Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Fallout Continues for Chinese Activist after Leaked Video
- South Korea to Restrict Missionaries in Islamic Nations
- Christian Killed by Muslim Employer, Relatives Say
- Military Chaplains: We've Been Counseling Gay Soldiers
Fallout Continues for Chinese Activist after Leaked Video
Chinese authorities have continued their retaliation against blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng following the release of video he smuggled from his home. ChinaAid reports that several foreign journalists and other visitors attempting to see him were reportedly mistreated and even beaten. "The events today are reminiscent of the China of the Cultural Revolution and are not worthy of the new, globally-engaged China," said Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid. "The international community should condemn these actions with one voice. China cannot be a trusted partner until journalists are free to pursue their newsgathering activities and to report the facts freely and lawyers like Chen Guangcheng are free to defend the vulnerable."
South Korea to Restrict Missionaries in Islamic Nations
AsiaOne News reports that Christian missionaries from South Korea who face legal trouble in hostile countries may be stuck in their own country. The South Korean Foreign Ministry announced that new laws will forbid passports for people who have been punished or banished from a foreign state for conducting illegal activities there. The passport will not be issued again for one to three years. "The government wants to control missionary activities overseas," an elder at a Presbyterian Church in Seoul said, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. "I can understand why some sort of a boundary is becoming necessary, but I cannot agree with using broad terms that will discourage overall missionary work," the elder added. A South Korean missionary was kidnapped and killed in Iraq in 2004.
Christian Killed by Muslim Employer, Relatives Say
Compass Direct News reports that the Christian family of 24-year-old Imran Masih doesn't believe he committed suicide, as his Muslim employer alleges. The family in Pakistan's Punjab Province accuses landowner Chaudhry Maqsood Cheema of killing Masih for taking a day off without informing him. Masih had married eight months ago, and the couple was expecting their first child. Family members tried to register a report, but police refused to accept their complaint. Napolean Qayyum, field officer for Christian legal aid organization Community Development Initiative (CDI), said his team accompanied the family to the hospital on Feb. 10 and only after persistent efforts were they able to obtain the autopsy report. Qayyum said he suspected someone had tampered with the report. Christians who prepared Masih's body for burial reported seeing large bruises on his body, including one on the back of his head.
Military Chaplains: We've Been Counseling Gay Soldiers
The Christian Post reports that the end of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy may not affect chaplains as much as some have alleged. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Carleton Birch said Wednesday that chaplains already have experience in counseling homosexual soldiers and will likely be able to adjust easily to an openly homosexual military. Army Chaplain Lt. Col. Carleton Birch said Wednesday that chaplains already have experience in counseling homosexual soldiers and will likely be able to adjust easily to an openly homosexual military. "I've counseled homosexual soldiers when if I told anyone else that, they would get kicked out," shared Birch, an evangelical. When asked if chaplains would be limited in their ability to serve soldiers following the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repeal, he said that no changes were necessary to protect chaplains' rights. He maintained, "We've always been able to preach and teach" and anticipate little change in the future.