THE AID AGENCY FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
IN THIS ISSUE
Pakistan Bringing joy to suffering Christians
Day of Prayer Intercede with Barnabas for the persecuted Church
Salvation in Christ the Lord
s a b s a d r n r a a C B as e m t s i Chr
This year you can spread the messa age g abo b ut the work rk of Barnabas Fund as you bless s your frie end nds and famiily with Christmas greeting gs. s We have e created Christ stma m s eCards tha h t can be emailed for free to your loved ed ones, along ng with a pe personalised message. There are three e diffe erent Chris i tmas designs to choose ffrrom om, and the cards include ea brief message ab bou o t ou o r work along g with a Bible verse.
The paper used in this publication comes from sustainable forests and can be 100% recycled
To send the Christmas eCards to your fam mililyy an nd friends, simply visit our website at www. w barnabasfund.org/christmas-car ardss and fill in your yo u details, choose the design you wo ould lilke and supp pply ly the h email address of the re eci cip pient. Th hiss is a qu uic ickk and ea easy way to o spread the word about supp ab porting ng the e per e se ecu cuted Ch Church, wh while reme m mberin ing your u lov o ed ones this Christmas time.
Front Cover: This Pakistani Christian woman has received support from Barnabas Fund following the floods of 2010-11 Page 16: Source: Fergal of Claddagh, OP, Flickr.com 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 VersionÂŽ. 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. ÂŠ Barnabas Fund 2012
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR
Martyred for Blasphemy
ecember 26 is celebrated in Britain and many other countries under the rather mysterious name of “Boxing Day”. There are various theories about the origin of the name, mainly linked to the tradition of giving gifts to servants on this day. But Boxing Day has now developed into a sport and spending spree with little connection to the events of the previous day. Instead of being a day of reflection on the enormity of the incarnation and its implications for spiritual life, growth and development, it has become one of pleasure and indulgence. In some Christian traditions, 26 December is called St Stephen’s Day after the first Christian martyr. The Church, having rejoiced in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus, is faced at once with the cost of following Him. Stephen was martyred on a charge of blasphemy (Acts 6:11). He used words that offended his hearers, and they silenced him by death (Acts 7:56-58). Likewise it was the accusation of blasphemy that was used to silence his Lord and condemn Him to death (Mark 14:64). Today blasphemy is much in vogue. The past few months have seen Islamic rage across the world as Muslims have felt offended by comments about their prophet. While we totally condemn all abuse of religious leaders, the charge of “blasphemy” or “offence” should not be used to curtail freedom of speech and conscience, nor injured feelings as a reason to destroy property and lives. Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code specifies the death penalty for defiling the name of Muhammad, and Section 295-B prescribes life imprisonment for desecrating the Quran. Many Christians in Pakistan have suffered under this iniquitous “blasphemy law”, and rightly there are calls for its abandonment. Yet today the cry is going
up for similar laws to be enshrined not just in national law but even at the United Nations. These laws are in no way to be equated with, for example, Britain’s essentially toothless blasphemy law. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has for years been working to pass UN resolutions to combat the “defamation of religion”. But support has been dwindling as other countries realise the alarming implications of not being able to criticise religions. So the OIC has moderated its demands, seeking now to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief”. It is of great concern, therefore, that Christian leaders are also seeking a ban on the defamation of “persons (such as prophets) … deemed holy by people of faith”. This call was made in a recent letter from an Anglican archbishop in the Middle East. What price freedom, liberty, conscience? Are these to be sacrificed on the altar of hurt religious sensibilities? Recently churches have been torched and Christians killed because Muslim feelings are hurt. How can Muslim feelings be worth more than Christian lives? By its apathy, the world seems to agree that Muslim feelings are worth more than Christian lives. Was it acceptable then for the High Priest and the Sanhedrin to soothe their hurt feelings by taking the lives of Stephen and of Christ? For Christians the offence of the cross brings with it humiliation and shame. So we rejoice and glory in our sufferings – hurt feelings, destroyed property, even death – knowing that these are for the Lord. This does not mean that Christians should not seek justice, for it is right that people should be protected under the law. But ideas are another matter.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo International Director
7 Compassion in Action Airlift of Christians from Sudan begins
Newsdesk Pakistani Christian girl accused of blasphemy
Equipping the Church What does the Bible say about salvation?
13 Campaigns How you can help to proclaim freedom Spotlight “I felt privileged to meet these Christians”: visiting projects in Pakistan Barnabas International Day of Prayer Join us in praying for the persecuted Church
14 Biblical Reflection Celebrating the coming of the Lord In Touch Christmas cards and gift cards
14 BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 3
COMPASSION IN ACTION
how barnabas £7,498 for emergency feeding (US$12,103; €9,385)
£40,000 (latest grant) for food, medicine and other necessities (US$65,000; €50,000) £9,500 to help victims of church attack (US$15,400; €11,800)
Prompt help for church attack victims in Kenya
A glimpse of hope for Christians in Syria
Pakistan: feeding displaced Christians following blasphemy accusation
Barnabas supplied medical items to help the injured Christians
“[Your support] has been a big source of help and a glimpse of hope for many who feel left alone to face the worst,” wrote a Christian partner in Syria about the difference help from Barnabas Fund is making.
At night at a secret location made known only to the Christians, 300 of the displaced Christian families were given cooked meals, enough to eat for two days, through a grant from Barnabas. A few days later the same Christian families each received a food package at the same location, which gave them enough to eat for one month at a cost of £25 per family.
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
Barnabas Fund is providing thousands of Syrian Christians with food, children’s milk, medicines (often for heart conditions or diabetes), personal hygiene items, money for rent and other essentials. Tens of thousands of Christians have fled their homes amidst violent fighting between government troops and opposition forces and have been left without work or income. Many have experienced targeted intimidation because of their faith. The price of many basic commodities has also risen two- or threefold since the crisis began.
Medical items and equipment were promptly bought with the grant by a local ministry to care for the wounded. Grieving family members were helped with the burial costs of many of the victims. And food was provided for affected families. Project reference 00-1032
Hundreds of Christians fled in a panic from their homes in Maherabad village, Islamabad in August, after mobs of local Muslims violently attacked them and started looting their houses following the false blasphemy accusation against Rimsha, a young teenage Christian girl with Down’s syndrome.
Project reference 00-345 (Victims of Violence Fund)
Meeting together at a secret location
Timely and life-saving surgery was also provided for a church elder, who had sustained gunshot and blast wounds to his chest. After the operation, a local project coordinator wrote, “The prognosis is amazing! Only Christ could have helped his situation and we truly thank you for funds that enabled us to save this one life from the terrorists’ bullets.”
Project reference 00-345 (Victims of Violence Fund)
Barnabas Fund responded immediately after two churches in Garissa, Kenya, were attacked by suspected al-Shabaab militants in July. At least 17 people were killed and around 65 injured.
Assembling food packages
COMPASSION IN ACTION
Your support is making it possible for us to help Christians around the globe as they pass through particularly difficult times and to bring some hope to those whose suffering for their faith is part of their daily lives. Highlighted here and on the following pages are news and updates from just a small selection of the many projects we support. Please pray as you read. £5,524 for flood relief (US$8,981; €6,877)
£780 for building and equipping church (US$1,270; €970)
Prayers answered during floods in Bangladesh
£1,623 for school fees (US$2,620; €2,032)
Burma: a school year without pressure to convert
Thailand: building for a refugee congregation Bivash with emergency food and medicines
Parents of 59 Christian children in rural, western Burma (Myanmar) were delighted to see their children embark on a year at a regular government school in June, made possible by Barnabas Fund, who paid the school fees.
A group of Christians from the Karen people in Burma (Myanmar) fled to Thailand to escape the Burmese army’s violent campaign. But they had to leave the land where they had built a church when the authorities refused to renew their lease. In April they started building on a new site by transferring materials from their former building. They got as far as preparing the ground, erecting posts and putting on a roof, but they did not have the funds to complete the work. Project reference 75-1065
The parents, who are impoverished farmers and belong to the predominantly Christian Chin minority, were extremely relieved that their children were saved from attending Buddhist monastery schools. Their children would have had to live at the monasteries, away from the family homes. Or they would have gone to free government schools for minority groups, which are used to coerce Chin children to convert to Buddhism. At these schools Christian students are prevented from practising their faith; they are frequently forced to shave their heads and wear monastic robes or beaten for failing to recite Buddhist scriptures.
Using a grant of £786 from Barnabas they were able to buy cheap building materials. Knowing that their church might have to be moved again when their new lease expires, they used bamboo for the walls, sand and rocks for the foundation, and cement for the floor. They also bought chairs and a table, and 50 Bibles for the congregation.
He had shared with a visiting local pastor the serious problem faced by his family and had asked for prayer. Exceptionally heavy monsoon rains had made it impossible for Bivash to work the farmland, either where he was employed as a daily labourer, or his own small plot of land. Their money had run out, and he could no longer buy food for his family. The relief from Barnabas came soon after. Bivash’s family was one of 300 Christian families, many of whom are converts from Islam, in southeastern and north-eastern parts of Bangladesh who received rice, dal (lentils), soya bean oil, salt, sugar, antibiotics and saline for rehydration thanks to Barnabas Fund. The supplies were enough to feed them for one month.
Project reference 00-634 (Disaster Relief Fund)
The opening ceremony of the new church
Project reference 75-763 (Aid for persecuted Burmese Christians)
Children in Burma about to go to school
“I was full of joy when receiving this food. We always depend upon God and He is giving us strength to stand firm in faith,” said Bivash, after receiving a bag full of food and medicines through Barnabas Fund in a direct answer to prayer.
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 5
COMPASSION IN ACTION
Spotlight on Central Asia Equipping a new generation of leaders The coordinators of a Bible school in Central Asia recently realised that they had to change their strategy. When they started the school three years ago, they had invited all the senior Christian leaders of their country together for training. But the risk that a police raid during a class would result in all the country’s main leaders being imprisoned at the same time proved too great.
