Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Ministry Readies Response in Congo
- U.S. Christians Mark Some Election Day Victories
- Burma: Six Month Later, Cyclone Survivors Still Hurting
- Somalia: Militants Step up Fear Campaign
Ministry Readies Response in Congo
Mission News Network reports that aid workers are rushing aid to thousands displaced by rebel and government conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and praying a cease-fire holds while they do so. Aid workers and residents were forced to flee locations in North Kivu last month as rebel forces launched an offensive in the region, and many residents are stil without food supplies and clean water. Sam Vinton with Grace Ministries International says, "At the moment, everything has sort of stopped. They were 20 kilometers from Goma. There's negotiations taking place where I'm sure our country and others are trying to talk to these people, as far as what's happening. It's still at a standstill, and I have heard nothing new except that people are very nervous in the city of Goma."
U.S. Christians Mark Some Election Day Victories
The Christian Post reports that American Christians had several reasons to celebrate after Election Day, as three states approved measures banning same-sex marriages, including Florida and Arizona. In California, Proposition 8 passed narrowly, overturning gay marriage for the first time in a state that had previously allowed it. San Francisco's ballot measure to legalize prostitution failed. In Colorado, the "personhood" amendment - which would define fetuses as a person from the moment of conception - also failed. Matthew Staver, founder of the Liberty Council for defense of traditional families and life, said the passage of traditional marriage amendments was a "bright star on an otherwise dismal night."
Burma: Six Month Later, Cyclone Survivors Still Hurting
Mizzima online reports that more than a million people are still struggling to recover from Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma (also known as Myanmar) six months ago. Relief efforts have been hampered by the military junta in power, which has confiscated land, forced relocations, and even forced labor. While demanding farmers make a harvest or relinquish their fields, the junta has offered no help as food shortages become increasingly common. The junta has also reportedly jailed native first-responders, including doctors and business people. "Human rights concerns have been largely ignored by international aid agencies as they respond to the disaster" in an effort to reach people, according to Benjamin Zawacki, an Amnesty International researcher. Now, the violations continue to rise.
Somalia: Militants Step up Fear Campaign
Mission News Network reports that a 25-year-old convert from Islam to Christianity was beheaded in Manyafulka village after militant Sunni Muslims accused him of apostasy. According to MNN, less than one percent of Somalia is Christian, although the number of converts are growing. Several have been publicly executed and convicted in mock trials. Militants videotaped the beheading of 25-year-old Mansuur Mohammed, then circulated the video in an effort to intimidate those contemplating converting from Islam to Christianity.