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"At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment." (Acts 10:1)
The REVEILLE EQUIPPER Fourth Quarter 2006, Vol. 10 No. 4
- Feature: Veterans Make Great Missionaries
- News Analysis: Bosnia and Herzegovina Threatened by Islamization
- News: Persecution of Christians Intensifies
- News: Gospel Fruit in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Profile: Morning Star Development in Afghanistan
- Resource: Web Site for Kurdish Materials
- Resource: Book of Arab Testimonies
What do the people behind these endeavors have in common?
- Teaching at an Evangelical seminary in Jordan
- Preparing to disciple new believers in Central Asia
- Directing a missionary agency reaching Turkic peoples
- Starting a fellowship of Christian military personnel in Mongolia
- Managing human resources for planting churches in the Muslim world
- Coordinating Bible translation for eight million with no Scriptures in their language
- Employing Muslim Background Believers who've been expelled from their homes and villages
They are all military service veterans.
OpRev Initiates Veterans in Missions NetworkNo accident. . .
made the first non-Jewish and non-Samaritan believer a military man.
He was the equivalent of a modern infantry company commander. His accompanied tour to Judea put him there as a "peace keeper" for the Roman Empire.
Although Cornelius' subsequent military and evangelistic exploits are not recorded, history reveals which of his services had the greatest impact.
Salvation in Christ for all Gentiles today may be traced to the precedent established by this bold centurion.
- Veterans . . .
of military service have exceptional qualifications for ministry in places where residents have never even seen a Christmas tree.
They know all about mental stress, physical discomfort, cross-cultural ambiguities, and ultimate sacrifices.
Their experience with "power projection," "expeditionary forces," and "joint operations" translates spiritually into mobilization, adaptation, and cooperation for reaching destitute parts of the world already familiar to them.
After WW II . . .
the world experienced a surge of missionary activity in the Western Pacific.
Following that war and a subsequent subsidized education, many sailors, soldiers, and airmen returned to lands in which they'd encountered followers of strange religions who had no knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some of those were as dangerous as suicide bombers. They were cannibals.
- What missionary surge will result from the GWOT today?
To help. . .
facilitate a new wave of veterans in cross-cultural missions, Operation Reveille is starting Veterans in Missions Network (VIMnet).
Besides the web site (www.vetsinmis.net) that will feature articles and tools for helping veterans find and prepare for missionary opportunities, VIMnet will start an e-mail conference through which veterans already in or considering cross-cultural ministry may network for encouragement, advice, sharing, and prayer.
For security, conference subscription will be by referral or invitation only. Background checks may be conducted. The moderator will screen and edit messages before they are posted to the e-mail list.
If you or someone you know is interested in joining or helping VIMnet, please contact the group moderator.
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World Evangelical Alliance - Religious Liberty CommissionOn Tuesday, 10 October at around 0430 hrs., an unidentified assailant armed allegedly with a "Zolja" hand-held grenade launcher shot a missile into a mosque in the Jasenica area of Mostar, southern Bosnia. Jasenica is a Croat majority suburb of Mostar which is split evenly between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats. The attack happened before Muslims arrived for a pre-dawn Ramadan meal, so the mosque was empty and there were no injuries.
News and Analysis
by Elizabeth Kendal
Bosnia & Herzegovina:
Fragile Stability Threatened by Islamization
While the attack may have been perpetrated by a disgruntled voter unsettled by the outcome of the 1 October elections, it is just as likely that the mosque was struck by an Islamist tasked with triggering a sectarian conflict that would enable a "justified" military expansion of Islamist control.
Islamization Threatens Stability
The scenario of ethnic-religious polarization is coming to pass. Bosnia's peace is extremely delicate. As ethnic-religious identity, zeal, insecurity and defensiveness rise in the various communities, all religious groups that exist as minorities are likely to suffer increased discrimination and persecution.
Of course, Protestants are a minority across all of Bosnia. According to a report by Forum 18, Sarajevo is the only place where Protestants have not had difficulties getting building permits. This anomaly is probably because America supported the Islamist cause in the Bosnian war (as they did in Kosovo) with devastating effectiveness.
So in Sarajevo at least, the Bosniac Islamists who doubtless have the power to turn persecution of Protestants on and off presently want it turned off. How long this will last is questionable, as the US-led War on Terror and the post-war radicalization of much of the Bosnian Muslim population (particularly youths) makes the US-Bosniac Islamist alliance extremely delicate too.
Protestants will probably only be tolerated in Sarajevo as long as the US-Bosniac Islamist alliance holds and the Islamists believe their friends in Washington are still useful with regard to the advance of the Islamist or Muslim nationalist agenda for Bosnia.
