Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 19, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 19, 2009

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

  • Sierra Leone Clamps Down on Human Trafficking
  • 15-Year-Old Coptic Convert Sends Plea to Obama
  • Christian Blogger Raises $30,000 in 18 Hours
  • Court Seeks Help to Link Murders in Turkey to 'Deep State'

Sierra Leone Clamps Down on Human Trafficking

Mission News Network reports that Sierra Leone is working to end its reputation as a shipping center in human trafficking. The country stepped up its efforts in June, with its third-ever conviction under its 2005 Anti Human-Trafficking Act. Abdul Aziz Bundu was convicted of nine counts, including human trafficking, and sentenced to 22 years in prison. It really paved the way for people who are victims of trafficking to ensure that they get their justice," said Yemi Oshaodi with World Hope International (WHI). "Now, we're working with the government to train members of the judiciary to insure that we can help to strengthen the government's response to trafficking in persons." Members of WHI's teams are all Christians, and want to show that "no person should be enslaved and no person should be forced to do something against their will. We make every effort to show that Christ also hates injustice," Oshodi said.

15-Year-Old Coptic Convert Sends Plea to Obama

ASSIST News Service reports that a 15-year-old Egyptian girl who converted from Islam to Christianity has sent a plea to President Barack Obama in the United States. In her letter, Dina el-Gowhary complains of mistreatment by the Egyptian Government and asks for his mediation. "Mr. President Obama," Dina wrote, "we are a minority in Egypt. We are treated very badly. You said that the Muslim minority in America are treated very well, so why are we not treated here likewise? We are imprisoned in our own home because Muslim clerics called for the murder of my father, and now the Government has set for us a new prison; we are imprisoned in our own country." Dina's father is only the second Christian convert to file papers wanting to change his religious identity. He lost the case in June. In September, officials barred the family from leaving Egypt without a legal reason.

Christian Blogger Raises $30,000 in 18 Hours

The Christian Post reports that Christians like to do some crazy things, as one blogger found. Readers of Jon Acuff's "Stuff Christians Like" blog raised $30,000 in just 18 hours after Acuff set up a fund to build a kindergarten in Vietnam. "I am growing overwhelmed but the sense that God has given us all a tremendous gift called, 'being alive on Monday' and He's holding His breath in eager anticipation to see what we'll do next," Acuff wrote. The effort has raised $46,000 so far, and aims to reach $60,000 by year's end, enough to build two kindergartens. Relief group Samaritan's Purse is partnering in the effort. Acuff's satirical blog, a spinoff of the popular Stuff White People Like blog, pokes fun at Christian habits while encouraging Christians in the heart of the Gospel.

Court Seeks Help to Link Murders in Turkey to 'Deep State'

Compass Direct News reports that judges and prosecutors in the murder trial of three Christians regarding the murder of three Christians renewed their request for help from the Istanbul High Criminal Court. Reports mounted linking the slayings to top gendarmerie officials, and prosecutors want help confirming the link to the group, called Ergenekon. For the last two and a half years prosecuting lawyers have established the case that Emre Gunaydin, Salih Gurler, Cuma Ozdemir, Hamit Ceker and Abuzer Yildirim, who were caught at the murder scene on April 18, 2007, were not acting independently but were incited by Turkey's "deep state," which includes Ergenekon. The court and various mainstream media have received informant letters with specific names linking the murders to top gendarmerie officials. Christians in Pakistan have less protection than Muslim citizens.