Wednesday, October 17, 2012

'Forgotten Christmas' Provides Free Church Resources to Bring Home True Meaning of Holiday

Key is Sharing Christ with, Ministering to 'the Least of These'
CARROLLTON, Texas, Oct. 17, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Free resources for pastors to help their churches remember the true meaning of Christmas and rediscover the gospel's true message of reaching and caring for "the least of these" are now available from "Forgotten Christmas" (
Click here to watch "Forgotten Christmas" 2012 video.

The 2012 "Forgotten Christmas" campaign is under way to empower pastors and church members to take a concrete step to reach and support their brothers and sisters in need during the holiday season.

"The meaning of Christmas in the West unfortunately has been lost in so much materialism every year, even by Christians," said K. P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia, sponsor of "Forgotten Christmas." "'Forgotten Christmas' is helping Christ-followers remember the priceless gift of the gospel and 'the least of these,' who have yet to hear it or have newly welcomed it."

Many American Christians seem to have forgotten what the true meaning of Christmas is about. Even more have forgotten the most downtrodden and persecuted peoples around the world. "Forgotten Christmas" is especially committed to caring for "the least of these" in South Asia, a particularly overlooked region.

The free annual video produced by "Forgotten Christmas" helps pastors raise awareness about the consumerism that is smothering the true spirit of the holiday. Pastors can use the video in their sermons or programming to help refocus their congregations' perspective.

Last year more than $500 billion was spent on Christmas. If even 1 percent of that spending was redirected, it could provide a bible for every person around the world, clean water for everybody in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, or 400,000 church buildings for needy congregations in the third world.

This year's video reminds viewers that amid the sparkly "giftapaloozas" -- even at church gatherings -- the key to Christmas is in sharing Christ, one gift at a time.

The 2012 "Forgotten Christmas" video, as well as those from previous years, is available free for download at or on a DVD from Gospel for Asia at

Free gift catalogs also give Christians a variety of giving opportunities, including purchasing sewing machines and livestock and supporting literacy education in needy areas. Pastors can distribute these catalogs to help their churches take the next step in recapturing the true meaning of Christmas. One hundred percent of funds sent through the catalog go to help those in need and to mission work. Not one cent is used for administrative expenses in the West.

To receive free videos, catalogs and church kits containing other promotional materials, visit

"Forgotten Christmas" ( was established in 2010 to help Christians rediscover the true meaning of Christmas in giving to others in need. Since that time, their videos and catalogs have been used by hundreds of churches to challenge Christians to give to "the least of these" in South Asia.

Gospel for Asia (GFA), a Christian mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, has brought the "good news" of Christ to millions in South Asia since its founding in 1978. GFA plants 14 fellowships a day and supports thousands of mission workers and assemblies among these forgotten groups. Thousands of young men and women -- natives of the countries they will serve -- are undergoing training for mission work at 67 GFA-supported Bible colleges throughout the region. In addition, GFA provides education, meals and healthcare to tens of thousands of South Asia's impoverished children through its Bridge of Hope program. For more information, visit or the ministry's Facebook page.

Christian Newswire

Christian Artist Released after 136 Days in Iranian Prison

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

IRAN (ANS) -- A Christian artist with an Islamic background, who had been transferred to the Central Prison of Mashhad immediately after his arrest, has been temporarily released.
Vahid Zarday
According to a story by Mohabat Christian News Agency, Vahid Zarday’s release occurred on Oct. 9, after more than four months in prison. The Christian convert spent 136 days in the notorious Vakil-Abad prison, where he was interrogated. According to the latest reports, he has been temporarily released and is now awaiting his trial.
Mohabat News said Zarday was arrested by security authorities on May 26 of this year, as he gathered with his wife and other Christian converts in a house church to study the Bible and pray. He was transferred to Vakil-Abad Prison immediately after his arrest.
Mohabat News said human rights activists say Vakil-Abad prison is described as “hell on earth.” The prison is also reported to be “very crowded, hygiene is poor, inmates are humiliated and group executions are conducted.”
Security authorities had also arrested Zarday in 2007, together with Christian friends, because of their faith.
Mohabat News said Zarday graduated in Music from Sooreh University in Tehran and is a Christian artist. In producing his material, he has collaborated with some famous Iranian artists in several domestic art festivals, including those for theatre, and has received awards as a music composer.


The Dhao people finally receive Bibles

Indonesia (MNN) ― Timor, Indonesia, home of 4000 Dhao speakers, has finally received a way to deepen their walk with the Lord. In 1998 the translation of the New Testament and Genesis began in the Dhao language.
After 14 years, the Dhao people have finally received the New Testament, thanks to The Seed Company. The process was long and tedious. They first had to establish an alphabet for this complex language to begin translation. Relying on farmers and other local people called by God, the project has now been completed.
The Dhao people, most of whom claim to be Christians, were first introduced to Christ in the early 1700s. Pastors translate Bible verses orally into the local language, but the people do not have anything tangible they can have at home.
Reverend Dr. Ayub Ranoh M. TH., Ph.D., the man responsible for coordinating the translation program, was born on the Island. He saw the great need for the people to strengthen and deepen their walk with the Lord.
The Seed Company's mission is "to accelerate Scripture translation and impact for people without God's word through the Great Commission partnership." This 14-year process is much anticipated for them.