Forum 18 reports that in Croat areas, Protestants wanting building permits are obstructed, while in the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic), Protestants face considerable obstruction and harassment. Of course Serbs generally (and understandably) are suspicious and resentful of Protestants whom they view as pro-American, which to them means pro-Bosniac Islamist and anti-Serb.
From Dayton to 1 Oct 06: Separated Peoples Growing Apart
Bosnia has three main ethnic groups: Serbs (Eastern Orthodox), Croats (Roman Catholic), and Bosniacs (Muslim).
The Dayton Accords, which brought an end to the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, kept the state unified and independent but divided it into two autonomous entities: the Muslim-Croat federation, and the Republika Srpska (Serb Republic).
Since the war, states such as Iran and Saudi Arabia have invested heavily in the Muslim-Croat federation's physical and ideological reconstruction in line with Sarajevo's Islamization strategy.
According to locals, mosques have sprung up in Sarajevo "like mushrooms after the rain." Sources report to Forum 18 that the number of mosques in Sarajevo is now "at 250 or more."
Meanwhile, older and war-damaged mosques have been "renovated" by Arabs with funds from Saudis who ensure the "renovated" mosques conform to Wahhabi standards (stripped of European and Sufi icons and decorations).
Wahhabi missionaries have flooded in to teach the nominal Muslims of Bosnia how to be "good Muslims," following the "true way," being more observant, more assertive, less tolerant, wearing veils and growing beards. But by advancing Islamization, Sarajevo has been increasing the incompatibility of Muslims and Christians and directly threatening the stability brought by the Dayton Accords.
Meanwhile the Republika Srpska has increased its ethnic and religious distinctiveness using Cyrillic rather than Latin script, and building Orthodox Churches rather than mosques.
While the Bosniac leadership is developing ties with Islamic states (advancing cultural ties with Iran and an air-traffic agreement with Libya), the Republika Srpska is advancing cultural ties and literally building bridges to Serbia, much to the chagrin of the Bosniac Islamists and Muslim nationalists who have protested this "conspiracy against Muslims."
1 Oct 06 Presidential Election Results: Conflicted Presidency Reflects Conflicted People
Bosnia has a national central government with a three-person rotating presidency. Each entity - the Muslim-Croat federation and the Republika Srpska - also has its own president and parliament. Each ethnic group has a representative in the central presidency. The Serbs must vote for their Serb representative, whilst in the Muslim-Croat federation, Muslims and Croats may vote for a Muslim or a Croat. The leading Muslim and the leading Croat win positions as the representatives of their ethnic group.
Religious tensions have been rising in Bosnia because of the Islamist, Muslim nationalist and Western, US-led push for constitutional reform which would strengthen the central (Muslim dominated) government at the expense of the entities.
For Islamists, the US-proposed reforms which maintain the Republika Srpska (RS) as an entity don't go far enough. For Serbs in RS, the reforms go too far too fast and threaten to undermine Serb autonomy and return the Serbs to dhimmitude. Islamist Bosniacs, driven by Islamist ideology, are keen to dissolve the Republika Srpska. In response, the Serbs have threatened to hold a referendum on secession rather than live as a Christian minority under Muslim domination. The constitutional reforms and the status of Republika Srpska (RS) were central election issues.
The winners of the national presidential election are polar opposites, creating a conflicted presidency which reflects a conflicted people. The new federal parliament does likewise.
The Muslim representative in the new Bosnian presidency is Haris Silajdzic who was the war-time Foreign Minister and Prime Minister under Islamist President Izetbegovic. Silajdzic campaigned as an advocate for disolving the RS.
The Serb representative is Nebojsa Radmanovic of the pro-West "Union of Independent Social Democrats," the party of Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, who has vowed to hold a referendum on secession if the Muslims press for the dissolution of RS. A Serb referendum on secession is something the Bosniac Islamists have vowed to resist.
As if this does not create enough tension, the Croat representative to the three-person rotating presidency is allegedly not the Croat choice.
The current Croat President, Ivo Miro Jovic, is believed to be the real Croat choice. However, he came in second behind Zeljko Komsic, a Croat who fought with the Bosnian Muslim army against the Bosnian Croat army in 1993 when Bosnian Croats tried to secede from Izetbegovic's independent unified state of Bosnia. Komsic, like Silajdzic, ran on the platform of a unified "anti-sectarian" Bosnia.
