Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 31, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 31, 2007

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

Bhutto's Political Prominence Offended Islamic Radicals
Four Die in Christmas Rampage by Hindu Extremists in India
Bible Put on a Pinhead-size Chip
Zondervan Discusses Marketing the Bible in the Los Angeles Times


Bhutto's Political Prominence Offended Islamic Radicals

According to CNSNews.com, Benazir Bhutto, the first woman ever elected to lead a Muslim nation, angered fundamentalists who viewed a high-profile female politician as anti-Islamic. She also was increasingly outspoken against "extremists, terrorists and fanatics," as she described them at an election rally early this week. The two-term former prime minister was to be buried Friday in her hometown, Lakarna, a day after she was assassinated while campaigning ahead of parliamentary elections next month. Alireza Jafarzadeh, an exiled Iranian regional political analyst, blamed Bhutto's death on "Islamic extremists and misogynistic elements," adding that both her gender and her anti-extremist position were "viewed as negative credentials." "She had made clear over the years her position about the role of women," he said Thursday. "Her leading position as a woman was not welcome at all by the extremists. This is in addition to her political stance. All the jihadi organizations were opposed to her coming to power firstly because she was a woman and, secondly, because of her statements that she would allow U.S. troops to hunt for Osama bin Laden in Pakistani territory," said Indian security analyst Bahukutumbi Raman."

Four Die in Christmas Rampage by Hindu Extremists in India

At least four Christians are feared dead, many injured and more than 50 churches and 200 homes are either destroyed or damaged in Orissa state in anti-Christian violence that began Christmas Eve. Violence by Hindu extremists, reports Compass Direct, continues in some pockets despite the state imposing a curfew and deploying hundreds of police officers. Extremists have pursued Christian leaders into forests where they fled. The Delhi Catholic Archdiocese fears a repeat of 1998 attacks on Christians in Gujarat, followed the next year by the burning alive of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons in Orissa.

Bible Put on a Pinhead-size Chip

Researchers in Israel, reports ASSIST News say they have succeeded in putting a version of the Bible on a chip smaller than a pinhead. According to the BBC, “Its 300,000 words in Hebrew were inscribed on a silicon surface at the Haifa Institute of Technology. “Scientists say the aim of the project is to increase young people's interest in nanoscience and nanotechnology.” The BBC story went on to say that the record for the smallest copy is held by a Bible measuring 2.8x3.4x1cm (1.1x1.3x0.4in), weighing 11.75g (0.4 ounces) and containing 1,514 pages. The 0.5sq-mm (0.01sq-in) nano-Bible was written on a silicon surface covered with a thin layer of gold (20nanometres thick - 0.0002mm).

Zondervan Discusses Marketing the Bible in The Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times profiles Bible publisher Zondervan and their efforts to make the Bible “attractive” to the culture. From the story: Zondervan plans to keep stoking demand by making sure God's word looks hip, sounds relevant and is advertised all over, including in Rolling Stone magazine and Modern Bride, on MySpace -- even on a jumbotron in New York City's Times Square. "A lot of people read the Bible because it's obligatory, something to keep God off their backs," says Paul J. Caminiti, a vice president at Zondervan. "We're looking to turn them into Bible lovers... so it becomes part of the warp and woof of their being."

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