Religion Today Summaries - June 13, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 13, 2007

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
 
In today's edition:

  • Muslim in West Africa Led to Christ through a Dream
  • Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors Call for Southern Baptists to Investigate 'Growing Problem'
  • Hindu Mob in India Beats, Strips, Parades Pastor
  • Study Sizes Up Gaps Between Christians, Atheists, Agnostics

Muslim in West Africa Led to Christ through a Dream

According to ASSIST News Service, a young Muslim man arrived at the mission center and demanded an audience with the pastor. “I directed him to see one of my co-workers,” says Pastor Yusif, a national missionary active in West Africa. “But he insisted it was personal and wanted to see me.” The man introduced himself as Ahmed, 33, from a strong Muslim background. He said he memorized the entire Koran by 11 and later became a Koranic instructor. Ahmed told Pastor Yusif about a profound emptiness at the core of his being. He was looking for God but doubted he existed. Internal anxieties robbed him of peace. After his wife left him, he struggled to find meaning in life. In his desperation, he asked God to speak to him and show him if he is real. One night a vivid dream terrified him. “A huge man appeared to him in the dream and said he had to cut off his head and put on a new one,” Pastor Yusif reports. “The man was holding a long sword... the handle of the sword had a cross.” When Ahmed awakened, he suddenly realized the man meant for him to take off his Muslim head and replace it with a Christian head. Pastor Yusif shared the way of salvation, and Ahmed prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior and Lord.

Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors Call for Southern Baptists to Investigate 'Growing Problem'

OneNewsNow.com reports that an activist group attempting to raise awareness of sexual abuse by clergy members is asking the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to do more to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct among its pastors. Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on Monday at the SBC to take action against what they claim is a growing problem. Christa Brown with SNAP says although SBC churches are autonomous, the denomination can do more. "We aren't asking the Southern Baptist Convention to have authority over any local church. But Southern Baptists, Southern Baptist churches cooperate for all manner of endeavors and, when they put their minds to it, they can move heaven and earth," Brown said. "And, if they wanted to, we believe they could choose to do something about this very serious problem."

Hindu Mob in India Beats, Strips, Parades Pastor

A mob of Hindu extremists on Friday June 8 beat a pastor and tried to set him on fire before parading him naked in the suburbs of Bangalore, Compass Direct News reports. Some 150 people allegedly led by Hindu extremists cornered independent pastor Laxmi Narayan Gowda in a room in his house and began assaulting him in front of his wife and two small children. One of the assailants threw kerosene on the pastor, and another tossed a burning Bible onto him, but miraculously he did not catch fire. The extremists then stripped the pastor naked and hung a board around his neck that said, “I am the one who was converting people,” before parading him through the area. “By this time, the mob had swollen to about 1,000, as more people joined in to harass and torture the pastor.” The pastor was last reported to be recovering in a hospital.

Study Sizes Up Gaps Between Christians, Atheists, Agnostics

The Christian Post reports that a new study on America's atheists and agnostics by the Barna Group found a significant gap between the "no-faith" group and believers, as well as some commonalities. Self-identified atheists and agnostics make up only 9 percent of the American adult population, roughly 20 million people out of 220 million adults. Of those, only about 5 million staunchly reject the existence of God. 56 percent of "no-faith" Americans agree that radical Christianity is just as threatening in America as is radical Islam, which coincides with 63 percent of "active-faith" Americans perceiving that the nation is becoming more hostile toward Christianity. However, "Neither the 20 million no-faith adults nor the 58 million active-faith Christians are as internally consistent as those who write and speak on behalf of their groups make them out to be," said David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group.

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