Religion Today Summaries - May 31, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 31, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Anglican Head Reprimands U.S. Church over Lesbian Bishop
  • Korean Tensions Causing Increased Persecution
  • Pastor Beaten to Death in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • House Rejects Amendment on Chaplains' Prayers

Anglican Head Reprimands U.S. Church over Lesbian Bishop

The Christian Post reports that the head of the Anglican Communion has finally suggested disciplinary action against the U.S. Episcopal Church following its ordination of a lesbian bishop. "We are at a point in our common life where broken communications and fragile relationships have created a very mistrustful climate," said Dr. Rowan Williams in his letter to the 77 million-member communion. He suggested the Episcopal Church play a lesser role in certain ecumenical dialogues. "In our dealings with each other, we need to be clear that conscientious decisions may be taken in good faith, even for what are held to be good theological or missional reasons, and yet have a cost when they move away from what is recognizable and acceptable within the Communion."

Korean Tensions Causing Increased Persecution

Christian persecution watchdogs and mission organizations worry that the abrupt halt in relations between North and South Korea will cause "total insanity" in North Korea. According to Mission News Network, on Thursday North Korea invalidated the 2004 accord designed to prevent an escalation of war along the Demilitarized Zone, a 2.5-mile-wide buffer between Korea's two opposing armies. Open Doors President/CEO Carl Moeller said, "There's more scrutiny on the border with China. People who are able to flee as refugees are being captured, and when they're captured, they're turned into labor camp convicts. Secondly, the underground networks of believers are under more pressure as a result of more government infiltration." He also said total war is a possibility, which would cause "millions of casualties."

Pastor Beaten to Death in St. Petersburg, Russia

ASSIST News Service reports that a well-known Baptist pastor was beaten to death last weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia. According to a news release from the Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), Pastor Yuri Golovin, 76, was beaten by unknown attackers outside the home of an elderly church member whom he planned to visit. Following the assault, although Golovin managed to get the attention of the church member who immediately called an ambulance, he died at the hospital as a result of his injuries. SGA workers said that while there has been no confirmation as to what motivated the attack, a report in the International Christian Newspaper indicates that attackers may have been area drug addicts. Golovin was a preacher at the Central Baptist Church in St. Petersburg and head of the Gideons chapter in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast.

House Rejects Amendment on Chaplains' Prayers

Religion News Service reports that the House on Thursday (May 27) rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed military chaplains to close public events with faith-specific prayers. The amendment, offered by Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to the Military Construction Authorization Act, was deemed not relevant to the bill, Bachmann's office said. The amendment would have specified that "a chaplain shall have the prerogative to close the prayer according to the dictates of the chaplain's own conscience.'' Bachmann's proposed amendment comes after proponents for church-state separation tussled with military chaplains over the appropriateness of praying "in Jesus' name.'' Secularists say it's insulting to nonbelievers; Christian clergy say they know no other way to pray. The dispute has most recently played out in Virginia, where Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell repealed a ban on Virginia State Police chaplains praying in Jesus' name.