During the classes someone would always be on alert to signal that a new person had entered the church in case the person was a secret agent.
Instead, they decided to focus on equipping younger leaders so that they could take on new responsibilities if more senior leaders were arrested, a danger that is increasing each year as the government steps up its attacks and searches. Last academic year 42 students attended evening classes for three evenings a week at the school, where they received knowledge and skills that they needed for their ministries, thanks to funding from Barnabas.
A Bible school in Moldova, also supported by Barnabas Fund, has a vision to train the future Christian leaders of Central Asia. Many of their students come from Central Asia, and some graduates are now involved in ministry at two underground training centres founded by the Bible school. Barnabas Fund also recently sent support to a Bible school in Kyrgyzstan, where 83 students, many of them converts from Islam, are being trained.
The students were so eager to learn more that the organisers decided to extend the school by a month and a half. Barnabas Fund recently sent a grant to fund the 2012-2013 academic year as well.
Realising that they are not alone Besides supporting Bible schools, Barnabas Fund also encourages and equips Christian leaders in Central Asia through conferences and seminars. Participants at a four-day conference in Kyrgyzstan in March were greatly encouraged to discover that they are not alone in the problems they face and that many fellow-pastors are struggling with the same needs. Most of them are converts from Islam, as are the members of their small, isolated congregations. And so they face much harassment from local Muslims. Since the
conference one group of pastors from the same district, who did not know each other before, have started to meet and pray together. In Tajikistan 60 students with a Muslim background are receiving training for two days at a time, four times a year, from experienced church planters, with the help of Barnabas Fund. The aim is to help them plant or lead churches of Muslim converts.
Students at a Bible school listen attentively to their teacher
Bible schools: • £10,000 in Central Asia (US$16,300; €12,400) • £25,000 in Moldova (US$41,600; €31,100) • £7,987 in Kyrgyzstan (US$12,897; €10,000) Conferences: • £2,680 in Kyrgyzstan (US$4,360; €3,330) • £6,200 in Tajikistan (US$10,100; €7,700)
Worship during a conference in Kyrgyzstan
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
Project reference 00-430 (Leadership Training Fund)
COMPASSION IN ACTION
Barnabas rescue mission 2,000 Christian women and children airlifted from danger in Sudan
£347,000 (US $562,000; €434,000) to provide flights for 2,000 Christian women and children from Khartoum to Juba £33,217 (US $53,789; €41,575) to provide essential supplies for Christians at the Malakal returnee camp Christian women and children helped by Barnabas to return home to South Sudan
September Barnabas Fund began a major rescue operation to airlift 2,000 of the neediest, most vulnerable Christians stranded and endangered in Sudan to safety and a new life in South Sudan.
After a number of significant obstacles were overcome, the first of 12 chartered flights departed from Khartoum for Juba on 19 September. The rescue mission is ongoing. About two-thirds of the women are widows. Hundreds of thousands of people of Southern origin were stripped of their citizenship of the strongly Islamic Sudan after the independence of the mainly Christian South Sudan in July 2011. Many of the Southerners living in the North had fled there during the long and bitter civil war in which the South was completely ravaged, its infrastructure destroyed and two million people killed. After Sudan told them to get out of the country, Southerners began making their way home, but the poorest and most vulnerable remained trapped in a place that is increasingly hostile to their presence.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has made it very clear that the Christians are not welcome. He has said that the country’s next constitution will be 100% Islamic and has promised to strengthen sharia law. When anger flared in Sudan over the American film Innocence of Muslims, threats were made against Christians in Khartoum. As well as facing danger, the impoverished Christians were living in dire conditions in makeshift shelters on the outskirts of Khartoum for many months, without the resources to help themselves. But now, having been taken to safety, they are embarking on new lives in the mainly Christian South Sudan. They were welcomed at temporary reception facilities set up by the South Sudanese government in Juba before moving on to extended family connections around the country. They also received practical support from the Church in South Sudan. The plans to evacuate the 2,000 Christian women and children were praised by the South Sudanese ambassador in Khartoum. We and our partners,
Africa Inland Church – Sudan, have worked closely with him on this challenging rescue mission. In addition to paying for the 2,000 flights – at a cost of about £175 (US $283; €219) per person – we also sent a grant to help other Christians arriving, many of them on foot, at the Hai Salaam returnee camp in Malakal. This was used to provide food, cooking utensils, mosquito nets, canvas and plastic sheeting for shelters and other essential items.
Our partner in Malakal said the help was “well received with heartfelt thanksgiving and God’s name was blessed richly and lifted high for remembering them through this journey”.
Project references 48-1078 (airlift) 48-1056 (aid for returnees)
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
FRAMING OF CHRISTIAN GIRL FOR BLASPHEMY HIGHLIGHTS WIDESPREAD PERSECUTION PAKISTAN: In an incident that graphically highlights the plight of the beleaguered Christian minority in Pakistan, Rimsha Masih, a young Christian girl with Down’s syndrome, was falsely accused of blasphemy in August. Rimsha, whose age is estimated to be around 14, spent three weeks in a maximum-security jail before she was bailed on 7 September. Rimsha, from Maherabad village, Islamabad, was originally accused on 16 August of burning pages of a copy of Noorani Quaida, a booklet used for learning the basics of the Quran. After details of the accusation were broadcast over the loudspeakers of the local mosque, Rimsha, her family and other Christians in the area were subjected to brutal violence; they were beaten and their houses were torched. Most disturbingly, the imam of the local mosque, Qari Khalid Jadoon Chistti, even called for Rimsha to be publicly burned. Hundreds of Christians were forced to flee the area, as they were unable to stay in their homes or buy groceries owing to the vitriolic Muslim reaction to the case. Barnabas Fund is helping them with their practical needs. In a dramatic twist, however, the assistant imam and two other witnesses later came forward and alleged that Chistti had planted the burnt pages in the ashes found with Rimsha. Chistti has since been arrested and was charged with blasphemy himself. Several Muslim groups in Pakistan have come out in support of Rimsha, in an unprecedented display of solidarity. She is also the first person to be given bail for blasphemy in Pakistan, but this may be because she is a minor. Rimsha’s treatment has attracted international condemnation. This case comes as Aasia
Bibi, who was falsely accused of making derogatory remarks about Muhammad in 2009, is still in a Pakistani prison as she awaits her appeal against a death sentence. Aasia is able to see her family only on rare occasions. Two Pakistani politicians, who were prominent critics of the “blasphemy law” under which both Aasia Bibi and Rimsha Masih are charged, were assassinated last year. Christians and other minorities
are part of a rising tide of Islamic extremism that has fuelled many incidents of unprovoked violence against non-Muslims in recent years. Furthermore, a recent report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) shows a significant increase in the amount of “hate material” targeted at Christians and other religious minorities. Drawing a link to the Rimsha Masih case, the NCJP’s Peter Jacob said that such
An estimated 700 Pakistani Christian girls are kidnapped annually and forcibly married to their Muslim captors. The police often do little to protect Christians, whether from violent attack, sexual assault or forced marriage, and few of those responsible are brought to justice are very vulnerable to being accused under the law, which demands the death penalty for anyone who is found guilty of “defiling the name of Muhammad” and life imprisonment for desecrating the Quran. The laws are
material must be eliminated from textbooks, otherwise similar incidents would continue to happen. Vulnerability under the “blasphemy law” is only one part of the wider climate of persecution and discrimination
Barnabas Fund is supporting Christian families who have fled violence in the area after Rimsha’s arrest
often misused, fuelled by prejudice against Christians and other nonMuslims. Violent attacks following such accusations are common, and
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
endured by Christians in Pakistan. Another serious challenge is the kidnap, forced marriage and forced conversion of Christian women and
girls. An estimated 700 Pakistani Christian girls are kidnapped annually and forcibly married to their Muslim captors. The police often do little to protect Christians, whether from violent attack, sexual assault or forced marriage, and few of those responsible are brought to justice. While the “blasphemy law” and the attacks on women and girls are the two issues that cause the greatest fear and distress, Pakistani Christians also face frequent discrimination in education and in the workplace. They are often from the lowest economic strata of society, and families can remain trapped in poverty because their members are denied employment opportunities. Christian young people face great pressures at school and – for the few who can go on to further study – also at university. This can include being failed in their exams, enduring strong pressure to convert to Islam, and occasionally even violence. Christians can find that employers refuse to hire them because of their faith, and that even when they are given a job they are paid less than a Muslim doing the same job or denied promotion. Political representation for Christians is also a major problem. Separate electorates were established for non-Muslim minorities in 1979, which diminished their political participation, and although these were later abolished, the growing influence of Islamist groups has ensured that Christians remain marginalised. During emergencies in Pakistan, such as the severe flooding in 2010-11, discrimination can mean that Christians even miss out in the distribution of aid. Please turn to pages 12-13 to read about the projects that Barnabas Fund supports in Pakistan.
ISLAMISTS CALL FOR CHRISTIANS TO BE KILLED EGYPT: Fears for the safety of Christians in Egypt have intensified as President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood begins to assert
and legislative control, limiting the power of his opponents. Morsi has since been removing rivals to his power, installing Islamists in several
“all brothers and sisters…kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah– the Christians in all of Egypt’s provinces” his authority. Jihadi organisations have distributed leaflets calling on “all brothers and sisters” to “kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah – the Christians in all of Egypt’s provinces”. A monetary reward was offered for those who obeyed. There have also been calls from Islamists for state monitoring of church finances. These calls come as President Morsi has gone back on promises of an inclusive administration. On 12 August, he seized full executive
prominent positions, and silencing media critics by replacing editors of major state-owned newspapers and taking TV channels off the air. A new report, by an Egyptian Christian human rights activist and a professor from George Washington University, has also found that Christian women in Egypt are more vulnerable since the Arab Spring uprising to kidnap, forced conversion and forced marriage.
