Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Taliban Agrees to Release 19 Korean Christian Hostages
- Compassion Establishes Fund to Aid Earthquake Victims in Peru
- Clergy Forum to Discuss 'Can You be Gay and Christian?'
- TV Station Yanks Program by Televangelist who Condemns other Religions
Taliban Agrees to Release 19 Korean Christian Hostages
According to The Christian Post, the Taliban has agreed to release the 19 South Korean aid volunteers that have been held hostage by the militant group in Afghanistan for over a month. Televison channel Al Jazeera said it had received the report from its Kabul correspondent, which stated: “There was an agreement between the Taliban and a South Korean delegation to release the hostages in return for the withdrawal of the troops before the end of the year.” A South Korean presidential spokesman has confirmed the reports but added that it may take some time before the actual release takes place.
Compassion Establishes Fund to Aid Earthquake Victims in Peru
Compassion International has created the Peru Earthquake Response Fund so sponsors and donors can contribute to victims of this month's 8.0-magnitude quake. More than 500 people died as a result of the disaster August 15. Although no Compassion-assisted children have been reported dead, a number are still missing. “Our greatest priority at this time is reaching the most vulnerable victims and meeting their immediate needs,” said Cristina Zavala, Compassion Peru Country Director. “Compassion is committed to providing the best care and aid possible to those who have suffered and lost so much due to this tragic event.” At least 12 of Compassion’s church-based children’s projects -- out of more than 200 in Peru -- were affected by the disaster.
Clergy Forum to Discuss 'Can You be Gay and Christian?'
Can practicing Christians practice homosexuality? OneNewsNow.com reports that a North Carolina pastor is inviting homosexual clergy in the greater Charlotte area to a debate on that very subject. Dr. Michael Brown of FIRE Church in Concord will be hosting a "public dialogue" September 20 on the Bible and homosexuality. Brown said he decided to hold the event after he learned that many homosexuals who attend an annual "gay pride" event in Charlotte claim to be Christians. As Pastor Brown sees it, if his viewpoint is wrong, "that means I've been guilty of making God into a bigoted homophobe. If their viewpoint is wrong, that means they're sanctioning sin."
TV Station Yanks Program by Televangelist who Condemns other Religions
The Associated Press reports that a televangelist who harshly criticizes other religions said Friday his late-night program was pulled off the air because of pressure from a Muslim group. Officials from the Council on American Islamic Relations this month wrote the TV station’s owners asking for an investigation of the show it broadcasts, “Live Prayer With Bill Keller.” In a May 2 broadcast, Keller said Islam was a “1,400-year-old lie from the pits of hell” and called the prophet Muhammad a “murdering pedophile” and the Qur’an a “book of fables and a book of lies.” Council officials asked for equal airtime for Florida Muslims to counter Keller’s comments but were not given the opportunity.