Religion Today Summaries - December 29, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - December 29, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Psychiatrists' Diagnosis of Norway Killer Could Keep Him Out of Prison
  • New North Korean Leader, Same Old Regime
  • New Hampshire Seeks to Restore Marriage
  • Five Christians Slain in Another Assault in Kaduna, Nigeria

 

Psychiatrists' Diagnosis of Norway Killer Could Keep Him Out of Prison

Two psychiatrists have diagnosed Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik with paranoid schizophrenic psychosis, which means that he could eventually be held in a forensic psychology clinic instead of in prison, SPIEGEL Online reports. However, since the psychiatrists presented their expert opinion to the Oslo court, criticism over their findings has grown as people question whether Breivik, who killed 77 people on a shooting spree at a youth camp in July, could be mentally ill and not responsible for his actions in the eyes of the law. Clinical psychologist Svenn Torgensen suggests officials might be trying to use a diagnosis of mental illness to make Breivik "disappear as quietly as possible."

New North Korean Leader, Same Old Regime

As North Korea held a farewell ceremony for Kim Jong Il on Tuesday, the country rallied around his son and successor, Kim Jong Un. However, according to a Voice of the Martyrs worker on the Korean peninsula, no significant changes appear likely for Christians there, at least not in the short term, Mission Network News reports. It is thought that Kim Jong Il was ill for some time, and it seems the people who kept things going on his behalf will continue to be in charge behind the scenes for Kim Jong Un, according to Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA. The reclusive nation claims to have freedom of religion, but in reality, there is no freedom to build churches or even worship in homes; owning a Bible or Christian material is illegal and punishable by death. Authorities have stepped up their surveillance of Christians in recent years, but an estimated 400,000 Christians continue to practice their faith in underground networks.

New Hampshire Seeks to Restore Marriage

New Hampshire's legislature could be taking up a bill to restore the definition of marriage when it reconvenes on Jan. 4, WORLD News Service reports. Last year, the state, which already had a same-sex civil-unions law, legalized same-sex marriage. If passed, HB 437, sponsored by Rep. David Bates, would leave in place the same-sex marriages already performed in the state but would restore the definition of marriage to being between one man and one woman, preventing further same-sex marriages from being performed.

Five Christians Slain in Another Assault in Kaduna, Nigeria

Local Islamists and Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked a Christian community in Kaduna, Nigeria, on Dec. 19, killing five people and wounding six, just nine days after a deadly assault on a nearby Christian community, Compass Direct News reports. The Muslim assailants, brandishing firearms and machetes, stormed the Christian area of Ungwan Rami village at 10 p.m., in similar fashion to other recent attacks. The state has suffered a largely increased number of attacks in recent months. "As Christians, we have been living peacefully with these Muslims, but we do not understand why they should now attack us," said Asabe Bulus, whose parents were killed in a November attack by Fulanis.

Publication date: December 29, 2011

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