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‘Do me a solid’ and free American prisoner: Dennis Rodman’s plea to Kim Jong  Un to release tour operator sentenced to 15 years hard labor

 

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is tapping his  friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ask for the release of a  Korean-American man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the  North.

‘I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North  Korea or as I call him “Kim,” to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,’  Rodman said on Twitter on Tuesday.

He said the tweet was posted as a direct  response to a Seattle Times editorial that dared him to ask Kim for the release,  if the two are really buddies.

 
BudsBuds: Dennis Rodman, left, has called on North Korea’s  leader Kim Jong Un, right, to release American prisoner Kenneth Bae (Mr Rodman  with Kim Jong Un in February during his visit to North Korea)

 

 
Dennis RodmanSway: Dennis Rodman, left hugging the North Korean  leader in February, referred to the dictator as ‘Kim’ in his Twitter message  asking him to release the American being held captive

Rodman visited North Korea in February and  sat next to Kim as they watched an exhibition basketball game. His trip came at  a time of high tension between Pyongyang and Washington and was not endorsed by  the U.S. State Department.

Kenneth BaeKenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen, is a tour operator who was  arrested in North Korea in November

Bae is a tour operator who was arrested in  North Korea in November.

The North’s Supreme Court sentenced him last  week for unspecified ‘hostile acts’ against the state.

In a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday,  North Korea said the 44-year-old Washington state man entered the country with a  disguised identity.

Bae is at least the sixth American detained  in North Korea since 2009.

The others eventually were deported or  released, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former  U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry rejected  speculation that it was seeking a U.S. envoy to negotiate Bae’s release, saying  he is not a political bargaining chip.

Analysts have said North Korea may be using  Bae as bait to open direct negotiations with the United States over its nuclear  arms programs.

Bae’s sentencing came during a lull after  weeks of threats of war from Pyongyang against the U.S. and South  Korea.

 The U.S. has called for the North to  immediately release Bae.

It relies on Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang  to deal with Bae’s case because the North and the U.S. have no formal diplomatic  relations after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce instead of a peace  treaty.

Social MediaSocial Media: The former NBA star took to Twitter to  send an informal plea to the North Korean leader

In an op-ed piece for the Seattle paper,  dated May 3 by Thanh Tan, the author suggested Rodman try his hand at diplomacy,  given he seemed cozy with the dictator during his recent trip to the country.

‘Dennis Rodman claims to be lifelong buddies  with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Really?’ she wrote.

‘Well, perhaps now is the time for the NBA  has-been to practice some real basketball diplomacy and call up his so-called  friend for a favor: Grant American detainee Kenneth Bae amnesty and release him  to his family.’

North Korea has not described the exact  nature of Bae’s alleged crimes. Friends say Bae is a devout Christian and tour  operator based in China who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed  orphans.

Rodman said after his trip to North Korea  that he planned to return in August to vacation with Kim, a diehard basketball  fan.

By Daily Mail Reporter

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321335/Dennis-Rodmans-plea-Kim-Jong-Un-release-tour-operator-sentenced-15-years-hard-labor.html#ixzz2SibnnSWM Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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Iran: Pastor Irani develops blood infection as health deteriorates sharply.

This article is from Christian Solidarity Worldwide….please help…….

 

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that Pastor Benham Irani, currently held in Ghezal Hesar prison in Iran, has developed a blood infection as a result of an ongoing intestinal complication. As his health continues to deteriorate sharply, he is reportedly barely able to speak.

Sources close to CSW report that Pastor Irani may be sent to a hospital for surgery to remove the part of his intestine which is the source of the infection. However, his family has not been informed about possible surgery or whether or not he has been sent to hospital.

Benham Irani pastors the Church of Iran congregation in Karaj. He was arrested in December 2006, and sentenced to six years imprisonment on charges of “action against the state” and “action against the order.” The verdict against him includes text that describes Pastor Irani as an apostate and reiterates that apostates “can be killed”. Furthermore, prison authorities and fellow prisoners have informed him on various occasions that he will not leave the prison “alive”.

