighbours. Hina adds, “As a child I wanted to be in school, but my parents were too poor.” When Hina heard that there was a church-run programme that combined learning to read and write with acquiring the income-generating skill

Hina can now read the Bible, her favourite book

£958 for sewing and literacy course (US$1,492; €1,199)

Hina and her fellow-students start every morning with Christian songs and Bible study

Project reference 41-1046 (Small businesses)

Offering a ray of hope: Bible correspondence training
Mina’s father ran a successful pharmacy near a major hospital in a Muslim-majority neighbourhood of the city where they live. Her brother was murdered recently, after which the family was forced to close down their business. Soon afterwards her mother also was murdered, as she made her way to church. During this time of severe trial the Christian family decided to follow a newly available 10-week Bible correspondence course on 1 Peter, devised for those who are suffering or persecuted, and offered by the Open Theological Seminary (OTS). Mina’s family, like many other Christians in Pakistan, found the course a great comfort and were strengthened in their faith. Nadeem, the course developer at OTS who edited the course work last year, explains, “The situation described in 1 Peter is very similar to that of Pakistan. The Christian community in Pakistan is also facing prejudice from the majority community. The course is an encouragement to them. It teaches that we are called for suffering. But it also gives living hope to those on the edge of despair. In all circumstances there is a ray of hope.” Nadeem is one of four OTS staff workers whose salaries are paid for by Barnabas Fund for one year: the deputy director, an accountant and two course developers. Courses are offered at three levels of difficulty on a range of Christian subjects, such as the life of Christ, Biblical languages, church history and personal development in faith. At present 3,800 students in Pakistan are actively following OTS correspondence courses.
Nadeem’s salary at OTS is funded by Barnabas for one year

£6,348 for salaries of four staff workers (US$9,888 €7,946)
Project reference 41-035 (leadership training fund)



transforming lives
“Thank you for sponsoring me!”
Barnabas helps persecuted children attend Christian schools
Our Easter appeal this year asked Christians around the world to sponsor a Christian schoolchild in a situation of pressure or persecution. Hundreds of sponsors have already started giving regular support, covering the needs of 722 Christian school-children. And every week we see more sponsorship forms coming in. We want to thank all of you who are donating so generously. Your support is making an enormous difference to the lives of Christian children. Those who signed up to give regularly have received a card with a photo and personal information about one Christian child. You can stick the card on your refrigerator or keep it with your Bible, or anywhere that reminds you to pray for the youngster. Twice a year you will also receive a newsletter about the project as a whole.* e In these small havens of acceptance and nurture the children do not fear pressure to convert to another religion. There is no mockery or abuse by their teachers or fellow students. They are not t treated differently or deliberately failed in their exams. They might experience all of this in the government schools many would have to attend without your sponsorship. Other children would simply not go to school at all, because their parents are too poor. “We would like you to see the smiles, joy and health you have bestowed in the lives of these young ones,” says a project partner in Kenya.


Not a sponsor yet? Just sign up p
Barnabas Fund is helping over 7,304 Christian schoolchildren, of whom 6,582 still need sponsors. The cost per child varies in each context, but the average figure is £18 a month. Sponsors need to commit to regular support but can choose to give less or more than this figure, if they wish. You can sign up by going to our website, or contact your nearest Barnabas office (addresses on back cover).
Project reference 00-514

Now learning in a safe, Christian environment
In nine countries throughout the world Barnabas is helping needy and vulnerable Christian children get an education in a Christian school. There they are encouraged in their faith and can be secure in their identity as followers of Jesus. A director of a Christian youth ministry in Bangladesh, which runs three Christian primary schools, confirms this: “We teach the students about the life of Jesus. Without this school we cannot do that.”

Countries where Barnabas is enabling Christian children to go to Christian schools • Bangladesh • North Africa • Holy Land • Pakistan • India • Sudan • Indonesia • South Sudan • Kenya

Rimsah can attend a Christian school in Pakistan, supported by Barnabas Fund

The difference you are making to one Christian child: “We learn a lot at school,” said twelve-year-old Rimsah, grinning broadly. Thanks to support from Barnabas she and her two younger sisters can attend a Christian school in rural Pakistan. Her father, whose wages as a sweeper in a local hospital are pitifully low, cannot afford the school fees of his three daughters. She adds, “Today I enjoyed my science class where I learnt the difference between plant and animal cells.” Rimsah’s favourite Bible story is that of Moses because he listened to the Lord and led the people out of Egypt.” She is often top of her class. Later in life she wants to become a doctor, “because then you get to wear a white coat and a stethoscope”.

* Please note that personal correspondence and visits will not be possible. This is because of the security situation in many contexts, and to keep the administration costs as low as possible so as to pass on the maximum available funds to help the child. BARNABAS AID JULY/AUGUST 2012 7


worshippers fled, the gunmen chased them, firing indiscriminately. Later that day, there was an attack at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Maiduguri, which left five people, including a pastor, dead. Nobody has yet claimed responsibility, but the violence bore the hallmarks of the Islamist group Boko Haram, which also attacked Nigerian churches over Easter. On Sunday 8 April at around 8.40am, at least 38 people were killed in a suicide bombing outside two churches during Easter services in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State. Most of the victims were motorcycle taxi drivers who were caught up in the blast. And two churches in the central Nigerian city of Jos were targeted in the space of two weeks in March; a pregnant woman and an 18-monthold child were among those killed.

Nigerian Christians at prayer g ria i n at y

NIGERIA: Anti-Christian violence
continues unabated in Nigeria, leaving hundreds dead. The Rt Rev Timothy Yahaya, Bishop of Jalingo, Taraba State, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, told Barnabas

Fund that 300 Christians had been killed in his diocese in a series of incidents in April. His report came as a gun and bomb attack on a church service at Bayero University campus, Kano,

on the morning of Sunday 29 April left 22 people dead and injured 23 people. Witnesses said that the offenders first threw explosives into the building where the Christians had gathered and fired shots, and as the

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Islamistdominated parliament has passed a bill that would make insulting key Islamic figures and the Quran punishable by death. The amendment, intended to strengthen the country’s existing blasphemy legislation, gained overwhelming support in the final vote on 3 May. At the time of writing, the bill was due to go to the Emir for approval before becoming law. Under the draft, cursing the god of Islam, Muhammad, his wives, other key Islamic figures, and the Quran become capital offences for Muslims. Non-Muslims who commit the same offence face a jail term of at least ten years. Defendants who repent in court will have their sentence reduced to five years in prison and/or a fine of US$36,000 (£22,800; €28,200).
Defamation of religion is already prohibited in Kuwait and currently carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine. Since gaining a majority in snap parliamentary elections in February, a coalition of Islamists, al-Adala (Justice) Bloc, has made a number of moves to strengthen Islam. A law to prevent the construction of new churches and other non-Islamic places of worship has been proposed, as have constitutional changes to make all legislation comply with sharia law. However the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad alSabah, blocked the parliamentary recommendation regarding sharia: he was said to be “not in favour” of the proposal, and his approval is required for any constitutional change. Kuwaiti

T Th N ional As m The National Assembly of Kuwait, where the Islamist-d minated o l o uwa , whe the I amist-do nated wa wh h he am st d h e parli en parlia en pa liament has passed a bill that approves th death penalty for liamen s pa il hat ap r ves the a l t e h at en lty fo enalt for ty t insult ng key lamic gur s n th insulting key Islamic figures and the Quran (Source: Les onai, ns t nsult g e i gu ur ura (Source Leshonai, Sourc So ou es ona , na Wik medi Commons Wikimedia Commons) km d ommon mons)

MP Mohammad al-Dallal said, “We must think again about convincing the emir or submitting it again in another format.”

The Emir’s rejection of the sharia law proposal suggests that he may also block the attempt to introduce draconian penalties for blasphemy.




