Religion Today Summaries - August 9, 2011

Religion Today

Religion Today Summaries - August 9, 2011

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

Study: Education Doesn't Breed Atheism
Flood-Affected Christians Protest Gov't Discrimination in Pakistan
Cuba: Pastor Granted Asylum but Blocked from Leaving Country
Muslim Extremists in India Attack, Threaten Christian Women



Study: Education Doesn't Breed Atheism

A Baptist Press (http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=35894) report says that contrary to popular belief, atheism is not the norm for people with higher education, nor does education push people away from God. What it may do is make them more likely to accept a liberal attitude toward religion, reported <i>USA Today</i>. Philip Schwadel, associate professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said that for each year of education beyond seventh grade people are actually 15 percent more likely to attend some sort of religious service. However, people are also 15 percent more likely to believe that truth can be found in more than one religion. Schwadel attributed that to wider-spread friendships, since education allows students to meet a larger group of people with different religious beliefs. "People don't want to say their friends are going to hell," Schwadel said. Another example of liberal-leaning attitudes toward religion that often come with education is the 13 percent decrease in people who say the Bible is the "actual word" of God. Schwadel found more people tend to say the Bible is God's "inspired word."

Flood-Affected Christians Protest Gov't Discrimination in Pakistan

According to The Christian Post (http://www.christianpost.com/news/flood-affected-christians-protest-govt-discrimination-in-pakistan-53428/), a large number of Christians living in southern Punjab province who lost their homes in last year’s floods remain homeless. Christian residents of the area cite a scheme by the government to allocate land to residents who lost property. Several people were allotted land last month and so far, no minority member has been given land. “Christians in this area are not rich people. They lost their houses and lands in the floods and should have been given five percent quota in the scheme. Flood victims could have been easily accommodated, but the quota system has not been followed because of which no minority member has been allotted land,” said Hameed.

Burma: CSW Renews Call for Inquiry into Crimes against Humanity

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has renewed its call for the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma, as the people of Burma mark the twenty-third anniversary of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors on August 8, 1988 in which at least 3,000 people were killed. CSW has written to European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers, urging them to work to secure the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry in this year’s UN General Assembly resolution on Burma, as recommended by UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana. In particular, CSW joins other campaign groups in calling on Germany not to oppose this initiative. At least 16 countries have expressed support for a Commission of Inquiry, including 12 EU member states as well as the United States, Canada and Australia.

Muslim Extremists in India Attack, Threaten Christian Women

Compass Direct News reports that four months after a recent convert to Christianity from Islam in eastern India’s West Bengal state was stripped and beaten, about 50 Muslim extremists disrupted a prayer meeting held in her home, threatening to burn it down if she did not return to Islam. The extremists warned Selina Bibi of Motijil village in Murshidabad district that if she did not return to Islam, then she must either leave the area or see her house burned down. At her baptism at Believers Church on March 29, a large crowd of Muslim extremists disrupted the service, said a pastor identified only as Bashir. On April 5, two Muslim women along with members of the extremist group summoned Selina Bibi to one of their homes and stripped her naked, believing that converts get “Christian marks” on their bodies. Though finding none, they beat her. Police called both parties, and they agreed in writing to allow each other to practice their respective faiths. In Natungram, also in Murshidabad district, Muslim extremists held three Christian women for an hour on July 21, threatening to beat and burn them alive if they continued worshipping Christ. Moyazan Bibi and Aimazan Bibi of Believers Church told Compass that they were arriving at the house of a widow, Suryja Bibi, when a large mob of Muslim extremists pushed them around and rushed Suryja Bibi, asking her why she invited “infidels” into her home. One of the assailants twisted her hand, the women said. Suryja Bibi tried to file a police complaint the next day, July 22, but the local Muslim head and other extremists stopped her, threatening to harm her, area Christians said.

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