News Service Briefs
The following reports were released during the last month by Charisma News Service. Go to our Web site at www.charismanews.com to access full-length versions of each day's stories. The site also includes a search engine so you can access archived news.
PASTORS GATHER AT CAPITOL TO LAUNCH SUDAN CAMPAIGN Black pastors from across the country converged on Washington, D.C., May 23 to urge President Clinton to speak out against the Sudanese government's war on Christians in southern Sudan. They gathered at the Capitol for the launch of the Sudan campaign, which climaxed with National Sudan Day on June 9. Approximately 2 million people have died during the last 17 years as Sudan's Muslim government has attempted to impose Islamic rule on the country.
LEADER OF CULT-WATCHING GROUP UNDER SCRUTINY Controversial "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff, director of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and an outspoken critic of the charismatic movement, has been slammed by the widow of the founder of the cult-watching group. Darlene Martin, whose husband, Walter, began CRI in 1960 and served as president of the organization until his death in 1989, said in a letter to The Los Angeles Times that she objects to Hanegraaff's leadership of CRI because of his "mistreatment of fellow Christians." Martin's letter followed a Times article that reported that her family is demanding Hanegraaff's resignation.
PAUL CROUCH CRITICIZED FOR PRO-CHINA COMMENTS Champions of the persecuted church have criticized Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) founder Paul Crouch for positive comments he made about religious freedom in China. During a recent visit there, Crouch praised China's progress in human rights, according to a report by the country's official Xinhua News Agency, carried by CNN. The report said Crouch had personally seen that Christians openly practice their faith in China, and that the Bible is freely distributed. Colby May, communications counsel for TBN, said Crouch's reported comments had been "truncated and less than placed in context." In May, TBN programming began in international hotels in China, and talks are continuing over possible TBN broadcasts on state television.
CLINTON PRAISES PENTECOSTAL PASTOR DURING VISIT During a visit to view the popular Easter play The Messiah at The Pentecostals of Alexandria in Alexandria, La., President Clinton made an impromptu speech praising his 23-year friendship with United Pentecostal Church pastor Anthony Mangun. Mangun and his wife, Mickey, visited Clinton during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, giving him a tape of a song Mickey wrote for the president and seven pages of points for him to study, Clinton said. The president said Mangun told him: 'I don't know how this is going to come out...but...you are my friend...I love you...If the ship starts to sink, and other people start to bail out, you call me.'" Clinton then said of the pastor: "That was the embodiment of his Christian faith and the witness of the Pentecostal Church that I have been blessed by for 23 years now."
Report Makes No Mention of Cassie Bernall's Faith
In their detailed report released May 15, investigators of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo., made no mention of Cassie Bernall's proclaiming her faith in God before being killed. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said only that Bernall was shot by Eric Harris as she hid in the library. It added that student Valeen Schnurr, lying critically wounded, "began to cry, 'Oh, God, help me.' [Dylan] Klebold, who had shot her, came back and taunted her about her belief in God. He then walked away."
New Day for France After Carlos Annacondia Visit
Pastors in France, where evangelicals make up less than 1 percent of the population, are heralding a spiritual breakthrough following a nine-day crusade by Argentine evangelist Carlos Annacondia April 22-29. Attendance for the meetings and a combined Easter service in Paris' famous Bois de Boulogne park totaled more than 20,000, with 800 people making commitments to Christ.
Other stories featured on the Charisma News Service Web site:
Mongolian Persecution Case a Hoax
Revival Musician Georgian Banov to Lead Round-the-Clock Praise Tour
Jesus Film Mailing Faces Criticism
Bob Larson Denies TV Claim That He Is 'Cashing in on the Devil'
Scientology Anniversary Prompts Prayers for 'Dangerous Cult'