MALI: Christians in Mali have been
forced to flee their homes in a violent rebel takeover. Ethnic Tuareg rebels, including members of Islamist movement Ansar Dine and a separatist group, rampaged through northern Mali and seized control following a military coup that overthrew the government on 22 March. Boko Haram, the Islamist group that is waging war against Christians in Nigeria, have also been involved in the fighting. Christians have been amongst the targets. The heavily armed rebels ransacked and looted Christian homes, vandalised churches and women, obligation to wear the veil, chasing Christians. All the churches were destroyed in Gao and Timbuktu.” More than 215,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Many Christians fled south to the capital, Bamako, where an association of missions and churches set up a crisis committee to help the displaced. Their plight is compounded by severe food shortages in the Sahel, of which Mali is a part, that have caused prices of basic foodstuffs to rocket. Barnabas Fund is providing aid for displaced Christian families, including food, medicines and housing.

“Horrible crimes have been made against the population: massacres, rape of women, obligation to wear the veil, chasing Christians. All the churches were destroyed in Gao and Timbuktu.”
occupied a Bible school in Gao. A Barnabas Fund contact said, “Horrible crimes have been made against the population: massacres, rape of Ansar Dine, which has links to alQaeda and wants to turn Mali into an Islamic state, is imposing sharia law on the region.

INDONESIA: In a rare piece KENYA: Five people died and
over 30 worshippers were injured when a grenade was thrown during a church service in Garissa, Kenya, on 6 May. This follows a similar attack at God’s House of Miracle Church in Nairobi, Kenya, on 29 April which left one person dead and 15 wounded. Joseph Gichangi, the area’s deputy police chief, said, “We have been told that the person who threw the grenade was part of the congregation and he fled immediately after throwing it.” Members of the congregation tried to detain the suspected bomber after the explosion, but he fled, and when they pursued him, he pointed a gun at them. In a similar incident, Muslims threw a grenade into the congregation of an open-air gathering involving over 150 of good news, the Muslim mayor who illegally sealed off GKI Yasmin Church, Bogor, Indonesia has agreed it can reopen, on condition that a mosque is built next door. Presidential advisors brokered the “deal” following a month-long negotiation between the church and the Bogor authorities, which ended on 2 May. GKI Yasmin, which has been forced to hold services on the street outside its half-constructed building or in private homes, welcomed the suggestion in principle. Spokesman Bona Sigalingging said, “The idea has been discussed among members of our congregation. We can accept it. The most important thing for us is to have our constitutional rights guaranteed and we can go back worshipping at our church again.” However, in the Aceh Singkil district of Aceh province, Indonesia, the authorities have sealed off 17 Christian places of worship following a protest from hard line Islamist groups, who oppose the buildings. The undungs, small buildings not classified as churches, were closed in the space of a week, starting on 2 May. The move followed a rally demanding the closure of the undungs on 30 April by groups including the Islamic Defenders Front and the Aceh Singkil Muslim Forum. Aceh Singkil district head Razali Abdul Rahman claimed that the buildings did not have permits and were drawing complaints from locals. But this is the first time that the authorities there have taken action against Christian places of worship, suggesting that they have given in to pressure from the Islamist groups.

Muslims had been holding a meeting near the Christian gathering; the Christians could hear the Islamic preachers railing against Christianity before the attack took place. A Barnabas Fund contact in Kenya said that there has been a concerted

…the Christians could hear the Islamic preachers railing against Christianity before the attack took place.
Christians in Mtwapa, near Mombasa, on 31 March as the meeting was drawing to a close. One woman was killed at the scene, while a young boy died from his injuries two days later. Muslim backlash against conversions from Islam to Christianity. At Ukunde, south of Mombasa, Muslims have ordered a church to close down within six months.

A mosque and cathedral stand side by side in Central Jakarta osque and ca hedra and side by sid n Ce tra Jakarta q e d hedra ral id d en akarta karta (Source: Michael J. Lowe, Wikime ia Commons) S ur : Michael J. owe ikimedi Mic chae owe ikim kimed ommons) ommo s)



SYRIA: A group of armed militants
seized control of Qastal al-Burg village, around 30 miles north-west of Hama, on 10 May. They ordered the ten Christian families who live there to leave empty-handed and took over their homes. The militants also occupied the village church, turning it into their command control centre. A Barnabas Fund partner with whom we are working to provide aid for Syrian Christians affected by the anti-government uprising, said that despite the UN’s peace-building efforts, armed groups have increased their activities. Our partner said, “In brief the situation is very alarming and catastrophic. Syrians are scared of the escalation of violence to a point of no control and the absence of security in most areas.” Churches have been The city of Homs has now seen almost its entire Christian population of 50,000 to 60,000 flee for safety as fighting continues. The number of Christians left in the city has reportedly fallen to below 1,000. One Syrian church leader spoke about the suffering of Christians in Homs: “The tragedy … is very huge, it bleeds the heart… you start to feel that Homs is a jungle full of wild beasts.” Church leaders are reluctant to travel at night as they are symbols of the Christian presence in Syria and may be targets for assassination. Barnabas Fund is working directly with Christian partners in the country to get emergency aid to at least 3,000 needy Christian families throughout Syria, including those from Homs and the victims of the bombings.

BURMA: Two children from
the predominantly Christian Kachin people group were shot dead by the Burmese military on 5 May. The children, aged five and seven, were bathing and playing in Ta Li River in Kachin state with another youngster when they were startled by a loud bomb blast. As the children tried to run to safety, Burmese soldiers opened fire. The military is extremely hostile to non-Burman ethnic minorities, as evidenced in Kachin state, and most Christians in Burma belong to these groups. Soldiers have attacked villages, razed houses, destroyed churches, tortured and raped. Barnabas Fund provides both practical and spiritual support to Christians in Burma.

Christians in Syria sign to ist istia s n n o receive their food parcels, v he o e p provided by Barnabas Fund d y arnab s und abas ab

damaged and many people have not been paid for months or are without work altogether. Christians have been forced to flee, leaving their homes and possessions behind.

On 3 May, Sudan and South Sudan signed up to a roadmap intended to avert an all-out war between them. But the agreement looked increasingly fragile as attacks continued, and many Christians in both countries remain in serious danger. After weeks of border clashes, hopes of a ceasefire were raised when the two countries endorsed the African Union’s (AU) seven-point plan, which called for the resumption of stalled negotiations. The plan gave Sudan, which is largely Muslim, and South Sudan, which is mainly Christian, three months to resolve outstanding disputes over the border region, citizenship matters and oil revenue. The agreement followed a UN Security Council resolution on 2 May that gave the two nations 48 hours to stop fighting. Both sides continue to accuse the other of being the aggressor; Sudan has called for several areas within its territory in air raids over the previous 48 hours, violating the UN resolution. Juba’s information minister said, “Khartoum is bombing civilian targets, killing however, this remains a tense and dangerous time for Christians in the two countries. In Sudan they are treated with great suspicion and hostility, while in South Sudan their memories of the brutal, decades-long civil war are still raw. An estimated 350,000 people from South Sudan, mainly Christians, are stranded in Sudan; they were stripped of their citizenship of Sudan after the South voted to secede and given a deadline (which was changed from 8 April to 20 May and at the time of writing is uncertain) to regularise their status or leave. Many lack the resources to return to the South, and some exit routes have been blocked off because of the hostilities between the two nations.

