Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Chicago Man Could Face Trial for Taking Child to Church
- Watchdog Sees Rise in Reported Persecution Cases in China
- Church of England: ACNA Motion Is 'Not an Attack' on TEC
- Pakistani Christian Family Killed in Bomb Blast
Chicago Man Could Face Trial for Taking Child to Church
Religion News Service reports that a Chicago man could face prosecution for violating a restraining order by taking his 3-year-old daughter to church. Joseph Reyes, 35, converted from Catholicism to Judaism when he married his wife, Rebecca. According to Rebecca Reyes, they agreed to raise their daughter Jewish. But when the couple filed for divorce, Joseph baptized his daughter as a Catholic without his estranged wife's consent. Following the baptism, Rebecca Reyes filed for and was granted a restraining order to keep Joseph Reyes from exposing their daughter, Ela, to any religion other than Judaism. On Jan. 17, Joseph Reyes entered Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago with his daughter and a television news crew in tow. Joseph Reyes's attorney, Joel Brodsky, said the restraining order violated the First Amendment by choosing one religion over another.
Watchdog Sees Rise in Reported Persecution Cases in China
The Christian Post reports that China's reporting of persecution cases has increased 19 percent since 2008, but even that figure includes only a small percentage of actual cases. Human rights group ChinaAid logged 77 total cases affecting almost 3,000 people in 2009, and 389 Christians arrested. The number of harassment and abuse cases skyrocketed 90 percent - ChinaAid confirmed that 114 people were abused in 2009. Many of the reported cases happened in urban areas, where ChinaAid theorized that cases have a greater chance of being reported. "[But] it may well reflect a policy of the central government according to which maintaining stability in urban areas is key to the whole country's stability," ChinaAid wrote in its "Annual 2009 Persecution Report."
Church of England: ACNA Motion Is 'Not an Attack' on TEC
Christian Today reports that the Church of England may soon welcome the Anglican Church of North America into full communion. A motion urged by the Bishop of Winchester will be debated today, as the Church of England's General Synod decides whether to acknowledge the legitimacy of the breakaway conservative province in North America. "It is important Synod has the opportunity to understand the good and godly life of ACNA and the ways in which God is using it at present," said the Rt. Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, a signatory of the motion. "I don't see it as an attack on TEC or the Anglican Church in Canada but an opportunity to be positive about ACNA and celebrate its presence and intentions, and to stand with it through its future." The motion would indicate the Church's stance, but a formal welcome will have to be issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.
Pakistani Christian Family Killed in Bomb Blast
ASSIST News Service reports that at least 27 people, including five members of a Christian family, were killed during a blasts in Karachi, Pakistan, on Feb. 5. About 133 others were wounded. Aftab Alexander Mughal of Minorities Concern of Pakistan says the blast, which apparently exploded in a motorcycle, was so severe it shattered all the windowpanes of the hospital and damaged many of the parked ambulances, cars and motorcycles and other installations. The blast was the second to occur on Friday. The first blast attacked a bus which carrying Shia Muslim mourners to participate in a religious procession to mark the end of the holy month of Muharram. Many claim that these were suicide attacks.