CHRISTIANS KILLED AS BOKO HARAM CONTINUES WAR NIGERIA: In the latest in a continuing series of violent incidents targeting Christians, at least 20 people were killed in a gun attack on a church in Kogi state on 6 August. On the same day, an evangelist was shot dead in Borno state. Although no-one has yet claimed responsibility for these attacks, the Islamist group Boko Haram has previously carried out many acts of violence against Christians and other targets in their campaign to create an Islamist state in Northern Nigeria. The murdered evangelist, Ali Samari, had been warned previously by Boko Haram militants to leave his property. The Kogi attack targeted Deeper Life Church in Otite, in the Okene region. A group of gunmen stormed an evening service, blocking the exits and opening fire on those trapped inside. Fifteen people died at the scene and five subsequently in hospital, while many were wounded. Kogi state, in the country’s Middle Belt, is more
southerly than the locations of most previous Boko Haram attacks. This raises fears that their campaign may soon spread into the predominantly Christian South. Although some Islamic leaders in Nigeria have urged Boko Haram to cease their violent activities, measures by the Nigerian authorities have as yet been unsuccessful in curbing them. The reluctance of the US State Department to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist group has also compounded fears that the attacks will not be effectively counteracted. Barnabas Fund and the Westminster Institute sponsored the recent visit of Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Dikeriehi Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, to Washington D.C. During this visit he challenged the US policy on Nigeria, which considers that Boko Haram is motivated by poverty and marginalisation rather than by the religious motives that Boko Haram themselves have often declared.
CHRISTIANS CONTINUE TO SUFFER IN SYRIA CONFLICT SYRIA: The humanitarian crisis facing the large but vulnerable Christian minority in Syria continues, as several predominantly Christian areas have come under attack. On 28 August a car bomb targeted a funeral procession in Jaramana, a suburb of Damascus mainly inhabited by Christians and Druze. At least twelve people, five of whom were children, were killed and around 50 were injured in this attack, which Syrian state media has attributed to “terrorists”. Many Iraqi Christian refugees live in Jaramana. In a particularly sustained and
targeted assault, 12,000 people in the predominantly Christian town of Rableh were under a blockade for two weeks. Snipers from anti-government forces shot down anyone who tried to leave, killing three men, and residents suffered from a shortage of food and medical supplies. A predominantly Christian area of Aleppo was also hit by heavy fighting in early August, and churches joined forces in a united relief effort. Christians are particularly at risk during the civil war as the opposition forces, and the militant groups that back them, believe them to be
government supporters. Since the conflict began, tens of thousands of Christians in Syria have lost their homes and been driven out of their cities, leaving them without basic supplies. Barnabas Fund is helping displaced Christian families within Syria and in other countries with food, medicine, money for rent and other essentials. If the conflict leads to an Islamist takeover, the violence against Christians is likely to intensify. Many believe that they have no alternative but to flee their homeland.
This church orphanage building in Homs has been badly damaged by the violence
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 9
FEEDING APPEAL Barnabas supports longterm feeding programmes in: • Burma (Myanmar) • Egypt • Holy Land • Iraq • Kenya • Pakistan • South Sudan • Zimbabwe
Feed a Christian Family “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11)
illions of Christians who suffer pressure and persecution go to bed hungry every night. These brothers and sisters live with food shortages to a degree that most of us cannot even imagine. In many parts of the world, discrimination, violence and displacement trap Christians in crushing cycles of hunger and debt.
Long-standing discrimination can keep Christian families in poverty. In countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, Christians may be denied the exam result or job that could lift their family out of hunger. Even when they are hired, Christians are often paid less than a Muslim doing the same job and may be denied promotion. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which children cannot go to school because their families are poor, and their lack of education then leaves the next generation stuck in poverty. Hunger can also be a result of having to flee from violence. In the last two decades hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon due to increasing anti-Christian
aggression in their own country. Unable to get jobs, once their savings run out, many cannot afford to buy enough food for their families. Then this year, as Syria too has descended into chaos and civil war, tens of thousands of Syrian Christians have been displaced from their homes and are in urgent need of food and other basics. The lives of very poor Christians are extremely precarious. If the breadwinner in a Christian family is killed or imprisoned, or has to go into hiding, their family can go hungry as a result.
Barnab Bar nabas nab as is i hel he pin ping Saim im ma Mas asih and her famil mily, mil y, who we w re displaced fro om thei heirr home home o as a result u of anti-Christian vi v ole ence c in Is Isla la abad lam
How you can help Barnabas Fund works through local churches to provide food parcels to Christians in need. Between June 2011 and June 2012 we helped feed 60,000 Christians in long-term projects. For example: Food parcels from Barnabas give
For example, Pakistan’s “blasphemy law” is often used against Christians. If a Christian is arrested for blasphemy, there are often threats or violent attacks against their family or the whole of their local Christian community. Barnabas is helping the families of Aasia Bibi and Rimsha Masih, who were both arrested under this law. Aasia’s family has had to go into hiding, and Rimsha’s Christian community has been driven from their village. Having lost their incomes, they are at risk of going hungry. Barnabas is supporting them with food parcels.
per month helps a needy family in Pakistan with nutritious food
1,177 Christian families in Pakistan enough to eat every day. Robin Masih, whose family had to flee their home because of the violence following Rimsha Masih’s arrest, said “Being a Christian it is our faith that Jesus Christ is our Provider. Yes, it has been proved that He is our Provider! We are thankful to Barnabas Fund.”
per month helps to support a displaced, persecuted family in Syria
Barnabas is also helping Christian families in Syria who are suffering in the violent conflict there.
Can you help us to feed a Christian family? Either a one-off or a regular gift of whatever you can afford will make a real difference to hungry Christian families.
per month can provide milk powder for a child in Syria
Global food crisis Around 925 million people worldwide do not get enough to eat. With the recent sharp rise in food prices, this figure could increase further. Experts fear the possibility of another food crisis similar to that of 2007-2008, which saw a record increase in the global number of hungry people. The current price rise was caused by droughts in 10 BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
both the American midwest and Eastern Europe, which have led to a dramatic increase in grain prices. The World Bank estimates that global food prices jumped by 10% in July 2012. A statement by three UN food agencies, released on 4 September, called for an immediate response, saying: “We need to act urgently to make sure that these price shocks do not
turn into a catastrophe hurting tens of millions.” People in poor, food-importing countries will be the hardest hit, and this is not a temporary issue. Food price spikes are a symptom of an underlying vulnerability caused by weather, population increase and the fact that only a few nations are large producers of food staples.
EQUIPPING THE CHURCH We co We continue on ntin nue e our o r series se eriies s on on key k y teachings te ea ac ch hings s off the th he Christian Ch hriistian n faith fa aitth by by looking lo ook kin ng in i this thi t is s issue iiss sue e at a the t e doctrine doc ctriine e of o salvation. salv s vattio on.
What does the Bible say about salvation?
hat must I do to be saved?” The question of the Philippian jailer to Paul and Silas (Acts 16:30) is one of the most important that anyone can ask. It presupposes three fundamental claims about our human condition: that there is something from which we need to be saved, that we need someone else to save us, and that there is something we must do in order to be saved. Much of the Bible, especially the New Testament (NT), is devoted to expounding these statements. The Christian view of salvation marks Christianity off sharply from other religions and philosophies. Some of these would not even pose the jailer’s question, because they deny all three of the statements above. Others would frame the question differently, perhaps asking instead how we can be enlightened or what we must do to save ourselves. Still others would ask the same question but give very different answers to it. For example, Islam affirms that people need salvation from the judgment of Allah, and that in order to obtain that salvation they must fulfil certain obligations laid down by Allah. But although these general assertions reflect a superficial similarity between Christianity and Islam, when we look beyond them to Islam’s more specific teachings, major differences rapidly emerge. Moreover, Islam cannot accept that we can or need to be saved by someone else, but believes that we must save ourselves. Thus the Muslim and Christian doctrines of salvation prove on inspection to be vastly different. In this article we shall look briefly at key elements of NT teaching on salvation, organised in three broad areas: What are we saved from (and for)? Whom are we saved by? And what must we do to be saved? We will then contrast this with Islamic doctrine to identify the key points of difference, which must be borne in mind when sharing our faith with Muslims. We begin, however, with some general comments about the language of “salvation” in the NT.
the Old Testament (OT) by God. This theological usage incorporates the two ordinary senses of the word mentioned above, namely rescue and restoration; divine salvation includes both the releasing of people from danger and the repair or renewal of their health and life. But it extends the idea of well-being and wholeness to embrace the whole person, and it is sometimes associated with the life of heaven or the life of the age to come. It comes from the heavenly and supreme ruler/s of the universe, and in the OT from God Himself. Our discussion of salvation in the NT will focus particularly on Paul, in whose writings this language is most concentrated, and on the first three (Synoptic) Gospels and Acts, where it is generally less dominant but more varied. Additional perspectives will be provided from other NT writings.
What are we saved from (and for)?
