Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.
In today's edition:
- Episcopalians Booted from Anglican Bodies over Gay Bishops
- Demoted Employee for NASA Fights Discrimination
- Pakistan Tightens Security at Minorities' Worship Places
- Diverse Missionary Summit in End Scotland
Episcopalians Booted from Anglican Bodies over Gay Bishops
Religion News Service reports that the Episcopal Church has been removed from Anglican committees that engage in dialogue with other Christians and consider doctrinal issues. The action is the latest fallout from the church's consecration of a lesbian bishop last month. The Rev. Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, the worldwide fellowship that includes the Episcopal Church as its U.S. branch, outlined the demotions in a letter published on Monday (June 7). Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the communion, proposed the removals last month. Kearon said he wrote to Episcopalians on the affected committees last Thursday to inform them of the changes. The one Episcopalian on the "faith and order" committee, the Rev. Katherine Grieb of Virginia, can serve as a consultant, but not a member, Kearon said.
Demoted Employee for NASA Fights Discrimination
One NASA employee is filing an amended complaint against the agency after he was demoted for discussing intelligent design at his laboratory. Christian Post reports that David Coppedge, who worked as a "team lead" technical specialist on Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Cassini mission to Saturn, received a "written warning" for allegedly pushing his beliefs on other colleagues. He was demoted to "lessen the strife" on April 20, 2009. Coppedge says none of his co-workers complained to him about the conversation and was not informed of the charges they allegedly took to management. Coppedge states the censorship against his views, politics and religion have kept him "a prisoner of JPL's systemic ideological culture." The JPL employee also "endures each working day under a cloud of suspicion and a threat of termination lest he say anything by which someone might take offense."
Pakistan Tightens Security at Minorities' Worship Places
ASSIST News Service reports that police and other law enforcement agencies have been put on high alert for terrorism threats against worship places, institutes and residential areas of minorities. Authorities are focusing on the cities of Jhang, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Lahore and Sheikhupura. The Rev. Bro. Kamran, a Catholic cleric based in Sargodha, said that his group had received a threatening letter allegedly sent by the outlawed militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (T.T.P). Police, Kamran said, had then assured him of their "foolproof security" to "all the Christians in Sargodha Division." In the interview, the Rev. Bro. Kamran went on to laud the government for "beefing up" the security and also the church itself for taking "stricter security measures to cope with terrorism."
Diverse Missionary Summit in End Scotland
Religion News Service reports that Christians from around the world closed a missions conference Edinburgh on Sunday (June 6) with reminders from church leaders that their faith is essentially about giving and sharing. More than 1,000 people gathered to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1910 World Missionary Conference in a colorful service attended by Anglicans, evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostals, Protestants and Roman Catholics. The Anglican archbishop of York, John Sentamu, preached about "the crucial importance of Christian witness" as he referred to the biblical account of Peter's denial of Jesus three times. "Jesus today is on trial in the court of the world by our lips and lives," said Sentamu, the No. 2 official in the Church of England. "Jesus and his gospel are being judged." Brian Stanley, the conference historian, said that at the first conference in 1910, participants had to sit and listen to 300 addresses, one after the other.