Religion Today Summaries - May 28, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 28, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Obama Sides with Vatican in Abuse Lawsuit
  • Ground Zero Mosque Approval Angers New Yorkers
  • Arizona Pastors Worry New Immigration Law May Criminalize Ministry Work
  • Pakistani Islamists Keep Two Newlywed Couples from Home

Obama Sides with Vatican in Abuse Lawsuit

The Obama administration has made a rare foray into the Catholic sexual abuse crisis, backing the Vatican's claim it is immune to lawsuits in the U.S. because it is a sovereign nation. Religion News Service reports that in a brief filed on Friday (May 21) before the Supreme Court, the acting solicitor general argued an appellate court erred in 2009 when it ruled the Vatican could be held liable for the alleged sexual abuse of a Seattle-area man in the 1960s. The Supreme Court is considering the Vatican's appeal of "Holy See v. John V. Doe." Lawyers from the Department of State and Department of Justice joined the acting solicitor general's brief, which asks the high court to send the case back to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ground Zero Mosque Approval Angers New Yorkers

A New York City community panel has given it's stamp of approval to build a mosque near Ground Zero, despite a very contentious debate over the building. reports the city board voted 29-1 in favor of the Cordoba Mosque. Many New Yorkers are furious over the idea of building a mosque near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center."The greatest terrorist act against this nation was Pearl Harbor. The second one was the World Trade Center bombing," mosque opponent Lou Camonale said. "Now we wouldn't normally have a Japanese center in Pearl Harbor... this is like pouring salt in the wound of America." Before the vote Tuesday (May 25), opponents lined up to voice their outrage."This is an insult. This is demeaning," one protestor said. "This is humiliating that you would build a shrine to the very ideology that inspired the attacks of 9/11."

Arizona Pastors Worry New Immigration Law May Criminalize Ministry Work

According to the Christian Post, some evangelical ministry leaders expressed concern over the state's infamous new immigration law. One Phoenix-based youth pastor is worried that his ministry could face legal trouble. "We don't ask people for their documents to come hear about Jesus," said Ian Danley, youth pastor at Neighborhood Ministries, during a conference call with immigration reform advocates Wednesday (May 26) afternoon. The evangelical pastor said regular ministry work, such as driving teens to worship events, could be "criminalized" under the new Arizona law if a church worker knowingly transports youths who are illegally residing in the United States. In April, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB1070 - an immigration bill seeking the toughest laws against illegal immigrants in the nation. Under the legislation, immigrants in Arizona are required to carry their alien registration documents at all times or face possible arrest. State police are given the power to interrogate, arrest and charge people suspected of illegally entering the country. And people are prohibited from knowingly transporting illegal immigrants.

Pakistani Islamists Keep Two Newlywed Couples from Home

Compass Direct reports that Islamists armed with pistols and rifles waited for two Christian couples to return to their rented home this week, seeking to kill them after the newlyweds complained to police about false allegations against them from radical Muslim locals. The couples, who requested anonymity, went to an undisclosed location after Christians in Gulshan-e-Iqbal town, Karachi, warned them that the armed Muslims were stationed in front of their joint home on Friday (May 21), said Saleem Khurshid Khokhar, a representative of Sindh in the Punjab Provincial Assembly. The Christians were returning from having tried to file a complaint against the Islamists at Peer Ilahi Bakhsh police station of Gulshan-e-Iqbal town - where Muslim police responded by shouting angry obscenities at the couples and began secretly planning to charge them under Pakistan's widely condemned "blasphemy" laws, Khokhar said. The armed Muslims had accused the couples of desecrating the Islamic scriptures after searching through a pile of debris the Christians had gathered while cleaning their new rented home.