||FIRST, THE NEWS:
UKRAINIAN CHURCH LEADERS: THE WEST MUST WAKE UP TO THE THREAT OF RUSSIA
from Christian Today
(29 Apr) The Western Church must recognize the seriousness of the conflict in Ukraine, a group of Ukrainian religious leaders said at a consultation at Lambeth Palace in London yesterday. Bishop Anatoly Kalyuzhny, senior pastor of the Council of Evangelical Churches in Ukraine, said that although the conflict in Ukraine may seem distant, Russia's dominant behaviour poses a challenge to the entire Western world. "If children are not dying on the streets of London today, that doesn't meant this cannot come to you. Today the world is very small. What is happening in Ukraine today can happen here tomorrow," the bishop said.
The conflict in Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces has resulted in the internal displacement of about 1.2 million people in the last year. At least 6,100 people have been killed, and a further 15,500 have been wounded since mid-April 2104, according to UN estimates. Hundreds more are still missing, meaning that the actual figures could be considerably higher.
One of the aims of yesterday's consultation of religious leaders from Ukraine and Britain, hosted by BMS World Mission and Mission Eurasia, was to raise awareness of the conflict among the Western Church, where it is felt that the threat from Russia continues to be largely misunderstood. "There [in Ukraine] today not just the fate of Ukraine is being decided, not just the future of Putin, but the future of all our civilisation," Bishop Kalyuzhniy said. He emphasised that this was not a threat from a terrorist group or internal conflict, but external influence from Russia – a nation state with one of the world's largest armies, a country that is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a nuclear power. [read more...]
RUSSIA: JAILED FOR EXERCISING FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF IN PUBLIC
by , Forum 18 News Service
(01 May) Baptist pastor Pavel Pilipchuk was imprisoned for five days in Orel in mid-April for refusing to pay a fine for allegedly organising an open-air meeting for worship without informing the city administration beforehand, church members told Forum 18 News Service. "Christian songs and conversations with people cannot be classified as rallies, pickets, marches and demonstrations," they insist. Religious communities whose beliefs require them to share their beliefs in public, beyond the confines of a place of worship, are particularly vulnerable to prosecution in Russia.
Public processions with chanting constitute "one of the main forms of expression of the right of believers to act in accordance with their beliefs and the right to disseminate them," Hare Krishna lawyer Mikhail Frolov explained to Forum 18. Nine Jehovah's Witnesses and four Muslims are known to have also been fined since the beginning of 2015 for holding public religious events. [read more...]
THREE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS GET WARNINGS FROM JUSTICE MINISTRY FOR BREACHES OF LEGISLATION
(8 May) On the basis of the results of the probes conducted this year, the Justice Ministry has imposed sanctions on three of the five religious organizations whose activities were found in breach of the Russian legislation, the ministry said in a report posted on its website on Friday. In the course of the probe, the inspectors had questions to the Central Conference of the Russian United Methodist Church, the Kuban Association of Christians of Evangelical Faith, the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of the European Part of Russia, and the association of Christians of Evangelical Faith Kingdom of God.
A protocol [list of charges] was made against the first association based on Article 19.4 of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations, "Failure to obey a lawful order of an official exercising state supervision, which is punishable by a fine in an amount of 500 to 1,000 rubles for citizens and 2,000 to 4,000 rubles for officials." Representatives of the organization were ordered to correct the breaches by May 29. Four other organizations have been accused of various breaches of the legislation in their charters. [read more...]
DEFECTOR: 'LIBERATION THEOLOGY' A SOVIET PLOT OF THE COLD WAR
from Christian Examiner
(6 May) A communist official who defected to the United States at the height of the Cold War has claimed in an interview the KGB developed the powerful movement known as "Liberation Theology" as a means of wresting control of South America from the orbit of the Catholic Church and the influence of the United States. Ion Mihai Pacepa, who served as a three-star general in Romania's Securitate, or secret police, told the Catholic World News May 1 that he first learned of the new theological movement from his "de facto boss," a Russian adviser to Romania named Gen. Aleksandr Sakharovsky – who served as the first chief director of the KGB from 1956-71.
In October 1959, Sakharovsky came to Romania for a six-day visit with Nikita Khrushchev, who had been named premier the year before. Khrushchev, Pacepa said, had not come to Romania for a six-day vacation. "He had never taken such a long vacation abroad, nor was his stay in Romania really a vacation. Khrushchev wanted to go down in history as the Soviet leader who had exported communism to Central and South America," Pacepa told the Catholic news service. It was during meetings with the Soviets that Pacepa first heard the term "Liberation Theology."
Liberation Theology has traditionally, though erroneously, been attributed to the literary work of Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez in 1971. His work focused on the salvation of the community through the correction of social and economic injustices arising from the manipulation of political systems. Sin was almost exclusively seen as abuse of the poor, the inequitable distribution of wealth and political conformity and oppression of the working class. The movement's undercurrents began in the late 1950s in unions staffed largely by Catholic workers who leaned toward the leftist ideology of communism, as Pacepa now confirms. Since the 1970s, liberation theology has been adapted to create "Black Liberation Theology" and "Feminist Theology," aimed at upsetting the white and male power structures, respectively.[read more...]
