Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Leading Christian Calls for Ban on Building Mosques in Britain
- Westminster Theological Seminary Suspends Tenured Professor
- Ethiopia Releases Suspected Instigator of Church Attacks
- New Religion Law in Macedonia Fails to Solve Problems
Leading Christian Calls for Ban on Building Mosques in Britain
According to research by London's Premier Christian Radio, there are currently around 1,600 mosques registered in the UK, and approximately 47,000 Christian churches. ASSIST News Service reports that a member of the Bishop of London' s diocesan council and General Synod, Alison Ruoff, has called for a ban on building mosques in the UK. The former Magistrate wants Muslim nations to stop persecuting Christians and insists that the UK should not build any more mosques until this happens. "We are constantly building new mosques, which are paid for by the money that comes from the oil states," Ruoff told Premier Christian Radio. "We have only in this country as far as we know, 3.5-4 million Muslims. There are enough mosques for Muslims in this country, they don't need anymore." In the same week, up to 350 Christian churches in London say that they are expanding rapidly and are having their growth restricted by planning regulations.
Westminster Theological Seminary Suspends Tenured Professor
Christianity Today reports that Westminster Theological Seminary's board voted to suspend tenured Old Testament professor Peter Enns last week after a two-year debate over his 2005 book, Inspiration and Incarnation. The board voted 18-9 to suspend Enns, whose book created controversy on how to interpret the Westminster Confession of Faith. "It was made not on the basis of personality, but on the basis of the judgment on the part of a substantial number of the trustees that Inspiration and Incarnation was outside the bounds of the standards of... the Westminster Confession of Faith" and its doctine of innerancy, board chairman John White told CT. The seminary will decide in May whether Enns's position will be terminated. Enns declined comment.
110 Indonesian Churches Closed in Three Years
Islamic extremist groups and local governments in Indonesia closed 110 churches from 2004 to 2007, according to religious and human rights organizations, Compass Direct News reports. The Wahid Institute, a moderate Muslim non-governmental organization, along with church associations and the Indonesian Human Rights Commission reported that discrimination and violence against churches was most common in the provinces of West Java, Banten, Central Java, South Sulawesi and Bengkulu. Radical Muslim groups coerced local governments to send letters to churches prohibiting any activities. When churches did not comply, they would be burned or otherwise damaged.
New Religion Law in Macedonia Fails to Solve Problems
According to ASSIST News Service, Macedonia's new Religion Law will not end the building problems faced by minority religious communities. Forum 18 News Service reported that religious communities of all faiths have cited major problems in practicing their faith that revolve around buildings. There have been long-running denials of permission to disfavored communities to build, extend or establish legal ownership over places of worship, Forum 18 reported. In addition, the authorities have also demolished Serbian Orthodox places of worship which they considered “illegal.” The new Religion Law was approved by parliament in Sept. 2007.