Religion Today Summaries - April 4, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 4, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Former Nursing Student Kills 7 at Christian University in Oakland, Calif.
  • Pakistani Muslims Warn Christians Not to Celebrate Easter
  • Christians Respond to Newsweek Story Encouraging Americans to 'Forget the Church'
  • Egypt's Coptic Christians Quit Constitution-Drafting Panel


Former Nursing Student Kills 7 at Christian University in Oakland, Calif.

Police in Oakland, Calif., have detained a suspect believed to be responsible for a shooting Monday at a Christian university in which seven were killed and three injured, the Christian Post reports. Students at Oikos University -- which specializes in religious studies, music and vocational nursing with an emphasis on Korean students -- recognized the man who entered their classroom Monday morning as a former nursing student who hadn't been around for a few months, according to the Oakland Tribune. Police confirmed Monday evening the arrest of 43-year-old One Goh of Oakland, a Korean native and naturalized U.S. citizen. One had no known criminal record, and officers believed he acted alone. Timothy Yi, pastor of a nearby Korean Baptist church, said he was shocked by the shooting because of the school's reputation: "They just study Bible and nursing," he said. The victims were six women and one man ranging in age from their 20s to their 40s; it was the Bay Area's deadliest massacre since 1993.

Pakistani Muslims Warn Christians Not to Celebrate Easter

Pakistan's Christian community has received threats and warnings from Islamic radicals against celebrating Easter, Asia News reports. In the Christian colony of Eidgah in Pakistan's Sarghoda District, Muslims defaced Easter signs and decorations with black paint and threatened Christians not to continue in their preparations. When the Christians went to local police to file a report, no one at the station would do it, instead telling the Christians to leave. Some Christians replaced the Easter decorations, but on Palm Sunday, Muslims destroyed them again in another raid and threatened punishment against the Christian community. "For years, colony residents have come together to prepare Holy Week," said local resident Yasir Masih. "For years, we have been threatened. Even though we reported it to the authorities, they didn't take it seriously. This year, [the Muslims] have come to our streets and threatened us. We are not safe, and we are scared."

Christians Respond to Newsweek Story Encouraging Americans to 'Forget the Church'

This week's Newsweek cover story, written by Andrew Sullivan, encourages Americans to "forget the church" and just "follow Jesus" instead. Sullivan argued that "Christianity has been destroyed by politics, priests and get-rich evangelists" and specifically attacked politically active Christians. Trevin Wax of The Gospel Coalition responded to Sullivan's piece with the following statement: "[Sullivan] wants to return to the simple message of Jesus as if that message can be divorced from the Man who delivered it. Despite his protests against a politicized faith, Sullivan is saying we should follow a Man whose primary message concerned a kingdom. You can't get more political than that. ... It's interesting to see how those who advocate a return to the words of Christ often display a frightening ignorance of what Jesus actually said. The primary message of Jesus was not love -- at least, not love in our sense of the word. The message of Jesus was Love with a capital 'L' -- meaning His message was about Himself. It was about His kingdom, His identity as king, and the cross that became His throne. So when Sullivan says that Jesus would have been 'baffled' by current debates over homosexuality or abortion, I would counter that Jesus spoke to both these issues and more, albeit indirectly."

Egypt's Coptic Christians Quit Constitution-Drafting Panel

Egypt's Coptic church has quit the committee tasked with drafting the country's new constitution, calling its participation "futile" after only six Christians were chosen to take part, CBN News reports. The 100-member panel, which was selected at the end of March, is dominated by Islamists -- roughly 70 of the seats are represented by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafist Nour party. With Muslims leading the constitution-drafting process, concerns have been raised about the content of the new document and sharia (Islamic law) is expected to be a major factor. The Muslim Brotherhood has also nominated a presidential candidate for May's elections, reversing the group's previous claims that it would not seek the country's highest office.

Publication date: April 4, 2012