Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Christians, Conservatives Applaud Ryan Choice for GOP Ticket
- Iran Earthquake Death Toll Passes 300, Search for Survivors Called Off
- Bibles Now on List of Prohibited Books in Uzbekistan
- Philippines: Ministries Respond in Wake of Devastating Floods
Christians, Conservatives Applaud Ryan Choice for GOP Ticket
Mitt Romney's announcement Saturday of congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate has sparked widespread approval among conservatives and Christians. Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, said Ryan had "distinguished himself as a strong fiscal conservative over the 14 years he has been in Congress," adding that she was "very encouraged" by his "strong pro-life voting record and his understanding of the importance of strengthening and preserving the traditional family." Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said: "Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan shows that he is serious about getting America's fiscal house in order. Paul Ryan's voting record also suggests that he believes that social, fiscal and national security conservatism is indivisible. Paul Ryan's philosophy clearly includes the understanding that America's financial greatness is tied directly to its moral and cultural wholeness." Several women's groups also applauded Romney's choice, including the Independent Women's Forum, which contended the selection was a bold move that would "reverse the election narrative from trivial political attacks to a serious debate on key issues of voter concern."
Iran Earthquake Death Toll Passes 300, Search for Survivors Called Off
Iran has raised the death toll from Saturday's twin earthquakes to 306, a day after rescuers called off the search for survivors, CBS News reports. Health minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi told a session of parliament Monday that the number jumped by about 50 after victims died in the hospital. The death toll included some 219 women and children, Dastjerdi said, adding that around 2,000 injured people had been released from hospitals soon after the quake since they had only minor injuries. More than 3,000 people were injured in the 6.4- and 6.3-magnitude quakes in Iran's mountainous northeast, where some 300,000 people live near the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia. At least six villages were totally leveled, and 133 other sustained damages ranging from 50 to 80 percent.
Bibles Now on List of Prohibited Books in Uzbekistan
In what some in Uzbekistan think may be a change in the authorities' repression policy, there has been an apparent increase in confiscations of privately owned religious books from homes during raids, ASSIST News Service reports. Associated with this have been violations of due legal process, including denials of legal representation, misrepresentation of whether a defendant has pleaded guilty, verdicts not being provided within the time laid down in law, and so-called "expert analyses" that have confused Christian books with Jehovah's Witness books. As police confiscated a Uzbek Bible, a Russian Bible and a book by John Bunyan from one Christian, they said, "Don't you know that it is prohibited to keep such books at home?" Police said the books would be sent for "expert analysis" by the Religious Affairs Committee and that their owner would be fined.
Philippines: Ministries Respond in Wake of Devastating Floods
Sixty people are reported dead and more than 2 million people have been affected after torrential rains and flooding crippled the Philippines last week, Mission Network News reports. Though the waters are receding, they are still chest-deep in some places, and Philippine officials say it is unsafe for residents to return home at this point. Floods are not uncommon during monsoon season, but residents say these floods are the worst they've seen in three years. "They're just not prepared for it," says Tim Glenn of Compassion International. "They don't have the drainage systems or the infrastructure to deal with it." Compassion, which works with 54,000 children in the Philippines and has several ministry projects in the Manila area, is taking steps to get affected families and ministries back on their feet. They have a disaster relief fund to meet families' needs with food, clothing and shelter, and are working alongside the Filipino church to spread the hope of the Gospel. "One of the beauties of our setup is that people will come back to the church for help and relief," Glenn said. "And that's where our kids are already. So this is a great opportunity for us to further our message of the Gospel, but also further our message of how important the kids are especially in God's eyes."
Publication date: August 14, 2012