Religion Today Summaries - June 16, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 16, 2009

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

  • Christian Cyclone Victims in Bangladesh May Be Neglected
  • Voice of the Martyrs' Fax Project Receives Threat
  • Reformed Church in America Drops Magazine
  • India: Women Missionaries Harassed by Mob of Boys

Christian Cyclone Victims in Bangladesh May Be Neglected

The Christian Post reports that Christians may be vulnerable to discrimination in the wake Bangladesh's recent cyclone, which left hundreds of thousands homeless. The predominantly Muslim country has let other incidents of persecution slip by unnoticed, prompting outside aid groups to wonder if Christians will receive general aid like their Muslim neighbors. “Many Christians have been severely affected by this cyclone,” reported the Barnabas Fund. “Churches have been destroyed and at least 1,500 Christian families have been affected, losing homes, livestock, crops, access to work, food, clean water and sanitation.” The group estimates that half a million people have been stranded or seriously affected by the storm.

Voice of the Martyrs' Fax Project Receives Threat

Mission News Network reports Voice of the Martyrs' recent project - faxing Gospel messages to North Korean numbers - is certainly reaching someone. After recent messages that included stories of Christians loving Communists even under persecution, someone at the North Korean embassy in Finland responded darkly. The returned, unsigned fax read, "We know who you are. We warn you that if you send this kind of dirty fax again, something very bad will happen to you. Don’t do something you will regret." Todd Nettleton believes the message indicates that people within North Korea are noticing the faxes, too. “For us, that’s good news because it means our fax campaign is working. The Gospel is getting through, but obviously it’s a challenge as well."

Reformed Church in America Drops Magazine

Religion News Service reports that Christian media outlets are not immune to recession. Just as major mainstream print publications struggle to forge their way into the digital age, so will the magazines of the 166,000-member Reformed Church in America. Two years after scrapping a denominational subsidy for The Church Herald, the RCA General Synod that met through June 9 voted 171-56 to cease the monthly magazine that has suffered a sharp decline in subscriptions. They will now work to create a new publication that will be primarily online, with an open blog and increased social networking features. Since losing the subsidy, Herald subscriptions have fallen below 20,000 and the magazine was forecast to go broke by the end of the year.

India: Women Missionaries Harassed by Mob of Boys

ASSIST News Service reports that three of Gospel for Asia's female missionaries are shaken but unharmed after an verbal altercation with about 30 boys. The women had been giving out tracts and talking about the Gospel in one of India's coastal cities when they were surrounded by multiple boys, who asked if they were trying to convert people. The boys forcefully took the tracts and began hitting two of the women while calling them prostitutes. This went on for half an hour, and the boys did not allow the women to leave. The women were finally able to escape after calling a pastor who arrived to help. Women’s teams like this one can be especially effective in reaching other women with the news of Christ’s love. It can be harder for men to reach them because of cultural restrictions.