Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.
In today's edition:
- Thousands of Dalit Christians Rally for Equal Status
- Rick Warren Recovering after 'Sight Loss'
- Open Doors Launches Campaign to End Deportations in Morocco
- U.S. Lutheran Leader Pleads for Unity
Thousands of Dalit Christians Rally for Equal Status
Christian Today reports that thousands of India's religious minority population rallied in Delhi yesterday. Christian Dalits still don't have the same rights to education and employment as Hindu Dalits, Sikhs and Buddhists. Christians and Muslims are excluded from "Scheduled Caste status," preventing them from equal access to jobs, schools and colleges. The Christians called for the immediate implementation of recent recommendations made by the Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities (NCLRM). "This injustice against out Dalit brothers and sisters has been going on for six decades and more. Without justice, there is no peace. We are going to press on till we get peace and justice," said the Archbishop of Delhi, Vincent Concessao. "We have been demanding this for the last 10 years in various forums, rallies and campaigns," he said.
Rick Warren Recovering after 'Sight Loss'
A tweet from Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren in Lake Forest, Calif., on Wednesday set off rumors that the bestselling author had been blinded. Warren said his eyes were "severely burned by a toxic poison" and he was in "excruciating pain." He asked his Twitter followers to pray that his "sight loss" would be restored. Later in the day, spokesperson A. Larry Ross told World Magazine that the pastor was dealing with a severe allergic reaction after getting sap from a firestick plant in his eyes. The pain was so excruciating that he couldn't open his eyes or immediately tell his wife, Kay, what had happened. Warren suffered corneal burns, but is expected to fully recover. Late in the afternoon, Warren tweeted, "A doctor put protective contacts on my corneas as bandages during the healing. I am NOT blind. Thank you."
Open Doors Launches Campaign to End Deportations in Morocco
Open Doors USA has launched a campaign to pressure Morocco's government to end forced deportations and persecution of Christians within its borders. Morocco has stepped up its action against Christian since March. At least 128 foreign Christians, almost half of them Americans, have been deported since then. Also, a reported 7,000 Muslim leaders signed a document describing the work of Christians within Morocco as "moral rape" and "religious terrorism." The government has failed to provide any evidence to substantiate accusations of proselytizing. Carl Moeller, president/CEO of Open Doors USA, says, "This is a situation where a number of our friends in Congress are taking a stand. If we can use the political power of the U.S. Congress to bring pressure on the Moroccan authorities, we want to go ahead and do that."
U.S. Lutheran Leader Pleads for Unity
Religion News Service reports that a U.S. Lutheran bishop appealed to members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to hold together and avoid splits in the face of differences over issues of sexuality. "It is not the time for further traditions of Lutheranism to emerge in the world. We have to find unity," said outgoing LWF President Mark Hanson, who is also presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Hanson's remarks on Wednesday come in the wake of conflicts between Lutheran churches in Africa and more liberal churches in the U.S. and Europe. The LWF's second-largest member church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, has threatened to stop accepting aid from U.S. and European churches over the gay issue. "I am deeply concerned that we are on the precipice of a time where the rich tradition of Lutheran theology is used to divide Lutherans among themselves," Hanson told delegates at the week-long assembly.