Friday, May 04, 2012Download All Stories
House hearing recounts Chen's heroic stand for the unborn
WASHINGTON (BP) -- A member of the U.S. House of Representatives has reminded government leaders that the international ordeal Chen Guangcheng is currently facing was prompted by China's brutal "family planning" policy that includes forced abortions and unwanted sterilizations.'Among China's many coercions and tyrannies, (the one-child policy) is the one that touches the most Chinese.' -- Rep. Chris SmithMeanwhile, the Chinese government said Friday (May 4) that Chen may apply to study abroad, and the U.S. State Department confirmed that Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children.
Chen, a 40-year-old self-trained lawyer who has been blind since childhood, was imprisoned and then placed under house arrest for exposing the barbaric nature of China's one-child policy. In one of the most tragic examples Chen had helped uncover, the government forced a woman who was seven months pregnant to have an abortion, and then forcibly sterilized her, LifeNews.com reported.
In his opening remarks at an emergency hearing Thursday (May 3) that later included an impromptu phone call with Chen, Rep. Chris Smith, R.-N.J., characterized the Chinese human rights advocate's story as "extraordinary and inspirational from the beginning."
"Blinded by a childhood illness, Chen pushed past profound barriers to school himself in Chinese law and to become an advocate for the rights of the vulnerable, including disabled persons and rural farmers," Smith, chairman of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, said.
"Years later, when local villagers told him their stories of forced abortions and forced sterilizations, Chen and his wife Yuan Weijing documented these stories, later building briefs for a class-action lawsuit against the officials involved."
The couple's efforts led to international news media attention in 2005, Smith said, and "their challenge to China's draconian population control policies spurred harsh and extended official retaliation including torture and beatings."
Congress has examined China's population control policies repeatedly, Smith noted, but the practices continue.
"China's government sometimes paints a false picture for gullible foreigners that the policy is somehow being eased, but the few exceptions they permit do not fundamentally modify its rough, harsh, brutal and ugly character," the congressman said.
Smith explained that family planning officials in villages and neighborhoods "maintain an extreme vigilance to exterminate" unborn children the government does not approve.
"The English phrase they use is 'family planning,' but the plan is not the family's plan but the state's plan," Smith said. "... When an out of plan birth does take place, they impose crushing fines on the couple. All unwed mothers are compelled by the state to abort.
"Among China's many coercions and tyrannies, this is the one that touches the most Chinese -- especially women who are victimized and the girl-child who is murdered in the womb or at birth," the congressman testified. "It was when Chen Guangcheng challenged these horrific violations of women's rights that the hammer fell."
For the past seven years, Chen and his family have paid a dear price for his advocacy efforts, Smith said. Refusing to back down, Chen escaped from house arrest April 22 in order to seek help at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Read More
Iranian pastor's attorney headed to prison
TEHRAN (BP) -- Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani's attorney -- called by many a hero for his representation of religious minorities -- has been convicted and could begin serving a nine-year sentence soon in a development that will leave Nadarkhani without a lawyer. Read More
Bill targets Vanderbilt policy; gov. pledges veto
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says he plans to veto legislation aimed at forcing Vanderbilt University to abandon its nondiscrimination policy. Read More
Amid Katrina, Baptist association ralliedNEW ORLEANS (BP) -- When Hurricane Katrina crashed against the shores of Louisiana in 2005, floods deluged New Orleans, washing away houses, businesses and churches as well as the hope of many. Yet in the wake of catastrophic destruction, Southern Baptists found an opportunity to shine amid the darkness and help rebuild the Big Easy.
Baptist associations & local church cooperation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- When a Vermont pastor's father became deathly ill, the pastor called the Green Mountain Baptist Association. Like many pastors in the state, he works another job to make ends meet. Unable to pay for the long trip home to be near his father, he needed compassionate counsel from a trusted colleague in ministry.
"Within minutes of his phone call, I was able to send out a plea to all our pastors," Terry Dorsett, director of missions and church planting catalyst with th... Read More
SBC Executive Committee, boards, commission, seminaries, committee nominees announced
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Nominees to serve on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, the four denominational boards -- International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources and GuideStone Financial Resources, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the six seminaries and the Committee on Order of Business -- have been selected by the 2012 SBC Committee on Nominations.
Nominees will serve if elected by the messengers to the annual meeting of the S... Read More
Wright appoints Committee on Committees
NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Appointments to the Southern Baptist Convention's Committee on Committees have been announced by SBC President Bryant Wright. Wright, pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, GA, announced the appointments in accordance with SBC Bylaw 19 which requires that their names be released to Baptist Press no later than 45 days prior to the annual meeting.
