Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Thousands Go Shoeless for a Day for TOMS
- Pakistani Christians Call for Repeal of Blasphemy Laws
- Malaysia's 'Allah' Row Gives Rise to Interfaith Panel
- India: Nun to Testify in Orissa Rape Case
Thousands Go Shoeless for a Day for TOMS
The Christian Post reports that thousands of people left their shoes at home yesterday, all in support of TOMS' efforts to bring shoes to children without a pair. More than 10,000 people joined TOMS' One Day Without Shoes page, which listed more than 1,300 events. Many of the events include barefoot walks on public streets and college campuses. "Food, shelter, AND shoes facilitate life's fundamentals," says a statement by TOMS. "Imagine a life without shoes; constantly aware of the ground in front of you, suffering regular cuts and scrapes, tending to infection after each walk, and enduring not only terrain, but heat and cold." "Most people don't realize the amount of people in the world that don't have shoes," said Jamieson Cox, who organized an afternoon march at Penn State University. "For people to just see us and start walking with us is our ultimate goal."
Pakistani Christians Calls for Repeal of Blasphemy Laws
ASSIST News Service reports that a Pakistani Christian rights group is again calling for the repeal of Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Riaz Anjum Masih, Chairman of the Pakistan Christian Movement (PCM), has urged Pakistani Christians to launch a united effort for scrapping of all discriminatory laws against minorities. He also called for repeal of those sections of the constitution which allegedly discriminate against religious minorities. "Although the constitution of Pakistan is unanimously agreed-upon, the Christians and other religious minorities have some reservations about it," said Masih. Masih alleged that only Muslims can attain high posts in government currently, while Christians are underrepresented in the national assembly.
Malaysia's 'Allah' Row Gives Rise to Interfaith Panel
The Christian Post reports that Malaysian judge's decision to allow non-Muslims to use the word "Allah" has led to the creation of an interfaith panel to advise the government. The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism will help navigate increasing tensions between the Muslim majority and religious minorities. The action comes after a dozen churches were attacked, as well as a Sikh temple and several mosques. Despite the heightened religious tension, some Muslim groups in Malaysia opposed the idea of the interfaith committee. They reportedly argue that it would put Islam on the same level as other religions.
India: Nun to Testify in Orissa Rape Case
Worthy News reports that a nun who was raped during the 2008 violence in Orissa will be able to testify about her ordeal at a new venue, shielding her from reported intimidated. The High Court in India's eastern state of Orissa agreed to transfer the case away from the state's violence-hit Kandhamal district, the center of anti-Christian riots that killed more than 100 people. In a statement published by the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), her lawyer Lansingh Lu Rongmei described the referral as "a victory not only for the nun," but also for "every victim" of the violence. "The very fact the court accepts the atmosphere is not conducive in Kandhamal for a free and fair trial opens the doors of justice for others who have so far been denied justice," she said.