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tv   Christian World News  TLN  April 15, 2013 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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>> wendy: today on christian world news, captive in iran. two young women arrested and jailed in the country's worst prison. they endured seven months of captivity, and now they're telling their story. plus, faith and forgiveness. after a deadly attack nearly
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took their son's life, these parents say they forgive his attacker. and the fight for the family, france becomes europe's latest battleground over gay marriage. ♪ >> wendy: welcome to christian world news. i'm wendy griffith. george thomas is on assignment. in iran, high-profile cases of christian pastors being arrested, imprisoned, and stotortured have put the spotlight on the treament of christians in islamic country. now two iranian women are telling their story. john waggi explains. >> reporter: they were raised muslim in iran, converted in christianity, and studied theology in turkey together. amasadi says she had dreams and visions about jesus. >> i met jesus. he was standing against a
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large stone, which was covered with shining gold. >> reporter: but in 2009, ami zadi and her friend were arrested for sharing their christian faith. they're authors of a new book called "captive in iran," and they told their story this week at a hudson institution panel in washington. >> god gave us this vision to distribute the bible among iranian people. we distributed about 20,000 new testaments in tehran and a new other cities. also, we had two house churches. one of them was for prostitutes, and the other for young people in our own apartment. >> reporter: when iranian authorities arrested them, they were interrogated for an entire day. >> they sent us to a basement. there was a dirty and dark cell in the basement. and they threatened us with physical torture. they said you need to give us all of the information that we need, otherwise we will beat you until you draw blood. >> reporter: the women said the guards didn't
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physically torture them, but they were sentenced to evan prison where pastor saeed abedini is being held and sometimes tortured. >> we were vrve interviewed by interviewers, and they threatened us by execution. >> reporter: they were threatened with hanging by 10 different trials. they were eventually released after christians around the world publicized their case. >> we believe that the first reason we are here today and we are free is god's grace and god's will. and the second reason is support of all christians from all around the world. >> reporter: these two women are urging believers to write letters to iranians in prison for their faith. john waggi, cbn news. >> wendy: a u.s. congressman is calling on president obama to speak up for egypt's persecuted christians. virginia representative frank wolf says the president should forcefully denounce attacks on coptic
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believers. an angry mob through firebombs on christians outside a main cathedral in cairo on sunday, and two christians died. erl liaearlier in the week, five christians were killed in similar incidents. wolf says the attacks will continue until mr. obama speaks out. he says christians are living in free, and many are fleeing the country. and the coptic pope has accused the president of negligence. he says mohammed morsi has broken his promise to protect the christians. joining us is kristina shay, and she is co-author of the new book "persecuted, the global assault on christians." nina, great to have you back on the show. >> great to be back. >> wendy: what should the obama administration do about this increased attack and the increased persecution of christians
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under the muslim brotherhood. >> christians in egypt are in terrible assault. this is the seat of their coptic pope, and if that can be breached, if there can be an all-out assault with grenades and firebombs and tear gas against christians during a funeral, and the funeral was for other christians who had been murdered in an attack against their village, then really no christian is safe. it is a crime to be christian in egypt, in effect. so we have to, as the largest donor to egypt -- we're extremely generous as a country to egypt, both in our direct aid to the military, the economic aid, and to their farm loans, and we need to draw a red line and say these christians must be protected and their murderers must be brought to trial and justice must be served. >> wendy: we saw the incredible story of the two women from iran. and we know others,
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including pastor saeed abedini, are still jailed in iran. why does the regime there fear christianity so much? >> well, they derive their ledg legitimacy from their religion of islam. and they see christians, and becoming a christian, as a threat to their law. the grand ayatollah, of course, started iran, and ayatollah still rules, there is clerical rule. they see this as a very deep threat. and there is quite a bit of sympathy there for christianity among the people. >> wendy: miraculously, toes tw those two iranian women that we saw at the beginning of the show, were freed after a year. saeed abedini still in jail. what can be done to help free these christians that are in prison? >> the women from iran's story was so up lifting and inspiring on so many levels,
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and particularly it taught us, and confirmed for us, we can do something. we can help. we can help with our prayers. we can help by writing, and becoming more informed about these cases, and by writing to our members of congress, and to the prisoners themselves around the world. we have established a new website to make this i's sear. it is called persecutio >> wendy: be sure to go there. and in your book, nina, "persecuted," you say that christians are the most persecuted group in the world. it happens in different cultures and political systems. what is it about christianity that draws so much opposition? >> well, i think it is various nations' inability to live with the religious other. these are christian minorities around the
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world. christians believe in the great commission of spreading the faith, of sharing the faith. and this is done peacefully, and people in china are embracing christianity by the millions. but there is persecution because the governments see it as a threat. and it's extremely tragic and it's extremely tragic that we're not more conscious of this in the free west. >> wendy: i was just going to say that christians here in the u.s., and all over the west, are largely unaware of this phenomena, and in a way we can be thankful for that, but, of course, we need to learn more. so those who want to learn more about the persecuted church can go to your website, that's nina shay, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> wendy: five years ago, a messianic jewish boy in israel nearly died in a series of attacks.