Pastor Irani has so far been denied hospital treatment for severe bleeding due to stomach ulcers and complications with his colon, which caused him to lose consciousness at one point. Without adequate medical care, his condition has continued to worsen, prompting concerns that he may have only weeks or months to live.

During the first few months of his imprisonment in Ghezel Hesar Prison, the pastor was held incommunicado in a small cell, where guards would repeatedly wake him from sleep as a form of psychological torture. He was moved into a cramped room where inmates could not lie down to sleep, before being transferred to his current cell, where he sustained regular beatings from his cell mates and prison authorities. As a result of injuries sustained during these assaults, he has difficulty walking. The pastor also has trouble with his vision and has received death threats from fellow prisoners.

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “CSW is deeply concerned for Pastor Irani’s welfare. We continue to urge the Iranian authorities to allow Pastor Irani access to appropriate medical treatment. Reports of his possible hospital admission, if true, are welcome and long overdue, as the delay in his treatment has undoubtedly caused his health to deteriorate sharply. It is also vital that Pastor Irani is protected from fellow prisoners who have threatened his life. CSW continues to call on the Iranian government to honour its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and facilitate the unconditional release of Pastor Irani, Pastor Nadarkhani, Pastor Farshid Fathi Malayeri and all others currently detained or facing execution on account of their faith following flawed judicial processes.”

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit http://www.csw.org.uk.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

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Prisoner Profile

PRISONER NAME
LOCATION
ARRESTED
REVISED

Asia Bibi
Pakistan
June 2009
July 17, 2012

Asia Bibi, a 37-year-old Pakistani woman from the village of Ittanwali, was arrested by police on Friday, June 19, 2009. Asia (also called Asia Noreen) is the wife of 50-year-old Ashiq Masih, and their family is one of only three Christian families in a village of 1,500 families.
Many of the local women, including Asia, work on the farm of Muslim landowner Muhammad Idrees. During their work, many of the Muslim women have pressured Asia to renounce Christianity and accept Islam. In June, the pressure became especially strong.
On Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith. The Muslim women told Asia about Islam. Asia responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for sins, then asked them what Mohammad had done for them, according to VOM sources. She told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammad is dead. “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”
Upon hearing this, the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia. Then some men took her and locked her in a room. They announced from the mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey. Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan. She was held at the police station in Nankana city. Christians there urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed they were under pressure from local Muslim leaders.
Seventeen months after Asia’s arrest, she was convicted of violating subsection C of Pakistan’s 295 blasphemy law – blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad – and was sentenced to death. No Christian in Pakistan has ever been executed under the blasphemy law, but in several cases,extremists have murdered Christians after their release from prison. Asia’s conviction and death sentence have brought international attention to the country’s blasphemy laws. Christians have called for Asia’s release and for a repeal of the laws, while extremists in Pakistan continue to demand that she be executed.
The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.
Prison is Tough, Even for the Most Faithful
In April, Asia was going through a rough time. She had to celebrate yet another Easter away from her family. She told her husband, Ashiq, “I am fine, but to be alone and away from my family is frustrating to me. I want to run away from this imprisonment.”
Ashiq encouraged her, and said, “You have been steadfast in your faith so far; be patient and trust in God. He will surely guide you.”
In June, Ashiq reported that Asia was feeling better. She said another group had brought her some food and clothes, and she was thankful for them and for all her prayer supporters.
Monthly Visit With Family
Imprisoned Christian Asia Bibi was visited by her husband, Ashiq, on March 6, 2012. When Asia inquired after her two young daughters, Ashiq told her that the children were healthy and doing well in school. She told him she was feeling discouraged about ever being released.
He said, “Yesterday when we had family prayer, I asked the children what they were praying for. They said, ‘We are praying for those people who are helping us and who are trying to release our Mama.’
At that moment, Ashiq “felt God’s presence, and he said to me, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am with you.'”

