Religion Today Summaries - July 9, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 9, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Somali Islamists Execute Christian Convert
  • Church of England Drops Gay Bishop Nominee
  • Iranian Refugees Coming to Faith in Germany
  • La. Governor Signs Guns-in-Churches Bill

Somali Islamists Execute Christian Convert

ASSIST News Service reports that members of the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab have publicly executed another Christian convert from Islam. The execution occurred in Hudur district, Somalia, on July 1. Muhammad Guul Hashim Idiris, a Christian convert from Islam, was reportedly traveling from Kalafo, an Ethiopian border town, when a fellow passenger recognized him. Idiris said the prophet Muhammad was not a genuine messenger from God when asked, leading the passenger for inform al-Shabaab. Idiris was detained. Sheik Adan Yare, the al-Shabab governor of the Bakol region, told the press on July 1, "Our holy warriors have today, on July 1st at 11: 45 am, executed in front of angry Muslim witnesses a young man whose name was Muhammad Guul Hashim Idiris who insulted our beloved prophet."

Church of England Drops Gay Bishop Nominee

Christian Today reports that the Church of England is no longer consider a gay priest for the next Bishop of Southwark. Dr. Jeffrey John was reportedly on the Crown Nominations Commission's list earlier this week when conservatives spoke out against his nomination, warning his appointment could split the church. In a statement, Conservative Anglican groups Reform and Anglican Mainstream said, "Dr. John's teaching regarding homosexual practice is contrary to both the Bible and to the current doctrine of the Church of England." They continued, "To appoint him Bishop would send two very clear signals. First, that the diocese of Southwark wants to walk in a different direction to the Church of England's doctrine. Second that there is now little to stop the Church of England proceeding in the same divisive direction as the Episcopal Church in the USA."

Iranian Refugees Coming to Faith in Germany

ASSIST News Service reports that many Iranians who have fled to Europe to escape the persecution of their homeland have become Christians. Forty Iranians who reside in Germany have recently converted and been baptized as Christians in the city of Hanover, Germany. According to DW, a German news agency, these baptismal ceremonies were conducted in both Farsi and German. Every month tens of Iranians refugees and residents in Germany officially convert to Christianity, the event in Hanover is the first of its kind where a large group have together converted and been baptized as Christians. Hans Jorgen Kutzner, a protestant pastor who closely works with Iranians throughout Germany, said, "Many of these people suffered the brutal and oppressive hand of Islam in their country. Anyone who has experienced such dictatorial oppression seeks to be freed from it at the first available opportunity."

La. Governor Signs Guns-in-Churches Bill

Religion News Service reports that Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law a bill that allows guns to be carried into Louisiana houses of worship. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Henry Burns, authorizes people with concealed weapons permits to bring firearms to churches, mosques, synagogues or other houses of worship as part of an approved security force. The pastor or head of the religious institution must announce verbally or in weekly newsletters or bulletins that there will be individuals armed and designated as members of the security force. Participants have to undergo eight hours of tactical training each year. Burns' original bill was killed by a state Senate committee, but was later tacked on to a related gun-rights bill. The bill also allows a house of worship to hire off-duty police or security guards to protect congregants.

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