For Paul the terms relating to salvation almost always refer to God’s action in Christ to rescue people from sin and its destructive consequences, and the beneficial results of this. In other words, he uses them as general descriptions of the blessings brought to human beings by the Gospel (Romans 1:16). Salvation has both negative and positive aspects for Paul. Negatively it involves deliverance from God’s condemnation and wrath at the final judgment (1 Thessalonians 1:10; cp. Romans 8:1), and from the power of evil in the present through the gift of the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; cp. Romans 8:4). Positively it includes being conformed to the image of God’s Son in His resurrection (Romans 8:29; Philippians 3:21) and entry into the heavenly kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13; 2 Timothy 4:18). In 1 Corinthians 1:18 “being saved” is contrasted with “perishing”; it is a process of escaping from death into life. Salvation also has past, present and future dimensions for Paul. In one sense it is something that has already been accomplished for us when we became believSalvation in the Bible ers (Romans 8:24; Ephesians 2:4-7). In another sense it is In the language and time of the NT the various terms a continuing process, to be experienced in the present (1 relating to deliverance (“save”, “saving”, “salvation”, “Sav- Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 6:2). And in still another iour”) often appear in secular contexts. Sometimes to “save” sense it is a future event to be enjoyed when Christ appears someone is to rescue them from life-threatening danger and (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9, cp. 1:10; Philippians 3:20), somebring them into a state of safety and well-being. Elsewhere thing that is nearer to us now than when we first believed “salvation” is a synonym for healing, denoting the means or (Romans 13:11). process by which a sick person is made healthy again, or In the Synoptic Gospels the language of salvation their resulting state of health and wholeness. It commonly also refers to the benefits received through the Gospel. refers to the benefits brought by a human ruler, and in NT Jesus announces the good news of the kingdom of God, times specifically to those provided by the Roman emperor. which involves the defeat of Satan and his rule; so salvaBut the vocabulary of salvation was of course also tion is the deliverance of those held captive by Satan from used to refer to deliverance brought about by gods, or in all the forms of evil in which he binds them.
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What does the Bible say about salvation? The Synoptics echo Paul’s emphasis on deliverance sinners is said to be His purpose in coming into the world from sin and entry into the kingdom of God. Jesus’ mission (1 Timothy 1:15), and He will bring it to completion at His is to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), and coming again (Philippians 3:20-21). salvation includes the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28; God puts salvation into action through His call (2 Luke 1:77; cp. Acts 10:43). Jesus and His disciples equate Timothy 1:9), which He issues through the preaching of entry to the kingdom with being saved (Mark 10:23-26). the Gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:1-2; Ephesians 1:13). Salvation also brings light and peace to its recipients (Luke This in turn is supported and made effective by the min1:78-79) and involves a new way of life in fellowship with istry and lifestyle, and even the sufferings, of those who Jesus (Luke 19:1-10) and in the service of God (Luke 1:74). proclaim it (Romans 11:14; 1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 2 CorThe other senses of salvation – rescue and restora- inthians 1:6). Salvation is achieved progressively through tion – are much more common in the Synoptics and Acts the Scriptures and Christian teaching (2 Timothy 3:15; 1 than they are in Paul. The language is used for deliverance Timothy 4:16). from various kinds of danger, including physical peril (Acts In the Synoptic Gospels and Acts the role of Sav27:34), enemies (Luke 1:74), Saiour is again ascribed to both God tan (Matthew 6:13) and death Jesus thus brings the salvation that and Christ. God is the Saviour of (Matthew 27:43). It also refers to God has prepared for all peoples. His people (Luke 1:47), and He healing, in the wide sense of pro- His mission is to seek and save the acts in might to fulfil His covemoting physical life and health: lost and sinners nant promise of salvation for them whether curing of disease or in(Luke 1:51-55). Indeed, only His firmity (Acts 4:9-10), release from demonic oppression sovereign power is able to save (Mark 10:26-27). But God’s (Luke 8:36), restoration to community life (Luke 17:11-19), saving intervention is made in the coming of the Messiah or raising from death (Luke 8:50). and Lord who exercises God’s own function as Saviour on But these dimensions of salvation are not seen by His behalf (Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31). the Gospel writers as something distinct from or subsidiJesus thus brings the salvation that God has preary to Jesus’ work of saving people from sin. Rescue from pared for all peoples (Luke 2:30-32). His mission is to seek danger and restoration of wholeness are part of the salva- and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and sinners (Luke 19:7; cp. tion that He has come to bring, and Jesus’ acts of healing Matthew 9:13). Salvation is effected through His death and deliverance symbolise a saving process that involves (Matthew 26:28) and resurrection (Acts 13:26, 37-39). The the whole person (“Your faith has saved you,” Luke 7:50, book of Acts says explicitly that salvation is found in noemphasis added). one else, because there is no other name by which to be Again like Paul, the Synoptics and Acts speak of saved (Acts 4:12). salvation as something that is both future and present. On The rest of the NT explicitly affirms many of these the one hand it is associated with the final judgment and claims. God is the Saviour (James 4:12; Jude 25), and so the renewal of all things (Matthew 19:25-29) and is realised also is Jesus (John 4:42; 2 Peter 1:1); the book of Revelation (for some disciples at least) on the far side of death (Mat- attributes salvation interchangeably to God and to the Lamb thew 10:21-22). But on the other hand, although it belongs (Revelation 7:10; 12:10; 19:1). Jesus is sent by the Father to the last days (Acts 2:17, 21), these days are already here with the specific mission of saving the world (1 John 4:14). (Acts 2:32-33), such that people can be saved in their own Salvation is accomplished through his death as an atoning generation (Acts 2:40) and today (Luke 19:9). sacrifice (1 John 4:10; cp. 1 Peter 2:24) and also through The rest of the NT reflects the same perspectives His resurrection (1 Peter 3:21; cp. 1:3). It is administered with only differences of emphasis. Eternal salvation from through the Gospel message (Hebrews 2:3; 1 Peter 1:12, sin and judgment remains primary (Hebrews 5:9; James 23) and nourished by preaching and teaching (1 Peter 2:2). 5:19-20; 1 Peter 4:18), although its positive aspect is deThe letter to the Hebrews provides some especially scribed in various ways, including eternal life (John 3:16- rich reflections on the role of Christ as Saviour, using some 17) and sharing in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Occasion- terms and concepts scarcely used elsewhere in the NT. Thus ally the words can also refer to rescue (Jude 5) or healing Christ is presented as the author and source of salvation (James 5:15), though here too these references are inte- (Hebrews 2:10; 5:9). His saving death (Hebrews 9:28a) grated within the wider view. Most of the writings place is effective because He is the great high priest who ofsalvation mainly in the future (Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:5; fers Himself as a perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 8:1-2; 2 Peter 3:15, Revelation 19:1), whereas John emphasises 10:11-18). As the risen one He is able to save completely its present reality (John 5:24). those who come to God through Him, because He is always alive to pray for them (Hebrews 7:25). And He will come Whom are we saved by? a second time for the salvation of those who wait for Him For Paul both God and Christ are the agents of salva- (Hebrews 9:28b). tion; indeed, in the Pastoral Epistles each is given the title It is important to note that by referring to both God of “Saviour” (1 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:10). Salvation and Christ as “Saviour” the NT writers were posing an is by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8) and mercy (Titus 3:5), indirect challenge to the claims of the contemporary Rowhich means that He takes the initiative to accomplish it. man emperors to be the saviours of the world. Rescue from But it is also received through and in Christ (1 Thessalo- danger, restoration to wholeness, deliverance from human nians 5:9; 2 Timothy 2:10), and specifically through His evil and all its harmful consequences: all these could be death and resurrection (Romans 5:9-10). The salvation of derived ultimately and perfectly not from the emperor or
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What does the Bible say about salvation? any other human ruler, but only from God in Christ. The But again as in Paul, the Gospel writers indicate that emperor might style himself as a god, but his claim to pro- one’s possession of salvation has to be confirmed by one’s vide salvation was still empty, as no object of worship apart lifestyle and continuing commitment to the Lord. Followfrom the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ could save. ing Peter’s confession of faith in Him, Jesus declares that it is those who say no to self, who relinquish the things of What must we do to be saved? this life and even life itself for Him, and who associate The letters of Paul indicate that God’s salvation is themselves with Him even to the point of death, who will intended for and available to all people (1 Timothy 2:4; be saved (Mark 8:34-38, esp. v. 35). And His announcement Titus 2:11). At the heart of Paul’s understanding of the that salvation has come to the house of Zacchaeus is made Gospel of Christ is that salvation is for Jew and Gentile in response to the tax collector’s undertaking to give half alike (Romans 11:25-26), and is provided to them on the his possessions to the poor and make multiple restitution same terms (Romans 1:16-17; cp. 3:22, 29-30). However, for money he has defrauded (Luke 19:8-10). this salvation is not actually obtained by everyone (Romans The rest of the NT affirms many of the above points, 9:27); a human response is needed to the call of God in though generally more briefly or only in passing. In John’s the Gospel. Gospel the universal offer of salRomans 1:16-17 is a keyThe Good News of Jesus Christ is vation is emphasised: salvation note statement of Paul’s view of the power of God for salvation to is from (and for) the Jews (John the Gospel. Here he declares that all who believe 4:22), but Jesus is also the Saviour the Good News of Jesus Christ is of the world, including those bethe power of God for salvation to all who believe, first to the lieved by the Jews to be excluded from God’s favour (John Jew and also to the Greek (or Gentile). Through the Gospel 4:42; cp. 4:9). The general letters affirm that salvation is God saves everyone who has faith, without making any by faith (1 Peter 1:9; cp. Hebrews 10:39), but they also distinction based on religious, ethnic or social background. associate it with baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21) and sanctificaThe message has this power to save believers because in it tion (2 Peter 3:14-15), suggesting again that saving faith God’s righteousness is revealed – His faithfulness to His is expressed in action. This idea is confirmed by James’ covenant promises – and because that righteousness is ef- blunt insistence that faith is unable to save in the absence fective only through faith (“by faith from first to last”, NIV). of deeds (James 2:14ff.). Later in Romans, quoting the prophet Joel, Paul defines this faith as calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13), Salvation and Christian mission probably a dual reference to God and to Christ. The above overview of NT teaching enables us to Yet despite his strong emphasis on faith as the means identify the many differences between the Christian view of being saved, Paul can also call upon his readers to work of salvation and those of other religious groups and philoout their salvation in fear and trembling, because God is sophical schools. For