Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 9, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 9, 2007

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

  • China Angrily Denounces Games "Bible Ban" Report
  • Christians Urged To Pray For Persecuted Believers Nov. 11
  • Evangelical, Ecumenical Leaders Engage in Landmark Talks on Church Unity
  • Egypt Frees Christian Human Rights Activists

China Angrily Denounces Games "Bible Ban" Report

Reuters reports that China reacted angrily on Thursday to reports in the European press that the government would ban Bibles during next year's Beijing Olympics, saying it could not possibly be true. The reports, one of which appeared in Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, were picked up by the Catholic News Agency and spread to U.S. media sites. "The facts show that this news is a total rumour," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference. "The Chinese government has not come up with any such rule. "China's religious affairs authorities and the Olympic organisers have not -- and could not -- issue a rule banning the Bible in the Olympic village."

Christians Urged To Pray For Persecuted Believers Nov. 11

Open Doors, an international Christian ministry which supports and strengthens persecuted believers, is calling on Christians to pray for over 200 million suffering Christians during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) on Sunday, Nov. 11. During that day churches around the United States will focus on prayer and support for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. IDOP is one of the largest prayer events in the world and has heightened awareness of persecuted Christians since its inception in 1996. Because of persecution and suffering that Muslim Background Believers – those who convert from Islam to Christianity – face daily, Open Doors USA has made these hundreds of thousands of "Secret Believers" the focus of this year's IDOP. "The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church presents a tremendous opportunity for millions of people to make a difference in the lives of those being persecuted for their faith in countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, North Korea and many more," says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. "Persecuted believers have asked us who live in freedom to pray for them – always their number one request. And on November 11 we have the opportunity to collectively lift our petitions to the Lord on their behalf."

Evangelical, Ecumenical Leaders Engage in Landmark Talks on Church Unity

The Christian Post reports that representatives of worldwide evangelical and ecumenical movements have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, this week to pave the way for closer collaboration. The Global Christian Forum has brought together international Christian leaders from a broad spectrum of denominations and traditions, including Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, and the Rev. Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC). On Wednesday, the two leaders agreed that there was a need to continue the forum process, which provides an open space for serious dialogue and conversation around issues of global Christianity. This open space also provides the opportunity to create greater understanding, dispel stereotypes and to provide an understanding of areas of common concern.

Egypt Frees Christian Human Rights Activists

Egyptian police this week released two Christian rights activists detained for three months, Compass Direct News reports. A host of journalists, lawyers, clergyman, family and friends gathered at the Cairo home of Adel Fawzy Faltas last night to celebrate the acquittal and release on Monday (November 5) of the Egyptian head of the Middle East Christian Association and an associate. Faltas, 61, and colleague Peter Ezzat, 25, had been held on unsubstantiated charges of insulting Islam and tarnishing Egypt’s reputation abroad. Faltas had conducted an online interview with a controversial convert from Islam to Christianity only days before his arrest on August 8. Sporting a wide grin, shorts and tennis shoes as well-wishers pressed around him at his 8th floor flat, Faltas said, “I was always a free man. When you respect yourself and what you are doing, then you are free.”

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