Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Taliban Agrees to New Deadline for Korean Christian Hostages
- Spiritual Interest Growing in Europe, Wall Street Journal Says
- Analyst Concerned CNN Documentary May Equate 'Christian Right' with Islamic Terrorists
- Christians Thrown out of Homes in Kazakhstan
Taliban Agrees to New Deadline for Korean Christian Hostages
The Christian Post reports that the Taliban has agreed to extend the negotiation deadline for the 22 remaining Korean Christians to noon Friday. “The deputy interior minister asked us to give them extra time until tomorrow 12:00 p.m. (3:30 a.m. EDT) to be able to handle the issue,” said purported Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi. Afghan government officials confirmed the extended deadline, saying they are “trying with all our ability to win the safe and sound release of the South Koreans.” The extension comes after the “final” deadline on Wednesday evening passed without any further killings.
Spiritual Interest Growing in Europe, Wall Street Journal Says
Though most reports have indicated a growing secularization in Europe, The Wall Street Journal has noticed a rise in the popularity of newer Christian churches that connect with a generation interested in religious discussions, Baptist Press reports. "Now even Europe, the heartland of secularization, is raising questions about whether God really is dead," reporter Andrew Higgins of Stockholm, Sweden, wrote for the July 14-15 edition of the Journal. One theory for the growth stems from a correlation between an increase in religious competition and a rise in church-going. In other words, when congregations not sponsored by the government start up, people are more likely to attend. Europeans are deserting established churches, one expert said, but that doesn't mean they're not religious.
Analyst Concerned CNN Documentary May Equate 'Christian Right' with Islamic Terrorists
OneNewsNow.com reports that a media analyst fears an upcoming CNN special will attempt to create a moral equivalency between all religions. Beginning August 21, CNN will air a three-night, six-hour documentary called God's Warriors. Hosted by Christiane Amanpour, the special will purportedly discuss "the impact of religious fundamentalism as a powerful political force around the world." Among the features: "patriot pastors who seek to change American culture through the ballot box," "parents who reject science education in conflict with their religious principles," and Muslim "suicide martyrs who are revered as iconic heroes." Bob Knight, director of the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute smells an effort to equate evangelical Christians with Muslim fanatics, calling the CNN special a way to say "a pox on both their houses -- they're all bad... very much like what the media had been up to all along."
Christians Thrown out of Homes in Kazakhstan
According to an Asia News report carried on Spero News, E. Sabirova and her young child were barred from their home after court executors sealed it to prevent the local unregistered Baptist Christian community from meeting. This followed a ruling by a District Court on October 23 halting the activity of the church for three months because it was not registered. There are more than 100 Baptist congregations of varying sizes across Kazakhstan, persecuted because whilst the Constitution recognises freedom of religion the former refuse on principle to register with the authorities.