example, the NT emphasis on being at work in them to will and to do what is pleasing to Him saved from sin and judgment contrasts with the Buddhist (Philippians 2:12-13). Elsewhere he ascribes the blessings claim that the greatest human need is for enlightenment of salvation to those who do what is good (Romans 2:9-10) from ignorance. The NT’s locating of salvation in the fuand suggests that these can also be forfeited (1 Corinthians ture and heavenly kingdom of God is very different from 9:24-27). Salvation is indeed by faith, but by faith working the Hindu idea of multiple reincarnations within this age through love (Galatians 5:6). and world. And the NT acknowledgment of our dependIn the Synoptic Gospels the salvation brought by ence upon God and Christ for salvation stands against the Jesus is offered mainly to Israel (Luke 1:68-69; Matthew humanist view that all human ills must (and perhaps can) 10:5-6). But He notably crosses the boundaries laid down be cured by humans alone. within Israel between the righteous and sinners, in order to Islam strongly affirms two of the three statements extend God’s salvation to the latter (Luke 7:50, cp. v. 39; with which we began: that there is something from which Mark 2:17). And even before His death and resurrection we need to be saved, and that there is something we must there are hints and foreshadowings of the inclusion of non- do in order to be saved. But the Muslim understanding of Jews as well (Luke 2:31-32; 17:16-19). The commission- both of these statements is very different from the NT one, ing of the disciples by the risen Lord in both Matthew and and Islam denies that we need someone else to save us. Luke includes references to “all nations” (Matthew 28:19; Luke 24:47), and in Acts the Church’s mission is associated What are we saved from (and for)? explicitly with the sending of salvation to both Israel (Acts In Islam salvation is understood entirely in terms 13:26) and the Gentiles / end of the earth (Acts 13:46-47). of deliverance at the final judgment, a deliverance that The Gospels and Acts confirm Paul’s assertion that involves both escaping the torments of hell and admission salvation is by grace (Acts 15:11) and through faith (Mark to the pleasures of paradise. The Day of Judgment is one of 10:52; Luke 8:48). The faith that is effective for salvation the six Muslim articles of faith, and Muslims believe that involves recognising Jesus as the agent of God who is able on this day the eternal destinies – salvation or hell – of all to save (Mark 5:27-28, 34; Luke 17:11-19; cp. Matthew people will be determined by Allah (Q 23:102-103). 8:8-10). In Acts, as in Paul, it amounts to calling on the But the Muslim idea of deliverance from final judgname of the Lord (Acts 2:21) and also to believing in the ment is limited by comparison with that of the NT. The Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31) in response to the Gospel message positive aspect of future salvation described in the Quran – that brings salvation (Acts 11:14). heaven as essentially a place of sensuous delights (Q 56:11-
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What does the Bible say about salvation? 38; 88:8-16) – lacks any sense of our being conformed to the divine nature and character, which Islam’s insistence on the absolute uniqueness of Allah is unable to accommodate. Moreover, there is no present (or past) dimension to the Muslim doctrine of salvation. We are not set free from the power and effects of sin here and now, through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit; the idea of present rescue or restoration from evil is noticeably absent. Another sharp distinction between Christian and Islamic teaching on the nature of salvation lies in the importance attached to forgiveness. There is very little in the Quran about forgiveness, and it is not guaranteed to anyone. This uncertainty reflects the Muslim view of Allah’s role in salvation and of how salvation is received (see below).
and pilgrimage to Mecca. There are other duties that a good Muslim is expected to carry out, and also a range of forbidden actions. On the Day of Judgment good and bad deeds will be weighed in the divine scales. Those whose good deeds outweigh their bad ones will enter paradise, though most will have to spend some time in hell first as punishment for their sins. Those whose bad deeds are heavier will be consigned to hell for ever. No-one can tell if their good deeds will be greater than their bad, or how Allah will make the assessment (see above). It is too simple to say that the NT teaches salvation by faith alone while Islam offers salvation only by works. We have seen above how the NT writers affirm that saving faith is faith that works itself out in love and good deeds; and Islam also requires something it calls “faith”, defined Whom are we saved by? Islam has no concept of grace. It does affirm a role as “confession with the tongue and belief with the heart”. for Allah in salvation, but this is essentially that of revealing But this confession is of the Muslim creed, that there is no his commands to the prophets and supremely to Muham- god but Allah and that Muhammad is his prophet, which is mad; aside from this he takes no very different from calling on the initiative to save people. Nor does Islam denies the need for any divine name of God and of Christ. he need to do so, because Islam act of redemption and reconciliation Also no place is given to denies the need for any divine act such as the death and resurrection the performance of ritual acts in of redemption and reconciliation of Christ the NT’s teaching on obedience such as the death and resurrection to God, nor to the weighing of of Christ. good against bad deeds in its account of the final judgment. Because Islam denies that Jesus is the Son of God Instead, it declares that those who put their faith in God or one of the persons of a divine Trinity, it gives Him no through Christ and express it in ongoing faithfulnss to Him role in salvation except that of a prophet, whose role was may be assured of salvation in the present and the future. to teach people to submit to Allah. It denies not only the saving power of His death, but even that He was crucified Conclusion at all (Q 4:156-158); Muslims believe that Allah would not The Christian doctrine of salvation set out in the NT allow one of his prophets to die a shameful death. describes God’s comprehensive provision in Christ for On the Muslim view, Allah is absolutely sovereign sinful and broken humanity. Its analysis of our need for and omnipotent, and does whatever he pleases. So although salvation, God’s action in Christ as our Saviour, and what Islam lays down a particular way to salvation (see below), we must do in order to be saved, offers an all-inclusive, assurance of obtaining it is impossible for anyone except assured and accessible solution to our plight. It is neither martyrs, as no one can predict what Allah may choose to captured by nor consistent with Islamic teaching on salvado: he forgives whom he pleases and punishes whom he tion, which offers a much lesser blessing, bestowed by an pleases (Q 2:284). Furthermore, many Islamic traditions arbitrary divine decree, and conditional on the performance teach a strong version of predestination in which Allah of religious ritual. To understand the difference is essential guides whom he wills and leaves others to stray (Q 35:8). to effective Christian mission to Muslims. These ideas are far removed from the NT picture of a graBut the difference should not surprise or disturb us. cious and faithful Saviour God, who initiates, effects and Just as in the 1st century the NT claim that God and Christ completes the salvation of His people in Christ. are the Saviour was an effective challenge to the claims of the Roman emperors, so in the 21st century it inevitably What must we do to be saved? challenges and subverts the claims of the god of Islam, and Salvation in Islam is obtained through the perfor- indeed of all the other “gods” and “lords” in our day who mance of good works and religious rituals. The Quran claim to provide salvation. In our mission as well as in our and hadiths (traditions about Muhammad and his earliest worship, we should expect to confess God and Christ as followers) prescribe five obligatory duties for Muslims to the only Saviour of the world. perform: confession of faith, prayer, fasting, almsgiving
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BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
Will you help us proclaim freedom? The Proclaim Freedom campaign is well under way as Christians throughout the world join in pursuit of greater hope and freedom for our persecuted brothers and sisters. The campaign aims to raise the profile of the persecuted Church around the world. It calls on governments to promote human rights, religious freedom and justice in other countries for all minorities, but especially for the roughly 200 million Christians living in contexts of persecution, discrimination and disadvantage. It also puts pressure on governments to ensure that other countries hold accountable those who incite or engage in anti-Christian hatred or violence. Barnabas Fund’s Proclaim Freedom campaign aims to press Western governments to promote freedom of religion, human rights and justice in other countries, especially for the millions of persecuted Christians, and for those who incite or engage in anti-Christian hatred and violence to be held accountable.
Proclaim Freedom petition – last opportunity to gather signatures! We give thanks to the Lord that at the time of writing more than 23,000 people have signed our Proclaim Freedom petition. We are closing it on 31 December, so we would like to encourage you to use these last few weeks to gather as many further signatures as you can. The more we have, the greater impact we can make. A copy of the petition sheet is enclosed with this mailing. Please feel free to make photocopies of this. Alternatively the form can be downloaded from www.barnabasfund.org/sign-the-petition, where the petition can also be signed online. Signed petition sheets should be returned to your nearest Barnabas office (addresses on back cover) before 31 December.
Proclaim Freedom will succeed only through prayerful dependence on the Lord, who alone can give release to His suffering people, but we all have an important role to play in praying and taking action on their behalf. Below is a list of ideas of how you can help support the campaign. Please consider how you can get involved, and let’s proclaim freedom together!
1. Visit the special Proclaim Freedom section of the Barnabas Fund website to get started. Alternatively, call your nearest Barnabas office for more information. 2. Show the Proclaim Freedom video in your church service. 3. Request a Proclaim Freedom wristband and/or lapel pin badge for your own use and make some available at your church (£1 each or £9 for 10). 4. Consider providing a special Barnabas Fund money box that could be used in conjunction with the wristbands and lapel pin badges. Also make available free bookmarks and persecuted Church postcards from Barnabas Fund. 5. Download or request the Proclaim Freedom petition and share it with your church. 6. Use the sample letter on our website to write to your elected representative.
The Proclaim Freedom campaign calls upon governments to: • recognise that Christians around the world currently face unprecedented levels of persecution and are one of the most persecuted groups in the world • put the plight of persecuted Christians, both individually and as communities, at the forefront of their relations with the countries concerned • promote freedom of religion for all, using diplomatic relations, bi-lateral ties, aid, and agreed international obligations on core human rights • promote justice for all and specifically to ensure that those who incite hatred or act violently against Christians are held accountable for their crimes
7. Invite people you know to set time aside on 1 November to pray for the persecuted Church either individually or as a group, join the event on Facebook, download a copy of the Prayer Guide and tell us what you have planned on our interactive map on our website. 8. Consider holding a Suffering Church Sunday in November (or any Sunday that is preferable for your church). Don’t forget to order a free Suffering Church Sunday pack, designed to equip your church for this occasion. 9. Tell us what your church is planning for Suffering Church Sunday by posting it on our interactive online map. 10. Consider how the new children’s resource, Brothers and Sisters: Loving our Persecuted Family, could be used to support the Proclaim Freedom campaign, either on Suffering Church Sunday or by holding a special children’s event focused on the persecuted Church.
