Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 30, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 30, 2007

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

  • Global Summit on AIDS Kicks Off at Saddleback
  • India’s Delay Tactics on Dalit Christian Rights Protested
  • Two Pastors Stripped, Beaten... Then Arrested
  • Ministry Assembles Bible Distribution Teams in Sudan

Global Summit on AIDS Kicks Off at Saddleback

ASSIST News Service reports that the third annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church hosted by pastor and “The Purpose Driven Life” author Dr. Rick Warren and his wife Kay began Wednesday, November 28, at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. It will run through Friday, November 30 with a Youth Summit on Saturday, December 1. An estimated 1,500 people representing local churches; para-church ministries; non-governmental organizations and legal and medical organizations have registered to attend the three-day conference. In addition to general sessions, participants will be able to attend break-out workshops to focus on specific areas of interest, such as how to start an HIV/AIDS ministry in their own church or community and overviews of the most current treatments and therapies. “One of the most exciting things about this third conference is that we actually have progress to report,” Kay Warren said. “The first conference was about casting a vision; the second conference was about gaining momentum; and this conference is about reporting what has worked, what has really worked well, and what still needs to be done.”

India’s Delay Tactics on Dalit Christian Rights Protested

More than 500 Christians from across the country staged a rally in New Delhi today to protest yet another Supreme Court deferment of a hearing on the rights of more than 16 million Dalit Christians, Compass Direct News reports. Dalit Christians eagerly awaiting the hearing yesterday were hopeful as a report of an advisory panel, the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, had in May favored affirmative action benefits for Dalit converts to Christianity. The federal government, ruled by the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), was expected to decide yesterday whether Dalit Christians can be denied affirmative action benefits extended to Dalits of other faiths. The hearing, however, was postponed until January after the government told the court that the UPA government was awaiting response from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Archbishop Vincent Concessao of the Archdiocese of Delhi said in a statement, “They are an oppressed lot. We request the government of India to listen to the voice of Dalit Christians and stop exploiting the goodwill of minorities.”

Two Pastors Stripped, Beaten... Then Arrested

Compass Direct News reports that about 20 Hindu extremists in Karnataka state’s Hassan district on Sunday November 25 stormed a worship service, dragged out two pastors and another believer, stripped them and beat them after tying them to a pole. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that pastors C.J. Joemon and C.J. Jojo and another believer, G. Anil, were attacked while they and about 15 others worshipped at Christ Vision Church, a house church associated with the Indian Pentecostal Church, in Balupette village in the Shakleshpur area. After burning the believers’ Bibles, the Hindu extremists stripped Joemon, Jojo and Anil, and dragged them to the village junction about 500 meters away, said Sajan K. George of the GCIC. Police arrived and took the three victims to the police station. “Instead of protecting the Christians, the police charged the pastors with ‘forced conversion,’” George said, adding that officials also refused to give medical aid to the Christians until the GCIC intervened.

Ministry Assembles Bible Distribution Teams in Sudan

Christians faced many losses during the war between the North and South in Sudan, which included burned churches and destroyed Bibles. In many areas, those Bibles haven't yet been replaced, Mission Network News reports. So, World Gospel Mission's Joy Phillips, in partnership with Samaritan's Purse, is distributing a quarter of million a Bibles to six language groups in the South next year. The Bibles have been shipped and are en route. Phillips says, "The logistics of getting the Bibles here is huge. Even once we get them to Sudan, moving around Sudan is quite a challenge... We have to either fly to certain places or go by river because there are just no roads that are open at this time." The group will be partnering with a church network for the distribution.