Religion Today Summaries, March 19, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, March 19, 2004

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

  • Sudanese Security Forces Disrupt Anglican School Construction
  • Kosovo’s Christians Killed, Churches Burnt in Kosovo
  • Christian Campus Group Sues After Being Snubbed by Ohio St. University 
  • Golfer's 'Love Offering' Makes Up for Bad Situation

Sudanese Security Forces Disrupt Anglican School Construction
Barbara Baker, Compass Direct

Security forces in southern Sudan disrupted the construction of an Anglican church school in Renk on March 10 and arrested the diocesan building supervisor, keeping him in custody for four days. It was the second time in less than three weeks that local security forces had interfered in the rebuilding of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) school. In December, the local ECS diocese had been informed that their present school building would have to be demolished to make way for a new government highway. Built in 1992 with church resources, the existing school enjoyed full government permission. The regional commissioner promised government compensation to rebuild the school before destroying the present structure. However, to date government compensation has not been received. According to the Bishop of Renk, the forced relocation of the school and stalled government compensation “suggest a deliberate political attempt to impede progress in the work of the church.” In a December interview with Christianity Today magazine, Bishop Daniel Deng had declared the ECS the “fastest growing church in the Anglican world.”

Kosovo’s Christians Killed, Churches Burnt in Kosovo
Agape Press

Albanian Muslims are killing Christian Serbs and torching homes, churches, and monasteries in Kosovo.  Alarming reports are pouring out of Kosovo as Muslim Albanians have gone on killing sprees in many cities, torching churches and homes along the way.  Bill Murray of the Religions Freedom Coalition says the situation is critical for Christians.  "I have just received information that United Nations administrators have fled Kosovo," Murray says.  "Virtually every church in Kosovo is in flames, and Christians are fleeing for their lives.  In virtually every town, the Muslims have moved [into the Christian areas] -- and the United Nations' troops have been forced to withdraw."  U.N. police have confirmed that dozens of Christians have been killed and more than 500 wounded by rioting Muslims.  At least 13 Christian churches are burning, and new fires are being reported, including one at the monastery of St. Michael the Archangel.  The cities of Obilic and Pristina seem to be the hardest hit.  Authorities are urging calm throughout Kosovo

Christian Campus Group Sues after Being Snubbed by Ohio St. University
Jim Brown, Agape Press

A federal lawsuit accuses The Ohio State University of violating the free-speech rights of a Christian student group. Ohio State recently threatened to de-recognize the Christian Legal Society if it did not admit that homosexuals and non-Christians had the right to join the club and even lead it.  That has prompted CLS to file a lawsuit challenging the school's non-discrimination policy. Chief litigation counsel Steve Aden believes Ohio State is violating the First Amendment rights of his organization to free exercise of religion, free speech, and free association.  Aden makes this observation: "I will say that it seems that they've not had much understanding of the rights of religious persons to meet together, to worship together, to study the Bible together with others of like mind," he says.  "It seems to the university, I think, that anytime a club is excluding anyone for any reason that that smacks of discrimination." According to the CLS spokesman, past court rulings have held that religious groups are exempt from provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Aden, who filed the federal lawsuit, says Ohio State and other universities are employing a disturbing double standard. Aden says taking legal action was necessary because the university reneged on its promise to resolve the dispute at the end of a 90-day review period.

Golfer's 'Love Offering' Makes Up for Bad Situation
Charisma News Service

In what could be deemed "a love offering," a professional golfer and Christian has given his church his winnings from a tournament in which he confronted a heckler. Last week, Davis Love III donated to St. Simons Presbyterian Church in St. Simons Island, Ga., the $700,000 he won in the Match Play Championship, where his confrontation with a heckling fan overshadowed his second-place finish. Love lost to Tiger Woods in the final match last month after he was heckled during a stretch of the match. The fan kept saying "No Love" as he prepared to play, and Love finally confronted him. He refused to resume the match until the culprit was identified and taken out of the gallery. Love was heavily criticized for the way he handled the heckling, and wound up trying to defend the etiquette in golf. But after hearing sermons from two pastor, Love said "it just seemed like the right thing to do," so he decided to give the money to go toward St. Simon's $5 million, five-year building project. He and his wife, Robin, had already made a pledge to the building fund when Love decided to add his $700,000 check. "We wanted to do something more to make us feel better about the whole thing," said Love. "Sports Spectrum" magazine observed: "That can show us all something about making up for a bad situation."