Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- England Celebrates 400th Anniversary of KJV Bible
- Richard Land Leaves Interfaith Coalition on Mosques
- Vietnam Still a Country of Particular Concern, Group Says
- Russian Patriarch Denounces Moscow Airport Bombing
England Celebrates 400th Anniversary of KJV Bible
Christian Today reports that the King James Bibles Trust is gearing up for this year's 400th anniversary of the venerable translation. Tim Brearley, director of the King James Bible Trust, says the translation set the English language on a path to travel the world and influenced a host of historical figures and movements. "It is so many different things to so many different people," Brearly said. "It's always had that kind of timeless grandeur and it's extraordinarily beautiful. Modern translations are great if you want to understand something very clearly but they will often go out of date because they are idiomatic translations. The KJV has stuck around." He hopes the anniversary will encourage pastors to use the KJV not as their exclusive translation, but as a chance to "rediscover" a new perspective of the Bible.
Richard Land Leaves Interfaith Coalition on Mosques
Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has withdrawn from an interfaith coalition that supports the right of Muslims to build mosques in the United States. According to Christianity Today, Land was a charter member of the coalition and is also president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. In a letter to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which organized the coalition, Land said, "While many Southern Baptists share my deep commitment to religious freedom and the right of Muslims to have places of worship, they also feel that a Southern Baptist denominational leader filing suit to allow individual mosques to be built is 'a bridge too far.'"
Vietnam Still a Country of Particular Concern, Group Says
Human Rights Watch is calling on the United States to return Vietnam to its list of "countries of particular concern" (CPCs). The designation marks countries that consistently deny religious freedom and commit human rights violations. According to Voice of America News, the recommendation is part of the advocacy group's annual report on more than 90 countries worldwide. The report said religious repression in Vietnam is "systematic, severe, and getting worse by the day." Christians in the country have been subject to police harassment, forced closure of churches, and arbitrary arrests. Vietnam was removed from the list of CPCs in 2006.
Russian Patriarch Denounces Moscow Airport Bombing
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced a terrorist attack at Moscow's busiest airport as "the horrifying scowl of sin." Religion News Service reports that Patriarch Kirill I said actions once condemned even in war "are today becoming a form of protest." He spoke after a service to mark the feast of St. Tatyana, which this year became an occasion to address growing ethnic tensions in Russia after a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and injured more than 150 at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport on Monday. While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, assailants in a number of previous terrorist attacks have been linked to a separatist movement in Chechnya and other republics of the troubled Northern Caucasus region.