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this week the court sentenced american-borne john titel for those attacks. >> reporter: jack titel walked into the jerusalem courtroom unrepentant. the judge responded with two life sentences in two murder cases and an additional 30 years for other crimes. >> we hope that this heavy punishments will deter an any others who might think of doing any kind of terror activities or participating in such. >> reporter: tetel's reign of terror involved killing two pastors. it nearly killed 15-year-old ami ortiz. merchant yomiraculously, he survived. during sentencing, the judge said his holy work had become dust under his feet, and his actions contradicted
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the values of the jewish state. part of his mission included irradicating jews who believe jesus is the jewish messiah. >> the lord has, in his mercy, has chosen us to suffer for his namesake. and his name should are lifted up, because that's the only thing we can take with us, only jesus. >> reporter: lea ortiz says from the very beginning god told her to pray for the man who tried to kill her son. >> he gave me his love for jack titel. he gave me the love of god to pray for this person. >> reporter: have you and david and the family forgiven jack? >> all of us had to from the very beginning, otherwise we would have been prisoners along with him. we would have been destroyed. we wouldn't have be able to have any type of healing in our lives. >> reporter: and yet they credit the prayers of believers from around the world. >> it was their prayers that
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were able to lift us up and keep us afloat. >> i have never known the lord as emmanuel, as i have through this situation. he has stayed so close to us. we have experienced the body of christ around the world in a way that is unbelievable. >> reporter: david and leah ortiz express relief at the verdict, that he cannot harm other families, and hope one day to visit him in jail to share god's love. chris mitchell, cbn news, jerusalem. >> wendy: thanks, chris. coming up, they called her the iron lady. how margaret thatcher's faith strenthenen political philosophy.
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>> wendy: the united kingdom and the world are remembering the legacy of former british prime minister margaret thatcher. the iron lady died of a stroke at the age of 87. as mark martin tells us, she was a cultural icon.
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>> reporter: it was said that margaret thatcher returned the great to great britain. she burst onto the political scene at the age of 34. in 1979, she swept the conservative party into power and became the first woman prime minister. her political policies were steadfast nave communism, and premarkets. >> i presume this is to enable us to sweep britain clean. >> reporter: former anglican archbishop george perry knew her very well. >> she was a fabulous person, very convicted about what she thought was right for the country. she polarized public opinion. in the end, we'll look back on her particular history and to say that actually woke us up. and we're stronger for her leadership. >> reporter: her christian faith was embodied in her political beliefs in the
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policies she pursued. she famously quoted from st. francis of assissi's prayer of peace. where there is discord, may we bring harmony, where there is error, may we bring truth. where there is doubter doubt, may be bring faith. >> she was a very christian believer. she was saying, these are the values i want to live my life by. you know. and she was -- she attended services. she was a very faithful christian. >> reporter: thatcher found a kindred spirit in president ronald reagan, and had a famous moment during the first golf war when she instructed a vacillating president george bush that it was no time to go wobbly, george. she gained a nickname which she wore with pride. >> the iron lady of the western world. >> reporter: she led
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britain to victory when the falklands. still, thatcher's legacy remains entact, in the united kingdom and around the world. >> ladies and gentlemen, i'll be leaving for the last time, after 11 and a half wonderful years. and we're very happy to leave the united kingdom in a very well state from when we came here 11 and a half years ago. >> reporter: mark martin, cbn news. >> wendy: incredible lady. christians around the world are sending their love and prayers to american pastor rick warren and his family following the death of his son. matthew warren took his own life after a long battle with mental illness. charlene israel has the story. >> reporter: pastor rick warren gave thanks for the support he and his wife kay have received, following the suicide of their 27-year-old son. warren tweeted to his nearly
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one million followers: "kay and i are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words. you are all encouraging our broken hearts." matthew warren took his life at his mission viejo home in what his family says was a momentary wave of dispair. to his 20,000 members of the saddleback church says his son ended his life after a life-long battle with mental illness. church members remember matthew as a kind and gentle soul. >> he was a talented, creative young man. >> reporter: but warren said his son fought a lonely battle with depression. he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. in spite of america's best doctors, medicines, the torture of mental illness never subsided, said
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warren. he marvelled the his son's courage to keep on living in his darkest moments. i'll never forget how many years ago after another approach had failed to give relief, matthew said, "dad, i know i'm going to heaven. why can't i just die and end this pain?" millions of americans face a similar fate. the centers for disease control estimate that around 3.4% of americans suffer from depression, and roughly 40,000 people commit suicide every year in the united states. meanwhile, pastor warren is asking for prayers and support for him and his family. a role reversal for the man who has led so many others through dark times. evangelist and pastor greg laurie, who's son was killed in an accident in 2008, offered his support to the family. "at times like these, there really are no words, but there is the word. there is no manual, but there is emmanuel. god is with us.