Thousands Will Gather in San Francisco to Support Religious Freedom -- Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally at the U.S. Federal Building

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 16, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- On Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 P.M. (PDT), on the eve of the most crucial presidential election since 1860, the California Civil Rights Foundation will hold its third Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally in San Francisco. The HHS Mandate forces all employers -- even religious institutions such as Roman Catholic hospitals and universities -- to offer contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs through their health plans, contrary to their religious beliefs and doctrines. This rally will be one of over 140 rallies held across the country in support of Religious Freedom and is expected to be the largest of the three Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies in San Francisco.
    Event Details
    What: Stand Up Rally for Religious Freedom
    When: Saturday, October 20th, 2012 @ 1:00 P.M. (PDT)
    Where: San Francisco's U.S. Federal Building, 90 Seventh St., San Francisco, CA
    Who: Citizens opposed to President Obama's HHS Mandate
    Speakers: View the event flier with list of speakers here.
"I support the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally in San Francisco. We Americans can be rightly proud of the fact that the right to the free and unfettered exercise of religion is a primary principle in the vision and founding of our country. It defines us as a people, and has uniquely contributed to making this nation great. I urge all citizens, of all faiths and of no faith, to unite in advocating for and defending this, our 'first and most cherished freedom'" states San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.

Many religious organizations are faced with violating their consciences or facing stiff penalties. Religious leaders are taking a stand. Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life and the San Francisco Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally special guest has taken such a stand. Father Pavone recently announced: "I want to make it clear to you today that we will disobey this mandate. Neither Priests for Life as an organization, nor any one of our administrative team or Board of Directors, nor I personally, consent to provide, pay for, advocate, counsel, refer, or in any way tolerate or cooperate with any process, plan, exchange of money or services, or any other activity that would enable a person to engage in the use of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, or sterilization."
Walter B. Hoye II, organizer of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally in San Francisco and founder of the California Civil Rights Foundation, feels the necessity to stand up for Religious Freedom before this precious right is lost. "In his famous 'Letter from Birmingham Jail' in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. boldly said: 'The goal of America is freedom.' One of the biggest issues being decided in November isn't jobs, the economy or foreign policy; it's the grave and mortal threat to our religious freedom posed by the HHS Mandate. Albert Einstein was right when he said: 'The world has become a dangerous place to live in, not because of some evil men, but because of the many that do not do anything about it,'" said Hoye.
For more information on the Nationwide Rally effort, including media contacts for the national leadership team, click here.
The California Civil Rights Foundation is a 501(c)(4) organization. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Media Relations at: 510.225.4056 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            510.225.4056      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or click here to visit our website.

Christian Newswire

A Message to the Pulpits of America

Calif. Pastor Rebukes 'Passive, Coward' Churches for Avoiding Hot Button Issues

Pastor Shane Idleman is available for interviews
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 16, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- A recent article in The Christian Post highlights Pastor Shane Idleman's frustration with many of today's churches over their passivity and cowardice when it comes to speaking up for the truth on hot topic issues like abortion and homosexuality.

A video of his sermon tackling these issues can be seen under, Pulpit Freedom:

Pastor Shane's new book, ANSWERS FOR A CONFUSED CHURCH, is here along with his articles and radio program:

Pastor Shane is available for interviews and calls and emails will be responded to immediately. He can be reached directly at

Christian Newswire

From Aerosmith's Steven Tyler's Girlfriend to Pro-Life Advocate

Former Fiancé Julia Holcomb to Speak at Life Legal Defense Foundation Benefit Dinner
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 17, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- American Idol judge and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will not be at the annual benefit dinner for the Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) on Saturday, November 17th, but his one-time fiancé, underage legal ward, and mother of his aborted child will. Julia Holcomb will relate the story of how her relationship with the rock star in the late 1970s resulted in an abortion that nearly destroyed both of them.

Holcomb began telling her story recently after Tyler's comments about the abortion and his regrets over it surfaced in Walk this Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith (Stephen Davis, Harper Collins). Holcomb's own journey led her through pain, trauma, and abuse, but came full circle on the road to recovery that eventually returned her to the church. Today, she offers a passionate plea to end the sexual exploitation of young women and the tragedy of abortion. After decades of silence, Julia Holcomb is now a fierce advocate for respecting the life of unborn children and strengthening the sanctity of marriage.

