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Israeli Minister Threatens to Shut Down God TV Channel Preaching ‘Gospel of Jesus’

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A new evangelical Christian television channel in Israel has been threatened with being shut down if it engages in any type of missionary activity, according to Israeli media reports.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that the international television network GOD TV’s new Hebrew-language channel Shelanu began airing last week on Israel’s HOT cable network after receiving a seven-year license from the Israeli Communications Ministry.

GOD TV CEO Ward Simpson announced the launch and declared that the network has been “given government permission to broadcast the Gospel of Jesus Christ” in Israel, something he said has never been done before.

Proselytizing to people younger than 18 without their parents’ consent is against the law in Israel, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. And under the terms of the Shelanu license, the network is forbidden from engaging in missionary activities.

The Chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, Asher Biton, told the newspaper that he was unaware when the license was granted to Shelanu that the new channel planned to engage in activities that are prohibited under the terms of the license.

Biton told the newspaper that he has ordered an investigation into the channel. Biton was quoted as saying that if it’s determined that the license terms have been violated or there is any intention to violate them, Shelanu would be shut down.

“According to our regulations, it is fine to broadcast religious programming,” Biton was quoted as saying. “But it is forbidden to broadcast content that has the potential to influence viewers in an undue fashion, and most certainly young and impressionable viewers.”

Biton said he doesn’t want to rush to judgment because shutting down television networks isn’t something the council does often.

A HOT spokesperson told the newspaper that Shelanu is one of a number of religious channels that are broadcast in the country.

“It received a permit from the council and is broadcasting according to law,” the spokesperson declared, adding that “full information was provided to the council and the channel is operating in accordance with the permit it received.”

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Communications Minister David Amsalem said he “will not allow any missionary channel to operate in Israel, at no time and under no circumstances.”

Amsalem also demanded that if an investigation finds the channel to be engaging in missionary activities that “it be removed immediately.”

The Christian Post reached out to GOD TV for comment on the reports. A response is pending.

According to a statement from GOD TV, Shelanu translates to the word “ours” in Hebrew. The channel aims to “present new and original programming from local congregations on the ground in Israel.”

“Additionally, international Messianic voices will share powerful real-life testimonies of Israelis who have come to know Yeshua as Messiah,” the statement reads. “The channel, which won’t carry fundraising, is being financed by Christians across the globe who want to empower Messianic congregations.”

The GOD TV statement also states that Shelanu wants “every person in Israel to know, not a foreign Messiah, but a Jewish one!”

“His name is Yeshua and He has not forgotten His people,” the statement adds.

Shelanu is operated in partnership with Tikkun International, an Israel-based network of Christian ministries.

“We want Jewish viewers to grasp the fact that Jesus is theirs,” a statement from Tikkun International on the new channel reads. “He is not a foreigner, intruder or imposter. He is their Jewish Messiah, born in Israel, raised as a Jew.”

Other Christian channels such as Daystar and Middle East Television also broadcast in Israel but do not flaunt their missionary activities.

Sources: Christian Post

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A 9-year-old boy who went hunting with his father has died.

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Nebraska: The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said a 9-year-old Seward boy was killed in a hunting accident near Branched Oak Lake on Sunday morning.

The accident happened near NW 98th Street and West Davey road about 7:40 a.m.

LSO said the young boy accidentally shot himself while pheasant hunting with his father.

Authorities said Gunnar Holte, 9, was shooting at a bird, went to reload a shotgun, and the gun fired.

The father said he turned around and saw his son had fallen.

An off-duty Lincoln Police officer was also in the area hunting and tried to help the boy.

The child was taken to the hospital where life-saving measures were not successful, LSO said.

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Christian orgs in China drop ‘Jesus’ from book titles to circumvent internet censorship

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Internet censorship targeting Christians in China has become so severe that even official government-sanctioned Christian groups are now using the Chinese pinyin initials “JD” to replace Chinese characters for “Christ,” according to U.S.-based China Aid.

Two official government-sanctioned religious organizations — the Christian Council of China and the Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches of China — have updated titles and descriptions of all their books on “Tianfengshuyuan,” their official WeChat book store, reported China Aid, which exposes abuses and promotes religious freedom, human rights and the rule of law in China.

“In their official WeChat store, not only ‘Christ’ becomes ‘JD,’ ‘Jesus’ also becomes ‘YS,’ and ‘Bible’ becomes ‘SJ,’” wrote Fuzeng Xing, dean of Chung Chi Seminary of Chinese University of Hong Kong, on his Facebook page, the group noted.

On March 30, 2018, the “Holy Bible” was removed from all online booksellers across China, including Taobao, Jingdong, WeChat store, Dangdang, Amazon China, and other online platforms.

As a result, many online religious bookstores have shut down.

Bitter Winter, a publication that monitors religious liberty violations in China, reported earlier this month that Chinese Communist Party officials in Luoyang, a prefecture-level city in Henan’s central province, searched a local printing house for banned religious materials.

“Any religious content makes the issue political, not religious. Although banners on the streets say people are allowed religious beliefs, the only faith they can practice freely is that in the Communist Party,” a store manager told Bitter Winter.

Because inspections are “too rigorous,” the manager said he refuses to print religious materials. “They checked my storehouse, scrutinized all records, and even looked at paper sheets on the floor to see if they have prohibited content. If any such content is found, I’ll be fined, or worse, my business will be closed.”

Last month, a Chinese Christian online bookstore owner was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined nearly $30,000 for engaging in what the regime deems as “illegal business operations.”

Persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported at the time that in September 2019, Chen Yu, who operated his online bookstore in Zhejiang province’s Taizhou city, was detained for selling unapproved religious publications imported from Taiwan, the U.S., and other countries.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 200,000 RMB ($29,450), according to a document from the People’s Court of Linhai City, shared by Father Francis Liu from the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness.

In 2018, the Chinese government banned the sale of Bibles at online bookstores across the country to comply with a “white paper” that dictated compliance with the “core values of socialism.”

Australia’s ABC News reported at the time that copies of the Gospels had been removed from online retailers following the release of a regime document, titled “China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief.”

The white paper declared that Chinese faith communities “should adhere to the direction of localizing the religion, practice the core values of socialism, develop and expand the fine Chinese tradition and actively explore the religious thought which accords with China’s national circumstances.”

China is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.

The communist regime’s crackdown on religious freedom has also led the U.S. State Department to label it as a “country of particular concern” for “continuing to engage in particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

In a recent interview with The Christian Post, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo said it is “certainly the case that the Chinese Communist Party [engages in] efforts to stamp out religious freedom every place that they find.”
Sources:Christian Post

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