Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 19, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 19, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
 
In today's edition:

  • Egypt: Muslim Sentenced to Death for Christmas Eve Massacre
  • Study Shows Americans Plan to Give More to Charity in 2011
  • Sri Lanka Flooding Costs Missionary His Home
  • Christian B&B Owners Discriminated against Gays, UK Judge Rules

Egypt: Muslim Sentenced to Death for Christmas Eve Massacre

The Los Angeles Times reports that Egypt state security court has sentenced to death the Muslim man who killed six Coptic Christians last January. Hamam Kamouny, 39, is one of three men charged with the drive-by shooting on the Orthodox Christmas Eve. His sentence is awaiting final confirmation from Egypt's Grand Mufti, who reviews all death-penalty cases to ensure they comply with Islamic law. The cleric's decision will be announced Feb. 20. Christians have accused authorities of doing little to protect them in a string of violent attacks since last year. On New Year's Day, 25 Christians were killed in a church bombing in the city of Alexandria. One Coptic man was killed last week and five others injured when an off-duty policeman boarded a train and shot them.

Study Shows Americans Plan to Give More to Charity in 2011

For the first time since the recession began, Americans say that in 2011 they are more likely to increase their giving to charity than decrease their charitable support. The results from the annual Dunham+Company New Year's Philanthropy Survey conducted by Wilson Research Strategies showed a 29 percent surge in households who plan to increase their giving this year. The survey also found a 20 percent jump in households that say their giving will stay the same and a 48 percent drop in the number of households that say they will decrease their giving. "After three years of Americans indicating a weakening support for charities, it is very encouraging to see such a significant jump," said Rick Dunham, President and CEO of Dunham+Company, which helps charitable organizations worldwide with their fundraising, marketing and media strategies. "This year's study is very good news for charities."

Sri Lanka Flooding Costs Missionary His Home

Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Anthony was one of thousands in Sri Lanka who lost their homes to flooding this week, according to ASSIST News Service. Anthony, who also serves as a pastor in the Batticaloa district, escaped the disaster with his wife and children, but said his house collapsed. Hundreds of believers from area churches face similar circumstances of lost homes and ruined crops. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million people have been affected by this round of floods, and more than half of them in the Batticaloa district alone. The death toll stands at 18 and includes a 6-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl who were killed in landslides on Sunday.

Christian B&B Owners Discriminated against Gays, UK Judge Rules

The owners of a bed and breakfast will pay almost $6,000 in damages for refusing to let a gay couple share a room. The CNN Belief Blog reports that Peter and Hazel Bull say they refuse double rooms to any unmarried coupled. "The Bulls made it clear that they did not hold any hostility towards homosexuals and applied their policy of 'only giving double rooms to married  couples' equally to both homosexual and heterosexual guests alike," the  Christian Legal Centre said in their defense. Judge Andrew Rutherford, however, found that the Bulls violated British equality law, which prevents discrimination based on sexual orientation. The couple that booked the hotel room, Martyn Hall and Steve Preddy, are civil partners. 

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