The Committee on Committees will assemble in New Orleans just prior to the SBC annual meeting, June 19-20, to nomi... Read More
CULTURE DIGEST: Faith-based movie to warn about online predators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- A faith-based movie warning parents and children about online dangers will be filmed in part at Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and is set to debut in theaters this fall.
[QUOTE@left@180='Finding Faith' portrays how a model family can be torn apart by tragedy and rebuilt by faith.]"Finding Faith," based on actual events about a girl falling victim to an online predator, portrays how a model family can be torn apart by tragedy... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: Chuck Colson's greatest legacy
Columnist Kelly Boggs says Chuck Colson's many worldly accomplishments pale in comparison to Colson's legacy of faith -- the fact that, as Colson put it, God didn't begin to use him until he had "lost everything" he thought made "Chuck Colson a great guy." Read More
FIRST-PERSON: America's moral fabric is ripped
Columnist John Yeats says the prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service, as well as the media's slanted reporting of it, are a sign that America is a "nation in trouble." The immorality of the conduct, Yeats says, rarely was mentioned. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: La Importancia del Discipulado
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- "No me elegisteis vosotros a mí, sino que yo os elegí a vosotros, y os he puestos para que vayáis y llevéis fruto, y vuestro fruto permanezca; para que todo lo que pidiereis al Padre en mi nombre, él os lo dé (Juan 15:16). Read More
Los judíos en Sudamérica no están fuera del alcance del Evangelio
ARGENTINA (BP) -- Marcus Floyd* está muy interesado en alcanzar a los judíos sin estar en Israel o en los Estados Unidos.
Él los encuentra mientras pasan por el sendero inca en Sudamérica, a través de Machu Picchu, a través de las festividades del famoso Carnaval de la región y rumbo a Argentina.
"Viene aquí para desconectarse de la responsabilidad, ver la belleza de esta tierra y hacer lo que quieran porque no están en casa," dijo Floyd. "Y cuando llegan aquí, están muy abiertos a la conversación."
Cerca de 50,000 turistas judíos pasan por Sudamérica cada año en sus vacaciones, dijo Floyd, un obrero cristiano que vive ahí con su esposa Jane*.
"Hay ciertas ciudades donde uno de cada tres turistas son israelíes, y ciertos campamentos donde reciben a miles de israelíes cada año," dijo Floyd. "Dios ha estado conectando las piezas, y estamos encontrando maneras para alcanzarlos -- como ofreciendo transporte desde el aeropuerto, proveyendo lugares donde vengan a descansar y les damos biblias."
Los turistas no son los únicos judíos con quien interactúa Floyd -- también lo hace con las comunidades judías ya establecidas.
"Aquí hay barrios y comunidades judíos con letreros en hebreo y comida judía, y pueden ir allí y sentirse en casa," dijo Floyd.
Es posible ser un judío que crece en Sudamérica y sólo tener contacto con otros judíos, ir a escuelas de judíos, hospitales de judíos, y comprar ropa y alimentos en barrios judíos y a través de amigos judíos, dijo Floyd. Read More
El Seminario Golden Gate se une a seminario mexicano
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) -- El Seminario Teológico Bautista (GGBTS por sus siglas en inglés) ha entrado en un acuerdo de asociación con el Seminario Teológico Bautista Mexicano. Read More
Día de Oración puede haber sido el más grande hasta ahora
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Los estadounidenses observaron el Día Nacional de Oración reuniéndose en miles de lugares a lo largo y ancho del país en lo que se prevé fue la mayor observancia en sus seis décadas de historia. Read More
China aumenta medidas enérgicas en contra de las casas culto
WASHINGTON (BP) -- El gobierno chino está poniendo en marcha una campaña de tres fases para erradicar las casas culto protestantes, según informó ChinaAid Association. Read More
COMPENDIO CULTURA: Película sobre la seguridad online tendrá tema cristiano
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Una película basada en la fe que advierte a los padres y a los hijos acerca de los peligros online será filmada en parte en Thomas Road Baptist Church (Iglesia Bautista Thomas Road) y Liberty University (Universidad Libertad) en Lynchburg, Virginia, y está programada para estrenar en cines este otoño.
"Encontrando Fe," basada en hechos reales acerca de una chica que cae víctima de un depredador online, presenta cómo una familia modelo puede ser destrozada por la tra... Read More