Post this PrisonerAlert.com Prisoner Profile on the bulletin board in your church, Sunday School class or Christian school. Share a copy with your pastor, members of your Bible study group or other Christian friends.
Address for Asia Bibi
District Jail
Sheikhupura
Punjab
Pakistan
Circulation To Date for Asia Bibi

Please note
When writing a letter, never mention the name of the source of your information or the name of any organization such as Voice of the Martyrs or Prisoner Alert. It is not dangerous for a prisoner to receive letters from individuals, but if an organization is mentioned they may be accused of links with ‘foreign organizations’ and receive harsher sentences. Also, please do not state anything negative about their government. For the latest information, including letter writing tools and helps, please visit PrisonerAlert.com.

 

Excerpt from an actual letter created on PrisonerAlert.com

I gave thanks for you when I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray the eyes, ears and hearts of those who persecute you may open to Jesus. Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.




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King James Bible for every school in England: Copies sent around the country to mark 400 years since it was published 

Bibles set to arrive at schools as early as next week

By SARAH HARRIS

Every state primary and secondary school in England is to receive a copy of the King James Bible.

Around 24,000 Bibles are being distributed to schools this week by the Department for Education to mark last year’s 400th anniversary of its publication.

Education Secretary Michael Gove, who describes the Bible as the most ‘important book written in the English language’, has insisted that every child should have the chance to appreciate its literary riches.

 
Schools across the UK will be receiving the King James to celebrate its 400 year anniversary Schools across the UK will be receiving the King James to celebrate its 400 year anniversary

The project has gone ahead thanks to £370,000 from charities and philanthropists after Mr Gove was forced to deny earlier this year that funding was a problem.

David Cameron reportedly told Mr Gove that, while he supported the idea, it should avoid using taxpayers’ money amid objections from non-religious groups.

 The project is backed by religious leaders across the faiths, academics, historians and cultural figures, including Lord Melvyn Bragg.

The first Bibles will arrive this week and all schools are expected to have them by the end of the month.

Mr Gove said yesterday: ‘The King James Bible has had a profound impact on our culture.

‘Every school pupil should have the opportunity to learn about  this book and the impact it has had on our history, language, literature and democracy.’

The third official translation of the Bible into English, also known as the Authorised Version, was commissioned by the Protestant King James I in 1604 and published in 1611.

It became the Church of England’s official version and was spread worldwide by the British Empire. It also brought phrases such as ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘land of Nod’ to the English language.

The Right Reverend John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford and chairman of the Church of England Board of Education, said: ‘This is a fitting way of marking the seminal contribution this version of the Bible has made to our culture.

‘It symbolically places the King James Bible at the heart of the educational process which it inspired.’

Maulana Shahid Raza, chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, said: ‘I hope it enables children of all faiths to discover the heritage and cultural legacy of their country and helps them to grow up in a peaceful, cohesive and tolerant society.’

Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of the history of the Church at St Cross College, Oxford University, said the King James Bible ‘represents the culmination of a century of Biblical translation in the first golden age of modern English literature’.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2144983/King-James-Bible-school-England.html#ixzz1v4Bvb8ua

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Education Secretary Michael Gove’s £377,000 plan to send a King James Bible to every school ‘founders over funding.Scheme is to mark the 400th anniversary of its translation.

 

 

Michael Gove said the King James Bible is 'has helped shape and define the English language'

Michael Gove said the King James Bible is ‘has helped shape and define the English language’

The Education Secretary was today forced to deny that his plan to send every school in Britain a copy of the King James Bible – at a cost of £377,000 – has run into trouble over funding.

The Prime Minister had reportedly told Michael Gove that while he supported the idea, he should avoid using taxpayers’ money, according to sources.

The paper said the Education Secretary has yet to find a private sponsor for his project, with some Whitehall sources reported as saying he has been told he cannot distribute the book until he does so.

 

But Mr Gove said talks were under way with a number of individuals and organisations that might ‘share some of the burden’ – but the taxpayer would underwrite the cost.

‘The taxpayer is there to underwrite the costs but we are in conversation with a number of individuals and organisations that may share some of the burden,’ he said.

