Religion Today Summaries - May 27, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 27, 2009

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

  • Two Dead, 14 Injured in Nepal Church Blast
  • Stabbing, Bombing Attacks Strike Near Two Churches in Egypt
  • School District Upholds Bible Distribution
  • Radical Muslims Force Members from Church in Zanzibar

Two Dead, 14 Injured in Nepal Church Blast

Agence France-Presse reports that two people were killed and 14 were injured Saturday when a bomb detonated inside a Roman Catholic church. Police suspect a Hindu extremist group is behind the attack, which is the first of its kind around Kathmandu, the country's capitol. About 500 people were in the church when an usher tried to remove a black plastic bag in a seat, setting off the bomb inside the bag. A 15-year-old girl died in the blast. "This is the saddest day in the history of Nepali Christians. Never before has there been such an attack on the church in Nepal," said Tirtha Thapa, a Christian leader and founder-director of Nepal's Human Development and Community Services which works in education and health.

Stabbing, Bombing Attacks Strike Two Churches in Egypt

Compass Direct News reports that a Coptic Christian suffered severe stab wounds as he left a worship service in Minya, Upper Egypt, and a car-bombing outside a venerable church in Cairo disrupted a wedding. Without provocation, three Muslims repeatedly stabbed Coptic Christian Girgis Yousry, 21, as the army conscript was leaving the gates of the church of Saint Mary. The assault left him with severe injuries to internal organs, and was still receiving treatment in a district hospital at press time. Three men were arrested on May 5 and have been given a 16-day initial incarceration while the investigation is underway. In Cairo, a makeshift bomb placed under a car exploded outside a renowned Coptic Orthodox church building in Zeitoun district on May 9, incinerating the vehicle but causing no injuries.

School District Upholds Bible Distribution

Baptist Press reports that a few parents in a suburban Dallas school district are angry that volunteers with Gideons International were permitted to leave Bibles on school office counters for middle and high school students to take. The Frisco Independent School District allowed the Bibles to be placed at its 13 secondary schools next to other non-school-related literature promoting such things as local scout troops, soccer leagues and summer camps. The district has what it calls a "viewpoint neutral" policy on such material, provided it meets strict guidelines for decency and civility. District policy prohibits solicitors from distributing materials or engaging students. District spokeswoman Shana Wortham said the incident involving a Gideon allegedly handing the Bibles to students was resolved immediately.

Radical Muslims Force Members from Church in Zanzibar

Compass Direct News reports that worship in a house church on a Tanzanian island did not take place for the third week running. Muslim extremists expelled worshippers from their rented property in Zanzibar City on May 9. Angered by a recent upsurge in Christian evangelism in the area, church members said, radical Muslims had sent several threats to the Christians warning them to stop their activities. The church had undertaken a two-day evangelism campaign culminating in an Easter celebration. On the morning of the attack, more than 20 church members had gathered for Saturday fellowship when word reached them that Muslim extremists were about to attack. As the radical group approached, the Christians fled in fear of their lives.

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