Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Ministry's App Makes Children's Bible Available in Closed Countries
- Egypt: Christians Flee Town After Death Threats from Suspected Islamists
- Muslim Brotherhood Mobilizes for Overthrow of Jordan's King Abdullah
- Colorado City Council Drops Prayer from Meetings
Ministry's App Makes Children's Bible Available in Closed Countries
Scandinavia Christian Publishing House has now made 85 children's Bibles available as apps that can be downloaded and read on iPhones and iPads, with Android and Kindle formats on their way, ASSIST News Service reports. The apps are being sold worldwide, even in closed Muslim and communist countries where the written Bible and other Christian books are not permitted. "We are able to monitor global sales of our apps daily," said Scandinavia's Jorgen Vium Olesen. "In just one day, 300 Bibles and biblical books were downloaded in approximately 60 countries. There were 94 books in the USA, 25 in China, 23 in Saudi Arabia, 19 in the United Arab Emirates, nine in Malaysia, seven in Russia and four in Egypt. Some days, up to 52 are downloaded in Saudi Arabia alone. ... We continue to see a high number of downloads in China. In Beijing in 2010 we were informed there are no restrictions on digital Bibles and children's Bibles in China. If this freedom remains, it will provide a great opportunity to legally get Bibles into China using digital means."
Egypt: Christians Flee Town After Death Threats from Suspected Islamists
Coptic Christian families have fled their homes in the town of Rafah in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, fearing for their lives after receiving death threats from suspected Islamic militants, CNSNews.com reports. According to a local priest, Islamic militants dropped leaflets on the doorsteps of shops owned by Copts in Rafah, ordering them to leave town within 48 hours and making an implicit warning of violence if they failed to do so. Two days later, masked militants on a motorcycle opened fire on one of the shops before speeding off. No one was hurt in the shooting. When Christians met Tuesday with the province's top government official -- who was recently appointed by Egypt's new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi -- the governor promised to facilitate the Copts' move to the nearby city of el-Arish but did not offer to protect the community to ensure that it stayed in Rafah, the priest said. It is unclear how many Copts have fled Rafah, but the priest said the number of Coptic families in town had dwindled from 14 to two since the uprising that pushed longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak from power in February 2011.
Muslim Brotherhood Mobilizes for Overthrow of Jordan's King Abdullah
The ASSIST News Service reports that Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood has given King Abdullah II notice that he has until October to bow to their demand to transform the moderate nation into a constitutional monarchy -- or face Arab Spring street pressure for his abdication. Middle East sources report that Israeli and Saudi intelligence watchers are becoming increasingly concerned about the approaching climax of the conflict in Amman between Islamists and the throne. For Israel, an upheaval in Jordan "bodes the tightening of the Islamist noose around its borders -- Egypt and Libya to the south and Syria to the north, with unpredictable consequences with regard to Jordan's Palestinian population," according to DEBKAfile. The Muslim Brotherhood has already set a date for mass demonstrations against the king to start on Oct. 10, and has ordered its members to begin working to mobilize at least 50,000 demonstrators for daily protests until the king bows to their will. Abdullah is reported to soon be meeting with Brotherhood leaders to personally appeal for calm.
Colorado City Council Drops Prayer from Meetings
The city council in Pueblo, Colo., will now begin its meetings with a moment of silence instead of a prayer, CBN News reports. The change comes after a complaint from the Freedom of Religion Foundation, who sent a letter to council members arguing the opening prayer was unconstitutional. Council members said they believed a moment of silence would satisfy all sides. One Pueblo resident, Mary Beth Netherton, told the local TV station, "I'm really sad that they made that decision because for those of us who believe in God and the power of prayer I think prayer is very important." Another resident, George Starkgraf, told reporters, "Regarding the moment of silence, I actually find it to be more fair because it gives people who want to pray the option to do so but those who don't want to no longer have to."
Publication date: October 1, 2012