Mr Gove said the Bible was the most ‘important book written in the English language’ and had major cultural and historical significance.

He said a ‘low cost’ deal had been struck with the publisher to provide the Bible – a move he described as a ‘powerful and potent’ way of highlighting the historical significance of the anniversary.

The Bibles will be sent out to more than 20,000 schools to mark the 400th anniversary of it translation.

It has been claimed thousands of copies may already have been printed and will be left in a warehouse without the funding, but Department for Education said it did not know if the copies had yet been printed, or where the copies might currently be stored.

And they said the aim was to distribute the Bibles to schools at Easter, so the timetable had not been affected by the lack of a sponsor and they would be distributed even if no sponsor is found.

 A senior education department source told the Guardian enough public money was available for the scheme to go ahead, but No 10 had merely indicated that ‘sponsorship was desirable’.

But Whitehall sources said Mr Gove was told that it would be wrong to spend nearly £400,000 on the project at a time when the government was in negotiations with teaching unions over cuts to their pensions.

Mr Gove's plan would see 20,000 schools receive a copy of the King James BibleMr Gove’s plan would see 20,000 schools receive a copy of the King James Bible

A Department for Education official said in a statement: ‘The Prime Minister was clear in his speech in December about the importance of the King James Bible, and marking this important anniversary. 

‘The Prime Minister supports the plan to send a copy to every school. We continue to seek philanthropic sponsorship.’

‘AN HISTORICAL ARTEFACT’

A King James Bible

The third official translation of the Bible into English, also known as the Authorised Version, was commissioned by the Protestant King James I in 1604.

It was completed by 54 scholars working on Hebrew and Greek manuscripts in Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster. It became the official version used by the Church of England and was spread around the world along with the British Empire.

But its popularity has also endured because of the poetry and the majesty of its language, with many of its original phrases entering popular conversation. 
Among the most famous coinages in its 66 books are ‘the powers that be’, ‘the apple of his eye’ and ‘the writing on the wall’.

Mr Gove said: ‘It‘s a thing of beauty, and it‘s also an incredibly important historical artefact. It has helped shape and define the English language and is one of the keystones of our shared culture. And it is a work that has had international significance’. 

The 400th anniversary of the publication of the Bible was in 2011.
In a speech in December, Mr Cameron celebrated the importance of the King James Bible giving three reasons for its relevance.

He said: ‘The King James Bible has bequeathed a body of language that permeates every aspect of our culture and heritage.

‘Second, just as our language and culture is steeped in the Bible, so too is our politics.

‘Third, we are a Christian country. And we should not be afraid to say so. Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith – or no faith – is somehow wrong.’

Government ministers have always been careful to avoid controversies surrounding religion with Tony Blair’s former communications chief Alastair Campbell famously once declaring: ‘We don’t do God’.

But Mr Gove said: ‘It’s a thing of beauty, and it’s also an incredibly important historical artefact. It has helped shape and define the English language and is one of the keystones of our shared culture. And it is a work that has had international significance’. 

When the scheme was announced the National Secular Society suggested that the Department for Education could put a message on its website and save ‘tens of thousands of pounds’.

NSS president Terry Sanderson said: ‘It’s not as if Bibles are in short supply in schools. But if Mr Gove intends to go ahead with this, will he also please ensure that a copy of On the Origin of Species is sent out on Darwin Day?

‘This book is much harder to find in schools and would be in line with his policy of promoting science and evidence-based education. I’m sure that he could write an excellent foreword to this too.’

Richy Thompson, campaigns officer at the British Humanist Association, added: ‘Either the Government is funding this initiative itself at a time when it is making severe cuts elsewhere, or the Church is finding it but using the Government as a vehicle through which to promote Christianity – both are unacceptable.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2088339/Michael-Goves-377k-plan-send-King-James-Bible-school.html#ixzz1jpEYZ3Vk

By CHARLES WALFORDMail Online:

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IRAN: Church raided in run-up to Christmas  06/01/2012

 

In the run-up to Christmas, a church in southern Iran was raided and all of the congregation including Sunday school children and church leaders were detained.  This latest development is a sign of the continued crackdown on Iranian Christians.

