Friday, August 22, 2014

Ronald S. Lauder Speaks Up For Christians

'Who Will Stand Up For the Christians?' asks a leading Jewish leader

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries


NEW YORK, NY (ANS) -- A leading Jewish leader, Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, has written an extraordinary commentary on the New York Times' website, with the headline, "Who Will Stand Up For The Christians?"

Islamic State terrorists on the rampage
Lauder began his commentary by saying, "Why is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza.


"The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

"The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year -- ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been pers ecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan."

Ronald S. Lauder
He went on to say, "Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars -- why doesn't the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?


"President Obama should be commended for ordering airstrikes to save tens of thousands of Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion and have been stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq, besieged by Sunni Muslim militants. But sadly, airstrikes alone are not enough to stop this grotesque wave of terrorism."

He said that The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) "is not a loose coalition of jihadist groups, but a real military force that has managed to take over much of Iraq with a succes sful business model that rivals its coldblooded spearhead of death. It uses money from banks and gold shops it has captured, along with control of oil resources and old-fashioned extortion, to finance its killing machine, making it perhaps the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world. But where it truly excels is in its carnage, rivaling the death orgies of the Middle Ages. It has ruthlessly targeted Shiites, Kurds and Christians."

Lauder stated that a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo told CNN, "They actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick," describing a scene in a Mosul park.

"More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung."
He then wrote, "This week, 200,000 Aramaeans fled their ancestral homeland around Nineveh, having already escaped Mosul.

"The general indifference to ISIS [now known as IS], with its mass executions of Christians and its deadly preoccupation with Israel, isn't just wrong; it's obscene.

"In a speech before thousands of Christians in Budapest in June, I made a solemn promise that just as I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to Christian suffering. Historically, it has almost always been the other way around: Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. But Israel has been among the first countries to aid Christians in South Sudan. Christians can openly practice their religion in Israel, unlike in much of the Middle East.

This bond between Jews and Christians makes complete sense. We share mu ch more than most religions. We read the same Bible, and share a moral and ethical core. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering."
Kurdish men carry the bodies of children who died after being driven from their homes with nothing to eat or drink.
He concluded by saying, "Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence. It's not as if we are powerless. I write this as a citizen of the strongest military power on earth. I write this as a Jewish leader who cares about my Christian brothers and sisters.


"The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. This campaign of death must be stopped."

About Ronald S. Lauder
International philanthropist, investor, art collector, and former public servant, Ronald S. Lauder has served as president of the World Jewish Congress since June 2007. President Lauder also demonstrates his deep commitment to his Judaism through a wide range of other philanthropic endeavors that reach around the world.

As president of the WJC, Amb. Lauder has met with countless heads of state, prime ministers, and government representatives in advancing those causes that are of most concern to Jews and Jewish communities internationally. He firmly believes in the importance of supporting Israel, especially in times when the State, and its citizens are under attack, whilst also encouraging and aiding the development of vibrant Jewish communities around the world.

For more information on the World Jewish Congress, please go to www.worldjewishcongress.org

Monday, August 11, 2014

Interview: Lena Nelson Dooley, ATK Advisor, Scriptwriter


Multi-award-winning author, Lena Nelson Dooley, has more than 800,000 books in print. Lena ranks high on the award winning Christian author list. One of her novels won three different awards this year.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. 

She is also one of the co-hosts of the Gate Beautiful blogtalk radio show where she interviews a variety of inspirational fiction and nonfiction authors. 

Lena comes to Higher Ground Films with more than her knowledge of screenwriting. She has experience in acting, directing, and voice-overs. 

She’s both a screenwriter for the movie Abducted to Kill and on the Board of Directors for Higher Ground Films.


Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin, and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

When asked about her connection to the film Abducted to Kill, Lena had this to say:

Q. What makes ATK different from other projects you have worked on? 

Lena: Abducted to Kill is a movie and novel project that depicts forgiveness, hope, and love in our fallen world. It shows that there’s nothing we can do that is too bad for God to forgive. There are plenty of people, even Christians, who need to completely understand that concept. Through an action/romance movie is a good way to present it.

Q. What inspired you to work on ATK? 

Lena:  Actually, when the producer asked me to be a screenwriter on the project, I told her I had to pray and make sure God wants me to be involved. Through a series of events, He showed me, three different times, that He wanted me to. I am totally committed to seeing this story on the silver screen—and on DVD, maybe even a novel.

Q. Where do you see the project going in the next few weeks/months/years? 

Lena:  I believe this movie will make a real impact on the unstable political and religious climate in the world today. After this film is finished and distributed, I see Higher Ground Films producing more movies that will make an impact on people’s hearts and lives.

Q. Why do you want to work on a faith-based film? 

Lena:  As the members of the Ground team connect with each other, there is always lots of prayer about what we should do at any given time. It’s exciting to be involved with other Christians who share the same vision I have.

I’m also a Christian novelist, and everything I write is meant to entertain, encourage, provide hope, and point toward the Lord. Faith-based films fit with my goal for why I write, and I praise the Lord for opening new doors of opportunity to me.

Find Lena online here:
Blogtalk Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/gate-beautiful-radio-show/

Friday, August 8, 2014

Interview: Michael E. Gorga, ATK Adviser - Editor


Mike Gorga has been in the film and video business for 35 years. He began his career as a camera person at a PBS affiliate in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 1983 Mike met Thomas "Pepper" Martin, a newspaper publisher who helped launch MEGCOMM Productions, a production company and studio facility designed to produce corporate/industrial films and television local/regional television commercials.  For 30 years MEGCOMM has delivered high-end film, video and now high-definition production and post-production/editing to the corporate, non-profit and television commercial advertising market.  

From sales and marketing videos, to training and orientation programs, to mini-documentaries, to infomercials and television commercials Mike has worn many hats including producer/director, writer, director of photography and editor.  He has produced hundreds of corporate projects and perhaps a thousand television commercials, including over 300 for one healthcare system.

Interview

When asked about his connection to the film Abducted to Kill, Gorga had this to say: 

Q. What makes ATK different from other projects you have worked on? 

Mike: For me ATK represents an opportunity to work on a dramatic film in collaboration with deeply passionate and committed Christians.  The depth of my career has been in corporate and industrial films, fundraising for non-profits, television commercials and some documentary style work, but this film gives me the opportunity to edit a theatrical film that I really believe in and that will deliver a Christian film that is rather unique. 

Q. What inspired you to work on ATK? 

Mike:  The story. The opportunity. And a chance to work on an important film with a close friend of 30 years who happens to be the storyteller and producer.

Q. Where do you see the project going in the next few weeks/months/years? 

Mike:  Ultimately I see Higher Ground Films following the path cut by Sherwood Pictures.  A company that turns out one great film after another.  A company committed to telling great stories and driven by a desire to spread God's word through the blessings He has given us as writers, producers, directors, editors and scores of talented crafts people.

In the short term I am excited to hear about the progress of those working to acquire funding for "Abducted To Kill," a film I am blessed to have been offered an opportunity to edit the rough cut on the major production and to have edited promotional material for the film.  

Q. Why do you want to work on a faith-based film? 

Mike:  Frankly, because I think God is the only hope for America and the world.  I'm not happy with where sin has taken us. Driving God out of our institutions has caused most of our challenges, I'd like to be a part of helping deliver God's message back to Americans and the world using the talents He has blessed me with.

HG Film Tweets