Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Five Christians Killed in One Week in Pakistan
- Full-Scale Noah's Ark Attraction Announced
- Christian Activist Imprisoned in North Korea Speaks Out
- Global Church Leader Urges Koreas to Stand Down
Five Christians Killed in One Week in Pakistan
Alleged Muslim extremists have killed five Christians in Pakistan in less than a week, Mission News Network reports. Greg Musselman, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says the country's blasphemy laws are to blame. "Christians are always under this kind of law. In recent days, it's received international attention because of some of the other cases that are happening. The international community is saying, ‘This is ridiculous. You can't have these kinds of laws.' There's a lot of pressure that I believe will be put on Pakistan." Musselman continued, "This part of the criminal code has come under fire for its vague writing and broad interpretation... These Muslims often use it for convenience to take over businesses or these kinds of things."
Full-Scale Noah's Ark Attraction Announced
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear today joined the Ark Encounter LLC to announce a full-scale Noah's Ark tourist attraction in northern Kentucky. Answers in Genesis, known for its popular Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., is also joining the $150 million endeavor. The project is expected to employ up to 900 full and part-time staff. Developers believe they can attract as many as 1.6 million visitors in the first year; by contrast, the Creation Museum welcomed its one millionth visitor about three years' after its opening. "Based on our experience and success operating the large, state-of-the-art Creation Museum, our board believes the time is right to partner with the Ark Encounter in building a full-scale Noah's Ark," said Ken Ham, president and founder of AiG and the Creation Museum.
Christian Activist Imprisoned in North Korea Speaks Out
An American Christian activist who was imprisoned by North Korea after illegally entering recently spoke on TV about his experiences for the first time. ASSIST News Service reports that Robert Park, who spent 43 days in North Korean detention, says he still believes he's called to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." Tired of Christians "talking the talk" but not "walking the walk," Park said he decided to do something to draw attention to the plight of Christians in North Korea. He crossed the frozen Tumen River and walked from China into North Korea in February, where he was immediately arrested by border guards. Parks says his imprisonment involved sexual abuse and torture that he doesn't want to speak about, but he maintains committed to promoting a regime change in the impoverished country. Many human rights and diplomatic groups criticized Park's actions as a fruitless move that damaged humanitarian and political relations.
Global Church Leader Urges Koreas to Stand Down
Even as the U.S. and South Korea began military exercises off the peninsula's west coast, the head of the World Council of Churches urged both Koreas to refrain from action. "The World Council of Churches' unequivocal position has been that the use of force and military power will not resolve the problems that deprive the Korean people's aspiration for peace and reconciliation," said WCC General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, Christian Today reports. "We call for the governments of North and South Korea to demonstrate the genuine will to return to peace negotiations that will lead to peaceful co-existence and mutual respect, and to engage in a new process of confidence-building measures at the earliest possible date."