Religion Today Summaries - March 22, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 22, 2010

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

  • Anglican Head Mulls Consequences of Lesbian Bishop Approval
  • Lao Officials Visit Expelled Christians, Give Assurances
  • India: Hindu Radicals Accuse Pastor of Forced Conversions
  • Two Months after Quake, Food For The Poor Rebuilds in Haiti

Anglican Head Mulls Consequences of Lesbian Bishop Approval

The Christian Post reports that the confirmation of an openly lesbian bishop in the Episcopal Church has the rest of the Anglican Communion carefully pondering responses. "It is regrettable that the appeals from Anglican Communion bodies for continuing gracious restraint have not been heeded," the Archbishop of Canterbury's office said in statement Thursday. Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams had urged the Episcopal church not to confirm the election of the Rev. Mary Glasspool as assistant bishop, saying it would have "important implications" for the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Rt. Rev. Peter F. Jensen, archbishop of Sydney, said, "It is now absolutely clear to all that the national Church itself has formally committed itself to a pattern of life which is contrary to Scripture," Jensen lamented. "The election of Bishop Robinson in 2003 was not an aberration to be corrected in due course. It was a true indication of the heart of the Church and the direction of its affairs."

Lao Officials Visit Expelled Christians, Give Assurances

Compass Direct News reports that officials in Laos' Saravan Province visited 48 Christians expelled from Katin village on Thursday. The delegation, led by provincial Gov. Khamboon Duangpanya, explains Lao religious freedom provisions to the group, assuring them that they could freely believe in Christianity "if their faith was genuine." They also said they had the right to live anywhere in the district. Ta-Oyl district officials had expelled the Christians from Katin village at gunpoint on Jan. 18 when they refused to give up their faith. Having lost access to their homes, fields and livestock, the Christians then built temporary shelters at the edge of the jungle, nearly four miles away from the village. The district head, identified only as Bounma, on March 15 summoned seven of the believers to his office and declared that he would not tolerate the existence of Christianity in areas under his control. The group must either recant their faith or move elsewhere, he'd said.

India: Hindu Radicals Accuse Pastor of Forced Conversions

ASSIST News Service reports that a group of Hindu radicals stormed into a Christian's home and had the Christian's pastor arrested on a charge of forcible conversion. On March 15, a group of 15-20 members belonging to the Hindu radical group Bajrang Dal (Monkey Brigade) as well as another group, burst into the Karnataka home. They began accusing those inside of forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity. The radicals then allegedly locked the pastor and his family, as well as the believer, inside the house for several hours. During this time, the radicals went to an area police station, told the authorities that the pastor was forcibly converting people, and brought the police with them to the believer's house. Police took all the believers into custody for questioning, releasing all but Pastor Valsalan, who is still incarcerated.

Two Months after Quake, Food For The Poor Rebuilds in Haiti

Food For The Poor reports that group has set an ambitious building plan in Haiti. The group wants to build 5,000 houses in Haiti this year, at a pace of more than 400 housing units a month. Food For The Poor can build a simple house for $2,600; one with a latrine costs $3,100. The concrete block homes that Food For The Poor has built in the past will be further improved with structural reinforcements. "The urgency to provide homes cannot be overstated," said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. "Those who have had to live in the open since the earthquake are in danger of any number of diseases." She continued, "The seasonal rains already have started, and tents will not provide substantial protection against the elements."