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tv   Christian World News  TLN  September 16, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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>> this week on christian world news, caught in the middle. one of the world's oldest christian communities comes under attack. how syria's civil war is threatening the church. plus, the dangers of doing good. the moment that this christian leader learned he was doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. and meet the gouda nuns. 13 sisters who make 20,000 pounds of cheese. find out what secret ingredient makes their product a best-seller.
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>> wendy: and welcome, everyone, to this edition of christian world news. i'm wendy griffith. george thomas is on assignment. in southern egypt, muslims killed two christian men for failing to pay them protection money. muslims in the area are demanding christians pay them jija, a kind of tax that islamic law requires religious minorities to pay muslims. but the tax is so high many christians simply can't af foafford it. the voice of the martyrs reports that a muslim man demanded a christian in a village to pay him nearly $1500. the christian sought help from local police, but to no avail. when he failed to come up with the money, several muslims went to his home and shot him and his cousin to death. the murders are just one example of how christians in southern egypt are facing great danger from the muslim brotherhood and supporters of former president mohammed morsi.
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gary lane has more. >> reporter: egyptian christians in the gil of minia are afraid for their future. christian activists adel shows what is left of the virgin mary monastery in the town of delga. these are the charred sacred bones of monks. this ancient door was vandalized. nearby churches were also burned. >> we still don't have a church to pray at. we are still trying to clean them up. we have four churches in the area, and we cannot pray in any of them. >> reporter: this anglican church in the minia village of mil ma law malawi was one of the churches attacked. he says the islamic militants overpowered him. >> the church was surrounded on all sides. there couldn't be less than a thousand, totally surrounding the church,
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carrying weapons. rio >> reporter: this christian describes what happened when islamists attacked her home. she says they through petrol bomb at is, which burned our balcony. we became frightened and ran away. while the town of delga is home to more than 20,000 christians, it has remained outside government control since islamists threw police out july the 3rd. that's the day mohammed morsi was removed from the presidency. egypt's interim government has named a new police chief, and has pledged to send reenforcements to protect the christians. still, many christians in delga and elsewhere in southern egypt are living in fear, believing a new wave of attacks against them could happen at any moment. gary lane, cbn news. >> wendy: thanks, gary. in syria, government and rebel troops are fighting over an historic christian village near damascus. maaloula is home to two of
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the oldest surviving mon tariesurviving monasteries in the world, and one of the few places where they still speak the language of jesus. they attacked homes, forcing hundreds of residents to flee. meanwhile, christians in damascus mourn the deaths of three men who died trying to escape the town. dr. edalita is editor of a website, and he spoke to gary lane about the significance of the town of maaloula and what christians fear for their future. >> reporter: tell us a little bit about this historic village and the significance of it? >> it is a significant village. it is considered to be one of the oldest christian villages in the world and the oldest one in syria. it is home to two very important monasteries, call
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takwa and sakist. and the community speaks aramaic. >> reporter: do you think both sides of the civil war could be using this town to manipulate public opinion? >> i think so. and i think the overall situation here is one of great tragedy. it is tragedy for syria, and it is a tragedy for the christian community of syria. the non-islamist rebels have tried to show they are trying to respect the key sites and heritage sights and the monasteries of maa maaloula, and the bottom line is they are paying a price for the war in syria. >> reporter: we've heard some reports that the fighters have occupied a church, they've destroyed part of it, and even killed christians. what are you hearing about that? >> i haven't heard yet any confirmation of casualties
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or destruction, but i have seen the reports, and there is video footage of them entering the tarkis monastery, and they have gotten some of the nuns who were there to say they are being treated well. again, as you mentioned at the beginning, this is a public relations issue for the rebels because they know this looks very bad to the west, as the congress debates authorization for the use of force in syria against the regime, many analysts tend to believe as you weaken the regime, you also strengthen ra radical islamists who are fighting the regime, who will have their say and are having their say in the so-called liberated areas of syria, in the north and elsewhere, they're imposing islamic rule. many fear what will happen in syria will be a replay of
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what happened in iraq. i'm sure, gary, you're viewers know well the christian community of iraq, like the christian community in syria has played such an important role in the heritage and culture and the perceptions of tolerance in those countries, and they had to flee because they were targeted by radical islamists after saddam hussein was deposed. we need to think of a way to bring this war to a close. over 100,000 syrians have died in this war. over two million are refugees. every day that it goes on, more people suffer, and the christian community is suffering along with the rest of syria. >> reporter: okay, dr. paraselita, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, gary, for having me. >> wendy: the crisis in syria has some people looking at prophecies of the end times. some christians point to predictions in the bible about damascus, such as
