Religion Today Summaries - June 22, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 22, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Expelled U.S. Christians Seek Help in Returning to Morocco
  • Sex Offender Asks N.H. High Court to OK Church Attendance
  • Afghan Christians Plea for Help after Call for Execution
  • India: Christian Kidnapped to Temple for Reconversion


Expelled U.S. Christians Seek Help in Returning to Morocco

Religion News Service reports that Republican lawmakers are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help Christian aid workers and foster parents gain re-entry to Morocco. In March, approximately 50 U.S. Christians were deported after they were accused of breaking a Moroccan penal code that prohibits people from trying to convert Muslims. At a June 17 briefing on Capitol Hill, four American foster parents testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The commission called on Clinton and the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, Morocco, to help the Americans retrieve their children and belongings from the north African country. "At a time when the rights of Americans under Moroccan law are clearly being violated, I'm disappointed that both Ambassador (Samuel) Kaplan and Secretary Clinton have neglected to publicly defend the rights of U.S. citizens," said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., the chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Sex Offender Asks N.H. High Court to OK Church Attendance

The Christian Post reports that New Hampshire's Supreme Court must weigh a sex offender's religious freedom against public safety concerns. Jonathan Perfetto, 35, served seven years in prison after pleading guilty to 61 counts of child pornography possession, and was released in 2008. Under his probation condition, Perfetto must avoid places where children are present, which includes church. Now Perfetto is seeking permission to attend services at a church in Manchester with a church elder acting as a chaperone. The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union has maintained before lower courts that the chaperone would keep Perfetto in check, but the courts have so far ruled that public safety outweighs Perfetto's religious rights.

Afghan Christians Plea for Help after Call for Execution

Christian Today reports that more than 150 Afghan Christians who fled to India recently are pleading with the international community to help fellow believers. "We left our country because we were sentenced to death on the account of our Christian faith ... Christians are called pagans and infidels and are sentenced to death by the Afghan Government. Death penalty is waiting for all those who want to leave the darkness and come to true light, repent from their sins, and put their faith on (sic) the Lord Jesus Christ," they wrote in a letter earlier this month. Afghan Muslims rioted in the streets last month after seeing footage of Afghan men converting and being baptized. Christians in the group say they have received reports of Afghan Christians being arrested, tortured and forced to reveal names of other converts and churches.

India: Christian Kidnapped to Temple for Reconversion

ASSIST News Service reports that a 19-year-old Christian man was attacked June 8 in Orissa, India. Bhakta, a member of a Gospel for Asia-supported church, was home alone when six people stormed into his house and dragged him out. They took him to a local temple and force-fed him food that had been sacrificed to the idols at the temple. They continued to humiliate him by dressing him in red clothing, a traditional symbol of adherence to the temple god. His continued refusal to cooperate angered his kidnappers, who beat him. They left the badly injured young Christian in the temple. Police arrested five people whom they believe took part in the kidnapping and assault. Police found that Bhakta's neighbors are still angry over his family's choice to follow Christ, which may have led to the assault.

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