Man Many Southern Christians are stranded and homeless in Sudan a an ou e ut hristi hr st hrist are stra ded d meless n S r t n (S (Source: Friends of Sudan) S ce: rien of Suda ) riend ud

South Sudan to withdraw its troops from disputed border areas, while the latter says that the former persists in bombing its territories. South Sudan said on 9 May that Sudan had targeted

women and children and destroying the property of very simple people in these areas.” The AU roadmap and UN resolution represent some progress;



In our seri s on key teachings of the Christian faith we focus in this issue on the doctrine of the Church. n o r series o k y tea hin s o the Christ n fait we focus n th s is ue n the do trin f th Ch rch. ies t ach ngs he tian f th ocus his ssu he h oct ne he hu ch

What does the Bible say about the Church?
Introduction towards suffering brothers and sisters in Christ and prompts us to fulfil ost of the world understands how important it is to belong them more zealously. to strong communities. Whether these are families, villages, In this article we shall consider some key elements of the New ethnic or national peoples, or religious groups, for millions Testament (NT) teaching on the Church. We shall then examine some of people they are indispensable. of its implications for Christian mission, especially that of minorities Communities provide individuals with a sense of identity that confronted by large Muslim majorities, and also for the responsibility is bigger than themselves. They offer love, practical care, and support of Christians to help one another, particularly those who suffer for the in times of need. They supply to their members a measure of protec- Name of Christ. tion from the hostility of outsiders. But when they function at their best, they are not isolated or exclusive, but reach out to others and The Church in the Bible welcome them in. Location. The Greek word used for “church” in the NT is ekklēsia. It can be hard for people nurtured in Western culture, which tends In the ancient Greek world and also in the Greek Old Testament (OT), to exalt the individual, to understand how crucial this kind of comthis term refers to an assembly or gathering of people, not to an ormunity life is to so many people in other parts of the world. But even ganisation or society. It is often used for the people of Israel gathered Westerners will usually define themselves to some extent by the groups together before the LORD in the wilderness (e.g. Deuteronomy 4:10). to which they belong, although these are often more social in nature. In many of its NT uses the word ekklēsia has the same sense of For most Muslims, their primary loyalty is to the worldwide a gathering or congregation and is applied to a Christian community community or “nation” of Islam, which is composed of all Muslims in a particular locality (2 Thessalonians 1:1; Acts 13:1; 3 John 9). It worldwide. This community, known as the umma, is not just a religious may denote a “house-church” meeting in someone’s home (Colossians community; it is also seen by Muslims as a political and territorial one. 4:15), or to the congregation of Christians in a city (Romans 16:23). The Despite the great differences between Muslims, almost all of them term seems mainly to be used for the assembly itself; thus a number believe that they should support one another against non-Muslims of congregations in a region are usually called “churches” rather than and in the cause of advancing and defending the cause of Islam. The “the church” (Romans 16:4; Revelation 1:4). But occasionally it can be individual’s needs and desires are to be subordinate to those of the applied to its members when they are not actually gathered (Acts 8:3), umma, and deserting the community by changing one’s religion is and just once in the singular (“the church”), to multiple congregations regarded as treason. in a larger area (Acts 9:31). Christians in Muslim-majority contexts, and especially converts The word ekklēsia is also used, especially in Colossians and from Islam, desperately need a robust and supportive Christian comEphesians, in a much wider sense, to refer to the totality of believers munity to sustain them against the power of the Muslim umma. But this in all places and at all times (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23). This in turn can be securely grounded only on a clear and coherent doctrine usage reflects the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18, “On this rock I will of the Christian Church. Understanding who we are as God’s people build my church.” Although this universal “church” never gathers in enables Christians to stand firm in our Christian identity, even in the one place on earth, the idea of “assembly” is preserved in the heavenly face of pressure and persecution. It also teaches us our obligations fellowship that believers are said to experience with their Lord and by extension with each other (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1).





What does the Bible say about the Church?

age it also suffers tribulation, it is assured of God’s protection (1 Peter 1:5-7). At Christ’s return it will enter the completed kingdom of God, in which all creation will be renewed and all suffering ended (Matthew 13:43; Romans 8:18-21; Revelation 21:1-4). This salvation is described in various ways, including redemption from slavery to sin and death through the dying and rising of Christ Ownership. Paul calls the Thessalonian assembly “the church of the (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 1:18-21), and sanctification (i.e. being set apart Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes- for God’s service) by the Spirit through union with Christ (1 Corinthisalonians 1:1), so distinguishing it from other gatherings in the city. ans 1:2; 6:11). But it is usually understood as something corporate: it is as people become part of the Christian comThe congregations also gather in the name of munity and live within it that they experience Jesus (Matthew 18:17, 20), which marks them “You are a chosen people, a royal off from the local synagogues of the Jews (alpriesthood, a holy nation, God’s and grow in God’s saving grace (Ephesians though in one place a Christian assembly is special possession” (1 Peter 2:9) 1:22 – 2:10). also called a “synagogue”; James 2:2). These A wide variety of images are also used verses identify the churches as groups of people that belong to God by the NT writers to explain the privileges enjoyed collectively by the and to Christ. people of God. Thus the Church is identified as the temple of God, the Some of the descriptions of the universal Church carry the same dwelling-place of God where He is now uniquely present by the Spirit sense. The Church is where God is glorified and His wisdom is dis- (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21-22). Both the local congregation played to the world (Ephesians 3:10, 21). Christ loved the Church and and the universal Church are called the body of Christ, united with gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25). It is called “the church of God” the exalted Christ as its head, its members joined to one another, each (1 Corinthians 5:9), and Christ is said to be its head (Ephesians 5:23). with a valued place and performing diverse and mutual functions (1 The fact that the Church belongs to God and to Christ is confirmed Corinthians 12:12-28; Ephesians 5:30). by its being created and shaped by God and through Christ. Through the Another metaphor widely employed is that of the family or housepreaching of the Gospel of Christ, God brings people into the Church hold of God, in which God is the Father and Jesus the firstborn Son (Ephesians 3:6), and He then forms them into a community that is ruled (1 Timothy 3:15; Romans 8:29). Believers are children of God, who by Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22). Similarly in Acts the Christian com- have been born from above by the Spirit, and they are also Christ’s munity is brought into existence by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit brothers and sisters (John 1:12-13; 3:3-5; Hebrews 2:11). The Church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11). The Spirit then empowers and is also a royal priesthood, ruled over by Christ through the Spirit and directs the Church in its mission (Acts 5:32; 8:29). offering spiritual sacrifices to God (1 Peter 2:9).

The book of Revelation is addressed to seven churches (Revelation 1:4); the number seven represents completeness and indicates that they are meant to stand for the whole Church. This address illustrates the principle that when Christians come together, their congregations are local expressions of the one, universal Church of Jesus Christ.

Boundary. The Church stands in continuity with the OT (or “old Responsibilities. But with these privileges come great responsibilicovenant”) people of God, but it is the community of God’s new covenant (Hebrews 9:15). This covenant is inaugurated by the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross (Luke 22:20), and so it is defined in relationship to Him. So unlike Israel, the Church is not marked out not by national and ethnic lines, but by faith in Jesus (Galatians 2:15-16) and by following Him (Matthew 16:24). It begins with a remnant of Israel who believe in Jesus as Lord (Romans 11:5, cp. 10:9) and is then opened up to include Gentiles who share their faith (Romans 9:30). Thus the community crosses previous ethnic boundaries to welcome people of all nations on equal terms (Acts 10:34-35; Romans 3:30). So the Church is the heir to all the titles and privileges of the OT people of God.1 It is frequently described using terms that the OT applies to Israel, notably in 1 Peter 2:9-10: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession... Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” But because Christ is the fulfilment of the OT law, and the new covenant the fulfilment of the old (Romans 10:4), the Church is no longer bound by its regulations in the same way as Israel was. In particular, Christ is the great High Priest of the new covenant who has made atonement for our sins through His sacrifice of Himself once and for all (Hebrews 8:1ff.; 10:10); so the OT systems of priesthood and sacrifice have now become obsolete (Hebrews 8:13; 10:18). ties. In relation to God, the Church is a worshipping community, not only in its congregational gatherings, but in every aspect of its members’ lives, as they offer themselves sacrificially to Him (Romans 12:1). Their worship is offered both to the Father and to Christ (Revelation 7:9-10). The community is also bound by ethical standards. It is to be morally transformed and live in a way that pleases God by obeying the commandments of Jesus (Colossians 1:9-10; John 14:21). Believers are to resist the temptation to compromise with ungodliness and sin and remain faithful to Jesus in word and deed (1 Peter 4:1-3; Revelation 13:10). Their love for and loyalty to Jesus are to transcend their allegiance to their natural families or ethnic nations (Matthew 10:37). In relation to one another, believers are to show mutual love, doing good to one another and practising hospitality (1 Peter 4:8-9; Galatians 6:10). They are also given spiritual gifts to enable them to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10-11). Believers are to have the same aims and mutual concern, and to seek to please one another (Philippians 2:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:32-33). The image of the body implies interdependence of the members, which they are to express in honouring and respecting one another (1 Corinthians 12:24-26), while that of the household suggests that relationships within the churches are to mirror those of a (well-functioning) family (Hebrews 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:1). In relation to the outside world, the Church is called to continue and extend the mission of Jesus (Matthew 28:19). It witnesses to God and to Christ so that others may believe in Him (Luke 24:46-48; John 17:20-21). But this engagement with the world is not to lead to its being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). It is also to be set apart from the wider society, with whom it lives in a measure of mutual hostility,