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isaiah 17. verse one says, "a prophecy against damascus. damascus will no longer be a city, but will become a heap of ruins." some christian bookstores have seen an increase in sales of books related to prophecy and the end times. recently i spoke to dr. cornelius becker, an ordained minister and a professor at the college of arts and sciences. and i asked him about these prophecies and how christians should be praying for syria. >> there are certain things that are happening in syria that match some of these prophecies. we cannot say it is the ultimate fulfillment. i think at this point in time we can ask or pray that syria and egypt and damascus would remember their creator and turn back to christ. damascus at one point was a sanctuary for the church. and maybe that's the way we can pray, may they return
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back to their ancient roots of christian faith. >> wendy: and you can see my full interview with dr. becker at our website, in the southern philippines, a tense stan standoff between government troops in islamist rebels. they are hold be about 300 villagers hostage in the town of zamongaa. >> reporter: the situation remains very tense as sporadic exchange of gunfire between government soldiers and a group from the liberation front continues. i received messages from a church mate who runs an orphanage there. and she says please pray, while buying food, we had to hide in a flower shop when gunfire broke out. and another says, a couple had been shot while distributing food to people
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who are trapped in their homes. this city has now become a ghost town, with only security forces and tanks lining up the streets. the m.n.l. f. men are using 120 people as human shields, and among those trapped are two priests and a pastor. the fighting has spilled over to the nearby island of mindanao. it is unfortunate that the victims of this crisis are mostly the muslims. meanwhile, a cbn disaster relief team drove 22 hours to this city to help feed more than 15,000 evacuees there. lucille tellusin, cbn news, manila. >> wendy: coming up, he was doing the right thing, but for all of the wrong reasons. learn about the dangers of spiritual burnout, next. crierc >> wendy: and welcome back to christian world news. studies estimate there are more than five million
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christians working at full-time ministry. more than a million of them are taking the gospel message to non-christian parts of the world. some of them are risking their lives to preach that message. but a leading missionary says there is another danger to doing good, and he is sounding the alarm about what he calls spiritual burnout. ephraim graham reports from rwanda. >> i want to wake myself up to it is not just what we do but why we do it. >> reporter: peter greer has spent his professional life doing good work in the mission field. the president of "hope international" leads a global fight against poverty. we caught up with him in rwanda. >> i'm part of a generation that has grown up believing there are huge needs in the world, and the church needs to respond. we have thrown ourselves into the cause of social justice and into missions, and we have been burned out as a result. and a lot of this burnout
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comes because we have forgotten why we serve. >> reporter: charity and service has a dark side. this is what peter addresses in his book, "the spiritual danger of doing good." >> how do we give our family our leftovers because we are too busy doing good work. how is it we forget who we're becoming in christ because we don't have time? we're doing such good things, we don't have time to grow in a real relationship with christ. >> reporter: greer points out those who work in the mission field are usually aware of their sacrifices of time, money, and even safety. but they don't expect to feel their motivation start to slip. it happened to him more than 12 years ago. while giving blankets to poor refugees left devastated after a volcano eruption. >> i remember at that moment, as i was giving away blankets, that one of my friends was not far away snapping pictures. and i was not thinking about the individual in front of me. i was thinking about the pictures that were being taken and about the reaction
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that my friends back home were going to have when they saw these pictures of a masculine mother teresa giving away and serving the poor. i was so hit by my own hypocrisy. that i was not loving the individual in front of me. i was play acting for someone very far away. >> reporter: and greer warns, spiritual dangers like that don't only happen on the mission field. they can hit right here at home. >> it doesn't matter if you're giving in your local church or you're giving internationally. the principles and the underlying issues are exactly the same. we give, we give, we give, and we burn out. and the question is: why is that? i think part of it is because we buy into a lie that giving to god means that we go without everesting. it means we go without ever being refreshed ourselves, and i don't think that honors god. >> reporter: ef gram, cbn news, kagali, rwanda. >> wendy: up next, 20,000
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pounds of cheese made by 13 nuns. we'll tell you how they do it when we come back.
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>> wendy: it's a business model you won't see anywhere else. 13 nuns who make cheese and they sell out every year. so what's their secret ingredient? heather cells travelled to their monastery in virginia to find out. >> reporter: this is the heart of this glowster area. this is the cheese barn where the 13 sisters at "our lady of the angels" make 20,000 pounds of gouda every year. most of their quarter million dollar business is mail order. although some drive out
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monthly for the cheese their costumers crave. >> the flavor is great. it is on the mild end in terms of intensity, but it is delicious. you can use it for cooking or you can nash it with salami and olives and bread. >> reporter: when they started, the nuns knew nothing about how to make cheese. today they can literally not keep up with the demand from food connoisseurs around the country. >> it sort of sells itself. people get it as a gift and they call and say, can i order some of this cheese? >> reporter: sister barbara is part of the first six, who was sent to start anew on this gorgeous piece of land in virginia. the goal: follow the century's old rules of st. benedict by building a life based on prayer, and engage in manual labor to support themselves. happily for the sisters, the property they bought already featured a cheese-making facility. >> we were so naive.
