Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- 19 Nigerian Christians Reported Killed Monday Night in Worship Service Attack
- Kidnappings, Abductions, Forced Conversions of Christian Girls in Pakistan Continue
- Christians Seek to Comfort Survivors of Sikh Massacre
- Business Booming for Restaurant Dealing with Atheist Complaint
19 Nigerian Christians Reported Killed Monday Night in Worship Service Attack
Gunmen armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles surrounded a church in central Nigeria and opened fire during a Monday night worship service, Open Doors USA reports. According to an Associated Press report, the attackers killed 19 of the worshippers at Deeper Life Bible Church in the town of Otite in Kogi state, 155 miles southwest of Nigeria's capital Abuja. Another report from Africa put the death total at 16 and the number of seriously wounded at nine. The church's pastor was among those killed. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday, and no group has claimed responsibility for the massacre, but the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram has attacked numerous churches and has vowed to make Nigeria an all-Islamic country while driving out all Christians. Boko Haram has killed at least 660 people this year -- many Christians as well as moderate Muslims and police. "The increasingly intentional activity of Boko Haram has taken on the characterists of a real war," said Open Doors USA president Dr. Carl Moeller. "These are not random attacks as they're often characterized in the media. They are intentional, and they're designed with one purpose in mind: the elimination of Christianity."
Kidnappings, Abductions, Forced Conversions of Christian Girls in Pakistan Continue
For the last several years, there has been an alarming increase in kidnappings and forced conversions of Christian girls in Pakistan, with several reports making the news in recent months, the Pakistan Christian Post reports. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, last year 1,800 Christian and Hindu girls were forcibly converted to Islam, with police hardly registering any cases against the Muslim kidnappers and sometimes even supporting them. In some instances, courts used Islamic law in favor of the perpetrators. Recently, police in Rawalpindi refused to register a man's case against his daughter's two kidnappers, and police in Faisalabad failed to give a Christian man any information about his kidnapped wife. In Chunian, a pastor's sister was raped and forcibly converted to Islam after being kidnapped by some Muslim men while returning home from college. Despite her family reporting the incident to the local police station, no investigations have been conducted and her abductors have presented a report to the court attesting to the girl now being Muslim and legally married.
Christians Seek to Comfort Survivors of Sikh Massacre
Christians in Oak Creek, Wis., are extending a hand to their Sikh neighbors following Sunday's massacre at their temple, CBN News reports. Rev. Jim Jodrey, an associate pastor of Harvest Community Church, which is just a mile from the temple, said his congregation knew very little about the Sikhs or their religion but that members were meeting their neighbors to offer material assistance and prayer. The weekend shootings claimed the lives of six worshippers and the alleged gunman, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page. Police shot and killed Page, who had described himself as a member of a skinhead group based in Texas.
Business Booming for Restaurant Dealing with Atheist Complaint
Since an atheist activist filed an anti-discrimination complaint against the Lost Cajun Kitchen of Columbia in Pennsylvania for having a church bulletin discount on Sundays, the restaurant has seen an increase in business, the Christian Post reports. Owner Sharon Prudhomme said since the complaint made headlines, business had been up and support had poured in. "It has definitely picked up," Prudhomme said, adding that "everybody that comes in [offers] a lot of handshakes, hugs. Everybody is offering a lot of support." Last month, a local atheist named John Wolff filed a complaint against Lost Cajun to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, arguing that the 10-percent discount for patrons who presented a church bulletin to the restaurant was discriminatory against non-Christians. Since Wolff filed the complaint, several lawyers who offered to work pro bono for the restaurant have submitted a response and are awaiting the next step in the process. Many across the country and locally -- including the editorial board of the New York Daily Record -- have backed the restaurant, with the newspaper calling the complaint filed by Wolff "small and petty."
Publication date: August 8, 2012