Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.
In today's edition:
- Court Allows Boy to Return to School with Rosary Beads
- Afghan Parliamentarian Calls for Execution of Christians
- Muslim Boys in Pakistan Accused of Raping Christian Girl
- Evangelicals, Ecumenicals Mark 'New Beginning for Common Mission'
Court Allows Boy to Return to School with Rosary Beads
Religion News Service reports that a federal district court ordered a New York school district to permit a student to return to school after he was suspended for wearing a rosary. Raymond Hosier, a 13-year-old seventh grader at Oneida Middle School in Schenectady, was suspended after refusing to remove a rosary that he wore to honor a deceased brother and uncle. U.S. District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn issued a temporary restraining order against the school on Tuesday (June 1), allowing Hosier to attend school until another court hearing on June 11. The Schenectady City School District stated that the religious beads violated the dress code and could be considered a gang-related symbol. "They might as well suspend me for the rest of the year because I'm not taking them off," Hosier told Albany's WNYT when he was first suspended.
Afghan Parliamentarian Calls for Execution of Christians
International Christian Concern reports that an Afghan parliamentary secretary has called for the public execution of Christian converts from the parliament floor. According to ASSIST News Service, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, deputy secretary of the Afghan lower house in parliament, made the demand after seeing footage of men being baptized and praying in Farsi. He said, "Those Afghans that appeared in this video film should be executed in public. The house should order the attorney general and the NDS (intelligence agency) to arrest these Afghans and execute them." Two aid organizations, Norwegian Church Aid and U.S.-based Church World Service, were suspended in the country after the footage was made public. According to Afghan law, proselytizing is illegal and conversion from Islam is punishable by death.
Muslim Boys in Pakistan Accused of Raping Christian Girl
Compass Direct News reports that forensic samples in a sexual assault case show they match those of the Muslim boys a 14-year-old Christian girl accuses of raping her. The girl accused Muhammad Noman and Muhammad Imran, both 17, of abducting her from her school in Lahore on May 6 and drugging her prior to sexually assaulting her. According to Khalid Gill, president of the Christian Lawyers Foundation (CLF), the boys allegedly took her by motorbike to an unfamiliar place and made her drink a beverage containing tranquilizers. Gill said the boys later left her on a road near the school's main entrance. After investigating, on May 9 Millat Park Police registered a case against Noman and Imran for abducting "with intent to commit adultery." Police often turn a blind eye to Muslims who commit crimes against Christians in Pakistan, but the two boys were arrested on May 26.
Evangelicals, Ecumenicals Mark 'New Beginning for Common Mission'
The Christian Post reports that more than 300 Christian leaders from various denominations and traditions gathered in Edinburgh Thursday to commemorate a missions conference held there 100 years ago. "And there is no authentic church that does not have a passionate commitment to mission, reflecting the heart of Father, Son and Holy Spirit," said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the international director of the World Evangelical Alliance. He appealed to his audience to "build bridges rather than create chasms" across traditions and denominations. The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, echoed Tunnicliffe's plea. "To be one in Christ is to witness together to Christ. We have a foundation going deeper than ourselves, our institutions or our traditions. We have a call which goes wider than our plans." Edinburgh 2010 is taking place this week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the World Missionary Conference held in the Scottish capital in 1910.