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 11
SPOTLIGHT SPOT SP OTLI LIGH GHT T
A Barnabas Fund staff member visits a range of projects in Pakistan supported by Barnabas Fund a appy at nd ha e s protected an Gulshan feel s the safe house
Safety for the victimised had become dark outside when we finally pulled up at a large house at the end of a cul-de-sac. We had been driving through a dizzying number of back alleys, twisting and swerving around crowds of ambling people, donkey carts and auto rickshaws. A curtain flicked back briefly on the first floor, revealing the silhouette of a young woman anxiously checking who was coming. We had arrived at a Barnabas Fund-supported safe house for Christian women and children.
Sparse-looking but immaculately clean rooms and stairs led us to a spacious first floor, which we were told is the living room of six women who are living at the safe house with three of their children. Simple wooden crosses hang above doors leading to two shared bedrooms and a large kitchen. Gulshan, a dignified-looking young woman, regularly glances away while she tells us the events that brought her here. Four years earlier at age 16 she was raped by a Muslim man in the presence of two other Muslim men. Her family filed a complaint, and the man was arrested. A medical examination proved that she had indeed been raped by the accused. He was sentenced to a prison term, which he is now sitting out. But after the sentence Muslim neighbours tried to pressurise Gulshan to withdraw her accusation. The risk that they would kidnap her and force her to retract her statement at gunpoint became so great that she had to go into hiding. “I prayed a lot during that time,” she said, “and asked God that I can stay strong in my statement.”
Reference number 41-980 (Pakistan General Fund)
Even though the circumstances that have brought the six Christian women together are difficult and sad, they seem to enjoy spending time together. Gulshan says, “I like living here at the safe house. It feels as if I’m at home. ”
12 BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
At the safe house she is learning to sew. “The training in sewing will give me a respectable earning while living at home. No harmful incidences can happen to me at home. I often read Psalms because I feel as if some have been written especially for me. They give me strength and the knowledge that God is with me.”
Accused of blasphemy CLAAS, the Christian ministry that shelters Gulshan and the other women and their children, also provides legal assistance to Christians. Barnabas Fund supports their intrepid legal work for Pakistan’s Christian minority, who often face injustice and rarely receive proper legal representation. I met Munir Masih at the CLAAS office. He is a serious-looking man of 35, who is husband to Ruqqiya. At the time of the meeting his wife had been in prison for almost four years, sentenced to life imprisonment for desecrating a Quran in their home. Munir and their six children have been living in hiding all this time after receiving threats that Muslims would kill them because of their association with Ruqqiya. Munir told me that before the blasphemy incident he had a good job as a businessman, but now he can often find work for only a couple of days in the month as a daily labourer, earning a pitifully low wage. Barnabas Fund has been providing him and his family with monthly food packages. “The food from Barnabas Fund is a big support,” Munir said. “I can feed my children and am very thankful.” Since I met Munir, Ruqqiya has been unexpectedly cleared of the blasphemy charges in the High Court with help from CLAAS. Although this is joyful news and an answer to prayer, the family will remain in danger of attack for the rest of their lives and in need of practical help just to survive.
“We have an aim”
Thousands of other Christian families in Pakistan are receiving monthly food packages thanks to Barnabas Fund. The majority are not dealing with the life-threatening circumstances that Munir’s family are in, but their lives are precarious for other reasons: decades-long discrimination has trapped them in a cycle of illiteracy and poverty.
One evening we joined a large meeting of pastors who are all receiving support from Barnabas Fund. Many had travelled for hours on motorcycles to be there. Just as the main speaker started reading from the Bible, a familiar, tinny wail could be heard over loudspeakers; a nearby mosque was issuing the Muslim call to prayer. It highlighted one of many injustices, great and small, that Christians have to face in Pakistan, namely that only Muslims may use loudspeakers.
Akran and Nusrat, a cheerful young couple, have come with three of their children to their church to pick up the bags of rice, flour, oil and other food items. The pastor who coordinates the monthly food distribution told me that Akran is a choir master and knows many beautiful Christian songs. But, they told me themselves, both are illiterate because they grew up too poor to be able to go to school. Their house consists of just one room. Although they work long hours, their joint income is not enough to support their family. Nusrat can find work only as a cleaner in a Muslim household. “Working in a Muslim house isn’t easy,” she explains to me. “They keep on telling us that our faith is no good. I have no choice but to listen to them.” The food support that they have been receiving from Barnabas Fund for a year and a half is making it possible for the couple to send their children to school for the first time. Their oldest son, Daud, is now attending a Christian school. He has expressed a desire to become a pastor. And the parents are even thinking ahead about showing Christian love to others in need. “We have an aim,” says Nusrat brightly and decisively. “Once our children are educated, we want to help other people by giving them food.”
Safe to be a Christian child There was not time enough to visit all 34 Christian schools that Barnabas Fund currently supports in Pakistan. But the five we visited provided a good overview. To visit one in a rural area, we had to travel several hours on lonely, dusty roads, seeing just an occasional group of people working in the fields or water buffaloes lumbering after their owners. A collection of light-coloured buildings suddenly loomed up on the horizon, and I was told they housed a Christian community, living close together for protection.
Tarbele, an evangelist, came to talk with me. Speaking with much emphasis and conviction in his deep voice, he told me that he had grown up in a wealthy Muslim household, but that he had had many questions about eternal life. Only a Christian evangelist had been able to answer them satisfactorily. This conversation led him to dedicate his life to Christ and to become an evangelist himself, despite the many risks. “I am threatened every single day,” he said, looking at me with penetrating eyes. “My life is always uncertain.” And yet he continues to go to market places and on buses and trains to tell the people the Good News. “When talking to Muslims I compare the Quran and Bible and tell them who gave the right answers about forgiveness of sin and salvation.” Through his work 21 Muslim families have found the Lord. He also pastors a congregation of 150 families.
Diverse help On our trip we met many other Christians in Pakistan who are being helped by Barnabas Fund in a variety of ways. Christian students are attending university with scholarships from Barnabas Fund; Christian publishers are producing culturally relevant Christian training material in Urdu to equip thousands of Christians; Christian women in rural areas are receiving healthcare instruction and are learning skills such as sewing and weaving. I felt privileged to meet these Christians and see them strong in their faith despite very difficult circumstances. They, in turn, responded with joy when hearing that Christians in the West care about their problems and are praying for them.
Classes were underway as the principal showed us around the large school building. It was exhilarating to see classrooms full of Christian children hard at work in their neat uniforms, and to know that this school is a place where the children can openly express their Christian faith without fear of contempt or harassment.
Perffor Per form ormi ming a Chriistia min s n song with
A street scene in Pakis
DAY OF PRAYER
Barnabas International Day of Prayer for the oughly 200 million Christians live in contexts of pressure and persecution. This means that around 1 in 10 Christians face the possibility of violence, poverty and discrimination because of their faith. Their needs are acute, and they greatly value our prayers. A Barnabas Fund project partner in Egypt said: “Please keep us in your prayers. We believe that our mission does not only work through projects but extremely needs lots of prayer to seek the Holy Spirit working into peoples’ hearts. We cannot thank you enough.”
Barnabas Fund is holding a Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Thursday 1 November. We are encouraging Christians worldwide to dedicate time on this date to praying for our brothers and sisters who suffer because of their faith in Christ. Christians from all around the world will be taking part, from Romania to Bangladesh, from the Philippines to the United States, and from Malawi to Malaysia. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to come together in prayer as one international body of believers in support of our Lord’s suffering family. So please do join us in prayer on Thursday 1 November, and get your friends at church involved too.
How can I get involved? “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). It is easy to get involved with the Day of Prayer.
• Link up with a group event in your area. The map on our website makes it easy to find and join in with a prayer event. The number and varied locations of events around the world that have already been registered with us is an inspiration for our prayers.
• Commit to praying as an individual on this date. You can join our Facebook event or Twitter feed to connect with others who are doing the same. Updates will be posted throughout the day, and those praying can share their ideas and prayers with others.
• There is still time to plan your own prayer event if one is not yet organised near you. Some suggestions are offered below for how your event could be set up.
• Come to our International Prayer Summit in London (for details see below).
Resources Whether you are praying individually or in a group, a Prayer Guide, including a timetable with information on individual countries, will be available to help you. Every half an hour a country is suggested for you to pray for, with some background and specific prayer points. The fact that this will be used across time zones means that each country will be repeatedly lifted up to the Lord. There are several ways by which you can access the Prayer Guide:
• Order free of charge from your local Barnabas Fund office (addresses can be found on the back page of this magazine) • Download from our website (www.barnabasfund.org/scs) • Follow the prayer requests as they appear on our Facebook and Twitter feeds on the day Other resources include: • Our Lent prayer booklet, which gives more detailed profiles of countries to pray for • Recent editions of our Prayer Focus Update, with recent stories and points for prayer from various countries • The most recent copy of our Barnabas Prayer diary, which provides a short prayer point for each day of a two-month period
• Barnabas Fund’s website. Browsing our news archive will give you information on recent incidents of anti-Christian persecution to stimulate your prayers • Your daily newspaper. You could pray for how the day’s news items will affect Christians who live in the countries affected
Barnabas Fund resources can be downloaded from our website or ordered through your local office (addresses on back page) provided that time remains for them to arrive with you by 1 November.
Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church International Prayer Summit
St. Michael’s Chester Square, London SW1W 9HH. Ch Chi hildr ldren en n pray y at at a re efug fugee ee camp p iin n Burm Burm rma (M anma (My ar) a rr), wherre Bar r), Barn nabas h help elps elp s with with th h tth he he pr cti pra c cal a n ne eeds of of Ch Chris stia an orp rph han ans
All are welcome, so please join us at any time and for as long as you can on
Thursday 1 November, from 1:30 until 6:00pm. There will be an Evening Prayer Service on the same theme at 7:00pm. For more information, email email@example.com 14 BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
November 1 f Day o r Praye
Ten ways to pray for the persecuted Church 1. Praise God that He is all-knowing, that in Christ He Himself experienced shame, pain and agonising death. Thank Him for His promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. (Joshua 1:5) 2. Pray that all governments will work for justice. While Jesus says that in this world we will have trouble, He does not say that it will always be present in every place. 3. Pray that leaders of the liberal democracies will use their influence to seek to reduce, if not end, persecution in countries where it occurs. Just as Paul appealed to Caesar to seek justice, so we can appeal to secular government. 4. Pray for growth of the Church where persecution flourishes, remembering that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. 5. Pray for strength and courage for those experiencing persecution, and for the peace that only God can bring. Thank Him that His grace is sufficient for their needs (2 Corinthians 12:9). Pray that their faith will not fail, but that their suffering will draw them closer to Him.
6. Pray that the Holy Spirit will enable persecuted Christians to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt. 5:44) and that their Christ-like reactions will have an impact on their persecutors. 7. Pray that the Lord will be at work in the hearts of those who currently persecute our sisters and brothers to bring them to a saving knowledge of Himself, as He did with Saul of Tarsus. 8. Thank the Lord for the privilege of entering into the sufferings of our sisters and brothers, remembering that “if one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it”. (1 Corinthians 12:26) 9. Pray that Christians who experience persecution will not lose the ability to accept and genuinely trust approaches from those who have formerly persecuted them. Pray that the Lord will give them discernment and relief from unnecessary fears as He did when the believers in Jerusalem had to accept the reality of Saul’s conversion. (Acts 9:10-28) 10. Pray for yourself and for persecuted Christians to be spiritually ready for whatever tomorrow brings, be that persecution, respite from suffering, or Christ’s return.
What could your Day of Prayer look like?
DAY OF PRAYER
A prayer for the persecuted Church O Triune God, Creator of all that exists, bringer of salvation and the hope of Your people, we come before You to pray for our suffering brothers and sisters who today experience discrimination, marginalisation, alienation, injustice, hatred and persecution, just as Jesus Himself suffered on earth. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Father of your suffering people, we adore you and bless you for your power, greatness and covenant love. We confess that we have neither remembered nor cared for Your suffering children as we should. We thank You that Your Name is sealed on their forehead, that they are held in the palm of Your hand, and carried in your arms. We supplicate You to bring them aid, and gather them to Yourself when their time on earth is over, and pray that you would give to us true compassion for them. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Son of our loving Father God, Brother and Kinsman of Your suffering people, we recognise that Your Body is again being broken, as Your people suffer at the hands of their tormentors. Fill them with Your love and forgiveness, as You extended Your love and forgiveness on the cross to those who persecuted You. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). If your church is planning to join in Barnabas Fund’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, here are some ideas for how you could set this up. • Set aside a room or space in which to pray. Make this space comfortable and welcoming for those who will use it. If you don’t plan to use the Prayer Guide to space out the day, one option could be to set up prayer stations for separate countries or regions in different parts of the room or building. Maps, Bible verses or background information, perhaps from our Prayer Guide or other resources, could be used to decorate your prayer area or stations. • In order to space out the day, you could arrange a vigil of manageable time slots that people can sign up to beforehand. You could also have a prayer leader for each slot or for each country. The day could be arranged around the Prayer Guide.
Stay in touch!
• You could provide large sheets of paper on walls or tables and coloured pens, so that prayers could be written down or illustrated. These could help the prayer area to look vibrant, and keeping them could provide inspiration for prayer over the coming weeks and months. • Remember you do not have to set aside a whole day if this is not feasible for your church. Whatever time you could give to prayer will make a difference. You could arrange an hour’s prayer meeting, or organise a half-day or all-day prayer session as a “drop-in”, when people can come and go as they please.
Holy Spirit, the Strengthener of Your suffering people, give them Your strength to sustain them in their trials, Your wisdom to know how to respond, and Your perseverance to endure faithfully to the end. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. O Triune God, we pray for the persecutors of Your people that they will experience Your compelling love that casts out all fear and hatred, and will turn their hearts to You. We pray these things in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen © Patrick Sookhdeo, 2012
For more information and resources visit www.barnabasfund.org/UK/Pray Join our Day of Prayer event on Facebook – visit www.facebook.com/BarnabasFund and choose Events. 15 Follow our Twitter feed for updates – at www.twitter.com/BarnabasFund
“My soul magnifies the Lord!” Luke 1:46-55
THE VIISIT SITATI ATI TION by Ric char harrd King g
he Song of Mary in Luke’s Gospel, often called the Magnificat, is one of the best-known passages in the New Testament. Many churches use it as part of their regular worship, and it has been set to music by great classical composers and distinguished hymnwriters. Most of us will hear it read in one of our Christmas services in the next few weeks.
But like other popular Bible readings, this one can become so familiar to us that its remarkable message gets muted, and then it no longer has the impact upon us that the Biblical author intended. The Song of Mary is an exuberant celebration of the powerful and compassionate action of God in Christ, for the salvation of His people and in fulfilment of His ancient covenant promises. As such it speaks forcefully to all Christians, as the beneficiaries of what God has done, and particularly to those for whom poverty and oppression are part of their daily experience. So what is the message of this great passage for the persecuted Church, and for us who are called to support them in their need?
The coming of Jesus The context of the Song of Mary is the early chapters of Luke’s Gospel, in which he focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ and the events surrounding it. Mary has received the angel’s
16 BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
message that she is to give birth to a child who will be both King of Israel and Son of God. She hurries away to visit her relative Elizabeth, who is already bearing the infant John the Baptist, and who greets her as one who is blessed among women. Mary in turn bursts out in praise to the Lord. So the passage recounts Mary’s response to God’s fulfilment of the promises He made to her regarding the birth of Jesus. Its purpose is to explain the meaning and the effect of Jesus’ coming, and also to indicate the proper response to it. In this way the Song fits within the overall goal of Luke’s Gospel, both to explain the significance of Jesus and to confirm and strengthen Christian readers in their discipleship, which they must sometimes live out in the face of opposition. A right understanding of what God has done for us in Christ enables us to set all our experiences
as Christians, including the sufferings that we endure for Him, in their proper context. This then allows us to respond appropriately to them. When we recognise how God has blessed and will bless us through the coming of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God, we are able to persevere and grow in faithfulness to Him and in the furthering of His purpose in the world.
Praise and joy In verses 46-47 Mary declares her response to the great work of God of which she has become a recipient. Her soul, she says, magnifies the Lord; she devotes herself to making His Name great in the sight of others. Also her spirit has rejoiced in God her Saviour; her life is now constantly committed to jubilant celebration of His saving action. The nature of God’s work in Christ as the Saviour of His people will be spelled out much more fully in the following verses. But it is Mary’s reaction of
BIBLICAL REFLECTION joy and praise that grabs our attention first. Mary’s experience as the mother of the Lord will not be an unmixed blessing for her; indeed, in the very next chapter she is told that as a result of His coming a sword will pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). But here she recognises what God has done as a compelling reason to exalt Him and be glad; this is the right response to what He has done. It might seem to us that Christians who suffer discrimination, harassment or violence as a result of their faith would be unable to respond to God’s saving work in the same way as Mary does. Yet time and again they prove us wrong.
serve God instead of conforming to the religion or ideology of the majority community. For instance, in Muslim-majority contexts Christians have traditionally been regarded as inferior to Muslims, unclean and contemptible, and treated as second-class citizens at best. This attitude is still widespread today; it is often propagated by the Muslim media and expressed in unofficial but very severe discrimination. These verses tell us that God is not indifferent to the contempt in which so many of His people have been held down the centuries. In Christ He has taken thought for them and acted in great
the churches of what is now South Sudan have suffered unbelievable deprivation and distress in the last 30 years; yet they are renowned for their joyful praise.
Christ they are honoured and filled with His good things. The proud who have power and wealth may trample on them to establish and maintain their own high position, but in God’s kingdom these people are cast down into disgrace and are excluded from its blessings. As we read on in Luke’s Gospel and especially the Acts of the Apostles, we see this process of status reversal being worked out in the context of the Christian community, where those who have much care for those who have little so that there are no needy people among them (e.g. Acts 4:32-37). So the message of Mary’s Song finds its fulfilment in the practical support of despised and needy Christians through the resources of their Christian family. Barnabas Fund exists to help this happen.
Faithful to His promises For example, the churches of what is now South Sudan have suffered unbelievable deprivation and distress in the last 30 years; yet they are renowned for their joyful praise. And the mainly Chin people of Burma (Myanmar), who have faced severe persecution from their government, are also well known for their loud and lively worship. They know that even in the face of opposition and pain, this is the fitting response for them to make to God our Saviour.
Concern for the lowly In verses 48-50 Mary sets out the basic reasons why she magnifies the Lord and has rejoiced in God her Saviour. He has been actively concerned about the lowly status that she experiences as a result of being His servant, and He has done such great things for her benefit that people of every generation will recognise that she is blessed by Him. He has put forth His might on her behalf, and she acknowledges that His compassion extends in every age to those who reverence Him. In many parts of the world Christians have a very low status because they have chosen to
power and mercy to bless them mightily. His work on behalf of those who honour Him is as real for downtrodden Christians today as it was for Mary.
