Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 19, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 19, 2009

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Cuba: Pastor's Wife Faces Court after Losing Baby in Attack
  • Pakistan: Pregnant Woman Tortured at Police Station
  • Lutheran Gay Clergy Proposal Passes First Hurdle
  • Nuns Question Vatican Probe's Methods   

Cuba: Pastor's Wife Faces Court after Losing Baby in Attack

Christian Today reports that a pastor's wife who miscarried after a neighbor attacked her went on trial on Monday. She is accused by the authorities of ‘disturbing the public order’ during the incident in December. The attack was only one in a pattern of harassment by neighbors who contaminated the family's water well, broke pipes and a septic tank, and accused the pastor, Eric Gabriel Rodriguez, of aggressive behavior. Gilianys Meneses Rodriguez, the wife, miscarried after eight weeks pregnancy as a result of the last attack. The entire family has been forced to move away from their home in Placetas due to concerns for their safety. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Christians in Cuba have faced increased religious pressure since Raul Castro took power.

Pakistan: Pregnant Woman Tortured at Police Station

ASSIST News Service reports that a pregnant Christian woman miscarried on July 26 after police beat her and dragged her naked through their police station. Police in Gujrat District of Punjab, Pakistan, had arrested her and a Muslim woman after their employer accused them of theft, but police did not touch the Muslim woman. The woman, Farzana Bibi, worked as a maid in the house of a wealthy Muslim. During a wedding held at the house, some jewelry was stolen from some of the landlord's female relatives. The police arrested two maids: Farzana and a Muslim woman named Rehana. Farzana's husband says police arrested both women without proof, but subjected only Farzana to intense torture and humiliation. Police detained her for two days, releasing her to a hospital where she miscarried her child. Two officers were suspended after the events on her behalf.

Lutheran Gay Clergy Proposal Passes First Hurdle

The Associated Press reports that a proposal in the Lutheran church to allow openly homosexual clergy in the pulpit has passed its first hurdle. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s biennial convention voted Monday to pass of fail the measure with a simple majority vote, instead of the proposed two-third supermajority vote. Critics of the measure said such a significant move should reflect the attitudes of the full denomination. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson says the majority versus supermajority vote shouldn't be seen as strongly indicating the debate's ultimate outcome. The 1,045 voting delegates will probably face a final vote on Friday determining which direction the church, which is the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, will take in the future.

Nuns Question Vatican Probe's Methods   

Religion News Service reports that an umbrella group of Catholic nuns has asked the Vatican to disclose why it is being investigated. The group has asked who is funding the probe, and questioned why the sisters will not be allowed to see the final investigative report submitted to church leaders. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which met last week (Aug. 11-14) in New Orleans, pledged to cooperate with a Vatican investigation of the sisters' fidelity to Catholic doctrine on female ordination, homosexuality, and the role of the church in salvation. "We are used to evaluations. We have no problems with evaluations," Sister Helen Garvey told National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper, in New Orleans. "But we need a sense of fair play. There needs to be transparency."