Religion Today Summaries - March 29, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 29, 2005

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

  • Terri's Father: She's 'Very Weak' but Valiant in Battle to Live 

  • Pakistani Worshippers Attacked on Easter Sunday 

  • Pastor Constructs 12,000-Seat 'Holy Stadium' in Islamic Stronghold

  • India: Children a Voice for the Gospel

Terri's Father: She's 'Very Weak' but Valiant in Battle to Live
Jody Brown, Agape Press

Eleven days without food and water is taking its continued toll on the brain-damaged woman in Florida whose life and court-ordered death drama has been at the center of an often heated pro-life debate.  According to Terri Schiavo's parents, she is fading -- but still determined to fight for her life. Terri Schiavo, who received communion and last rites on Easter Sunday, continues to hang on to life in Florida as she lies in a hospice care unit.  The Roman Catholic priest who delivered the communion said the brain-damaged woman's mouth was too dry to receive the communion wafer, but that he gave her a droplet of sacramental wine.  According to Father Thaddeus Malanowski, Terri did not react at all when he gave her communion. "When someone faces imminent death, you've got to give [communion] to them," the retired priest told reporters.  "They have the right to it -- and I have the obligation to give it to them.  That's the teaching of the [Catholic] Church." It has been 11 days since the 41-year-old woman's feeding tube was removed.  According to testimony from her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri is "very, very, very weak" But despite Terri's emaciated condition, her father says she continues to fight for her life.  

Pakistani Worshippers Attacked on Easter Sunday
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct

Armed gunmen attacked Christian worshippers as they emerged from Easter services in a village church, killing one man and injuring seven other congregants. Irshad Masih, in his early 20s, died from a bullet that struck his head during a half hour of indiscriminate shooting by four attackers. Seven other victims suffering severe gunshot wounds were hospitalized at Lahore's Jinnah Hospital. Two police guards were reportedly absent from their post at 10:30 a.m. yesterday, when attackers opened fire at Victory Church International in Khamba village near Lahore. Police later said they had arrested two of the four suspects in the shooting, and attributed the attack to a local land dispute. Local observers discounted that version of events. "Actually, it is terrorism," one source told Compass. "They attacked people and started indiscriminate firing upon a congregation of some 150 people!"

Pastor Constructs 12,000-Seat 'Holy Stadium' in Islamic Stronghold
Charisma News Service

A pastor has built a church the size of a stadium in Indonesia, the world's largest Islamic country. Petrus Agung leads Jemaat Kristen Indonesia, translated Gospel of the Kingdom Church, which he launched in February 1991 with his wife, a handful of musicians and some friends. Despite a traditional law that forbids any group from building a facility larger than the city's grand mosque, the congregation, located in Semarang, the capital city of Central Java, is building a 12,000-seat arena dubbed the "Holy Stadium," which was to open this spring. Though the largest mosque in Semarang seats 3,000, Jemaat Kristen Indonesia, which has grown from 25 people to 6,000, received a permit for construction of its stadium in record time. Agung said obedience to God is at the heart of the church's growth. Though the congregation, whose average age is 21, earns less than $300 a month, they have sacrificially given jewelry, bikes, homes and land to build the new facility. Agung and his wife gave their car, money and all her heirloom jewelry, including her wedding rings, to the project. But the couple is convinced they can't out-give God. Today, the ministry is debt-free, and the Holy Stadium is more than 80 percent paid for even though construction is not complete.(

India: Children a Voice for the Gospel
Christian Aid Mission

Many indigenous missions reach out to India's millions of desperately poor children, providing food, medicines, clothing and schooling. For many of these children, the kindness of native missionaries is their first exposure to the love of Christ. This love has made children throughout India into His messengers. In the North Indian state of Uttarkashi, a ministry leader tells the story of a little boy who one day woke up feeling ill. His mother told him to stay home while she called a doctor, yet her believing son insisted he go to school. "My teacher will pray for me," he said, "and my Jesus will heal me!" The Lord did touch the little boy, and his whole family was able to witness the saving power of Christ. As certain Hindus step up opposition to the gospel, the faith of children has stood in their way. Missionaries going to a remote village in Maharashtra state to conduct a children's Sunday school class were met by an angry local man who tried to chase them away. Yet the children pleaded with the missionaries not to leave. At their insistence, gospel workers gathered in a local believer's house behind locked doors to share the gospel with the children. Though a group of extremists surrounded the house and shouted threats to those inside, the meeting went on safely.