Privileges. The Church is the recipient of the salvation that God has
provided in Christ and by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). It experiences that salvation in part in the present (Acts 2:47), and although in this



What does the Bible say about the Church?
and also from those who have separated from it (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 John 2:15; 3:13; 2 John 7-11).


believers as a whole has the authority to regulate its life according to apostolic norms. In the early Pauline letters there is only one reference to designated leaders within a congregation (Philippians 1:1). Gatherings. From the first days of the church in Jerusalem, believers However, Paul does speak here of individuals with particumeet together for joint activities (Acts 1:14; 2:44-47). Wherever the lar responsibility for teaching and oversight and indicate that reGospel is preached and people become Christians, they form com- spect is to be shown to them (Galatians 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:12). munities (Acts 15:41; 16:5) that meet together (Acts 20:7). The dual 1 Timothy and Titus mention different kinds of leaders and give purpose of the gatherings appears to be worship (i.e. giving glory to detailed instructions about the qualities of overseers and deacons God) and edification (i.e. building believers up in their Christian faith (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9). Although little is said about their work, and discipleship), but these functions are not they appear to provide teaching based on the clearly distinct: worship builds up the church, “In Christ you too are being built truth handed down to them and also superviand upbuilding is part of worship (note the together to become a dwelling sion for the congregation (2 Timothy 2:1-2; juxtaposition of related themes in Colossians in which God lives by his Spirit” 1 Timothy 3:5). James also refers to teachers 3:16-17). (Ephesians 2:22) (James 3:1). So when congregations meet, prayer and A number of writers mention elders (Acts praise are offered to God, through Christ and in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:19- 11:30; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Peter 5:5; 2 John 1:1), although it is not always 20; 1 Timothy 2:1). God and Christ are active through gifts that the Spirit clear whether these are office-holders or simply older members of a conbestows on individuals for the benefit of all (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). The gregation. Some of them teach (1 Timothy 5:17), and they may exercise congregation is further built up through teaching, from the Scriptures (i.e. pastoral care, including visiting and praying for the sick (James 5:14). the OT, at least initially) and specifically Christian instruction (2 Timothy In 1 Peter their role is described in terms of under-shepherds to the chief 2:1-2; 3:16 – 4:2); this word brings salvation, and the church is to receive shepherd, Christ, who are to care for the flock and set them an example it (James 1:21). Mutual confession of sins and prayers for healing are (1 Peter 5:1-4). also encouraged (James 5:16). The two symbolic actions of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are The Church and Christian mission commanded by Jesus in the Gospels (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20) Contemporary views of the Church in the West are dominated and are part of congregational life. Baptism is the outward mark of by postmodernism, which includes the rejection of all intellectual and initiation into the Church, admitting believers to the body through the moral absolutes. In this context Christians are increasingly reluctant Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). It is a pledge or prayer to God for a new either to define the Church or to give it any definite form or character. life (1 Peter 3:21), and it symbolises various aspects of the churches’ As a result its identity is becoming a reflection of the surrounding culture, common experience, including cleansing from sin (Acts 22:16) and in which almost any belief and practice is acceptable. union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4; Postmodern perspectives are also affecting Christian mission. For Colossians 2:11-12). example, the Insider Movement suggests that Muslims do not have to The Lord’s Supper appears to have taken place in the context give up their Muslim identity or become part of an exclusively Christian of a fellowship meal (1 Corinthians 11:20-21) or love-feast (Jude 12), community in order to live as disciples of Jesus; they should continue which will often have taken place in a domestic setting (Acts 2:46). to attend the mosque and recite the Muslim creed, and should neither The sharing of bread and wine is a memorial to Christ, symbolising join existing churches nor form their own. His death and inauguration of the new covenant and looking forward The various aspects of the NT doctrine of the Church outlined to His coming (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). In this action believers enjoy above provide a powerful response to these efforts to reshape the Church communion with Him (1 Corinthians 10:16) and express their unity and its mission in the name of cultural and spiritual relevance. They with one another (1 Corinthians 11:20). offer a compelling vision of what the Church must be if its outreach The writer to the Hebrews encourages his readers not to neglect to those outside its fellowship is to thrive, and not least of the care and meeting together, in the context of encouraging them to hold fast to their support that Christians must show to one another, especially our perconfession without wavering and the coming Day of the Lord (Hebrews secuted brothers and sisters. 10:23-25). His words suggest that participation in congregational life is an essential means of maintaining one’s loyalty to Christ. Location. The Church exists in the form of local congregations, particular places. The strength Leadership. The twelve apostles of Jesus are given authority as groups of Christians gathered together inestablishing and sustaining of of its mission therefore depends on the Jesus’ partners in mission (Matthew 10:1-4), and they receive special strong local assemblies. Where individual Christians are isolated from teaching from Him (Acts 1:1-3). They fulfil a foundational role in the other believers, or where a congregation is unable to meet because of early Church (Acts 2:42). A wider group of apostles found and oversee restrictions, intimidation or lack of a meeting-place, for example in a congregations and regulate them by laying down standards for their strongly Muslim context, they have an inadequate basis to discharge beliefs and conduct (1 Corinthians 9:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 2 Thestheir mission fully. But where a local church can assemble for its joint salonians 2:15; 3:4). Prophets are also active and provide part of the activities, it is competent for this task even in the face of pressure and Church’s foundational teaching (Ephesians 2:20). persecution. Every believer can exercise gifts and functions bestowed by But individual congregations are also expressions of the one the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:26), and the whole congregation also Church of Jesus Christ that extends across the world. This means that has responsibility for discipline and restoration (1 Corinthians 5:3-5; Christians are not only bound to support and care for others within 2 Corinthians 2:5-8). The instructions contained in the letters to churches their local churches; we also belong to one another and are responsible are mainly addressed to everyone, suggesting that the gathering of



What does the Bible say about the Church?
The images used for the Christian community in the NT also underline the mutual responsibility of believers for one another within the wider Church. We cannot sit by and watch part of God’s temple, where He dwells by His Spirit, be razed to the ground by anti-Christian violence. If part of Christ’s body located in a Muslim-majority context is afflicted by persecution, their suffering is ours too. When members of our Christian family living abroad are made homeless by natural disaster and receive no aid because of their faith, we are obliged to care for them. Jesus Himself says that whatever is done for one of the least of His brothers and sisters (meaning Christians) is done for Him (Matthew 25:40).

for one another within the universal body of Christ. We cannot rightly ignore the plight of persecuted brothers and sisters because they live in a different part of the world; in sharing heavenly fellowship with our Lord we also share it with them, and we are bound to them accordingly.

Ownership. The call of the local church in relation to outsiders is
to proclaim the Gospel of Christ and to integrate new believers into the community. The NT simply assumes that converts become part of their local congregations, and its writers never suggest that it might be appropriate for them not to do so. Leaving them embedded in their previous religious communities, such as the local mosque, is therefore not a Biblical option. Moreover, because the worldwide Church is created by God through Christ and by the Spirit, it belongs to Him. It is appropriate for us as God’s people to care for what is His and to love what He loves, and this means we must extend His love to other members of the Church. Since as His people we live under Christ’s Lordship, we are also obliged to obey His commands, which include the explicit instruction to love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34). It is notable that in the very next verse Jesus says that it is by this love that people will know we are His disciples. The Orthodox churches see John 13:35 as a key mission verse: love within the Christian community is the authentic basis for mission.

