Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 31, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 31, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Violence against Christians Not Decreasing in India
  • Vietnam Grants Last-Minute Permit for Christmas Event
  • Harry Potter a Good Christian, Book Asserts

Violence against Christians Not Decreasing in India

Two years after violence drove thousands of Christians away from their homes, Orissa state in India has quieted. According to President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan, however, that doesn't mean Christians feel safe. "There was publicity spread throughout the state of Orissa by the radical fundamentalists that they will stop the celebration of Christmas for the Christians, especially in Kandhamal," he said, Mission News Network reports. The attacks didn't materialize, but they did scared hundreds of small communities and churches away from celebrating. Yohannan compares persecution in India to media coverage of high gasoline prices. "All of a sudden the entire media is talking about it. But after about six or seven months, nobody talks about it. It all becomes normal. Persecution is exactly the same. I see that no change has taken place."

Vietnam Grants Last-Minute Permit for Christmas Event

Compass Direct News reports that Vietnamese officials finally granted permission for a scheduled Christmas event just five hours before it began. House church leaders turned an empty field into a rudimentary stadium and welcomed some 20,000 people for worship on Dec. 26. The central government's Bureau of Religious Affairs (BRA) in Hanoi gave permission for the event to the newly registered Vietnam Assemblies of God organization, which represents a large grouping of mostly unregistered house churches in the Vietnam Evangelical Fellowship, in early December. Officials, however, failed to deliver permission papers until a church leader went to the BRA office the day of the event. Organizers estimated 2,000 people indicated a first-time decision to follow Christ at the event.

Harry Potter a Good Christian, Book Asserts

Christians continued to debate the merits of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books even after the series ended. Today, author Danielle Tumminio continues that debate in a new book, God and Harry Potter at Yale, in which she asserts Harry Potter is a good - if unorthodox - Christian. "I see him best as a seeker in a world where Christianity is not the vocabulary. I see him best as a seeker trying to live a life of faith in the same way a Christian seeker tries to live a life of grace," Tumminio told CNN. "It feels to me that (Rowling) is not a Christian writer in the style of C.S. Lewis, showing them how great Christianity is, to get them to convert. I think for her it's much more the journey of a seeker exploring and deepening a faith," she said. The books are, "not for the purpose of creating other Christians."

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