Croats (who are about a 14 percent minority) believe Komsic was elected with Muslim votes and will not represent Croat interests. This, along with growing Croat discomfort in the increasingly Islamized Muslim-Croat federation, has reignited Croat calls for a third autonomous ethnic entity to be carved out in Bosnia.
The Roman Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosniacs were both allied to the Nazis during World War Two, joining SS Units tasked with exterminating the "lesser races" Serbs, Jews and Roma in the Holocaust in Yugoslavia. After WWII, both groups were allied to the Communist Partisans led by Tito (a Croat) against the pro-democracy, pro-West Serbs.
However, the post-WWII radicalization of Bosnia's Muslims, from the 1970s, but especially through and since the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, has caused this alliance to become strained over recent years. Many Croats may now feel they have more in common with their Serb former enemies than their Bosniac former allies.
A little over a year ago, Croats in the northeastern Bosnian town of Brcko were forced to appeal to local authorities for protection after they were threatened by an extremist Islamic group from the nearby village of Gornja Maoca. Wahhabi leaders in Gornja Maoca had been calling Catholic Croats "the worst kind of crusaders" and saying they should all be exterminated.
So the 1 October elections have not only polarized the Bosniac and Serb populations (between unity and autonomy), but have also deeply unsettled the Croats. The majority Bosnian Muslims have voted for non-sectarian unity and democracy. It sounds heavenly except that Islamists, modern nominal or liberal or secular pro-European Muslims, and non-Muslim minorities all interpret that quite differently (as Islamic domination, European-style equality, and repressive dhimmitude respectively).
Meanwhile non-Muslim minorities who recoil at the idea of living as dhimmis under Islamic domination are labeled obstructionist, divisive, sectarian and racist.
Dayton's Stabilization Seriously Threatened
We truly are drifting right back into the pre-Dayton and pre-war Bosnia of 1992. And just as in 1992, if Bosnia's Muslim nationalists and Islamists attempt to turn their rhetoric into reality and impose Muslim rule over the Bosnian Serb minority, the Serbs will not submit they will resist. Then the Islamists will cry foul and deploy their ready Army and jihadist forces to an aggressive, offensive "defense" of Bosnia against Serb "aggression" (resistance) and under the banner of "justice." It is all very familiar.
Today, with modern political and religious understanding and post-9/11 knowledge (the links between Bosniac Islamists and 9/11 are now well documented), the West surely cannot support the Islamist agenda to Islamize all of Bosnia and place Bosnian Christians (Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant) in a state of "democratic" dhimmitude.
Peace, religious liberty and security for all Bosnians of all confessions and traditions can only be achieved by means of a lengthy and patient national and international truth and reconciliation process (something the US would doubtless resist), along with the total rejection and absolute abandonment of all Islamist rhetoric, politics and goals (something the Islamists would certainly reject). Without those two things, this conflicted, forced, sham marriage that is post-Dayton Bosnia, cannot last, and lasting peace and true religious liberty will never be the reality.
1) "Missile Hits Bosnia Mosque Ahead of Ramadan Meal" Tue 10 Oct 2006 SARAJEVO, 10 Oct 2006.
www.serbianna.com/news/2006/02424.shtml (has picture)
2) "Bosnia and Herzegovina: Religious Tensions Rising" by Elizabeth Kendal WEA RLC, 20 September 2006.
3) "BOSNIA: To Legally Build a Place of Worship" by Drasko Djenovic, Forum 18 News Service.
4) "BOSNIA: Muslims and Serbs in Rift over Bridge" Sarajevo, 2 August 2006 (AKI).
5) "Nationalist Party Rejects Result of Vote for Bosnian Croat Presidency" The Associated Press. 3 October 2006.
6) "Croats Lack Protection in Bosnia as Islamists Put Threats" 29 Sept 2005.
7) "Serbs block road to Bosnian unity" by Nicholas Walton, BBC News, Sarajevo, 2 October 2006.
8) "Bosnian Official Links With Terrorism, Including 9/11" International Strategic Studies Association, Balkan Strategic Studies, 17 September 2003.
Analysis by Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS [Global Information Systems], with input from GIS stations in the Balkans.
