Religion Today Summaries, January 15, 2003

Religion Today Summaries, January 15, 2003

Religion Today Summaries: Daily summaries of the top religious news stories from around the world!

In Today's Edition:

  • New Governor's Faith Evident in Georgia Inaugural Ceremonies
  • Northern Virginia School District to End Discrimination Against Religious Groups
  • Series of Thefts and Threats Against Christians in Bosnia Continues
  • Prison Superintendent in India Charged with Converting Inmates


New Governor's Faith Evident in Georgia Inaugural Ceremonies
William Neal

(Baptist Press) Georgia's gubernatorial inauguration Jan. 13 had a decidedly Christian flavor as Sonny Perdue took the oath of office as the state's 81st governor.  “My vision to accomplish this mission is rooted in faith, family and freedom," said Governor Purdue, well known for his commitment to the Lord, in his inaugural address.  Perdue went on to say that he was committed to bringing a new tone to Georgia: "Together we will forge a new day, a new spirit of cooperation, consensus-building and reconciliation."  He then quoted from the Prophet Isaiah: "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.  The Lord will guide you always."  "Inspired by those who have gone before, encouraged by the future's promise, buoyed by faith, we will build a state we can be proud of; we will educate our children for the future; and we will create a growing and dynamic state economy.  Together with God's blessings, we will create a new Georgia for all our people."  www.bpnews.com

Northern Virginia School District to End Discrimination Against Religious Groups
 
(Christian Legal Society) Fairfax County Public Schools modified its flyer distribution policy after months of negotiations.  The new version of the policy ends discrimination against religious groups by guaranteeing them the same opportunities afforded to secular community groups.  Under the old policy, schools would only send the flyers of non-religious groups home with students.  Because parental permission is required to attend meetings, this policy severely limited religious clubs.  Even student members of these clubs were denied the right to pass out flyers on school property.  The revised policy guarantees equal treatment for religious groups and requires schools to provide equal treatment to religious groups including distribution of flyers of all groups at least once per year and making advertising space available in school newsletters.  The new policy also clarifies that students involved in religious groups may distribute flyers on school grounds.  “This revision is a victory for volunteer religious groups that seek to mentor youth and build their character and parents who want that for their children,” said Nathan Adams, Chief Litigation Counsel for Christian Legal Society, “It guarantees that religious groups will now receive the same opportunities afforded every other community group in the district.”  www.clsnet.org

Series of Thefts and Threats Against Christians in Bosnia Continues

(Charisma News) Baptists are urging prayers amid thefts and threats against members and other Christians in the divided former Yugoslav republic.  During Christmas there was "another break-in in our Baptist Union/Bible institute/church building" in the capital of Sarajevo, said Tomislav Dobutovic, overseer of the Baptist Church in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Assist News Service (ANS) reported.  Dobutovic said that it was the fourth break-in in the last two months and at least the 10th in the last two years.  Dobutovic stressed the thefts were part of "a series of attacks" against Christians, despite the presence of thousands of NATO-led peacekeepers who arrived after 200,000 people died in the 1992-1995 ethnic conflict.  "During the last six years, archives have been stolen, we have received threatening phone calls, and other Christian workers in the country have experienced theft in their homes and offices," Dobutovic said.  He also expressed concern about a new religious law being debated in the government. Dobutovic said if adopted, the legislation would "restrict evangelical Christians" in Bosnia, where nearly 50 percent of the more than 3 million people are Muslims.  www.charismanews.com

Prison Superintendent in India Charged with Converting Inmates

(VOM Canada) The chief superintendent of prisons at India’s Pondicherry Central Jail is facing a judicial inquiry being accused of forcibly converting inmates to Christianity.  According to a report from Compass Direct on January 7, Munanni, a fundamentalist Hindu group, is also demanding the suspension of Mr. G. David and calling upon state legislators to adopt an anti-conversion law similar to that in neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.  The Hindu group alleges that at least three prisoners were baptized in the prison in recent weeks.  While David makes no attempt to hide his Christian faith, he denies being involved in conversions.  The Inspector General of Prisons has also received no complaints from inmates about conversions.  www.persecution.net

 

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