Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 6, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 6, 2008

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

  • Christians Forced to 'Reconvert,' Despite New Anti-Conversion Law
  • GFA Missionary Kidnapped in Assam, India
  • Northern Nigerian Church Survives Arson by Muslims
  • Global Warming Schemes Will Curb Freedom, Czech President Says

Christians Forced to 'Reconvert,' Despite New Anti-Conversion Law

ASSIST News Service reports that D.C.-based human rights group International Christian Concern (ICC) has received reports of Christians being forced to convert back to Hinduism from the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, where an “anti-conversion” law was recently passed that prohibits forcible conversion. A spokesperson for ICC said, “Nevertheless, the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which came into power two months ago, does not appear to see any problem with forcible ‘reconversions’ of Christians to Hinduism. At least 60 Christian families were reportedly 'reconverted' by organizations linked to the BJP in the last week alone, which, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), is the tip of the iceberg.”

GFA Missionary Kidnapped in Assam, India

Gospel for Asia missionary Haresh Kujur was kidnapped Saturday night as he was leading a youth service in his church in Assam, India. An anti-Christian extremist group in the area is thought to be responsible for the kidnapping. Haresh, who is 49 years old, works full-time in Assam, where he is pastor of a Gospel for Asia-related church. GFA leaders in India ask for prayer for the safe return of this missionary. They would also like prayer that his kidnappers would come to know the Lord.

Northern Nigerian Church Survives Arson by Muslims

According to Compass Direct News, the Kano state government has refused to grant approval to a church in the northern Nigerian town for 28 years, further emboldening area Muslims to attack it numerous times, the pastor said. Since Christmas 2006, said pastor Jacob Bako of the local Evangelical Church of Christ in Nigeria, local Muslims have set fire to the congregation’s makeshift worship place three times. Due to the church’s lack of official permission, its worship place is located in an abandoned housing project that had been under construction. "Acts of arson on the building have become a common practice here against us," Bako said, but the church perseveres.

Global Warming Schemes Will Curb Freedom, Czech President Says

Centralized planners with "megalomaniac ambitions" are now working to restrain democratic development and economic activity under the guise of environmentalism, said Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, reports. Klaus spoke Tuesday morning at conference in New York City. He was among the 100 speakers and panelists taking part in the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. The event brought together scientists from a dozen countries, including Australia, Canada, England, France, New Zealand, Russia and Sweden. Klaus, who is the second president of the Czech Republic and a former prime minister, is also an economist by trade. Advocates of man-made global warming theories in Europe and the U.S. are pushing cynical political schemes that will erode individual liberty, curtail the standard living and stymie economic growth, Klaus warned audience members. Unfortunately, these individuals are not sufficiently challenged in the field of climate science or in the social sciences, he argued. For this reason, Klaus believes it is necessary to "restart the discussion of the very nature of government and the relationship between the individual and society."