Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Financial Aid Denied to Colorado Christian University Students
- Religious Leaders Praise Administration for Agreement with North Korea
- Compassion International Equips You to Help Fight Poverty
- Christians in Bangladesh Village again Beaten, Threatened
Financial Aid Denied to Colorado Christian University Students
Christianity Today reports that Colorado Christian University (CCU) has appealed a federal district court decision that denies state financial aid to its students because the school is "pervasively sectarian" in its religious affiliation. The case could eventually set a dangerous precedent for other Christian higher education institutions. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education ruled in 2004 that CCU - a nondenominational school - was ineligible for state-funded tuition grants because faculty and students are required to share certain religious views. CCU filed a lawsuit in protest, but on May 18 a U.S. district judge ruled against the university, noting, "even its secular instruction is infused with religious components." "The most immediate impact [of the decision] may be on legislatures that are considering vouchers for the K-12 context," said Greg Baylor of the Christian Legal Society. CCU president Bill Armstrong said, "I think it's a question of whether those who choose to attend a religious school are second-class citizens."
Religious Leaders Praise Administration for Agreement with N. Korea
According to a FaithfulSecurity.org release, a group of prominent religious leaders released a statement yesterday congratulating the Bush administration for successful diplomatic efforts toward the denuclearization of North Korea and urging the administration to apply a similar strategy to the Iranian nuclear standoff. The statement coincides with the announcement early Monday that North Korea has begun to dismantle its nuclear facilities under international inspection, to fulfill its obligations under the February 2007 denuclearization agreement. Signatories include Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the head of Church World Service, the chair of the Committee on International Policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the national director of the Islamic Society of North America. “Our religious traditions teach that efforts should be made to explore every alternative in resolving a conflict before going to war,” the statement reads.
Compassion International Equips You to Help Fight Poverty
Compassion International is devoting the next year to showing how "You Can" make a difference in the fight against poverty, and is anchoring much of the effort on a newly designed web presence, an A. Larry Ross Communications release states. Compassion champions a unique approach to fighting poverty on behalf of children that shows that you can actually make a difference – one person at a time. Compassion launched its You Can campaign July 2. "We realize that many people look at the issue of global poverty and become overwhelmed, but Compassion's message has always been that the most strategic and effective way to attack poverty is by releasing one child from its grip at a time", said Tim Glenn, Compassion International's U.S. Advocacy Director. "The You Can campaign is a reminder of that message. And it is our hope that these resources will empower people to get involved in the fight against child poverty." Visitors as well as sponsors and donors can visit the newly developed interactive section of Compassion's web site to learn more about poverty issues facing children.
Christians in Bangladesh Village again Beaten, Threatened
Islamic radicals in a Bangladesh village have meted out more beatings and death threats to Christians after a special police force meant to offer protection for three months withdrew after only a week, Compass Direct News reports. The Islamic extremists in Durbachari village continued their violence against Christians last week. Moreover, a national newspaper on Sunday July 15 printed an article about the Nilphamari Christians, clearly naming – and thus targeting – the Rev. Albert Adhikari as a key advocate for Christians in the area. The article quoted the leaders of three prominent Islamic groups, who called for a ban on the activity of Christian individuals, churches and non-governmental organizations throughout Bangladesh.