Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 29, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 29, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Date Set for Egypt's New Constitution, Religious Minorities Fear Sharia Will Be Source of Legislation
  • Pastor and Family Survive Attack by Muslim Gunmen in Nigeria
  • Ukraine: Prominent Evangelical Pastor Faces Arrest
  • One Killed, Six Injured in Land-Grab Attack in Pakistan


Date Set for Egypt's New Constitution, Religious Minorities Fear Sharia Will Be Source of Legislation

Egypt's prime minister announced Saturday that the country's new constitution would be drafted by the end of September, the Washington Post reports. According to International Christian Concern, there is grave concern that Islamic sharia law will become the sole source of Egypt's legislation, meaning that religious freedom for Christians and other minorities will significantly decline. Already, the Constituent Assembly -- a 100-member body appointed by the Muslim Brotherhood-led parliament to draft the document -- has proposed that the "principles" of Islam become the highest law in the country. Christians and religious minorities continue to wonder what rights they will have in Egypt's future.

Pastor and Family Survive Attack by Muslim Gunmen in Nigeria

A pastor and his family are safe and recovering after surviving an attack by Muslim gunmen on August 10, Mission Network News reports. According to Voice of the Martyrs, at least seven gunmen entered a church compound in Borno state, intending to kill the pastor, his wife and three children. One gunman entered the room of the pastor's 24-year-old son, but "God gave him the courage and strength to push the man down," according to VOM sources. The young man was shot in the leg and fell to the ground as he fled his attacker. The pastor ran from the house when he heard the gunshots and also fell to the ground when the gunmen began firing at him, though he was not hit. Thinking both men were either dead or injured, the gunmen entered the house, where they ordered the pastor's wife and two other children to lie down on the floor while they set fire to the house and church. Unbeknownst to the gunmen, the woman and her children escaped, and the attackers left the scene while firing into the air and shouting "Allahu akbar [Allah is greater]!" As they left, they unknowingly passed right by the entire family hiding in bushes near the church. The family remained in hiding through the night and took the oldest son to a hospital the next morning. He has since been released, and the family is staying with another pastor in Maiduguri.

Ukraine: Prominent Evangelical Pastor Faces Arrest

The pastor of what is believed to be the largest evangelical church in eastern Europe is facing possible arrest in Ukraine, CBN News reports. Pastor Sunday Adelaja, who is originally from Nigeria, was summoned to police headquarters in Kiev on Tuesday, where he could be detained for what he says are false allegations. Police have been investigating Adelaja for several years in connection with an investment firm run by members of his church, which collapsed during the global recession. Though Adelaja says neither he nor church leaders have any connection with the business and police have never produced evidence of a link, authorities are accusing him of fraud and running a criminal enterprise. Adelaja insists he is facing persecution for religious, ethnic and political reasons. "Because of the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, because the Russian Orthodox Church has been trying to get rid of not just myself, but all the evangelical[s] in Europe ... and I am a black man leading a congregation of 99 percent Europeans," he said. "So I am a target, and this economic meltdown and the collapse of this company has presented them with a perfect opportunity." Five members of Adelaja's church have been imprisoned without trial in an attempt to force them to testify against him.

One Killed, Six Injured in Land-Grab Attack in Pakistan

A group of Pakistani Christians were attacked by influential Muslims during a land-grab, resulting in one person being killed, another seriously injured, five others less seriously hurt and one kidnapped, ASSIST News Service reports. Some of the injured Christians were transferred to the Civil Hospital in Phool Nagar, while those with serious bullet wounds were admitted to Lahore's Jinah Hospital. According to Global Christian Voice, the attackers occupied 40 acres of land belonging to Christians while police made excuses not to arrest the alleged perpetrators. One source said in the last few years, Muslims had made several attempts to seize land from Christians, usually succeeding because Christians are a marginalized minority. On the other hand, Global Christian Voice said, Muslims carry out illegal activities with impunity. Christians in the area are still in shock, fearing further attacks by the land-grabbers and concerned about the way they have been treated by the police.

Publication date: August 29, 2012