Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Haiti: More Than 1 Million Still Homeless
- Pope Blames Church's Sins for Scandal
- China Appeals to Religious Groups for Post-Quake Help
- Hope College Stands by Homosexuality Statement
Haiti: More Than 1 Million Still Homeless
Food for the Poor reports that more than 1 million people in Haiti are still homeless following January's crippling earthquake. Thousands of people are still living in tent cities outside of Port-au-Prince and other areas, despite the coming of the rainy season. "I don't have a house. I have no place to stay. I have nothing," said Elna, 40, who now lives in a tent with dry palm leaves for a roof. "Someone had to give me a cup to drink water out of." During rainstorms, Elna and Isna get drenched if they can't run beneath someone else's overhanging tarp. "We just stand here in the rain," Elna said. "Even if the insects come in here and bite us, we have no place else to go, so we have to sit here and take it."
Pope Blames Church's Sins for Scandal
Washington Times reports that Pope Benedict XVI laid the blame for the ongoing abuse scandal on the heads of pedophile priests. The pontiff's Tuesday message did not attitribute any of the scandal to media exaggeration. "The greatest persecution of the church doesn't come from enemies on the outside but is born from the sins within the church," the pontiff said. "The church needs to profoundly relearn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness but also justice." Multiple bishops have resigned as their actions have come to light, severely tarnishing the trust the Catholic Church once held. The pope, who made his remarks on a trip to Portugal, said the current scandal has outstripped previous problems the church may have had. "[T]oday we see it (the Church) in a truly terrifying way," he said.
China Appeals to Religious Groups for Post-Quake Help
The Christian Post reports that China's government has asked religious aid groups to help reconstruction efforts in Qinhai Province following last month's earthquake. In an open letter posted on its official website, China's State Administration for Religious Affairs, the state asked the religious community to continue to donate to recovery from the 7.1-magnitude quake. The letter acknowledges that religious groups have already donated more than $12.7 million to relief efforts. At least 2,220 people were killed, more than 12,000 were injured, and over 100,000 people were left homeless by the Yushu quake. Christian relief groups have been working in the area since the quake hit to distribute immediately necessary items such as food and shelter.
Hope College Stands by Homosexuality Statement
Religion News Service reports that Hope College alumni who had urged their alma mater to remove a controversial policy say they are deeply disappointed after the Board of Trustees denied their petitions. "This is just the beginning (of a fight) because this is discriminatory," said Ron Wiegerink, a 1961 grad whose family has attended Hope for three generations. "It is not at all what we have come to expect from Hope College." Several groups had challenged the college after officials rejected a campus appearance by Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of an award-winning movie about gay activist Harvey Milk. The rejection was based on a 1995 policy saying the college "will not provide recognition, financial or logistical support for groups whose purposes include the advocacy or moral legitimization of homosexual behavior."