Gatherings. The NT emphasises congregational life as the context
and means for sustaining one’s Christian existence. Corporate worship and mutual edification are the life-blood of healthy Christian living, while baptism and the Lord’s Supper respectively initiate and maintain believers in the shared experience of the church. So to shut out Muslim converts or others from these gatherings and activities is to exclude them from the (normally) necessary ways of standing firm and growing to maturity in Christ. The universal Church is never gathered in one place on earth. But by acknowledging that we belong to one another and extending our aid to Christians who need it, we deepen our mutual fellowship with our Lord, renew our strength and hope in Him, and receive His empowering for our mission.

Boundary. A Christian congregation is marked out from its wider
community by its common faith in Christ, not by the social, ethnic or religious backgrounds of its members. It is by defining itself in this way that it inherits the promises given to God’s new covenant people. So to discourage or forbid the churches from offering the Gospel to members of a Muslim majority (or anyone else) or from welcoming Muslim converts into fellowship is to deny their very nature as the community of Christ’s disciples. Nor are any boundaries of this kind to limit the mutual support that Christians are to give to their persecuted brothers and sisters. For example, it is unacceptable to restrict our practical aid to historic Christian communities in Muslim-majority contexts and to withhold it from Muslim converts. In fact, the converts will need more support, having lost that of the Muslim umma. Our common faith in Christ makes us one with both groups alike.

Leadership. A local church will also be more effective in mission if
it both gives an opportunity to all its members to participate in decision-making and ministry, and enables those with gifts of leadership, teaching and pastoral care to exercise them. So in order to witness most fruitfully to Christ in a hostile context it requires both congregational engagement and effective leadership. Discipleship and leadership training and support for pastors and evangelists are among the most useful ways in which we can help persecuted Christians. This kind of aid promotes the development of strong Christian communities that can maintain an attractive and effective witness even when they encounter opposition and hostility.

It is unfortunate that just at the time when Muslims worldwide are committing themselves to the concept of the umma with renewed vigour, many Christians have largely lost sight of the Biblical doctrine of the Church. This teaching explains what it means for believers to live as the people of God, not least in relation to a hostile world, and shows us why and how we are obliged to care for one another. It reveals both the critical importance of the local congregation in generating and resourcing discipleship and witness, and our vocation to support other Christians within the worldwide Church of Christ. It is, in short, an indispensable resource for healthy Christian living and Christian mission.

Privileges and responsibilities. The fruits of Christian mission
and the responsibilities that follow from them can be enjoyed and lived out only in the corporate context of the local congregation. It is there that Christians experience God’s salvation and also find His protection when under pressure from the majority community or the state. It is there that believers can properly fulfil the call to worship and live for Christ and to love one another, as well as reaching out to others without compromising Christian distinctiveness. Without offering membership of the local church, mission can neither deliver what it promises nor enable what it requires, to Muslim-background believers or anyone else.

No view is implied on the continuing place of ethnic Israel in the saving purposes of God by this statement. That issue is not addressed in this article.

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 Registered Charity Number 1092935 Company Registered in England Number 4029536 IV BARNABAS AID JULY/AUGUST 2012 New Zealand PO Box 27 6018, Manukau City, Auckland, 2241 Telephone (09) 280 4385 or 0800 008 805 Email Australia Postal Suite 107 236 Hyperdome Loganholme QLD 4129 Telephone (07) 3806 1076 or 1300 365799 Fax (07) 3806 4076 Email Jersey Le Jardin, La Rue A Don, Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands JE3 9GB Telephone 700600 Fax 700601 Email USA 6731 Curran St, McLean, VA 22101 Telephone (703) 288-1681 or toll-free 1-866-936-2525 Fax (703) 288-1682 Email 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


Matthew 25:35

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”
of protein items, are distributed by the local churches. We also help to feed Christian orphans in Burma (Myanmar) and widows and orphans in Zimbabwe and an area of Kenya where Islam is growing, as well as needy Christian families in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. And in the last few months, we have had to set up an extensive new programme to help feed Christians in Syria. Many have left their homes (and therefore their livelihoods) because of antiChristian violence which has developed since the uprising began last year. remaining Egyptian pounds. The family had been completely dependent on the income of their daughter, who worked at a small clothes store. After the Arab Spring of 2011, which brought more political power for Islamists and increased violence against Christians, sales completely stopped and the shop closed down. The church worker told Barnabas Fund that the food, which was part of an additional food programme for 3,000 Egyptian Christians affected by the revolution, “literally kept the family alive and well”. Thank you for donating so generously to these feeding programmes, making it possible for us to help our hungry fellow Christians in their

Barnabas feeds persecuted Christians around the world


any of our Christian brothers and sisters living in places of pressure and persecution go hungry. In countries such as Egypt and Pakistan, it is ingrained discrimination from the Muslim majority that is the root cause of their hunger. Christians are hungry because they are poor, and they are poor because it is difficult for them to get jobs. Even if they do find an employer who will hire them, they are often paid a lower wage than a Muslim doing the same work. In parts of rural Upper Egypt there are Christian children so poor that they do not even know what an egg is. Probably the only food they normally get is the government-subsidised bread. Barnabas Fund supports church-run feeding programmes for Christians in both Pakistan and Egypt. The numbers in Pakistan have been swollen by the addition of 909 families who lost their livelihoods in the catastrophic floods of 2010 and 2011. Through similar programmes, we also help to feed many of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have fled their homes because of the anti-Christian violence that was unleashed after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Some are displaced to the safer areas in the north, while many are refugees in neighbouring countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Many of these Christians had well paid professional jobs such as teachers, doctors or dentists, but now – having left their jobs when they fled to save their lives – they are in need of food aid, and Barnabas is helping them. Nutritious food packages, with plenty

In 2011 88,055 Christians received food through our regular feeding programmes. Another 188,625 were given emergency food aid in disaster situations in 18 countries. “I can’t dream to buy it”
“The church supports us a lot by the food basket we receive. I can’t dream to buy it,” says Karam, an Iraqi refugee who lives with his young family in Syria. He left his homeland after being threatened by Islamists, a story that has been tragically repeated for thousands of other Iraqi Christians in the past decade. The young man is the sole earner of the family, and daily necessities, medicines for his disabled father-in-law and his son’s school fees all need to be paid from his wages. The food aid is keeping this Christian family afloat. hour of need. We are looking for more sponsors who can commit to give regularly to our feeding programmes. Any amount, however small, will help, but £18 per month will help a family in Pakistan and £15 per month an Iraqi Christian family in Syria. You can sign up by going to our website, and clicking on “regular donations”. Or contact your nearest Barnabas office (addresses on back cover). Sponsors who give regularly will receive a twice-yearly newsletter.

“God will show up”
“When you have a really difficult time, God will show up,” a church worker told a Christian family in Egypt last year, as he handed over a food package paid for by Barnabas. They received their food package just a few hours after having spent their last few

A Christian family in Pakistan, hrist an mi hris a famil i kista tan, one of thous d one of thousands of Christ an h Christian stian househ ld receivi g mo h house olds receiving monthly eh d c v vi food food


Project reference 00-636 (Feeding Fund)


Distinctive Distinctively Barnabas
“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)
Christians have fled from violence in Iraq and taken h d o ol ol r n ake ke refuge in neighbouring countries such as Syria. But with f ouri co tr urin suc uch yr But with Bu h the recent strife in Syria, our bro hers and sisters are e rife ri e n Syr , ou brother e r are r under threat there too. Ba nabas Fund provides monthly n t t ere oo. Barnabas Fun p id r a ar b s n d ont y nthly t food parcels to help them o s help he p h

An aid agency with a difference sisters are our family too. Just as we love our


Galatians 6:10 the Apostle Paul commands us to do good to all people, but especially to those who belong to the family of believers; that is, to our brothers and sisters in Christ. (You can find a reflection and Bible study on this verse on pages 16-17 of this issue of Barnabas Aid.) At Barnabas Fund we believe that our calling is to fulfil the “especially” part of this verse, and so our aid goes to help members of our Christian family who suffer because of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

natural family, so we should also love our spiritual family, as our Lord Himself loves us and as He commands us (John 13:34). The need for our aid is massive and widespread. According to a report by the Pew Foundation, Rising Restrictions in Religion, published in August 2011, Christians are the most harassed faith group in the world. It is estimated that one in ten Christians is living in a context of discrimination, violence or other forms of persecution.

from individual Christians and churches. We then channel these funds through local ministries and Christian organisations to transform the lives of our Lord’s suffering family. Barnabas does not send out people. We believe that local Christians understand their own needs best, and that they are the best agents of change in their own contexts. We simply provide them with the means to bring that change about, by funding projects that they have started and that they are running. Since Barnabas Fund began its work in 1993 we have supported Christians in more than 80 countries, and in a typical year we are involved in around 60. Christians suffer severe persecution through much of North Africa and significant parts of sub-Saharan Africa, in most countries of the Middle East, and in huge swathes of Asia. We are helping to relieve their needs in all of these regions.

