Religion Today Summaries - July 29, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 29, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Two Christians Play Dead to Survive Attack in India

  • College Allegedly Orders Counseling Student to Change Views

  • U.S. Should Help N. Korean Orphans, Say Korean-Americans

  • 900 Karen Civilians Flee after Burmese Army Attack

Two Christians Play Dead to Survive Attack in India

Two evangelists said they survived an attack in Madhya Pradesh, India, by playing dead when suspected Hindu extremists surrounded them and severely beat them. According to Compass Direct News, on July 20 six assailants accused Mahindra Kharoley, 20, and Munshi Prasaad Bahey, 30, of "forced conversion." The two evangelists were bicycling to their home village of Susua following a prayer meeting when the masked attackers overtook them. "They banged my head on the cement road and hit me hard with their boots on top of my head, splitting my forehead," said Bahey. After 20 minutes they lay motionless, pretending to be dead in order to survive, they said. With no moonlight, they were left bleeding in the darkness of the jungle road about 800 meters from their home village. Kirnapur police accepted a complaint about the incident but have yet to investigate.

College Allegedly Orders Counseling Student to Change Views

Fox News reports that a graduate student in counseling at Augusta State University is suing her school. She claims the Georgia college threatened to dismiss her unless she undertook a remediation program to change her beliefs on homosexuality and transgendered persons. "[Augusta State University] faculty have promised to expel Miss Keeton from the graduate Counselor Education Program not because of poor academic showing or demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance, but simply because she has communicated both inside and outside the classroom that she holds to Christian ethical convictions on matters of human sexuality and gender identity," the 43-page lawsuit reads. Augusta State officials say the school does not discriminate based on students' "moral, religious, political or personal views or beliefs."

U.S. Should Help N. Korean Orphans, Say Korean-Americans

California-based Korean Church Coalition (KCC) for North Korea Freedom is calling American Christians to remember North Korea's orphans even as the U.S. enforces new sanctions against their country. According to the Christian Post, the coalition has encouraged Congress to demonstrate "moral clarity" between Kim Jong-Il's regime and the country's impoverished people. The group supports two bills on the subject. H.R. 4986, also known as the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act, would help stateless children from North Korean mothers who live in China and other Southeast Asian countries by proposing inter-country adoption by U.S. citizens. The children often have no legal standing in either China or North Korea. "[T]hose who suffer the most [under the North Korean regime] are women, children, the elderly, the disabled, the orphans," the KCC said in a statement Monday.

900 Karen Civilians Flee after Burmese Army Attack

ASSIST News Service reports that soldiers from the Burmese Army attacked another Karen minority village on July 23, burning 50 homes, a school and a church. More than 600 villagers fled as the army advanced. They joined 300 more from neighboring areas whose villages have not yet been attacked, but who have abandoned their homes in fear to seek refuge in the jungle. The Karen people, many of whom are Christian, are regularly targeted by the Burmese army. Most escaped with only what they could carry, and are enduring the rainy season without shelter. Hundreds of civilians have fled towards the Thai-Burma border, and some have already crossed the border to seek refuge in Thailand. Benedict Rogers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide's East Asia Team Leader, said, "The regime's record is one of widespread and systematic rape as a weapon of war, forced labor, attacks on civilians, murder, and destruction of over 3,500 villages in Eastern Burma alone since 1996."