Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Six Christians Shot, One Killed, in Egypt
- Gunmen Kill Policeman Guarding Church in Nigeria
- Memorial Services Mark Haiti Earthquake Anniversary
- Civility Project Disbands after Low Interest in Congress
Six Christians Shot, One Killed, in Egypt
Just 10 days after a deadly church bombing in Egypt, a deputy policeman boarded a stopped train and shot six Christians passengers, killing one of them. CNN reports that the gunman is identified as deputy policeman Amer Ashoor Abdel-Zaher Hassan. Hassan reportedly walked up and down the length of the train before saying, "There is no God but God," and firing at two groups of Coptic Christians. The train had stopped in Samalut, about 125 miles south of Cairo. Seventy-one-year-old Fathi Saeed Ebaid was killed in the attack. His wife, 61-year-old Emily Hannah Tedly, was also shot along with three other women. All five were flown to Cairo for treatment. About a dozen Coptic Christians showed up outside the hospital to support the victims, but were driven away by police firing tear gas at them.
Gunmen Kill Policeman Guarding Church in Nigeria
Nigeria's religious community suffered another setback on Sunday evening, when gunmen shot and killed a policeman standing guard outside a church. The Christian Post reports that two others were seriously injured in the drive-by shooting. Police believe the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram is responsible for the attack. Christian youth further damaged relations between the two groups when they attacked a car with Muslim passengers returning from a wedding. At least eight people died in the ensuing violence, with the two sides offering differing accounts of what happens. Christian leaders in Nigeria say the tension is fueled by much more than religion; social, economic and ethnic issues are also in play in the region.
Memorial Services Mark Haiti Earthquake Anniversary
Christian Today reports that survivors and ministry workers in Haiti observed a minute of silence yesterday at 4:53p.m. local time, remembering the moment a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti a year ago. The earthquake killed more than 230,000 people. Haitian President Rene Preval and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, now co-chair of the UN's interim reconstruction committee in Haiti, were among those attending a service in Port-au-Prince to remember the 102 UN peacekeeping personnel killed in the disaster. Another memorial service took place at a mass grave outside the city, where an estimated 100,000 people were buried following the earthquake. An estimated 1.3 million people are still homeless and living in tent cities as the country slowly recovers.
Civility Project Disbands after Low Interest in Congress
The Civility Project, a two-year bipartisan attempt to get politicians and others to respect one another, is closing down after just three members of Congress agreed to the project's pledge, according to Religion News Service. "You three were alone in pledging to be civil," Christian publicist Mark DeMoss wrote in a Jan. 3 letter announcing an end to the two-year project. "I must admit to scratching my head as to why only three members of Congress, and no governors, would agree to what I believe is a rather low bar." The three who had agreed were Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. The announcement comes at a time when politicians, clergy and commentators have stressed the need for civility following Saturday's (Jan. 8) deadly shootings in Tucson, Ariz., which left six people dead and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.