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Persecution of Christians Intensifies Worldwide
Christian communities in the world today are facing genocide (Iraq, Papua), mass imprisonment with extreme violence (Eritrea, North Korea), escalating violent persecution (India, Sri Lanka) and mounting government repression (Iran, Belarus). Many Christians live perpetually at risk from repressive authoritarian forces or Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist pogroms. Persecution of Christians is widespread and intense. Here are some actual 2006 headlines from the sources indicated.AMERICAS
Cuba jails Evangelical church leader (Compass Direct [CD] 3 Mar)AFRICA
Broken-hearted missionaries leave Venezuela (CNN 13 Feb)
Algeria bans Muslims from learning Christianity (Arabic News 21 Mar)MIDDLE EAST & PERSIA
Algeria: severe new penalties for 'proselytising' (WEA RLC 24 Mar)
Worshippers attacked in Egyptian Coptic churches (The Ind. 15 Apr)
Egypt jails Christian convert from Islam (CD 18 Oct)
Sudanese church damaged by arson attacks (CD 3 May)
Anglican Bishop in Nigeria survives fourth attack (CD 20 April)
15 dead in Nigeria as protesters attack Christians (CTV 18 Feb)
Eritrean religious prisoner count tops 1900 (CD 8 Sep)
Two Eritrean Christians tortured to death (CD 18 Oct)
Eritrean police arrest 150 more Christians (CD 30 Oct)
Thousands in Somalia rally for holy war (CNN 14 Aug)
Muslims attack Christians in Henno, Ethiopia (ICC 19 Oct)
Christian neighborhood of Baghdad bombed (CNN 4 Oct)CENTRAL ASIA
In 20 years, there will be no more Christians in Iraq (Guardian 6 Oct)
Decapitated Syrian-Orthodox priest laid to rest in Mosul (AINA 12 Oct)
Iraq: Christians live in fear of death squads (UN IRIN 19 Oct)
Two West Bank churches torched (Aljazeera 16 Sep)
Saudi police arrest four East African Christians (CD 16 Jun)
Christian arrested and imprisoned for his faith in Iran (Voxdei 25 Jul)
Agents arrest daughter of murdered priest (Iran Focus 3 Oct)
Catholic priest shot dead in church in Turkey (Reuters 5 Feb)
Catholic priest knifed in Turkey (BBC 3 Jul)
Converts in Turkey charged under Speech Law (CD 1 Nov)
Kazakhstan: Unregistered Protestants face fines for worship (Forum18 News 8 Sep)SOUTH ASIA
Kyrgyzstan: Intolerance against Christians highlighted by murder (F18 17 Feb)
Turkmenistan: Police beat Baptist with Bible and threaten to hang her (F18 29 Jul)
Uzbekistan: Protestants face guns, beatings, fines and deportation (F18 6 Sep)
Afghan clerics demand convert be killed (AP 23 Mar)EAST ASIA
Pakistani woman raped for leaving Islam (CD 23 Jun)
Pakistan: Fifth church attacked within two months (AsiaNews 4 Apr)
Christian missionaries detained in Jammu & Kashmir (ICNS 14 Feb)
Attacks against Christians rise in Karnataka, India (CD 11 Sep)
India: Family driven from village for embracing Christ (CD 27 May)
Sri Lanka: Pastor beaten up (NCEASL 9 Feb)
Christian churches come under attack in Sri Lanka (Tamilnet 17 May)
Church burned down in Bangladesh (CD 10 Apr)
Itinerant house church pastor murdered in Laos (CD 6 Jan)SOUTHEAST ASIA
Another Christian dies in a Vietnamese prison (ICC 11 May)
North Korea - Religious freedom non-existent F18 29 Mar)
Disabled Anhui house church pastor sentenced to two years for printing Christian literature (CAA 21 Oct)
Chinese authorities demolish church, beat protesters (CD 4 Aug)
A church leader in China draws 7 years (NYT 10 Jul)
30 church leaders and Christians arrested in Sichuan (CAA 30 Jun)
Sulawesi [Indonesia] Christian priest killed (BBC 17 Oct)EUROPE
Mob forces church to close in West Java, Indonesia (CD 28 Mar)
Papua [Indonesia] asylum seekers 'fleeing persecution' (ABC 31 Jan)
Malaysia: Once Muslim, now Christian and caught in the courts (NYT 24 Aug)
Belarus KGB pressures Christian churches (Axis 20 Mar)IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES
Belarus: 19th day of hunger strike - health declines (C97 24 Oct)
Islam takes root in the Balkans (World Press 3 May)
Kosovo church demolished B92, 12 May)
Mother killed after teen rejects Islam (The Australian 12 Oct)
Catholic convert, held in NZ jail, fights return to Iran (NZ Cath. 24 Oct)
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News:During a recent ministry trip overseas, I was presented with some astounding statistics on Muslims coming to Christ. As the sources are involved in restricted access areas, they do not want their names mentioned as sources; neither can I personally confirm the accuracy of these reports.
