Religion Today Summaries - July 21, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 21, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • U.S. Teens Hesitant to Evangelize, Study Finds
  • Report: Christians Unfairly Targeted by U.K. Hate Laws
  • Moroccan Christian Imprisoned for 15 Years on Exaggerated Charges
  • CSW Urges Security Review after 10 Killed in Nigeria

U.S. Teens Hesitant to Evangelize, Study Finds

Mission News Network reports that Christian teens in the U.S. are less enthusiastic about sharing their faith than they were in 1998. According to a new study from the Barna Group, less than half of teenagers (45 percent) say they've explained their beliefs to someone with different faith views in the last year. In 1997, that number was almost two-third of teenagers (63 percent). "I think many teens as well as young college students have really bought into the cultural view of tolerance," said Terry Erickson, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship National Director of Evangelism. "You don't want to offend anyone, so there's a reluctance to share your faith. So we see lots of students that have to get over that hurdle in college if they want to do evangelism."

Report: Christians Unfairly Targeted by U.K. Hate Laws

A new report has found that Christians in Britain are disproportionately targeted by laws intended to prevent religious hate crimes. The Civitas report, "A New Inquisition: Religious Persecution in Britain Today," criticizes the "oppressive oddity" of judicial attempts to regulate religious hatred, Christian Today reports. The report's author, Jon Davies, says the vague nature of the laws has led judges to become "surrogate theologians," essentially establishing a "theocracy by the backdoor." he asks, "Is the Crown Prosecution Service so prudent in its understanding of 'religious hatred' that it should be free, with no penalty for error, to mobilize the power and resources of the state against ordinary citizens who make comments about religion?"

Moroccan Christian Imprisoned for 15 Years on Exaggerated Charges

ASSIST News Service reports that new information has surfaced concerning Jamaa Ait Bakrim, a Moroccan Christian who has been imprisoned for his faith since 2005. According to International Christian Concern, the bulk of Jamaa's 15 year sentence came from the "destruction of the goods of others," but in fact he only burned "two unused wooden posts that were blocking access to his house." Friends say the event was just an excuse for authorities to silence Jamaa. A professor who has known Jamaa since childhood said, "Fifteen years for two abandoned posts, it is scandalous. Jamaa presented a serious problem for the authorities. He displayed his convictions in broad daylight and it is for this reason he underwent a crackdown."

CSW Urges Security Review after 10 Killed in Nigeria

The head of Christian Solidarity Worldwide has called on Nigeria's government to undertake an "urgent" security review following an attack that killed 10 people. Churches and homes burned to the ground and 10 people, including several children, were killed after Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked a village on July 16. Villagers claim that although the security forces were called and arrived in Mazah village time to quell the violence, they waited until the attack had ended before entering Mazah. The area is currently reported to be "quiet but tense." CSW National Director Stuart Windsor said, "[O]nce again there are indications that the security forces have not taken effective action, despite being in a position to do so. We once again urge the Federal authorities to urgently and comprehensively review the current security arrangements for Plateau State in order to ensure that vulnerable communities are protected and army units unwilling or unable to fulfill their duties effectively and without bias are brought to book."