Religion Today Summaries - June 27, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 27, 2006

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

  • Pakistan: Woman Raped for Leaving Islam
  • Over 5,500 Men Identify with Struggles at Promise Keepers' Unleashed
  • Episcopal Approval of Gay Bishop Resolution Draws Relief, Disappointment
  • Retired Iraqi General Says Record Number of Muslims Turning to Christ

Pakistan: Woman Raped for Leaving Islam

Attacked by her own family, one Muslim’s decision to convert to Christianity highlights the precarious situation of Muslims in Pakistan who leave their faith. Sehar Muhammad Shafi, 24, has fled her home city of Karachi with her husband and two young daughters after being attacked and raped for changing her faith. Shafi told Compass Direct that her family lives with the fear of being discovered. “My husband is keen to get a marketing job,” Shafi said. “But I don’t want him to do something that open, where he will be known.” Though returning to Islam would seemingly solve many of Shafi’s problems, the Christian woman said that is not an option. “It is not a joke to change religions,” she said. “We’ve fallen in love with Jesus, so how could we betray him?”

Over 5,500 Men Identify with Struggles at Promise Keepers' Unleashed

Albany. More than 5,500 men and boys were met by lines of women at the entrance to Albany's Pepsi Arena Friday night, The Christian Post reports. The women cheered in support of the attendants' effort to be inspirited as better men. Women of Encouragement continuously wished their men blessings throughout the two-day conference that concluded Saturday. Calling it an "awesome" response from the women, David Cantona, 47, from West Congregational Church in Haverhill, Mass. said, "They're telling us 'we appreciate that you're trying to be better men. It chokes you up.". Key speaker Dr. Bob Reccord struck the men with questions many of them came with: "What happens if we had... a tough struggle along the journey? What happens if we made mistakes or the mistakes of others have impacted us? What happens if we can't just seem to get unleashed from the rut we put ourselves in? Is there any hope?" Reccord also shocked the audience with the testimony of his adoption as a neglected child. On Friday night, more than 650 people crowded the front of the stage to dedicate themselves to Christ. Over 280 were making the decision for the first time.

Episcopal Approval of Gay Bishop Resolution Draws Relief, Disappointment

Last week, the U.S. Episcopal Church passed a resolution calling for restraint in consecrating bishops “whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church.” The Christian Post reports both houses of the 75th Episcopal General Convention concurred on the final language of Resolution B033 after Episcopalians voted down a tougher resolution Tuesday which asked the diocese to “refrain from” ordaining gay bishops or developing rites for the blessing of same-sex unions. The weaker nonbinding resolution asks church leaders “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate… whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.” Bishop Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina described the resolution as "an appropriate and blessed way forward, strengthening the Episcopal Church, strengthening the Anglican Communion, without closing any doors unnecessarily.”

Retired Iraqi General Says Record Number of Muslims Turning to Christ

In spite of the continuous spate of bad news coming out of Iraq, unprecedented religious freedom has finally come to Iraq because of U.S. military action there, and more Iraqi Muslims are becoming followers of Jesus Christ today than at any other time in the history of the country. ASSIST News reports that message came from retired Iraqi General Georges Sada May 22 at a private dinner at McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia where Sada spoke to more than 1,000 people. Sada, a former air force fighter pilot who once served as a senior military advisor to Saddam Hussein, became the chief spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi during the interim government, just after the war. Now he serves as a senior national security advisor to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and has been helping redesign the new Iraqi military, along with his efforts to strengthen the Christian church in Iraq.

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