Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 3, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 3, 2008

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

  • Seven Church Members Beaten Up by Hindu Radicals in Karnataka
  • Death Toll in India Violence Reaches 9; Tensions Persist
  • Archbishop of Canterbury Posts 'Green' New Year's Message on YouTube
  • 35 Kenyans Slain as Mob Burns Church

Seven Church Members Beaten Up by Hindu Radicals in Karnataka

ASSIST News Service reports that seven church members were severely beaten up by Hindu radicals on January 1 at 2 a.m. According to the news carried by, Pastor Krishnappa, aged 30, and six others were attacked. This brutal attack took place at Basavanahally in the Chickmangalur district of Karnataka state in India. According to the eyewitness of the brutal attack, seven members of a church called Hebron Prarthanalaya (Prayer Hall) were attacked and the condition of two of them – Anand, 29, and Raju, 28, are in serious condition. They have been admitted in the nearby Chickmangalur Government hospital. Another member of the church named Pushpavaty was injured with a rod. The names of the other victims are not known. The radicals have also damaged vehicles parked outside the hall. One car and a motor cycle were also burnt by the radicals. More than 200 believers of Hebron Prayer Hall were praying in the Seventh Day Adventist's facility in Chickmangalur when about 25 radicals entered the church with metal rods, knives and started to mercilessly attack on the peaceful worshippers.

Death Toll in India Violence Reaches 9; Tensions Persist

Orissa state’s Kandhamal district remained tense 10 days after a series of anti-Christian attacks began, and thousands of Christians whose houses have been burned down are facing hunger and fear. Pastor Victor John, who came to Udaigiri village in the Mallikapur area of Kandhamal as a guest speaker in a Baptist church on December 24, the day the attacks led by the Hindu extremist Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP) began, told Compass Direct News that the atmosphere was still tense despite the deployment of troops. According to a memorandum submitted to the National Human Rights Commission on Monday December 31, Christian leaders said that around nine people had been killed, close to 90 churches burned, about 600 houses torched or vandalized, and 5,000 people affected. VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati told media on December 25 that the reason for the violence was conversions by area Christians.

Archbishop of Canterbury Posts 'Green' New Year's Message on YouTube

The Archbishop of Canterbury, according to a report by The Press Association, has given an environmentally-aware New Year's message, which is being placed on YouTube. Dr Rowan Williams' message, saying God "does not do waste," was filmed in Canterbury Cathedral and at a nearby recycling center. The Queen of England also posted on YouTube for the first time recently. The Archbishop's message warned that a short-termist exploitation of the Earth's resources which produces fantastic quantities of waste has implications for other areas of life. "In a society where we think of so many things as disposable, where we expect to be constantly discarding last year's gadget and replacing it with this year's model - do we end up tempted to think of people and relationships as disposable?" he asked.

35 Kenyans Slain as Mob Burns Church

The Los Angeles Times reports that post-election riots in Kenya descended into savage tribal killings Tuesday. A mob burned a church where families had taken shelter from the violence, leaving at least 35 people - including many children - dead. The church massacre in Eldoret followed the killings overnight of 18 people, some reportedly beheaded, in the town about 150 miles northwest of Nairobi, the capital. A police officer also was killed Tuesday. Police reported 170 dead in clashes across Kenya, but news agencies put the number at between 200 and 270. Tens of thousands of people in Eldoret had fled their homes to take refuge in police compounds and church yards.