Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Sudan's National Elections Extended Two Days
- Christian Woman Allegedly Abducted in Pakistan
- Food Crisis Looms in Haiti before Harvest
- 'Letters to God' Reaches Box Office Top 10
Sudan's National Elections Extended Two Days
Mission News Network reports that Sudan's election officials have extended voting for two addition days in the first national election in a quarter century. The country's election officials will end the election tomorrow, allegedly to compensate for technical problems, but possibly in response to reports of corruption and question of legitimacy. Many relief group and ministries fear the election results could again tear the country apart. The Africa Inland Mission (AIM) Sudan team currently has 24 members. Dr. Phil Byler, the leader of the South Sudan Unit of the Central Region, says, "We had the same concern, enough so that we have pulled all of our AIM personnel out of the country for these days, until the results are announced and we can see how the country is reacting to the results of the election."
Christian Woman Allegedly Abducted in Pakistan
Compass Direct News reports that a Muslim man allegedly tricked a 19-year-old Christian woman into leaving her house here on April 1 and abducted her. The man, Ali Raza, and a car full of friends took her away, according to her family. Sonia Mohan's family said they fear Raza will force her to convert to Islam and marry him. Raza came to their home in Lahore's Nishtar Colony claiming that her brother, Johnson Parvaiz, wanted to see her outside, Parvaiz said. ""They had parked a vehicle outside and left, and afterwards we never heard from her." After two days he was able to reach her by cell phone. She told him not to call her, that she was very happy and that they should not try to find her. "It was obvious from her voice that she had been forced to say that," Parvaiz said. Nishtar Colony Station House Officer Munawar Doggar said he had delayed registering a case on behalf of Mohan's family only because Raza's family had filed a complaint that Raza himself had been abducted.
Food Crisis Looms in Haiti before Harvest
Christian Newswire reports that the "lean season" is approaching in Haiti. The time between planting and harvest is when food supplies are at their lowest and the threat of hunger increases. To help rural communities affected by the January earthquake, Lutheran World Relief and local partners will distribute seeds to boost agricultural production and offset food shortages. "During the lean season, families typically live off what little food they've managed to store for themselves. With the influx of urban migrants, even these meager stores are depleted. The threat of hunger for Haitians is very real and LWR must act now to help," says Michael Watt, LWR's Regional Director for Latin America. Even before the earthquake, a succession of disasters - including four consecutive hurricanes in 2008 - weakened Haiti's already fragile food supply.
'Letters to God' Reaches Box Office Top 10
The Christian Post reports that the Christian film "Letters to God" reached the box office top 10 during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates. Its $1.25 million gross places it on track with "Facing the Giants," another independent Christian film released in 2006. The film's $3 million budget, though small by Hollywood standards, represents the continuing growth and investment from Christian filmmakers. The movie, produced by one of the filmmakers behind successful faith-based flicks "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof," tells the story of a young cancer-stricken boy who corresponds regularly with God through prayers in the form of letters. The movie's social media campaign has picked up more than 60,000 fans on Facebook, and producers hope it will continue its performance at the box office.