Church raided and congregation detained

Iranian authorities in the southern town of Ahwaz raided the Christmas celebrations of an Assemblies of God-affiliated church, detaining everyone in the building, including children attending Sunday school.

According to CSW’s sources, the authorities herded the entire congregation, including children, into two buses that had been brought specifically for this purpose. The majority were interrogated, threatened and eventually released. Although the majority of the congregation were eventually released, the senior pastor, his wife and two elders were detained, although the pastor’s wife and one of the elders have now been released.  

Church’s pastor has been targeted in the past

Pastor Farhad has been detained on several occasions in the past and warned not to allow Muslim converts into his church. This is also not the first time that Christmas celebrations in Iranian churches have been raided in this way. Similar raids and detentions during the Christmas season have occurred in Iran for the last three years.

This wave of arrest comes as Iranian media has been publicising a Christmas message sent to Pope Benedict from Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, in which he congratulated his Christian counterparts on the “auspicious anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ”, wished blessing, happiness and prosperity to the Pope and all Christians in the coming year, and stated that the world’s ills were caused by ignoring ethics and justice.

CSW speaking up for Iran’s Christians

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “Mr Larijani’s Christmas message may have been well intentioned, but it is entirely undermined by these arrests, which violate the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Iran’s own constitution. The Iranian authorities often insist that Christians are being arrested for indulging in actions that threaten public security, however, it is difficult to conceive how children attending Sunday school or, for that matter, legitimate Christmas celebrations fit into this category. It increasingly appears as if the Iranian regime has decided to deem every act of Christian worship a threat to national security. If this is indeed the case, then the right to freedom of religion or belief is gravely under threat in Iran.”

Send cards of encouragement

In response to the arrests the Iranian Church in London is asking for cards of encouragement to be sent to the children, who may have been traumatised by their ordeal. Cards can be sent to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, P.O. Box 99, New Malden, Surrey KT3 3YF. Any mail will be forwarded to the church through CSW’s contacts in Iran.

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Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani
 Still on Death Row;
 Brazilian Senators
 Plea for His Life
 Brazilian senators have mobilized to support the release of the pastor who is facing execution in Iran because of his faith in Christ.
  • Youcef Nadarkhani
    (Photo: Courtesy of ACLJ.org)
    Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is seen here in prison in Lakan, Iran. Nadarkhani faces execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith. 
Paulo Paim, a Brazilian Senator (PT-RS), this week sent a petition of a motion in support of Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani to the president of the Brazilian Senate, Jose Sarney.

“Under the Rules of the House, I require a motion in support of the Iranian pastor Nadarkhani Yousef,” he says in the claim.

Pastor Nadarkhani faces execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith although more recent reports have indicated that the charges against him have been changed; saying that he is now on death row for “crimes against national security.”

The mobilization started from an appeal made by another senator, Marcelo Crivella (PRB-RJ) last month. In a speech, he urged his colleagues to call on the Iranian government to release the pastor.

“I would like to ask my fellow senators to make an appeal on behalf of democracy and human rightsin particular, to the Iranian Government to save this innocent man’s life, who was just exercising his right to express his conscience.”

Paim says in the petition, “For Senate Committee on Human Rights is unacceptable and unbelievable that even today, in the twenty-first century, to say that someone will die if he does not deny his faith; that will be killed or have life imprisonment if he does not deny his faith.”

Media organizations, human rights groups, Christian leaders and political figures have all been applying pressure for Iran to free the Christian pastor, and the efforts are, apparently, now bringing positive results. According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has followed the case closely, the pastor is still alive, despite numerous previous reports saying that his execution was imminent.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling on all Christians to join the prayer day on October 9 for the life of Pastor Yousef.

Iranian officials are set to meet again  in what could be a decisive day for the life of the pastor.

By Andrea Marcela Madambashi | Christian Post Correspondent

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