N7N 373 News



30,000 Pathfinders set up Camp in Wisconsin


In the United States, over 30,000 young people from more than 100 nations recently attended the Seventh-day Adventist Scouts Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  According to Adventist News Network, the four-day Camporee, themed Faith on Fire, included a variety of activities such as sporting events, talent showcase and a marching exhibition.  Participants also worked together on numerous community service projects in the Wisconsin countryside.  Over 300 people were baptized into the Adventist church and nearly 30,000 Bibles collected for worldwide distribution during the event. North Americas Youth director Pastor James Black comments:


“Our intent was just to give them an experience that they would never forget.  Often times young people grow up in the church and they feel that the church is not there for them and nothing is happening, but I think these kinds of opportunities change their minds about that.  And we just saw God come into Oshkosh and just do some awesome things for our young people.”



Lawsuit against Adventist Church in Ghana dismissed


In Ghana the high court in Sunyani dismissed as lawsuit against the Mid West Ghana Adventist Church conference. The Lawsuit was brought forward by 12 expelled local churches. The Judge Mrs Justice Marima Owusu awarded a cost of 1 million Ghanean Cedi, which is over 100 thousand US Dollars, against the plaintiff, and stated that the court could not interfere in the decisions of members of an association professing ti act under their rules unless it could be shown that the rules were contrary to justice.



Korean Christians in Holy Land march as Churches Call for End to ‘Wall’


In Israel, Korean Christians numbering over 2000 marched for peace and unity between Palestinians and Israelis in the Holy Land.  Ecumenical News International reports that the marchers, dressed in traditional and colourful Korean clothing, ignored security warnings as they walked from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.  Upon arrival in Bethlehem, the marchers gathered to pray for lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.  Tensions are very in the region as Israel continues to push forward with the construction of a controversial wall dividing Palestinian and Israeli community.




Olympic games in Athens

This week the Olympic games began in Greece. AWR’s international correspondent Jeff Kolkmann:


“There’s a lot of excitement here in Athens for the 2004 Olympic games, and the fact that the Olympics have come back to the place where it started centuries ago, and, of course, the modern games began here in 1896.”


Are the Christian communities visible?


“Absolutely, not actually at the venues, I don’t think they’re allowed to really do anything per say for their own purposes, but at least in the squares where most of the people are gathering every evening and morning, a lot of folks are there.  And, of course the Baptists are out, the uh, the Methodists and even I’ve found Adventists from Australia who’ve been performing out on the street and doing lots of different things to interact with the uh, the local people and of course anybody who is here for the Olympics.”


How about the Greek Orthodox, where are they present?


“You know, that’s a very interesting question, because first of all, back in [1997] when the Greek Orthodox church tried to shut down a group of Christian athletes in action who were handing out video tapes on the life of Christ.  And in this case here, seven years later in 2004, they have all received permission to perform on the street with their drama, to hand out tracts and so forth.  So it’s a little bit controlled but I’ve seen the Greek Orthodox priests out and about even some of them attending events.”



Florida Court Declares School Vouchers Illegal


In the United States, a Florida appeals court recently ruled against a voucher program that would provide state scholarships that would send students whose public schools received failing grades to private schools.  According to The Washington Times, the scholarship program, endorsed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush, brother to President George W. Bush, was ruled against because some of the private schools involved were affiliated with religious denominations.  The Florida Constitution specifically bans using tax dollars to support religious institutions.  Governor Bush will appeal the ruling thereby sending the case to the Florida Supreme Court.



West Africa: 3,000 Women Gather For International Congress


In Ivory Coast, over 3,000 from Central and West Africa recently gathered for an international congress of Seventh-day Adventist women.  According to Adventist News Network, the congress, held in the city of Grand Bassam, included leadership training, workshops, seminars and concerts.  The mayor of Grand Bassam as well as representatives of the government and First Lady of Ivory Coast made appearances at the congress, and each expressed appreciation for the event the work being done by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ivory Coast and Africa.



Chinese religious official says church is free to grow

According to Ecumenical news international, officially-recognized churches in China are growing fast, but the world's most populous nation continues to face accusations that religious groups face persecution there. This charge was strenuously denied by the head of the government's religious affairs administration, Ye Xiaowen, general director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs in China, the highest government religious authority who visited Finland at the invitation of the Finnish Bible Society.

However also In China reports are coming out that this week police in northern China have detained eight priests from the underground Catholic Church in a raid on a religious retreat, a U.S.-based religious monitoring group based in Stamford, Connecticut reported. In 1951 China broke ties with the Vatican and demanded that Catholics worship only in churches approved by the state-controlled church group that does not recognize the pope's authority.


And finally


John the Baptist Cave Claimed ‘Found’


In Israel, a British Archaeologist, Shimon Gibson, claims he has discovered a cave that was used by John the Baptist.  Gibson, who has excavated the site for the past five years, believes that images etched on the walls of the cave depicting a man with untamed hair and holding a staff, along with multiple pieces of pottery and other artifacts found in the cave positively identify the site as one used by John the Baptist.  Other archaeologists and Biblical scholars have been skeptical of the find, saying that more work is needed to determine authenticity of the site.