"The Life Legal Defense Foundation stands up for those who speak out to save innocent lives and prevent women from experiencing suffering as Julia Holcomb did following her abortion," said Dana Cody, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. "Julia's story is cruel and tragic, but she has turned her sorrow into a force for positive, life-saving change. LLDF is pleased to be able to provide an opportunity for her to encourage and motivate those who are fighting to prevent the kind of horror that she lived through."
    About the Life Legal Defense Foundation's 23rd annual benefit dinner:

    When: 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 17

    Where: Our Lady of Peace Church, 2800 Mission College Boulevard, in Santa Clara, California

    Mini-conference: The dinner is preceded by a "mini-conference" at 3:30 p.m. at which LLDF staff will present an update on active cases and projects in the defense of life.
More information on website here.

About the Life Legal Defense Foundation
Life Legal Defense Foundation is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens, committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information, go to

Christian Newswire

GOD TV to Air Prayer Rally for Reconciliation in South Africa

Angus Buchan 'New Beginning' LIVE from Rustenburg this weekend.
RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Oct. 17, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Following the deaths of 46 people, killed in labor-related violence in South Africa, Evangelist Angus Buchan will be speaking at a mass gathering on Saturday October 20th to bring reconciliation, restoration and revival to the troubled Marikana area.

Aptly named 'New Beginning' the prayer rally is being supported by pastors and churches from across the region and will draw large numbers of people from every community. This will include the miners who have been striking and grieving families who have lost loved ones. The theme of the event is 2 Chronicles 7:14, which promises that if God's people walk in humility and are prayerful, then He will respond by healing the nation.

GOD TV Co-founder and CEO, Rory Alec is travelling to South Africa to participate in the rally, which is being held in his hometown of Rustenburg, close to Marikana. He will host the LIVE broadcast, which will be beamed worldwide from the Olympia Park Stadium at 10am with a replay at 7pm (EST)

"I am pleased to return to Rustenburg for this far-reaching crusade," said Rory Alec, "We have a vision for living rooms to truly come alive as our viewers watch revival as it happens. 'New Beginning' is an extraordinary opportunity for us to see this take place as Angus Buchan's message of reconciliation and restoration is beamed worldwide on the GOD Channel."

The founder of Shalom Trust, Angus Buchan is an internationally acclaimed Christian leader and nation-builder, best known for the movies 'Faith Like Potatoes' and 'Ordinary People.' GOD TV has previously aired his 'Mighty Men' events with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance.

"The destiny of our nation depends upon us as believers," says Angus Buchan. "It doesn't depend on the politicians or on anyone else. We need to get back to God, humble ourselves and pray, turn from our wicked ways and God will heal our land."

'New Beginning' will start with the world famous Soweto Gospel Choir and include worship with the 3R Team and Joe Niemand. Prayers will be led by local pastors including Francois Burger of Loftpark who is organising the event; Ed Bilong, President of Vision Africa Changers and Bert Pretorius of 3C Church in Pretoria.

"Angus has touched our lives and it's a joy for us to broadcast 'New Beginning'!" said GOD TV's Director of Television Wendy Alec. Our hearts are with those who grieve, but we believe that what the enemy has meant for evil, God will turn to good. We're expecting many viewers to be reconciled to God, families to be restored and the Body of Christ to be stirred."

GOD TV can be watched via satellite across the USA on channel 365 of DIRECTV and via cable and digital terrestrial transmission in some cities. The entire New Beginning event will be streamed LIVE at; also via Roku Streaming players ( and through the GOD TV App, available on iTunes.

Angus Buchan can also be watched on the GOD Channel daily on 'Family Time' and weekly on 'Grassroots.' For more information visit or

About GOD TV: GOD TV was founded in the UK in 1995 by Christian media pioneers Rory & Wendy Alec and in just 17 years has become a global phenomenon. Today the network beams a broad cross section of cutting-edge programs, including many life-changing LIVE broadcasts, into millions of homes worldwide. The only Christian broadcaster to transmit globally from Jerusalem, GOD TV's powerful signal is carried via multiple satellites providing free viewing to half a billion people 24-hours-a-day. In the USA, GOD TV can be viewed on DIRECTV channel 365 as well as on select cable channels. It can also be viewed online at The network has several offices in the USA. Other offices are situated in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. In addition to its vast media outreach, GOD TV also helps people in charitable ways by supporting feeding schemes, orphanages, water drilling projects and disaster relief funds.

Contact: Jeffrey Levinson at GOD TV's North America Regional Office,
375 Douglas Ave Suite, 1008, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714.
Telephone (407) 862-5084 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (407) 862-5084      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, fax (407) 682 2407 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (407) 682 2407      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, e-mail;

GOD TV Broadcast HQ: Jerusalem, Israel. Regional offices: USA (Washington, DC; Orlando, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri) UK & Ireland (Sunderland & Plymouth, England), Scandinavia (Hjørring, Denmark), Europe (Hamburg, Germany), Asia & Middle East (Chennai, India; Sri Lanka), Africa (Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya), Australasia (Melbourne, Australia).

Angel Christian Television Trust, Inc is a Not-For-Profit Florida Corporation with 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt status from the IRS.

Christian Newswire