Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Egyptian Security Arrests Christian for Praying At Home
- British Anglican Group to Convert to Catholicism
- Ministry Focuses on Uganda Orphans
- Atlanta Choir Named 'Best Church Choir in America'
Egyptian Security Arrests Christian for Praying At Home
ASSIST News Service reports that Egyptian State Security recently arrested a Coptic Christian for praying "without a license." On Oct. 24, Maurice Salama Sharkawy, 37, had invited Pastor Elia Shafik to conduct the sacrament of the "Anointing of the Sick" for his sick father, who had suffered a stroke. State Security broke into his house while the prayers were said, handcuffed Sharkawy and took him to a police station for interrogation. He was held for two days before being released on "compassionate grounds." Mohammed Khalaf Allah, mayor of Deir Samalout village where Sharkawy lives, told news sources that Sharkawy "refuses" to go to the church in the next town over and insists on "pray[ing] in his own home."
British Anglican Group to Convert to Catholicism
Religion News Service reports that a group of conservative Anglicans in Britain announced that they would convert to the Catholic Church under new arrangements offered by the Vatican. The unique agreement was designed to accommodate Anglicans upset with their church's growing acceptance of homosexuality and female clergy. Representatives of the British province of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) voted unanimously last week to pursue "corporate reunion ... with the Holy See," according to a statement. The TAC claims to have 400,000 members worldwide, though its British branch has only about 20 parishes, according to published reports. The resolution is apparently the first formal move by any group to accept the Vatican's offer.
Ministry Focuses on Uganda Orphans
Mission News Network reports that Uganda is home to 2.3 million orphans - 45 percent of whom live with HIV/AIDS. While rapidly-developing countries like Brazil would be able to handle such a crisis, an estimated 30 percent of Uganda's support will depend on outside support. Groups such as Every Child Ministries (ECM) attempt to fill that need. "We try to work with each child as an individual, rather than blanket projects," said John Rouster, founder of ECM. The group incorporates faith alongside the physical assistance. "The children at the home have daily devotions; [at] all of our other sponsorship projects, the children are met with a national worker who gives them a Bible lesson and a very warm meal at least once a week," said Rouster.
Atlanta Choir Named 'Best Church Choir in America'
The Christian Post reports that one Atlanta church has some reason to claim it is the "best church choir in America." Atlanta West Pentecostal Church's choir won $30,000 when the group came in first at the "How Sweet the Sound" competition, sponsored by Verizon Wireless. The competition picked 11 choirs from around the U.S., bringing them together in Detroit's Joe Louis Arena before a crowd of 15,000. The competition's organizers say the event goes beyond finding the "best" choir. "How Sweet the Sound is an opportunity to celebrate the unique ways that music connects people," explained Mike Lanman, vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. "Gospel is a genre that attracts people from all walks of life which is what makes this competition so exciting."