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with thought it would be so simple. there was some equipment there. >> reporter: but the sisters persevered, and they got it right, really right. they allow 32 days a year to make the gouda, and everyone pitches in. sister maria is the designated cheese cook. the 35-year-old from spain must manipulate some 6,000 pounds of pasturized milk, and ren it into several hundred wheels of cheese. it looks easy, but like any good recipe, it is all about precision, getting the right temperature, cutting the curds at just the right moment, and finally pressing the cheese. over the years, the sisters have not only perfected their technique, they have never bungled a batch. that is almost unheard of. sister linda is sidelined from the cheese-making with an injury, but says her
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fellow sisters' attention to detail is key. >> a big part of it has been their openness to learning. and their absolute dedication to doing it better. >> reporter: the sisters say prayer is also a big part of their work. from making the cheese to shipping it out. >> while i'm doing it, i'm really praying for the people who are going to eat that cheese. i mean, i know every family, every person has problems. >> for every five cheese orders that come in the mail, at least one, maybe out of every four, one will have a request for prayers. >> reporter: prayer is also the reason the nuns say they won't grow their business. >> people will come in and say, you sold out last year, so you're going to make more next year, aren't you? the priority is not the cheese. that is not why we're here. >> reporter: what is happening here, a seeking after the lord that is visibly discernable. >> it is nun to se fun to
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see the nuns and they're so kind and slow and mellow, and it sort of slows you down a little bit. >> people who come to the door always want to know a little about our way of life. and so we tell them, and then we ask them if they would like to stop in the chapel for a moment. >> reporter: when they're not in the chapel or making the cheese, the nuns admit to eating it, often. and there is a preferred method. >> my favorite way to have it is on a piece of toast for breakfast. if you toast the bread, and then put a couple of thin slices of cheese and put it in the microwave for 25 seconds. >> reporter: so what is next for the sisters? no cheddar or havarti, they say. it is strictly gouda. as for their numbers, it is clear a new generation is needed some time soon. but these women believe if they remain true to their calling, god will replenish their ranks in his time. >> we are here together because god called us here, one way or another. we all followed what we
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perceived to be god's call to us individually. we never knew each other before. so it's not a coincidence, but part of a larger plan that remains a mystery. >> reporter: it is a beautiful, holy mystery that is unfolding here as the sisters seek out god and find ways to minister through simple two-pound wheels of cheese. reporting in croze, virginia, heather cells, cbn news. >> wendy: thanks, heather. just for the record, i did try that cheese, and it is just as delicious as it looks. those nuns are in croze, virginia. we'll be right back.
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this neighborhood sure has changed a lot over the years. you know there was a time when people like me couldn't live here. i'll never forget being told i wasn't welcome in this neighborhood. well i own this building now, the fair housing act made a difference for someone like me. so i can choose where i want to live, free from discrimination.
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glad you could make it, right this way... >> wendy: finally this week, yom kippur is the holiest day of the jewish year. they observe this day with both fasting and a special prayer. cbn's chris mitchell examines the significant of this prayer for both jews and christians.
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[chanting] >> it is called the badue, a pray for repentance and a plea for forgiveness. >> it is the essential prayer of concession and for forgiveness of the jewish people on yom kippur. and it is a prayer that they pray, not only on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of all of the jewish people around the world. >> reporter: reverend david pellegi serves as the director of church in the heart of jerusalem's old city. shhe studied the jewish roots for almost 30 years. he says jeremiah the prophet wrote that the heart is deceitful above all things and deeds need to follow repentance. >> one thing we learn from the jewish people, something quite important, especially about yom kippur. that it is not enough to say you're sorry. you have to confess, say you're sorry, and then at the same time take practical
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steps to change your behavior. >> reporter: the badui contains sections to be said corporately and prayed by the individual. the group repeats confessions like, we sin before you, we betrayed you. we spoke falsely. now we want to repent and ask your forgiveness. the individual prays in part, o god and father, maker of heaven and earth, i acknowledge my sins, desiring to learn what is your will concerning me and resolving to devote myself more faithfully to your holy service." pellegi says christians can find a parallel between yom kippur and the teachings of jesus. >> we have a saying of jesus, don't we. if you bring your gift to the alter and your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the alter and go and be reconciled with your brother. jewish tradition says go get
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your relationship right with your neighbor, with your brother, with your family member. forgive and be reconciled, and then on the day of atonement, when you begin to fast and pray, and to confess, god will hear your prayer and forgive you as you have forgiven others. it is a teaching of jesus, and it is something that is part and parcel of jewish tradition, and here the two line up very nicely. >> reporter: chris mitchell, cbn news, jerusalem. >> wendy: well, that's going to do it for all of us here at christian world news. thanks so much for joining us this week. until next week, from all of us here, good-bye and god bless you.
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>> she spent nearly 20 years living, dressing and acting just like a man, including living in an intimate relaonship with a woman.n. she always said she was born that way. that was until god told her shee could be born again. her story next on "significant insights isights." >> hello and welcome to significant insights. i'm jerry rose. these days there are probably really not moress


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