Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 17, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 17, 2009

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

In today's edition:


  • Nigerian Christian Freed, Blasphemy Charges Dropped
  • Sunni Victory Brings Hope to Christians in Iraqi Province
  • Americans Skeptical about End of World, Survey Finds
  • Christian Prayer Room at Pakistani School Closed







Nigerian Christian Freed, Blasphemy Charges Dropped


ASSIST News Service reports that Sani Kibili, 55, a Nigerian Christian who was earlier sentenced to three years imprisonment by a Shariah court in the northern town of Kano, has been freed. Kibili’s released was secured after series of legal battles by their lawyers adding that he was imprisoned in October 2007 for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Sani's case was riddled with irregularities and his lawyer made it clear from the start that his imprisonment was illegal. "As a Christian, he was not supposed to be tried in a Shariah court without declaring himself willing to be given such a trial in the first place,” according to Open Doors UK. The Christian-Muslim conflict has been very pronounced in Nigeria, especially in the north where Christians are in the minority. 


Sunni Victory Brings Hope to Christians in Iraqi Province


The Christian Post reports that elections in the Nineveh province of Iraq may give the large minority Christian population reason to relax. The newly elected Sunni government, which replaces the Kurdish party in power, criticized the former party's tolerance of extremists who attacked minority communities. "The minorities are an important part of the Nineveh province and they should enjoy all the rights they are entitled to," Osama Al-Nujeifi said, according to Assyrian International News Agency. Al-Nujeifi is an outspoken minority rights advocate in Iraq’s parliament, and his brother heads the Sunni party. "We believe the minorities have to participate in the political sphere, in the provincial council and all the local institutions. This is important for us and we believe we will be able to accomplish it."


Americans Skeptical about End of World, Survey Finds


Baptist Press reports that most Americans aren't concerned that the end of the world will occur in their lifetimes, according to a new study by LifeWay Research. Only 11 percent of 1,600 people who participated in a survey on the topic believed they would see the end of the world. "Many religions predict a time when the world will end, be recreated or experience some cataclysmic transition," Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said. "For others, that is not a religious issue but based on concerns from the environment to nuclear war. However, the belief that 'the end is near' is not that widespread, with a strong majority disagreeing with the statement." 


Christian Prayer Room at Pakistani School Closed


ASSIST News Service reports that a Christian hostel warden of a Nursing School made the rare move to lock the door of a room formerly used as a mosque by Muslim nursing students and staff. She was responding to the hospital administration's decision to close a prayer room for Christian nursing students and nursing staff. The administration ordered closure of the Christians' prayer room at the nursing school under the pretext that provision of prayer room on the premises of an official building for followers of any religion other than Islam was unconstitutional in the Islamic republic of Pakistan. Some 80 percent students of the nursing school are Christians. The hostel warden, Parsis Zareen Gul, maintains that the school administration that ordered closure of the Muslim prayer room.

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