Gospel Bears Fruit in Iraq and Afghanistan
by Dr. Peter Hammond
Director, Frontline Fellowship, Cape Town, South Africa
However, for your interest and information: I've been informed that there are now over 50,000 believers in Afghanistan. Before the war there were less than 100 Christians in the country. Today there are more than 400 Christian missionaries in Afghanistan, operating in each of the 34 provinces, for the first time in Afghan history. One of the missions involved in Afghanistan claims that there are today over 50,000 Afghan Christians.
Another mission involved in Iraq claims that, in the year before the war in 2003 there were only 3,000 known evangelical Christians in Iraq, and only six evangelical churches. Today there are more than 25,000 Iraqi believers in 25 churches in Baghdad alone. And hundreds of new churches in other areas of Iraq.
Christian author, Dr. Jim Murk (author of Islam Rising The Never-ending Jihad against Christianity) estimates that 20,000 Muslims convert to Christianity each year in America.
Does your church have a program for reaching Muslims? Are you informed on the teachings of Islam and the culture of Muslims? Are you effectively trained in evangelism and prepared for cross-cultural witnessing? If Muslims come to Christ in your area, would your church be able to welcome them into the congregation, and effectively disciple them?
Frontline Fellowship has been revising and refining our Muslim Evangelism Workshop over the last 24 years. We have resources that can assist in effectively witnessing to Muslims, and discipling converts from a Muslim background.
Frontline Fellowship's book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat (128 pages with 110 pictures and maps), includes the Muslim Evangelism Workshop Manual and many helpful and practical chapters and appendixes to enable you to understand Islam and evangelize Muslims effectively.
Frontline Fellowship also has a number of audio CD lectures from the Muslim Evangelism Workshop. Three of the best films produced on Sudan are now available on one DVD (Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust; Terrorism and Persecution Understanding Islamic Jihad; and Three Days in Sudan).
You will find more information on these resources as well as useful articles and links at . . .
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Profile:Morning Star Development is a non-profit community and economic development organization committed to help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country and their lives by offering practical hope and resources.
Morning Star Development in Afghanistan
It focuses on bringing transformational change to the people of Afghanistan through sustainable economic and community development initiatives in the areas of health care, education, agriculture and small business development. It works through strategic partnerships to advance initiatives that improve the quality of life for Afghan people and provide opportunities for local capacity building.
Morning Star's flagship project is building Community Centers to serve villages in the Afghan countryside. Forty or more villages may be served by one Community Center complex. Each center provides services in Health Care, Education, Communications, Agriculture and Recreation services lacked in most of these communities.
You can help:
Volunteers are needed to:
- Sponsor a project.
- Travel to Afghanistan.
- Provide some project funding.
- Collect and ship supplies (medical, seeds, etc.).
- Volunteer . . .
Contact . . .
- work alongside Afghan doctors, nurses, and mid-wives at medical clinics
- teach health education, including hygiene, water sanitation, birthing, infant care and more
- help with basketball, volleyball, and soccer youth leagues and clinics
- help with crafts and other programs for smaller children.
- teach reforestation and vegetable gardening
- help the Morning Star staff with daily radio broadcasting in Pushtun, Dari and English
- teach English, literacy, and computers at the Community Centers and at the Institute for Leadership Development
- help Morning Star's Afghan staff learn better organization, management and communication skills
- help with technology at various offices and the Internet café.
- help with guidance counseling at Kabul University (Any basic counseling experience would be helpful for these students.)
- meet with students participating in the Business Roundtable, Personality Development, Leadership, and English programs at Kabul University
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Web Site for Kurdish Materials
The Genjine web site is a great source of Christian materials for Kurds from Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. The word, 'Genjine,' is Kurdish for treasure. This site offers a treasure of Bibles, films, books and music in earnest prayer that Kurds across the globe will dig deeply into the treasure that God has for them in Christ. The site features a catalog, links to other helpful sites, and guest book for networking Kurds and people interested in them.
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Resource:In celebrating its 125th anniversary Arab World Ministries (AWM) has published a commemorative book entitled The Desert is Alive: Streams of Living Water from Muscat to Marrakech.
Do Muslims Really Come to Christ?
This book is filled with inspiring accounts of Muslim Background Believers and the faithful workers wholed them to Christ.
A tribal leader gets thwarted in his plans to blow up a Christian hospital.
Towhida's family confines her because of her faith in Christ.
Sammy prays for God's mercy on both Palestine and Israel.
These and other stories tell of the great things happening in the Arab world. The desert is really blooming from streams of spiritual living water.
For more information go to . . .
The Reveille Equipper
Volume 10, Number 4 - Fourth Quarter 2006
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