Religion Today Summaries - July 1, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 1, 2009

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

  • Islamic Extremists Kill U.S. Aid Worker in Mauritania
  • Obama Hasn't 'Picked' Camp David Church, White House Says
  • Iran: Christians May Face 'Double' Persecution
  • Egypt: Anti-Christian Attacks Prompt Calls for Justice

Islamic Extremists Kill U.S. Aid Worker in Mauritania

ASSIST News Service reports that funeral services will be held Tuesday for a U.S. teacher in Mauritania who was shot dead last week by Islamic extremists for spreading Christianity. Christopher Leggett, 39, was killed June 23 in front of the language and computer school he operated in Nouakchott, the capital city. An al-Qaeda unit claimed responsibility for the murder on an Internet site, accusing Leggett of “missionary activities.” His family issued a statement saying they forgave the murderers but asked that they be caught and prosecuted. “In a spirit of love, we express our forgiveness for those who took away the life of our remarkable son,” the family said. “Chris had a deep love for Mauritania and its people, a love that we share."

Obama Hasn't Picked Camp David Church, White House Says

Religion News Service reports that the White House on Monday (June 29) denied a report that President Obama has decided to make the Camp David presidential retreat his church home. "They have enjoyed worshipping at Camp David and several other congregations over the months, and will choose a church at the time that is best for their family," a White House spokesman said. Time magazine reported Monday that White House aides had said Obama opted for Camp David's Evergreen Chapel, a nondenominational church, so that he could worship more privately. There has been much speculation about where he and first lady Michelle Obama family will worship, especially in light of their decision to part ways with their controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago.

Iran: Christians May Face 'Double' Persecution

The son of an Iranian Christian martyr predicts that Christians protesting Iran's elections may endure even worse persecution, Christian News Wire reports. Joseph Hovsepian says he is hearing from his friends and relatives in Iran that few Christians are in the streets protesting, although they share the protesters' demands for a full recount of the bitterly disputed election and more freedom. "If this is how brutally the Iranian government cracks down on its own Muslim protestors who shout 'Alaho Akbar' (God is great), just imagine how much worse it could be for Christians protesting and calling Jesus for help!" he said. "However, I believe the regime can not be the same anymore. It will certainly change as a result of these protests."

Egypt: Anti-Christian Attacks Prompt Calls for Justice

The Christian Post reports that ringleaders in a Muslim mob that looted and vandalized Christian homes in Egypt last week are again at large. Police have imposed a curfew on the Egyptian village of Ezbet Boshra-East, but have reportedly done little to enforce it and protect villagers. They also released all suspects in the last week's attacks on Coptic Orthodox Christians. Several Muslims as well as Christians were injured. US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chairman Felice D. Gaer said, “The Commission has long expressed concern that the Egyptian government does not do enough to protect Christians and their property in Egypt, nor does the government adequately bring perpetrators of such violence to justice."