“The help we are getting from Barnabas is like ointment on our wounds.” Bashir, a Pakistani Christian who receives food packages funded by Barnabas
If the idea of prioritising the needs of the community of Christian believers seems strange, then consider what it means to be Jesus’ brothers and sisters. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus refers to His disciples as “these brothers [and sisters] of mine”. If Jesus is our brother then all His brothers and

From Christians, through Christians, to Christians
Barnabas Fund supports persecuted Christians in various ways, most importantly by encouraging other Christians to pray for them. But another major focus of our work is to encourage donations

Helping despised Christians: in Pakistan

Feeding hungry Christians: in Kenya

Christians in Pakistan suffer acute discrimination, and most live in poverty. Samuel does not have steady employment and was struggling to survive until he and his family became a part of a Barnabas Fund food programme in 2008. He says, “Because of the savings I have made since receiving the food parcels, I have been able to buy a horse and cart. I am able to earn more money and now I even have my own business.” Samuel has seven school-age children and he can now afford to pay for their education.

In 2011 a devastating drought ravaged large parts of East Africa and left huge numbers of Christians facing starvation. Through our partners on the ground, Barnabas was on hand to provide life-saving emergency food aid to around 75,000 of our needy brothers and sisters. This Kenyan mother said, “You have saved my children and ensured they survive this drought. I am very happy with the support I received of maize, beans and vegetable oil. My worry about what my family will eat tomorrow is now gone and I feel relaxed.”



Laying a firm foundation
There are three principal ways in which Barnabas provides support and encouragement to our family in Christ: Nourishing Christian people. Through Barnabas Fund, Christians can channel help to individual believers, families and churches. Our wide range of projects (see below) helps our brothers and sisters with a variety of practical and spiritual needs. Nurturing a Christian presence. Strengthening Christian families and individuals encourages the next generation to thrive physically and spiritually, enabling a Christian presence to be sustained in countries where Christians are under threat. Upholding a Christian witness. Maintaining a Christian presence enables God’s people to continue proclaiming the Gospel. Through our giving to local churches and Christian organisations, local Christians are empowered to make Christ known in word and deed to those who do not yet know Him.

So what have we done?

Helped to fund 421 projects in 66 countries in 2011

Fed more than 275,000 Christians in regular feeding programmes or in emergency food aid in 2011

Funded leadership training for 10,011 Christians in 26 countries in 2010-11 Provided 1,480,834 Bibles, Scriptures and other Christian literature in 14 languages and 24 countries in the last 2 years Sponsored 7,408 children at 41 Christian schools in 11 countries in 2011

Currently supporting 318 evangelists and 158 pastors through 28 ministries in 22 countries

Supported 111 church building projects in 2011

… and so much more.

We put these principles into practice through twelve main types of project:
Disaster relief: emergency aid in times of calamity Convert care: support for those who turn to Christ School-place sponsorship: Christian schooling for Christian children Feeding: basic needs supplied through local churches Christian literature: resources for growth and encouragement Small business: strengthening Christians through selfsufficiency Medical care: clinics and life-saving healthcare Leadership training: equipping the ministers of Christ Pastors and evangelists: spreading the Word, strengthening the body Church buildings: enabling ministry on firm foundations Water: digging wells, ensuring supplies Victims of violence: helping Christians who suffer violence or injustice for their faith

As we have opportunity…
Barnabas Fund seeks to sustain God’s persecuted people and build them up, so that they can not only survive but also serve the Lord Jesus in their own countries, witnessing to His grace and His goodness. Thus we not only meet the present needs of Christians who are vulnerable

and suffering; we also promote growth and hope in contexts where these seemed impossible. We are constantly astonished and humbled by the courage and perseverance of the Christians whom we serve, and by the Lord’s power to make them joyful and fruitful in Him. We are deeply thankful to the Lord for the prayers

and generosity of our supporters, which have enabled Barnabas Fund to bring hope and aid to so many of our persecuted brothers and sisters. Please continue to partner with us as we help you and all our supporters to do good especially to our suffering brothers and sisters who belong to the family of believers.
Training Christian leaders: in Tajikistan

Housing homeless Christians: in India

In 2007-8 Christian communities in Orissa State in India were violently attacked by Hindu extremists, and their houses were destroyed in vast numbers. Over 56,000 Christians were left homeless, many of them in tented refugee camps or makeshift huts. Barnabas has provided funds for the building or reconstruction of houses for Christians in Orissa. This man said, “I am excited to move in to our new house. We praise God for His providence and we will continue to pray for the kind people who gave money to build this house.”

Sharing the Gospel in Muslim-majority Tajikistan is a daunting challenge for Christian leaders, especially those who live in distant and isolated parts of the country. Barnabas Fund supported a three-day study programme for 40 Christian leaders, all of whom are themselves converts from Islam. “Salman” (pictured) said, “This seminar encouraged us in our ministry and helped us to be strong in faith. I had many questions when I read the Bible and I have received answers to my questions.”



Meeting the

A Muslim in Pakistan finds Christ
“Farzana”, a Pakistani Christian woman, tells Barnabas Fund how she left Islam to follow Christ. It all began when, at the age of 17, she was working as a receptionist in her uncle’s orthodontist clinic.
“A young Christian man worked in the clinic. One of the other receptionists greeted all the staff very politely as they arrived, but the Christian man was always greeted with a contemptuous ‘There’s the sweeper.’ This intrigued me,” said Farzana, who had had little contact with Christians before then. She asked her colleague why she called him a sweeper, when the man was clearly welleducated. “Because he is a Christian,” came the answer. Many Christians in Pakistan are very poor and earn their living sweeping the streets or cleaning the sewers. Farzana also noticed that the entire office treated the Christian badly and made him use separate utensils and facilities. “At the time I was very religious,” Farzana explained. “I carried the Quran around everywhere and prayed five times a day. At school I had studied Christianity a little but wanted to know more.” During the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha, when Muslim families ritually slaughter an animal as a sacrifice, she approached the Christian man, asking him if Christians also sacrifice animals. His initial reaction was to put her off: “Please don’t ask any questions like that. It will just cause problems.” But she begged him to tell her more about his faith. One of the first things he told her was that in Christianity a man can be married to only one wife at a time. This puzzled her: “What happens if there are no children?” He replied that no matter what happened the husband would stay faithful. This attracted her to Christianity and made her hungry to ask more. Over a period of a year the pair talked regularly about the Christian faith. Eventually he gave her a New Testament, pointing her to the verse, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). Farzana noticed that he always talked about “our living Lord”, which she did not understand. He explained that Jesus had died for The path you have chosen is right.’ When I woke up I was so happy. In my heart I was convinced.” The next day she told her family, “You can kill me if you want, but I know I’m right.” When the Christian man heard what had happened, he went to her uncle and asked for her hand in marriage, because he knew that

