Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 19, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 19, 2008

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

  • Doubts Follow Darfur Ceasefire
  • Court Releases Christian Girl Sentenced for Murder in Iraq
  • Rights Group Urges Ban Ki-moon to Visit Burma
  • Best-Selling ESV Bible Coming to iPhone


Doubts Follow Darfur Ceasefire

Mission News Network reports that critics of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir have cast his calls for a ceasefire in Darfur as a political ploy, saying Bashir is merely attempting to avoid indictment by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. Bashir called for an "immediate unconditional ceasefire" to be implemented in the war zone, where the UN estimates that as many as 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million others have fled since February 2003. Relief work in the volatile area is extremely dangerous, preventing many angencies from getting in supplies.

Court Releases Christian Girl Sentenced for Murder in Iraq

Compass Direct News reports that a 14-year-old girl imprisoned for having fatally stabbed her uncle in northern Iraq was released on Nov. 10, but fears of retaliation from her extended family overshadow her release. Asya Ahmad Muhammad, also known as Maria, the now 16-year-old Muhammad was sentenced to five years in prison for killing her paternal uncle in self-defense on July 9, 2006 when he attacked her, her mother and little brother at their family kitchen utensil store in the outskirts of Dohuk. The uncle had cut her mother and was fiercely beating them for converting to Christianity and for “shaming” the family by working in public when Muhammad stabbed him. “I am not sure she is safe right now, especially after her release, since there are still people intent on gaining revenge,” said Akram Al-Najar, Muhammad's lawyer.

Rights Group Urges Ban Ki-moon to Visit Burma

The Christian Post reports that a Christian human rights group is calling the UN Secretary-General to view the "desperate deterioration" of human rights in Burma in person, following the military junta's recent imprisonment of more than 80 pro-democracy activists. “[N]ow it is time for the Secretary-General himself, with the full weight of his office, to visit Burma and seek to facilitate change,” CSW’s chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, said in a statement Monday. The activists have been transferred to remote prisons hundreds of miles from the capital Rangoon, increasing the chances of harsh conditions during imprisonment. Some of the activists face charges that could earn them up to 159 years.

Best-Selling ESV Bible Coming to iPhone

The Christian Post reports that the best-selling ESV Study Bible, which sold out its first printing before it even hit the shelves last month, is also slated for a digital debut. The digitalized study Bible will also be accessible through Mac, PC, Windows Mobile, Palm, Google Android, and Symbian. "We are excited to make the ESV Study Bible widely accessible, initially in a wide range of best-selling print editions, and now in every possible digital format available," said Lane Dennis, president of Crossway Books & Bibles, in a news release. "Our goal as a Christian publisher is to distribute the Bible and essential resources for understanding the Bible as broadly as possible around the world." The study Bible debuted in October, and is already in its third printing.

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