Religion Today Summaries - December 5, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - December 5, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • U.S. Well on the Way to Christian Persecution, Cardinal Says
  • LGBT Groups Boycott Salvation Army's Red Kettles
  • Muslims in Pakistan Beat, Shoot at Christians in Land-Grab
  • Student Appeals College's Punishment for Anti-Gay Views


U.S. Well on the Way to Christian Persecution, Cardinal Says

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis and now the head of the Vatican's highest court, said the United States is "well on the way" to the persecution of Christians, International Christian Concern reports. Burke said he could envision a time when the church in America, would be accused of "engaging in illegal activity" just for preaching biblical doctrine. Pope Benedict XVI also made a similar warning last week: The "seriousness of the challenges which the church in America ... is called to confront in the near future cannot be underestimated. The obstacles to Christian faith and practice raised by a secularized culture also affect the lives of believers." Burke declared it a war, and added that it was "critical at this time that Christians stand up for the natural moral law."

LGBT Groups Boycott Salvation Army's Red Kettles

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists are calling for a boycott of the Salvation Army's annual red kettle drive because of the Christian charity's stance on homosexuality, the Christian Post reports. Maj. George Hood, national community relations secretary for the Salvation Army, said the disagreement between the organization and gay-rights groups came down to theology. "The Salvation Army and the gay community are never going to come to an agreement on the topic," he said, reiterating that the Salvation Army would not change its beliefs about homosexuality any more than gay groups would change theirs. He added that the Salvation Army wouldn't be hurt by the boycott, but rather the people it serves, including many from the gay community. "If people refuse to give, it's the poor and people in need that will suffer," he said.

Muslims in Pakistan Beat, Shoot at Christians in Land-Grab

In an attempted land-grab in southern Punjab Province, police and cohorts of a retired military official beat two Christian women and shot at other Christians who came to help them, Compass Direct News reports. About eight police officials, along with armed associates of a retired senior military officer, arrived at a field owned by a Christian and ordered the six or seven women working there to leave because they had come to take possession of the 12.5 acres. "They pulled away our headscarves from our heads and started hitting us indiscriminately with clubs and punches," one of the women said. Christians in a nearby field ran to rescue the women, and the Muslims began shooting at them. No one was injured, but the attackers left with a warning that they would return. In the last few years, Muslims have made several attempts to seize land from Christians, usually succeeding because Christians are a minority. Five days after the incident and repeated appeals to the Punjab government, officials had taken no action against police for the violence or investigated the attempted land seizure.

Student Appeals College's Punishment for Anti-Gay Views

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments last month in a religious liberty case that could determine whether a college has the right to require students to profess certain beliefs in order to get a degree, WORLD News Service reports. Augusta State University put counseling student Jennifer Keeton on academic probation in 2010 after she said she disagreed with homosexuality; administrators also faulted her for saying she wanted to work with conversion therapy -- helping clients stop living a gay lifestyle -- after graduation. After probation, the school required Keeton to attend gay pride events, attend sensitivity training and write monthly reflection papers; she declined, however, and the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit on her behalf, saying her First Amendment rights were violated since the school targeted her for her views. Attorneys for both sides declined comment after the hearing because the case is under a gag order by the court.

Publication date: December 5, 2011