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i know the lord will be there for all of the warren family and saddleback church, as they grieve together, looking forward to that day when god will restore all things." charlene israel, cbn news. >> wendy: up next, some say it's about human rights. others say it is about destroying christianity. the fight that is dividing francece creashtt creaeat imlsh
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>> wendy: iewrg way is now
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the third country in the americas to legalize gay marriage. 71 out of the 92 members of the county's chamber of deputies voted in favor. it is called the marriage equality project. it will allow gay couples to come to the south american country just to mayor. uruguay's president is expected to put it into effect before the end of this month. canada and the argentina are the only two other countries where gay marriage is legal. france appears to be the next nation looking to legalize gay marriage. despite objections from the church and even homosexual groups, the socialist government is pushing its agenda to redefine the family. dale hurd reports from paris. >> reporter: in the streets of paris, christians kneel and pray, asking god to deliver france from a same-sex marriage bill they believe amounts to a new french revolution, certain to become law. it would not only grant
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homosexuals the right to marriage, but the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. it has been legalized in 12 nations so far, most in the western world. and it has been partially legalized in an additional three nations, including the united states. france will be next. >> all we're asking for is to have the same rights as everybody. the right to get married or not. >> i've been with my boyfriend for the last 20 years. we have a very normal life. we have the same rights as straight people have. we pay our taxes. we are raising a little girl the best we can. >> reporter: the socialist government of francois hollande will essentially destroy and redefine the traditional institution of marriage for the benefit of a relatively tiny part of the population, as is the case in most western nations, homosexuals account for less than 5% of the population in france. so opponents of france's same-sex marriage law see it as a cynical ploy by a
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socialist government to use what is billed as a human rights issue to destroy the traditional family and christianity. alana is president of the catholic organization, sinidus. >> it is obvious that the government has declared war on christianity. marriage is between a man and a woman. if today we decide that marriage is for gays, tomorrow we will have polygamy. >> reporter: and antwan renard says the hollande government is using children to carry out its social revolution. >> for example, the minister of education said in writing, that has been sent to all education directors, that the government is committed to use the young people to change the ma mentalitys. can you imagine? it is almost a war declaration. use our children to change our minds. >> reporter: but not all
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oppose the same-sex marriage law for religious reasons. a widely held view among atheists is that it is unnatural and will hurt children. opposition to france's gay marriage law has brought together a fascinating coalition of christians, atheists, and homosexuals. emmanuel ducomp is with the gay group, homovox, and he says the gay bill goes too far. >> it goes too far in the sense that it makes the majority of the population live under a law that has been cut for the minority, which i don't consider fair. we have two parents of different sex. whether we are heterosexual or homosexual, there can't be two parents of the same-sex. it is not natural. >> reporter: protestors gathered in paris last week to stand against
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antihomosexual violence, after a gay man was severely beaten when he and his boyfriend were walking through an immigrant section of paris. violence against homosexuals has seemed to have tripled. and some fear it will bring more street attacks from france's growing muslim population. while a slim majority in france support same-sex marriage, they do not support homosexual couples adopting children. but the bill is almost certain to become law anyway. these protestors believe the france they knew, that upheld traditional family, is slipping away. and, indeed, it is. dale hurd, cbn news, paris.
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>> wendy: finally today, some virginia college students are working overtime to deliver on a big promise they made to orphans in india. after a mission trip last year, the regent university students promised to build the boys a home. they've already purchased the land, and recently the
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christ for india team set sale on a dinner cruise to raise some money for the building. they were joined by pastor r. abraham from india. the new boy's home will be part of his growing ministry. he says the students' work is part of a big revival he is witnessing in his country. pastor abraham says the church has grown from 40 people to more than 3,000 in six months. that's fast growth. and that's our report for this week. thanks so much for joining us. from all of us here at christian world news, until next week, good-bye and god bless you.


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