Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Hopes Fade of Finding More Quake Survivors
- Extremist Violence in India Disrupts Well Project
- British Cartoon Portrays Christians as 'Islamaphobic'
- Faith Groups Question Worth of G20 Deal
Hopes Fade of Finding More Quake Survivors
CNN reports that the death toll from central Italy's earthquake and aftershocks rose to 278 on Thursday. Rescuers believe they have found all victims buried in the rubble, and do not believe anyone not found could have survived longer than Thursday. "We'll keep digging until we've found everyone -- dead or alive. We're going to do our job," rescue worker Luca Signorile told Agence France-Presse. Aftershocks continued yesterday, with a 4.5 magnitude quake scaring thousands of homeless, almost 20,000 of whom are staying in makeshift tent cities after losing their homes Monday. "The mood is a little bit afraid," Marco Volponi, of the Civil Protection agency, said. Inspectors are surveying tens of thousands of homes to assess their safety before residents can return.
Extremist Violence in India Disrupts Well Project
Mission News Network reports that anti-Christian violence continues in Jharkhand, India, where a Gospel for Asia team narrowly escaped being lynched. Extremists managed to grab missionary intern Vincey Roa and the chief of a well-digging crew, beating them severely for their perceived intent to convert people. KP Yohannan with Gospel For Asia (GFA) says the trouble started when "this group of people said, ‘You guys are drilling this well because you want to use this to convert people to Christianity.'" Yohannan reports that the team had to abandon the project for now, but hope to resume soon. Jharkhand state maintains an anti-conversion law, which ostensibly protects citizens from forced conversions. Opponents of such laws argue that they restrict religious freedom.
British Cartoon Portrays Christians as 'Islamaphobic'
London-based ChristianToday reports that a local charity's cartoon has unleashed a torrent of criticism from Christians, who say the cartoon portrays them as "Islamaphobic." The cartoon, by the charity Who Cares?, shows a boy wearing a cross and telling his friend that a Muslim girl wearing a head scarf looks like a terrorist. The girl responds that it's part of her religion "like that cross you wear." Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, said, “It is a clumsy caricature, symptomatic of a culture which says it is OK to bully Christians in the name of diversity.” The chief executive of Who Cares?, Natasha Finlayson, said that the cross was “bling” rather than a symbol of the boy’s faith.
Faith Groups Question Worth of G20 Deal
The Christian Post reports that aid organizations have lukewarm feelings about the G20 agreement to spend $1 trillion to help the poor. The Put People First Coalition of 160 organizations, including Christian Aid, Tearfund, Jubilee Debt Campaign and World Vision, voiced concern that the IMF loans came with too many strings attached and not enough assurance that the funds will be wisely used. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York noted that political and religious leaders had a duty “to look at the faces of the poor around the world and act with justice, to think with compassion and to look with hope to a sustainable vision of the future.”