Religion Today Summaries – November 4, 2005
Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff
Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today’s edition:
* Christian Children in China Refuse to Deny Jesus
* Texas Southern Baptists Resolve to Investigate Homosexual Activism in Schools
* Food for the Poor Rushes Hurricane Aid to Florida, the Caribbean, & Central America
* Muslim Attacks Incite Violence in Niger State, Nigeria
Christian Children in China Refuse to Deny Jesus
Open Doors USA
China allows for "belief" in a religion, but the Chinese constitution does not guarantee the right to practice that religion. Adults often face severe consequences for religious actions, but generally are not required to deny faith. With children, however, officials attempt to weaken their faith by encouraging them to deny Jesus altogether, such as in this recent situation when Public Security Bureau officers burst into a Sunday School room and herded 30 children into a van. Despite the scary situation, one child started singing. Soon the van was filled with song. Upon arrival at the police station, the children marched bravely into the interrogation room still singing to the Lord. Threatened with having to write "I do not believe in Jesus" one hundred times before they would be released, the children instead wrote, "I believe in Jesus today. I will believe in Jesus tomorrow. I will believe in Jesus forever!" Exasperated officials called the children's parents, some of whom denied Christ. But when a widowed believer came to pick up her twin sons, she refused to deny Jesus. The officers threatened her: "If you do not deny Jesus, we will not release your sons!" The widow replied, "Well, I guess you will just have to keep them, because without Jesus, there would be no way for me to take care of them!" With no avenues left open to them, the officials said, "Take your sons and go!"
Texas Southern Baptists Resolve to Investigate Homosexual Activism in Schools
Jim Brown, Agape Press
The Southern Baptist Convention of Texas has unanimously passed a resolution encouraging Christian parents to look into whether their local public schools are involved in homosexual activism and, where this is the case, to pursue alternative choices for their children's education. The measure urges Texas Southern Baptists to investigate whether the public schools in their area are promoting homosexuality and, if so, to seek more suitable options for their kids -- options such as private Christian schools or home education. The public school resolution is similar to one passed last summer at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. The bottom line is that parents have a responsibility to provide for the spiritual, emotional, and instructional education of their children. The Texas Southern Baptist feels the resolution was successful because Christian parents and churches are feeling increasingly threatened by what is being taught in public schools and are looking for ways to fight back.
Food for the Poor Rushes Hurricane Aid to Florida, the Caribbean, & Central America
Michael Ireland, ASSIST News Service
Despite suffering damage to its own offices, Food For The Poor, the largest relief organization normally operating in the Caribbean and Central America, is providing assistance to the victims of Hurricanes Wilma, Alpha and Beta. Wind damage and flooding from these hurricanes have left multitudes homeless and hungry in Florida, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Honduras. In South Florida, Food For The Poor has provided over 20 truckloads of food and water to the Hurricane Wilma victims. Wilma also caused tremendous destruction at Food For The Poor's offices in Deerfield Beach. In spite of the damage, the staff has set up temporary facilities in the undamaged areas of the complex. For its international efforts, the charity is shipping over 2 million pounds of canned food, water, roofing materials and other emergency supplies to the affected countries, and warehouses have been opened for full distribution during this time of crisis.
Muslim Attacks Incite Violence in Niger State, Nigeria
Obed Minchakpu, Compass Direct
On October 26, a Muslim Fulani tribesman had taken his cattle onto the farm of a Christian from the Gwari tribe, damaging his crops. When the Christian demanded to know why, the Muslim used a machete to cut off his hand. Religious violence sparked by the action left three Christians dead, at least 13 others injured, and 18 housed destroyed. Religious nerves in Niger state were already on edge following a September 21 attack by Muslims at the Bosso campus of the Federal University of Technology at Minna. A group of Muslims broke into lecture halls at the school in an effort to enforce sharia, or Islamic law. Joshua Ochoge, president of the Fellowship of Christian Students at the university, said students were in class "when suddenly, the fanatical Muslim students stormed the halls and began attacking Christian students. The situation later resulted in a fight between the fanatics and the Christian students." According to another account, a Muslim student had gone into one of the lecture halls and saw a Christian girl who did not have a veil as required by the Islamic dress code. He then stabbed her with a knife. The result was a melee between the Christian students and their Muslim counterparts. Since the introduction of sharia in Niger state five years ago, pressure has mounted on the university administration to impose the Islamic code on Christians. To that end, school officials have set up a committee to design guidelines that will allow the enforcement of sharia. Authorities at the university confirmed the attack on the Christians and announced the suspension of the Muslim students responsible, while also expressing fear that the extremists may attack not just the Christian students again, but the larger Christian community in Niger state.