Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Saudi Authorities Charge 13 Filipinos with Proselytizing
- Ex-gay Group Ends Support of Students' 'Day of Truth'
- Civil Suit 'Likely' over Arab Festival Charges in Michigan
- Kentucky Group Sues Over Nixed 'In God We Trust' License Plate
Saudi Authorities Charge 13 Filipinos with Proselytizing
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have temporarily released 13 people arrested on charges of proselytizing in the kingdom, according to Christian Today. Twelve are Filipino expatriates and one is French. According to Ezzedin H. Tago at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, all 13 still face charges. "It (their release) did not mean that their case had been settled," Tago said. "If they are proven guilty as charged, they would go back to jail," he added, though proselytizing in Saudi Arabia is punishable by death. All non-Muslim religions are suppressed in Saudi Arabia and may only be practiced in private. Conversion from Islam and proselytizing by non-Muslims are punishable by death.
Ex-gay Group Ends Support of Students' 'Day of Truth'
A leading "ex-gay" group, concerned about a recent rash of anti-gay bullying, has ended its role in the annual "Day of Truth" events that encourage students to express their opposition to homosexuality. According to Religion News Service, the annual school observance was meant to counter the "Day of Silence" sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), in which students remain silent to protest anti-gay harassment. Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, told CNN's Belief Blog that bullying caused his group to rethink their sponsorship. "All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not," Chambers said.
Civil Suit 'Likely' over Arab Festival Charges in Michigan
Baptist Press reports that a civil lawsuit may be filed against the city of Dearborn, Mich., on behalf of four people who were arrested on charges of "breaching the peace" at an Arab festival. Nabeel Qureshi, David Wood, Negeen Mayel, and Paul Rezkalla were all acquitted on Sept. 24. Their attorney says the arrest of four self-described Christian missionaries on June 18 at Dearborn's annual International Arab Festival were a clear infringement of their first and fourth amendment rights as well as a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. They were videotaping the dialogue about the claims of Christianity when Dearborn police arrested Qureshi. Dearborn, a Detroit suburb, is believed to be home to the second largest Arab population outside the Middle East.
Kentucky Group Sues Over Nixed 'In God We Trust' License Plate
A Kentucky group plans to challenge the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in court after the cabinet denied a specialty license plate re quest reading, "In God We Trust." Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana (ROCK) applied for the plate in 2007, saying the proceeds would go towards for education regarding the "dangers of pornography" and to provide help for "women and children victimized by pornography and the sex industry." The request, however, was denied after the cabinet said the place would promote Christianity. "They stated that our primary purpose was the advancement of a particular religion because there is one bible verse that appears on the ROCK website," MaryAnn Gramig, director of policy and operations for ROCK, told FoxNews. Kentucky specialty plates may not be created by a group that "has as its primary purpose the promotion of any specific faith, religion or antireligion."