Reversal of status Each of the next three verses comprises a pair of statements in which God’s action in Christ to benefit His lowly people is described in more detail. He has shown His strength to deliver them from bondage by scattering their enemies and His, those whose attitude is arrogant and self-sufficient and who do not acknowledge His sovereignty. He has pulled down those who are strong from their positions of power and has raised the standing of those whose status is lowly. Those who are in want He has satisfied with His blessings, while those who have plenty He has dismissed with nothing. We learn here that in the coming of Jesus, God has completely reversed the status of His oppressed people and those who oppress them. Christians may be consigned to a very low standing in society because they serve God, but in the kingdom of God that He is bringing in
Finally, in verses 54-55, Mary confesses that God has taken His servant Israel into His hand to support and succour them. He has done this in recollection of the mercy that He promised to the fathers of the nation, the eternal covenant that He made with Abraham and his descendants. In Christ God has been faithful to His promise to show compassion to His people by exalting and blessing them. And although in this passage only Israel is in view, later in Luke’s Gospel and in Acts believers from other nations also become beneficiaries of His saving work. The faithfulness of God to His covenant promises, demonstrated and made effective in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the guarantee to persecuted Christians in our own time that God is their Saviour. What Mary’s Song says that He has done for His suffering and lowly people, He will do for them. And for us who belong to the same Christian family, the Song is an encouragement to play our part in God’s saving purpose to lift them up and fill them with His blessing – as He will for us too.
Questions for personal study or group discussion 1. Why is it important for suffering and persecuted Christians to understand what God has done for us in Christ?
4. How can Christians in the West be God’s instruments to exalt His downtrodden people in other places, and to bless them (vv. 51-53)?
2. How is it possible for Christians to magnify and rejoice in God (vv. 46-47) even in the face of illtreatment for their faith?
5. What does the faithfulness of God to His ancient promises (vv. 54-55) mean for Christians today in their experiences of oppression and distress?
3. How could verses 48-50 encourage Christians who are treated with contempt by the majority community in their country?
6. Give thanks for God’s saving work in Christ, and consider how you can be the instrument of His salvation to your persecuted brothers and sisters.
BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012 17
IN N TOUCH
treat a n w o d s e o g le a s ie Cook Point Alliance of young people from North On Sunday 13 May, a group Barnabas. On the cookie sale to raise funds for Church in Hong Kong held a to gather at the people gave up their evening preceding Friday, the young them had never bake 300 cookies. Some of home of one of their group and ing their exams! The hed to join in straight from tak baked before and others rus demand for them rch’s Sunday service, and the cookies were sold at the chu 20 minutes. every pack sold after around exceeded all expectations, with their by the enthusiastic support of The group were encouraged g experience iftin upl and rful d, “It was a wonde sai er mb me A . ion gat gre con whole has contributed throughout the for everybody, for each person and sisters rs the bro ng feri suf as one. May our ted uni re we we and s, ces pro as well.” be blessed and encouraged r your eive your donations and to hea We are always grateful to rec sale raisedd The rld. g from around the wo anss.. imaginative ideas for fundraisin d Christian ute sec per $357; €279) to support around HK$2770 (£224; US
Christmas greetings for Barnabas This year Barnabas Fund is giving you the opportunity to These deligghtful ul purchase both Christmas cards and gifts to help support Christmas decorations, persecuted Christians. We are grateful for our partnership handmade in South Africa, make great gifts with Just Cards Direct, a Christian organisation that sell supports the work of Christian aid agencies. They handmade greeting cards and gifts from Africa as well as printed cards and a wide range of other gifts. You can purchase their beautiful cards and gifts using the form included with this magazine or online at www.justcardsdirect.com. Just select “Barnabas Fund” on their website at the payment stage and we will receive 10% of all sales from our supporters.
A label attached to a
ACTS pack makes an impact
As part of Operation Nehem iah, which works towards the spiritual transformation of soc iety in the West, 113 primary schools in the UK have so far received ACTS (Assisting Christianity Teaching in School s) packs of Christian books and resources for their pupils and teachers. Barnabas Fun d has received some lovely tha nk you letters from the childre n of Lyneham Primary School in Chippenham. They wrote, “W e are so thankful to you for giv ing us these fantastic books… We have the best books in Engla nd because of you.” ACTS is one way of reaching out to school s and equipping them with ma terial that will make a difference. The headteacher of the school, Jul ie Carr, wrote that the donation has been “a huge success”.
cards ns of gift ts ig s e d w Ne ative gif for altern
k! o o l a e k Ta
Loving our p ersecuted fa mily at Chris Christmas is an op portunity to share tmas with young people the circumstance
in our churches s of our Saviour’s birth. The stories young people wh of other children o also face poverty and and danger can he with the Christmas lp them to identify story.
in your church the stories of children who trust in Chris t and, following in His footsteps, find them selves in poverty or fleeing their coun try as refugees.
Born in a strange town, in an untidy stable, to parents refugees as they who were to beco fled to Egypt to es me This resource cape Herod’s mas Saviour’s life was includes a Bible le sa cre of infants, our at risk from the st sson plan, games, a song, st art. As you re-live that ories and more on story this Christm the theme of loving ou as, why not use th Suffering Church r Christian brothe e Barnabas Fund Sunday children’s rs and sisters. It is availa materials in the bo Sisters – loving ble to order for fre ok Brothers and our persecuted fa e from your national Barn mily? Share with abas office (addre the young people sses on back cover) or at www.barnabasfu nd.org/scs. 18 BARNABAS AID NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
YES, I WOULD LIKE TO HELP THE PERSECUTED CHURCH Title...................... Full Name ..................................................................................................................................... Please send the following free resources (indicate quantity required):
Address ......................................................................................................................................................................... ...........................................................................................................................................................................................
• • • •
Postcode .................................... Telephone ........................................................................................................... Email ..................................................................................................... PLEASE USE MY GIFT FOR
Wherever the need is the greatest (General Fund)
HERE IS MY SINGLE GIFT OF £ ........................................................................... I enclose a cheque/voucher payable to “Barnabas Fund” OR Please debit my
CAF card /other charity card
Card Number or issue date
Maestro issue number Expiry Date
Other .................. *(give reference number of project to be supported)
I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE REGULARLY THROUGH MY BANK Please send me the appropriate form (UK supporters may use the Direct Debit form below.)
Proclaim Freedom SCS pack _____ Persecuted Church postcard_____ Prayer bookmark_____ Day of Prayer Prayer Guide_____
I do not require an acknowledgement of this gift
(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 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
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
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(Applicable to UK tax payers only)
Name of charity: Barnabas Fund Please treat as Gift Aid donations all qualifying gifts of money made: (Please tick all boxes you wish to apply) today
in the past 4 years
in the future
I confirm I have paid or will pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) that I donate to will reclaim on my gifts for that tax year. I understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. I understand the charity will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give on or after 6 April 2008.
ALTERNATIVE GIFT CARD If you would like to make a donation as an alternative Christmas gift for a friend or relative, we can supply you with an attractive “Thank you” card, which you can send to the person for whom you have made the donation. Please fill in the details as you would like them to appear on the card. “Dear .................................................... A gift of £ .......... has been received on your behalf from ................................ This gift will assist Christians who are persecuted for their faith. With many thanks on behalf of the persecuted Church” Tick here if you do not want the amount to be stated on the card Tick here if you do wish details about the project to be included on the card
Signature.................................................................................... Date ................................................... Please inform us if you want to cancel this declaration, change your name or home address or no longer pay sufficient tax on your income and/or capital gains. If you pay Income Tax at the higher or additional rate and want to receive the additional tax relief due to you, you must include all your Gift Aid donations on your Self-Assessment tax return or ask HM Revenue and Customs to adjust your tax code. Mag 11/12
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, telephone number or email to anyone else. Supporters in Germany: please turn to back cover for how to send gifts to Barnabas Fund. Phone 0800 587 4006 or visit our website at www.barnabasfund.org to make a credit/debit card donation. From outside UK phone +44 1672 565031.
Please state your preferred card choice (see below): .......... If you would like to have the card sent directly to the recipient, or if you would prefer to receive blank cards and fill them out yourself, please contact your national office (address details on back cover). If you would like more cards, please photocopy the form or attach a separate piece of paper with the details for extra cards and send it with your donation. You can also call your nd office with the detailss aand pay by credit/deb bit ccard over the phone. nearest Barnabas Fund credit/debit
*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. Registered Charity number 1092935 Company registered in England number 4029536
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 10 working 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 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.
Free Suffering Church Sunday 2012-13 resources – order now!
PROCLAIM FREEDOM HOW CAN WE BE SILENT? Free resources for your church’s Suffering Church Sunday service are now available. You can download them from our website (www.barnabasfund.org/scs). You can also order them from our online shop or from your nearest Barnabas office (addresses below). The resources can be ordered individually or as a pack, which contains: • A3 poster to advertise your service or meeting • Barnabas Aid September/October 2012, which includes a sermon outline, an accompanying small-group Bible study and a drama script • Suffering Church Sunday 2012-13 DVD which includes a short video, PowerPoint slides and two worship songs • Children’s resources • Persecuted Church postcard with response form • Prayer bookmark • Proclaim Freedom wristband You can also order additional postcards and bookmarks free of charge; why not order enough for everyone in your congregation to take home after your service on Suffering Church Sunday? • Proclaim Freedom lapel pin Further wristbands and lapel pins can be ordered for £1 each or 10 for £9. • Proclaim Freedom money box
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners” (Luke 4:18)
How to Find Us UK 9 Priory Row, Coventry CV1 5EX Telephone 024 7623 1923 Fax 024 7683 4718 From outside the UK
You may contact Barnabas Fund at the following addresses: Jersey Le Jardin, La Rue A Don, Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands JE3 9GB Telephone 700600 Fax 700601 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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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 email@example.com
barnabasaid the magazine of Barnabas Fund Managing 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 firstname.lastname@example.org © 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.
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Barnabas Fund's bi-monthly magazine for November & December 2012. See www.barnabasfund.org for more information. Hope and aid for the persec...