Living Lord

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
her and risen again. This was something Farzana had never heard before. He suggested, “You go to shrines of dead people. Why not go directly to the living Lord?” and encouraged her to follow a Bible correspondence course. Their colleagues had started to notice them talking and informed Farzana’s uncle, who promptly ordered them to stop. She testified to him, “I believe Christ is the living Lord in heaven.” Dire threats from her family soon followed; unless she repented they would cut her throat or electrocute her. Farzana said, “I was terrified. All contact with the Christian young man was finished.” She locked herself in her room and fasted for many days. “I was still very confused about the Trinity and prayed to God, “I believe Christ is alive in heaven. Please show me in a dream if I am on the right path.” After many tears she fell asleep and dreamed. “I looked into a bright sky and heard a voice saying, ‘Why are you confused? she would be destitute if her family rejected her. Surprisingly, her uncle gave his permission and arranged the marriage. But the rest of her family continued threatening to kill her. Although her uncle had helped them, he soon dismissed the young man from his job. The couple went through two years of great hardship, often going without food, until a pastor took them under his wing and cared for them. Like many Christians in Pakistan, he could not find another job, eaving leaving the two destitute. Now eleven years later they still receive death threats from her brothers and father. Farzana testifies, “We have been through many trials. But God saw us through t it all.”




is encouraging to note that the issues of religious liberty and persecution of Christians appear to be gaining more attention from political leaders in some countries. For example, in Australia a Christian politician has approached the Barnabas Fund office in Brisbane with a view to helping us take our campaign further into the political arena. By the end of May we had received about 14,750 signatures since the petition was launched in March. Please continue to encourage people to sign the petition; for more copies of the form

please call our Coventry office on 024 7623 1923 (from outside the UK call +44 24 7623 1923) or download them from You can also encourage people to sign the petition directly online, and there are also foreignlanguage versions available from other-language sections of our website. It would be helpful if the petition forms could be returned to your nearest Barnabas office (addresses on back cover) as soon as possible, and certainly by 31 December 2012.

part of this campaign we would like to encourage supporters to contact their elected representatives. In the UK you can write to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or contact them via the Find Your MP section of the Parliamentary website Alternatively you could write to the Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon. William Hague, at King Charles Street, London, SW1A 2AH.


our government and elected representatives. Ask what your MP/the Government is doing to promote religious liberty, particularly for religious minorities suffering persecution, discrimination and disadvantage. Ask how high a priority they think this is and in particular what public statements they have made highlighting the global persecution of Christians. Your letter does not need to be long, but please be polite! We have drafted a sample letter, which is available on our website at or in print form from your nearest Barnabas office. We suggest, however, that you do not copy this word for word.

You could start by saying that you are concerned that Christians make up the “most harassed faith group”1 worldwide but that this issue does not appear to receive much attention from

Operation Nehemiah

British MPs narrowly reject bill on compulsory labelling of halal meat
British MPs have rejected by just three votes a ten minute rule bill aiming to make it a legal requirement for retailers to label halal and kosher meat. Philip Davies, MP for Shipley and former employee of supermarket chain ASDA, said that he had no desire to stop such meat being

The halal share of the UK meat market has grown from 11% in 2001 to 25% today
sold, and had no objections to it on animal rights grounds. He said that he had “one reason only” for bringing forward the proposal: “to give consumers more information so that they can exercise their freedom of choice”. But the Food Labelling (Halal and Kosher Meat) Bill was denied a first reading on 23 April by 73 votes to 70.
1 2

Soon after the debate, a former president of the British Veterinary Association claimed that meat producers have increased the number of animals slaughtered according to religious principles because it is commercially advantageous for them to do so. Writing in the Veterinary Record, Professor Reilly said that the rapid increase in the production of halal meat means that its share of the UK meat market now greatly exceeds the proportion of Muslims in the UK population. He said that the halal share has grown from 11 per cent in 2001 to 25 per cent today.2

an informed choice about whether or not to eat meat that has been religiously slaughtered according to sharia. We are recommending that halal food should always be labelled as such, and that non-halal alternatives should always be available to consumers.

More UK schoolchildren receive Christian books

How did your MP vote?
Go to to discover how your MP voted and find details of how to contact them to commend their stance, express disappointment or ask why they did not vote. Operation Nehemiah believes that Muslims should have the freedom to eat halal food. But we also believe that Christians and other non-Muslims should have the freedom to make
A group of churches in Lyneham, Wiltshire, donates a Barnabas Fund ACTS pack to their local primary school to assist with teaching Christianity in RE

Pew Foundation Report, Recent Restrictions on Religion, August 2011.

An article in Farmers Weekly in 2010 estimated that 25-30% of the lamb and around 40% of the poultry in the UK meat market was halal. The lower overall percentage may be explained by the fact that no pork is halal. BARNABAS AID JULY/AUGUST 2012 15


Galatians 6:10
Barnabas Fund we are sometimes asked, “What makes you different from other Christian aid agencies?” Like any organisation, we have a wide range of characteristics that together give us a distinct identity. These are summarised in our “Barnabas Fund Distinctive”, which is printed on the back of this magazine.
But one of the most important features of our work that marks us out is that we direct our aid only to Christians. Sometimes its benefits may spill over to others: by strengthening the churches we equip them to proclaim the Gospel and provide practical help to their wider communities. But part of our distinctive calling is to enable Christians to support their brothers and sisters in Christ, specifically those who suffer discrimination, harassment and persecution because of their faith. This principle is grounded in various Biblical texts. A good example is Matthew 25:31-46, which explicitly encourages care for Jesus’ brothers and sisters – that is, His disciples – who are in need. But the idea is most concisely summarised in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 6, verse 10: they want. In response to this unjust charge, Paul encourages his readers to use our freedom not to indulge ourselves, but by loving and serving one another in the power of the Spirit. In chapter 6, verses 1-10, Paul explains what serving one another in love means in different areas of the churches’ common life. He appeals to the coming judgment to warn his readers to live accordingly, by the Spirit and not by the flesh. And then, in verse 10, he provides a concluding, summary statement (“Therefore…”) of our responsibilities as God’s people.


supporting and strengthening them in specific and tangible ways. “Doing good” is at the heart of Barnabas Fund’s ministry to persecuted Christians. Whether we are supplying emergency feeding to believers suffering in famine or displaced by war, providing sponsorship for Christian children at Christian schools in Muslim-majority contexts, or training and equipping leaders to build up churches under pressure, we aim to share the goodness of God with His suffering people and further His saving purpose for them. The help we provide is both practical and spiritual, and in meeting a wide variety of needs it makes a major difference in countless lives.

To all – and especially Christians
Paul tells his readers that we should do good to all people, and many excellent Christian (and other) organisations exist that enable us to do this. At Barnabas we affirm and applaud the great work that they do. But Paul adds that we are to do good especially to “the family of believers” or “the members of the household of faith”. Barnabas Fund’s calling is to fulfil the “especially” part of this verse. The term “household of faith” refers primarily to the local Christian congregation. Many of the first churches met in houses: the family and servants who lived there would form its nucleus, with other Christians joining them to form an extended “household”. The group was defined by its faith in Jesus Christ and was thus the household “of faith” in a particular place. But the phrase could also be applied by extension to the wider Christian “congregation”, of believers from all times and

Doing good
Paul tells his readers to respond to his exhortation “as we have opportunity”. This may mean no more than that we are to make use of every occasion that presents itself. But it could also have the sense of “an opportune time” and refer to the age of salvation that has dawned with the coming of Christ and the Spirit. The right way to live during this time is by making best use of it to share its blessings with others. In light of this Paul’s instruction to us is to “do good”. God is the source of everything good, and He demonstrates His goodness in His saving actions on our behalf. So to do good is to share God’s goodness with others, to further His saving purpose in their lives. This involves promoting their practical and spiritual well-being, sustaining,

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” The context
Paul has been arguing in this letter that the blessings of the Gospel are received by faith and not by works of the Jewish law. His opponents seem to have claimed that this teaching will lead to a moral free-for-all: released from the control of the law, Christians will feel at liberty to live just as



places “gathered” in fellowship with Christ by the Spirit. So this verse encourages us to do good especially to other Christians, whether within our own congregations or further afield. This means that we should normally give more help to those who share our faith in Christ than to those who do not. It means that when a choice has to be made between helping Christians and non-Christians, the Christians should usually take priority. And it means that we must generally play a part in relieving the needs of our Christian family before addressing those of others. It was vitally important for the first Christians to be able to rely on one another for support. Not many of them were influential or of noble birth (1 Corinthians 1:26); many of them were poor (2 Corinthians 8:1-2); and they were therefore acutely vulnerable to social pressure and persecution. Huge numbers of our Christian brothers and sisters today find themselves in a similar position. They need our help.

