Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- War Memorial Cross at Center of Court Case Stolen
- Uganda: Refugee in Hiding after Threat from Eritrean Official
- Egypt: Muslims Who Kill Christians May Claim ‘Insanity'
- Evangelicals Call for Earned Citizenship for Immigrants
War Memorial Cross at Center of Court Case Stolen
Religion News Service reports that the war memorial cross at the center of a recent Supreme Court ruling has been stolen, a spokeswoman for the Mojave National Preserve said Tuesday (May 11). A wooden box had covered the controversial cross, which has been the subject of court cases for almost a decade. A preserve staffer noticed the box was missing on Saturday; by the time a maintenance crew showed up Monday to replace it, the cross also had disappeared, spokeswoman Linda Slater said. On April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the cross to stay up and directed a district court to further consider a congressionally approved transfer of the cross to private land. "This is an outrage, akin to desecrating people's graves," said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute, which represents the caretakers of the World War I memorial and several veterans groups.
Uganda: Refugee in Hiding after Threat from Eritrean Official
Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that an Eritrean refugee has gone into hiding after allegedly receiving a threat from the head of the Eritrean diplomatic mission in Uganda. Mr. Yonas Embye, a journalist who spent four years in detention before escaping from Eritrea, had been staging a weekly one-man protest outside foreign embassies, the African Union office and other key locations in Kampala. He has called for the release of other detained Eritrean journalists and justice for Eritrea's estimated 20,000 prisoners of conscience. According to Embye, last week the Eritrean Consul pulled up in a vehicle and threatened to kidnap and forcibly repatriate him within 24 hours. Embye reported the incident to local authorities, but has gone into hiding, fearing for his life. Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda have come under increasing pressure since the opening of an Eritrean Consulate in Kampala.
Egypt: Muslims Who Kill Christians May Claim ‘Insanity'
ASSIST News Service reports that in Egypt Muslims accused of killing Christians are often using "insanity" as their defense. According to Coptic activist Maged Bishay, "Islamist investigators, judges and psychiatrists are only too willing to go with this pretext, to allow their fellow Muslims to ‘get away with murder' based on the Islamic law ‘Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.'" She said that one of the latest examples if the insanity defense was the murder of the Coptic Christian deacon George Fathi. Fathi was deliberately killed in Alexandria on October 6, 2009, by two fundamentalist brothers, 21-year-old Mohamed Abdel-Moneim and his 17-year-old brother Ahmed. In January, Mohamed's lawyer claimed his client suffered from mental illness and was not responsible for his actions. A psychiatric assessment confirmed Mohamed was suffering from insanity.
Evangelicals Call for Earned Citizenship for Immigrants
The Christian Post reports that a group of conservative evangelical leaders on Tuesday called for comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. The group included Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, among others. The statement encouraged the government to adopt a plan that would allow illegal immigrants to be documented. They proposed a path to legal citizenship or residency, legal guest-worker status, or quick deportation for felons. "Let us be clear - an earned pathway to citizenship is not amnesty," reads the statement, addressing the popular criticism. "We reject amnesty. And we ask those who label an earned pathway to citizenship as amnesty to stop politicizing this debate needlessly and to honestly acknowledge the difference."