Religion Today Summaries - July 7, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 7, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Gay Bishop Nominee 'Risks Splitting Church' of England
  • Estimated 1.2 Million Children Trafficked within India
  • Iranian Christian Held in Solitary Confinement
  • Presbyterians Opposed to Suspending Gay Clergy Debate

Gay Bishop Nominee 'Risks Splitting Church' of England

BBC News reports that the Church of England now risks its own schism after the nomination of an openly gay man for Bishop of Southwark. The Anglican Communion, led by the Church of England's Archbishop of Canterbury, has been racked by schisms, debates and realigned fellowships over the last decade, mostly over traditional orthodoxy and Biblical authority. Dr. Jeffrey John, the current Dean of St. Albans, is reportedly among those nominated for the position of bishop in the liberal diocese. Conservatives say his appointment could alienate orthodox parishes and clergy. He was forced to resign the position of Bishop of Reading in 2003 after similar concerns. John entered a civil partnership in 2006, despite the Church's ban. "It is breaking the law of the Church in the sense of Christian teaching... the teaching still is that active homosexual practice is not compatible with the teaching of scripture," Canon Sugden told the BBC.

Estimated 1.2 Million Children Trafficked within India

ASSIST News Service reports that around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution in India. According to the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) "human trafficking is a major problem" and they believe that 90 percent of human trafficking in India is "intra-country." Ashwani Kumar, head of the Central Bureau of Investigation, said that India has occupied a "unique position" as what he called a source, transit nation and destination of this trade. India's home secretary Madhukar Gupta remarked that at least 100 million people were involved in human trafficking in India. Concrete numbers are difficult to determine, but "studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimate that there are about three million prostitutes in the country, of which an estimated 40 percent are children," a CBI statement said.

Iranian Christian Held in Solitary Confinement

Ali Golchin, a 29-year-old Christian, remains extremely ill after being kept in solitary confinement in an Iranian prison. According to ASSIST News Service, Golchin has been transferred twice to the prison health center since he was arrested on April 29. After spending almost 2 months in solitary confinement, Golchin was allowed just 10 minutes with his family. "Ali's father was told that during these 51 days of captivity and detention Ali had been held in a solitary cell in the 209th section of prison and did not even had permission to leave his cell for a brief walk and exposure to fresh air," according to the Farsi Christian News Network. Christian sources inside and outside the prison said Ali remains imprisoned and subject to intense interrogation is solely because of his faith.

Presbyterians Opposed to Suspending Gay Clergy Debate

The Christian Post reports that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will debate the denomination's policy on openly gay clergy this week despite the risks. Saying a moratorium won't bring peace, attendees began debate on Monday. The PC(USA) currently requires clergy to live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." Over a dozen overtures relating to gay ordination were submitted for consideration this year. Some call for deleting the "fidelity and chastity" standard and others suggest strengthening the current standard. "We didn't believe peace would come out of a moratorium," said Jack Emerick, a minister from Washington Presbytery, according to The Presbyterian Outlook. "More peace would come out of action."