A vital principle
In an individualistic Western context, where ideas of family and community solidarity have become unfashionable, the principle of giving preference to one’s own “household” may seem rather strange to us. But it was an established and standard part of Jewish practice, in the Old Testament and the time of Jesus, and it is taken over by the New Testament writers with only one change: as Christians our primary “household” or family is not our natural one, but the Christian congregation. This principle is also taken for granted in many non-Western contexts, including many where Christians are persecuted. If Christians are not seen to be helping each other at times of need, or if relatively wealthy Christians are perceived to be neglecting poorer ones, this is viewed by people of other religions as unnatural and bizarre. The credibility and quality of the Christian faith is thereby undermined in their eyes, and Christians may be regarded – and perhaps treated – with even more contempt than before.

Giving help to local Christians also empowers them to reach out with help to others. Since their own basic needs have been met, they are set free to serve their local communities, and their assistance is likely to be more culturally acceptable to non-Christians than anything offered by Western agencies, however wellintentioned or sensitively given. This is a good witness to Christ, and it can also increase their neighbours’ respect for them and decrease the social pressure that they endure.

Alongside the many agencies that offer relief and help to all people, there are not many that give Christians an opportunity to fulfil the second part of Galatians 6:10 by focusing their aid on Christians. Barnabas Fund was created to help fill this gap, and we remain committed to our distinctive task: of doing good especially to the family of believers. We rejoice and give thanks to be able to share this work with so many generous supporters who are similarly dedicated to it.

Questions for personal study or group discussion
1. In 5:13, what does Paul say about the right and wrong way to use the freedom that we have in Christ? What does it mean to “serve one another in love”? 2. According to 5:16, 25-26, how are we able to live this kind of life? What does it mean in practice to walk by / keep in step with the Spirit? 3. What detailed instructions does Paul give in 6:1-6 about how we are to serve one another? How can you apply these in your own church? 4. What reason does Paul give us in 6:7-9 for behaving in this way? When do you think the “reaping” that he speaks about will happen? 5. Why do you think is it important for us to give priority to helping our Christian brothers and sisters? 6. In what concrete ways can you do good to all people, but especially to the family of believers? Think about both your own congregation and Christians further afield.



Every year the Rest of Scotland Branch of the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) UK set off on their annual Sponsored Run not – knowing whom they will meet, what the Scottish weather may be like on the route. “But,” generally variable – and how God will speak to them ed says Robert Stuart, Chair of the Branch, “every year He has protect us and provided for us, enabling us to enjoy the beauty of Scotland from two wheels. We never cease to be amazed by how good He is to us and how sts Motorcyclists from the Christian Motorcycli He engineers bas Association (CMA) raised £637 for Barna witness Fund during their 2011 charity bike run opportunities.”

Motorbiking for Barnabas Fund
Robert says, “Each
branch organises bike runs and Bible-centred fellowship evenings and attends bike rallies around Britain and Northern Ireland… Rest of Scotland Branch organises an Robert Stuart, Chair of the Rest of annual weekend-long Scotland Branch of the CMA, takes charity run through a break during the group’s annual nd. All of the Scotla fundraising bike run through Scotland raised goes money ves. directly to a chosen charity; we keep none of it for oursel plan is the The receiving charity may change each year, but the l. We same – to enjoy the run, fellowship and to share the Gospe the Bible have a wonderful message to bring to the world and encourages us to share it with whomever we meet. glad to “In 2011, we raised £637 for Barnabas Fund, and we are assistance to its work, which makes have been of some small our runs such a huge difference in a very needy world. Each year that has links to the charity, and conclude with a visit to a church an we had a great time with the lovely folk at Kingsview Christi us so welcome. It was wonderful Centre, Inverness, who made t to be part of the Sunday morning service.”

The Christian Motorcyclists Association is a non-profit, interdenominational organisation dedicated to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ onto the highways and byways through motorcycling. Since its beginning in the mid-1970s, CMA has expanded into an international ministry that spans 27 countries. CMA seeks to reach “the Motorcycling World through the Gospel of Jesus Christ” ) (Matthew 28: 19-20). ( (Matthew 28

Each year, we ask our supporters to set aside a Sunday, in November or at some other time, to remember the plight of our brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer for their faith. The next edition of Barnabas Aid will provide information, resources and suggestions to help you reflect and respond in Sunday worship or in small groups. Please put a date in your church’s diary NOW!

Suffering Church Sunday

r Additional tax relief for higher rate taxpayers

Are you a higher-rate UK taxpayer? Did you know that you can claim extra relief on your charitable donations when you give using Gift Aid? If you pay higher-rate tax, you can claim the difference between the basic rate of tax (20%) and the higher rates (40 and/or 50%) on the total gross value of your donation to the charity (i.e. the donation plus Gift Aid). A call to H M Revenue and Customs should be sufficient to arrange for the gross amount of all your Gift Aid payments to be included in your notice of coding so that you can receive tax relief in the year that you make payments. You may be required to complete a Self-Assessment tax return at the end of the tax year. For more information, visit

In this age of instant technology, we seek to keep our supporters informed of persecuted Church news and needs as quickly and as economically as possible, by email. We know that many prayerful supporters value these updates to guide them in their intercessions. However, in order not to burden you with too many emails, we are now sending a comprehensive weekly summary, which will contain international news items, as well as details of the latest needs and Barnabas Fund campaigns when these occur. There will also be links to Operation Nehemiah news reports. Once a month our Prayer Focus Update will give suggested prayer items for current situations around the world – ideal for prayer groups, and also useful for individuals. Occasionally, when a major humanitarian emergency arises, and your prayers and financial support are needed urgently, we may send a separate, short email about this. We also send occasional newsletters to those who have given financial support to particular projects; occasional event invitations may be sent to supporters in certain geographical areas. If you are not already on our email list please join by visiting

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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 free resources (indicate quantity required):
• Proclaim Freedom petition forms _________________

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 2008 and all subsequent donations as Gift Aid donations until I notify you otherwise.
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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.


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Signature ____________________________
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 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.

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.


Supporters in Germany: please turn to back cover for how to send gifts to Barnabas Fund.

Mag 07/12

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 electronically to my bank/building society. DD18

Name(s) of account holder(s) Bank/building society account number Branch sort code

Signature(s) Date

*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.

Mag 07/12

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.


The Barnabas Fund Distinctive
What helps make Barnabas Fund distinctive from other Christian organisations that deal with persecution?
WE WORK BY:  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)  aiming the majority of our aid at Christians living in Muslim environments  channelling money from Christians through Christians to Christians  channelling money through existing structures in the countries where funds are sent (e.g. local churches or Christian organisations)  using the money to fund projects that have been developed by local Christians in their own communities, countries or regions  considering any request, however small  acting as equal partners with the persecuted Church, whose leaders often help shape our overall direction  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:  meet both practical and spiritual needs  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  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  inform and enable Christians in the West to respond to the growing challenge of Islam to Church, society and mission in their own countries  facilitate global intercession for the persecuted Church by providing comprehensive prayer materials WE BELIEVE:  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  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  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 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 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 New Zealand PO Box 27 6018, Manukau City, Auckland, 2241 Telephone (09) 280 4385 or 0800 008 805 Email USA 6731 Curran St, McLean, VA 22101 Telephone (703) 288-1681 or toll-free 1-866-936-2525 Fax (703) 288-1682 Email 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

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
© 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.

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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