Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Indian Christians Forced Into Hindu Worship, Driven From Homes
- Boy Scouts Reaffirm Ban on Gay Leaders
- Israel Blames Iran for Deadly Explosion on Bus of Israeli Tourists
- Effort Fails at Reversing California Gay History Law
Indian Christians Forced Into Hindu Worship, Driven From Homes
Hindu extremists in Chhattisgarh State in eastern India forced 15 Christians to participate in Hindu worship rituals, then beat them up and rousted them from their village, Open Doors News reports. The Christians were taken to a temple, where they were forced to worship tribal and Hindu dieties and participate in Hindu rituals. There have been no reports on injuries. Local officials provided no recourse, and the dislocated Christians have sought shelter among other families in a nearby town. The incident is consistent with a pattern of harassment of Christians, especially in rural locations and in the five Indian states, including Chhattisgarh, that have adopted a "Freedom of Religion Act."
Boy Scouts Reaffirm Ban on Gay Leaders
After a two-year review by an 11-member special committee, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed a policy Tuesday banning gay leaders and scouts, CBN News reports. The committee unanimously "came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts," said spokesman Deron Smith. Despite numerous protests and campaigns from critics, Scout officials say most parents stand behind the policy. "The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," said Bob Mazzuca, the Scouts' chief executive. "We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society."
Israel Blames Iran for Deadly Explosion on Bus of Israeli Tourists
Israel pointed the finger at Iran Wednesday after a deadly explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists outside Bulgaria's Burgas Airport that killed at least six people and wounded at least 32, CNN reports. "All the signs [are] leading to Iran," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, adding that Israel "would respond with force to Iranian terror." Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the explosion was "clearly a terrorist attack" probably initiated by a group under the auspices of "either Iran or other radical Muslim groups" such as Hezbollah or Hamas.
Effort Fails at Reversing California Gay History Law
California's first-in-the-nation gay history law will remain the law for public schools after a signature drive aimed at overturning it fell short for the second time in a year, Baptist Press reports. A pro-family coalition announced July 16 that it would not be able to gather the 505,000 signatures necessary to qualify an initiative to repeal SB 48 -- which went into effect Jan. 1 and requires that social science classes include the "role and contributions" of "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans." SB 48 also mandates that "instructional materials," such as textbooks, must include the history of homosexuals and must not "reflect adversely" upon them. A signature drive last year to overturn the new law also fell short, but family advocates have hinted at continuing to try.
Publication date: July 19. 2012