Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Church Presses For New Law to Check Human Trafficking In India
- Ten Killed, Three Churches Set Ablaze in Bauchi, Nigeria
- Persecution of Christian Arabs Needs to be Stopped
- Vatican Defends Duty to Evangelize and Accept Converts
Church Presses For New Law to Check Human Trafficking In India
ASSIST News Service reports that agencies in India have initiated a campaign for a law to prevent human trafficking, particularly of women. According to the news carried by www.ucanews.com, Caritas India, the Catholic Church's official social service agency, has already prepared draft legislation to present to parliamentarians, its director, Father Varghese Mattamana, said. Caritas has scheduled a meeting of all Christian parliamentarians on Dec. 19 in New Delhi to present them the draft legislation, after which the agency will officially present the draft to the federal labor and family and social welfare ministries. The proposed legislation seeks mandatory registration of all domestic workers with an appropriate government agency. It also wants to fix these workers' minimum wages and other service conditions, such as a healthy work atmosphere, leave and pension.
Ten Killed, Three Churches Set Ablaze in Bauchi, Nigeria
Compass Direct News reports that ten persons have been killed and three churches set on fire after Muslim students in this city began a rampage on Tuesday December 11 because unidentified people pulled out two foundation blocks of a high school mosque under construction. Area Muslims joined the attacking students, resulting in the deaths and damages in the city, including dozens of homes belonging to Christians. The identity of nine of the 10 people killed has been kept secret as the Bauchi state government has ordered security agents to bury the bodies in a common grave, eyewitnesses to the burial said.
Persecution of Christian Arabs Needs to be Stopped
With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, the town of Bethlehem, the historic birthplace of Jesus, is facing a continuing exodus of its Christian residents as a result of growing persecution by radical Muslims. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), led by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, strongly condemns the oppression of Christians in Bethlehem by Islamic extremists, which has risen sharply since Israel turned over control of the town to the Palestinian Authority in 1995. At the time of Israel's withdrawal, Christians made up 62% of Bethlehem's population. Today, that figure stands at approximately 15%, a historic all-time low. The persecution of Christians by hard-line Islamists is common in Palestinian-controlled areas and indeed throughout the entire Middle East.
Vatican Defends Duty to Evangelize and Accept Converts
According to Reuters, "the Roman Catholic Church on Friday defended its "right and duty" to spread its message to non-believers and to welcome converts, particularly from other Christian churches. A document from the Vatican's doctrinal department also rejected charges from some quarters that spreading the faith and receiving converts amounted to proselytism, or seeking new members aggressively or through coercion. The document comes after the Russian Orthodox Church accused Catholics of trying to poach souls in the former Soviet Union and as a growing number of Anglicans are converting to Catholicism following deep divisions in their own Church."