Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 27, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 27, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Chinese Christian Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Confirmed Tortured
  • Fla. Megachurch Ends Age-Segregated Worship
  • Pakistan: Christian says Blasphemy Charge Based on Grudge
  • Dinesh D'Souza to Helm Christian College in NYC

Chinese Christian Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Confirmed Tortured

The American Bar Association conference has awarded a missing Chinese attorney with its International Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award. ASSIST News Service reports that attorney Gao Zhisheng's 17-year-old daughter, Grace, accepted the award on his behalf in San Francisco. Meanwhile, reliable sources in China recently confirmed that Gao Zhisheng was severely tortured last year in Xinjiang, China, following his family's escape to the United States. After briefly resurfacing in March, Gao Zhisheng was able to talk to his family and visit his brother and father-in-law before he was kidnapped again by Beijing authorities. No one has seen or heard from him since April 20, 2010. "Gao's continued forced disappearance is a blatant disregard of the basic human rights of the Chinese people," says Pastor Bob Fu of ChinaAid.

Fla. Megachurch Ends Age-Segregated Worship

Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has taken an unusual step to bring all of its congregants together. The megachurch has discontinued its current traditional and contemporary Sunday worship services in favor of only one, more integrated and blended service. Church leaders say the move is designed to break down separations based on age, likes and comfort. "The best way a church can demonstrate unifying power of the Gospel before our very segregated world is to maintain a community that transcends cultural barriers," Senior Pastor Tullian Tchividjian said in a sermon earlier this month, according to The Christian Post. "Generational appeal in worship is an unintentional admission that the Gospel is powerless to join together what man has separated," he said.

Pakistan: Christian Says Blasphemy Charge Based on Grudge

A Pakistani Christian man charged with blasphemy last week says the allegations are the result of a longstanding personal grudge against him by Muslims, according to ASSIST News Service. Waris Masih, also known as Bhaloo, was charged on Aug. 21 for allegedly insulting Muhammad after entering a mosque in Rajkot village district Gujranwala, a predominantly Muslim village of north-eastern Pakistan. If convicted of the charges, Masih faces a mandatory death penalty. Masih said while it is the first time he has been accused of blasphemy, false accusations have been made against him before. Previously, all allegations against him have all been proved false. He said registration of the blasphemy case is the latest attempt at revenge against him by a number of Muslim men.

Dinesh D'Souza to Helm Christian College in NYC

The King's College has named former White House policy analyst and best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza as the school's new president, DeMossNews reports. D'Souza previously served as the John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Located in the Empire State Building, The King's College is a Christian liberal arts college that educates students to bring firm Christian conviction and strong moral character to positions of leadership. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute listed The King's College as one of the top 50 colleges for conservatives, and it was ranked in the top 14 conservative colleges last year by the Young America's Foundation. "We are thrilled to welcome D'Souza as the new president," said Andy Mills, interim president of The King's College.  "D'Souza is well-equipped to lead, inspire and equip students to address the issues of the world with a confident, articulate voice."