KHARKIV UAOC BROTHERHOOD SUPPORTS THE DIALOGUE WITH THE UGCC
from Religious Information Service of Ukraine
(4 May) Kharkiv Regional Brotherhood of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called supports the intention of Archbishop Ihor (Isichenko) to establish Eucharistic unity of Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy with the UGCC, as reported in their statement. "Since its creation on 7 July 1990, Kharkiv Regional Brotherhood consistently supported the spiritual forces in the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church that seek to restore the Kyiv Mohyla epoch spiritual tradition. However, we have seen how weak are the inner church forces that cannot resist the inertia of Moscow Orthodoxy," states the document.
“So we are pleased to hear the news about the beginning of constructive cooperation between the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which for centuries, despite the restrictions and prohibitions took care of nurturing its ritual identity. We unequivocally support the ruling of the 25th eparchial council ‘On participation of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy in the creation of a local church’ and are ready for active participation in the dialogue with lay movements of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. We believe that the joint work on the ways to unity of the two Churches – heirs of the Kyiv Metropolis, will not harm our Orthodox identity. On the contrary, it will make us stronger and will allow us to rely better on our own church tradition,” stress the representatives of the Brotherhood. [read more...]
RUSSIAN PATRIARCH TO CHURCH: GET ONLINE
from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
(29 Apr) The head of the Russian Orthodox Church says the church should make greater use of the Internet to get its message to the people. "We have no right not to be where our flock is or might be -- and our flock today, in fact the most active part of our flock, is on social networks," Patriarch Kirill told senior clerics of Russia's dominant church on April 29. Kirill said that many people's lives are now focused heavily on the Internet even though it is "not the most trustworthy and deep source of information."
Kirill has come under fire online over what critics say is excessive interest in temporal matters and involvement in politics, including vocal support for President Vladimir Putin. He suggested the church should use the Internet to combat such perceptions, saying that if members of the flock are disturbed by "some events, including in the life of the church, this raises the question of...how active we are in explaining the church's position." [read more...]
OTHER NEWS HEADLINES:
RUSSIA SLAMS DIRECT CONTACTS BETWEEN UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (KP) AND NATO
from Sputnik News
ORTHODOX FAITH WAS THE DECISIVE FACTOR FOR WW2 VICTORY, ARCHPRIEST VSEVOLOD CHAPLIN BELIEVES
THE PRESIDENT OF BELARUS JOKED ON THE CELIBACY OF PRIESTS
UKRAINE CHURCH FLOURISHES AFTER CONFISCATION OF BUILDING
from Mission Network News
UOC (MP) BISHOPS REMAINED SEATED WHEN PRESIDENT POROSHENKO READ NAMES OF HEROES OF UKRAINE
from Religious Information Service of Ukraine
RUSSIAN STATE DUMA ADOPTS AMENDMENTS TO RELIGION LAW
from Russia Religion News
METROPOLITAN ONUFRY OF KIEV ATTENDS CELEBRATIONS MARKING 1150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BAPTISM OF BULGARIA
from Russian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate
UKRAINE’S DISABLED ORPHANS FACE ABUSE, NEW REPORT SHOWS
AS RUSSIA VOTES DOWN A PRO-LIFE BILL, THE NATION’S PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT REMAINS HOPEFUL
from LifeSite News
See HOSKEN-NEWS Daily for more of the latest news!
NOW, OUR VIEWS:
We took a giant step forward this week: our Hosken-News now has its own unique website: www.Hosken-News.info. Links from previous Hosken-News emails to our articles, essays and comments will still work, and you'll also notice that our essays are in a new "Hosken-News Blog" that are included in our e-newsletters and also available separately.
Our first news article UKRAINIAN CHURCH LEADERS: THE WEST MUST WAKE UP TO THE THREAT OF RUSSIA urges Western believers to awaken to what's developing in Central and East Europe. This appears to be a valid call to action, but who exactly is Bishop Anatoly Kalyuzhny, the main speaker at the aforementioned event? The article states that he is the head pastor of the "Council of Evangelical Churches in Ukraine," which sounds like a broadly representative group of Evangelicals.
Actually, however, this "council of churches" is his own neo-pentecostal cult, and he teaches the heresy of modalism that denies the eternality of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. This self-proclaimed bishop instead teaches that God the Father morphed into Jesus Christ, and then Christ morphed into the Holy Spirit: thus each Person of the Holy Trinity is not eternal, they are just manifestations at different times of one supernatural being. In the U.S. this cult is called the "United Pentecostal Church" that teaches there is no salvation outside of itself and that a person must speak in tongues to be saved. I'm surprised that some Evangelical missions associate with this "Council of Evangelical Churches in Ukraine" - it seems they need to wake up to the propaganda of pseudo-Christian cults!
In our last issue we reported that the UAOC and the UOC(KP) are seeking to unite. Now an arm of the UAOC is seeking dialogue with the UGCC (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) - article five above: KHARKIV UAOC BROTHERHOOD SUPPORTS THE DIALOGUE WITH THE UGCC. What do these three churches have in common? All three share the same eastern Christian liturgy, and all three have their roots in Ukraine, not in a foreign country. If such a union were to come about, it would form a "United Ukrainian Christian Church."
And our sixth news article RUSSIAN PATRIARCH TO CHURCH: GET ONLINE indicates that the Russian Orthodox Church has finally realized that the younger generation is Internet-oriented. How many young people do you see walking along the street, in buses or subways, at lunch in cafeterias or restaurants ...all looking at their smartphones? For this new generation, if an organization or a business isn't on the Internet it simply doesn't exist! These people will almost never hear the Gospel because the Church doesn't speak to them in the medium they understand.
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Please remember to pray for Christians in the former Soviet bloc countries, and for...
Bob & Cheryl
p.s. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.