Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 17, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 17, 2007

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

  • Anti-Christian Rumor in Bangladesh Helps Fuel Attacks
  • Economies Receive Boost from Ten Commandments
  • Lutherans Prepare for First Draft on Human Sexuality
  • Philippine Air Force Orders So. Korean Missionary Group to Dismantle Church

Anti-Christian Rumor in Bangladesh Helps Fuel Attacks

The rumor that evangelists offer people money to convert to Christianity in Bangladesh is the rationale for violence against Christians not just from Muslims, but from Buddhists who make up less than 1 percent of the population, Compass Direct News reports. Subash Mondol, a supervisor of the Christian Life Bangladesh (CLB) “Jesus Film” team in Khagrachori said that in early September, tribal Buddhist villagers decided to kidnap a CLB worker after hearing a rumor that he had received money for converting. Finding no money on Cinku Marma, they assaulted him with a jungle knife on September 6, slashing his hand, forehead and ear. In Nilphamari, where 10 of 42 converts from Islam were brutally beaten in June, Muslim missionaries are helping to spread the conversion-for-pay rumor. And a district official recently summoned pastor Sanjoy Roy, accusing him of offering financial incentives and ordering him stop evangelizing. He also forced Roy to sign a statement that he would not go outside the area without permission.

Economies Receive Boost from Ten Commandments

ASSIST News Service reports that German-speaking business leaders in Paraguay have been encouraged to practice biblical values. More than 300 leaders from the South American country took part in a Christian convention in Asuncion, October 4 - 6. One of the main speakers was the chairman of the Christian Leadership Congress in Germany, Rev. Horst Marquardt. He described the Ten Commandments as an unrivaled code of conduct. According to leading economists, economies flourish when the Ten Commandments are heeded. Marquardt quoted honesty, charity, faithfulness and conscientiousness as core values for entrepreneurs. He also admonished business leaders to keep their professional and their spiritual life in balance while referring to the Benedictine rule “Pray and Work”, which had transformed large areas of Europe.

Lutherans Prepare for First Draft on Human Sexuality

The Christian Post reports that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S., is continuing work on developing a social statement on the controversial issue of human sexuality with a first draft due out early 2008. The Task Force for the Studies on Sexuality met over the weekend in open and closed-door discussions amid "fatigue" by Lutherans after years of debate. "The church has given us the responsibility of writing a social statement, and we are working hard to do our best," said the Rev. Peter Strommen, bishop of ELCA’s Northeastern Minnesota Synod and task force chair. "We want it to be helpful to the church and faithful to its core convictions."

Philippine Air Force Orders So. Korean Missionary Group to Dismantle Church

A report in the Philippine Inquirer states that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) has given a South Korean missionary group until Tuesday to dismantle its church within the PAF's Crow Valley military reservation in Capas, Tarlac, where Philippine and American troops are scheduled to hold war exercises. Colonel Alejandro Camagay Jr. said the group has to comply with the deadline or the PAF would demolish the structure. "The Koreans (missionaries) are not slowing themselves even as I have sent them a letter," Camagay said in a phone interview on Monday. Reports said the Aeta people living in the area are using the church. Camagay said the Korean mission was not authorized by the PAF to build a church on a hill in Sta. Juliana. "Where did you see a church that is within a bombing range?" Camagay asked.