Religion Today Summaries - July 6, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 6, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Indonesian Muslims Call for Halt to 'Christianization'
  • Fla. School Sued for Banning Bible Distribution
  • Land: Obama Immigration Speech 'Necessary' Step
  • Tearfund Launches Appeal to Fight Hunger in Zimbabwe

Indonesian Muslims Call for Halt to 'Christianization'

Compass Direct News reports that Muslim organizations in West Java have declared they will establish paramilitary units in local mosques and a "mission center" to oppose conversion to Christianity. At a gathering at the large Al Azhar mosque in Bekasi, West Java, the leaders of nine organizations announced they will also push for the implementation of sharia (Islamic law) in the region. The Rev. Simon Timorason of the West Java Christian Communication Forum (FKKB), however, told Compass that most Christians in the area do not proselytize and meet only in small home fellowships due to the lack of officially recognized worship venues. He says growth comes from the many seminary graduates who choose to remain on Java instead of relocating, launching new home-based fellowships for different denominations.

Fla. School Sued for Banning Bible Distribution

One mission group is suing Collier County School District in Florida after school officials banned the group from passing out Bibles on Religious Freedom Day. The Christian Post reports that until last year, World Changers offered the bibles on Jan. 16 before and after school. The school superintendent then rescinded permission, saying the Bible distribution may not continue because it does not provide any educational benefit. Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, says the school district is misunderstanding the First Amendment. "How sad that on the eve of Independence Day, when we celebrate the religious and political freedom our forefathers won for us at the cost of much blood and great sacrifice, we are compelled to sue to protect the right simply to make free Bibles available to students in public schools," said Staver.

Land: Obama Immigration Speech 'Necessary' Step

Baptist Press reports that President Obama's call for the federal government "to fix a broken immigration system" won approval from Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land. Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, applauded Obama for a "bold and important speech." "There are some things that require presidential leadership, and the immigration issue is one of them," said Land, who attended the July 1 speech at American University in Washington, D.C. "[T]his speech was a necessary prerequisite to bringing about a fair and just solution to the immigration crisis that is rending the social fabric of our nation." The president rejected "blanket amnesty" for and deportation of illegal immigrants, calling instead for a series of requirement that would allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status.

Tearfund Launches Appeal to Fight Hunger in Zimbabwe

Aid organization Tearfund has asked Christians in the U.K. to join an initiative that will help Zimbabwe's food crisis, according to Christian Today. The "Make a Meal of It" campaign will work with native churches in Zimbabwe to alleviate extreme poverty. "Churches are at the heart of Zimbabwe's long term recovery - beyond aid relief - and they are now reaching out to more people than ever," says Peter Grant, Tearfund International Director. "The need for help, hope and transformation is ongoing and urgent. We want churches in the UK to feel part of this, share in Zimbabwe's transformation, and have fun at the same time." Some of the funds will go toward church-linked initiatives in sustainable farming. "People don't want to depend on relief aid. This sustainable farming will strengthen the poorest families that have had to rely on so little for far too long."