Baptist Press Archive

Thursday, December 22, 2011

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  • In Iraqi Kurdistan, Baptists partner for clinic, school

    by Joni B. Hannigan/Florida Baptist Witness, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
    DOHUK, Kurdistan, Iraq (BP) -- A new day dawned in Iraqi Kurdistan this fall as Governor Tamar Ramadhan gave Baptists two acres of land valued at $2 million for the Grace Baptist Cultural Center -- a multi-phase project including a medical clinic, school, athletic facility, church building and seminary in the town of Simele.

    Gurgis Shlaymun, deputy governor of Kurdistan's Regional Government in Dohuk, stood in for the governor, joining other local officials and a team from Hillcrest Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., along with Iraqi, Jordanian and Brazilian Baptists and other evangelicals for an hour-long ceremony at an engraved marble cornerstone marking the new property.

    Shlaymun, an Assyrian Christian first elected deputy governor in the Muslim majority government in 2005, delivered remarks at a community center near the undeveloped property in Simele in Iraqi Kurdistan's Duhok Province.

    Simele, on the main road of an agricultural plain about 100 miles from the Turkish border, has a tragic history for Assyrian Christians. In 1800, its Christian inhabitants were forced from their homes and massacred by local militants. In 1933, after Assyrians and Chaldeans again found refuge and settled in the fertile valley, an estimated 3,000 were slaughtered following the withdrawal of British troops when Iraq gained independence in 1930.

    At the gathering of about 100 people under a banner bearing a colorful map of Iraq's regions marked with a cross and open hands at the spot of the new facilities in Simele, Shlaymun extended a special greeting to those from afar.

    "The people of Dohuk love their guests," Shlaymun said. "Today, you are the children of Iraq."

    Noting the involvement of Baptist groups from various nations, Shlaymun praised each for serving the people of the province by taking interest in "each family, in each sickness" so future generations will be well served. "This is our duty to introduce the land for this project, this is our duty to service this project," he said.

    Shlaymun recognized Iraqi Baptist pastor Farouk Hammo, one of the project's leaders who also shares a personal history with Gov. Ramadhan. "Our purpose and your purpose," Shlaymun said, "is to make a good generation."

    A deacon in the Assyrian Church of the East, Shlaymun spoke openly about the spiritual dimension of the center.

    "Jesus said your light will be shined through the people to see your works and glorify your Father in the Heaven," Shlaymun said. "That is what Jesus Christ said in the Bible. And this Jesus did not speak specifically about man, but for all the world. This will be for all."

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  • Iraqi pastor: 'Imagine if I had mistreated him'

    by Joni B. Hannigan/Florida Baptist Witness, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    Photo by Joni B. Hannigan
    DOHUK, Kurdistan, Iraq (BP) -- In a place once called "the land of rivers," or Mesopotamia, there was a young man in 1974 who needed helpers to survey sites for dams. Read More

  • UPDATE: Iranian pastor told to recant or die

    by Damaris Kremida/Compass Direct News, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    ISTANBUL (BP) -- A pastor in Iran sentenced to death for refusing to recant his faith may have to wait another year in prison for a ruling on whether the sentence will be upheld, according to sources. Read More

  • Air Force base refuses to remove nativity scene

    by Todd Starnes/Fox News & Commentary, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    NEW YORK (BP) -- Travis Air Force Base in California has decided it will not remove or relocate a nativity scene and a Menorah in spite of a threat from The Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Read More

  • New chapel is site of Southwestern graduation

    by Sharayah Colter, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    Photo by Ben Peacock/SWBTS
    FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- In the first commencement ceremony in the new MacGorman Chapel, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary added 178 students to its alumni rolls Dec. 16.

    Southwestern President Paige Patterson addressed the graduates, expounding on John 1:14 which says, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (NKJV). Read More

  • New Dec. graduation marked by MBTS 'firsts'

    by T. Patrick Hudson, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) -- Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's first full commencement in December was highlighted by two "firsts." Read More

  • BIBLE STUDY: Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011

    by Staff/LifeWay Christian Resources, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- This Bible study appears in Baptist Press each week in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.

    This week's Bible study is adapted from LifeWay's YOU! Curriculum.

    Bible Passage: Matthew 2:1-11, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 9:27-28

    Discussion Question:

    Wh... Read More

  • BIBLE STUDY: Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012

    by Staff/LifeWay Christian Resources, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- This Bible study appears in Baptist Press each week in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.

    This week's Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

    Bible Passages: Numbers 16:1—25:18

    Discussion Questions:

    How do God's promises to you provide comfort in ... Read More

  • CHRISTMAS: A Gift from DQ

    by Curt Iles, posted Thursday, December 22, 2011 (7 years ago)

    Writer Curt Iles of Dry Creek, La., acknowledges, "It may seem morbid to feature a casket for a Christmas story. … But to fully understand the true story of Christmas, we must realize that Jesus came for a purpose and it was fulfilled with His death and resurrection." Read More