Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Ministries Aid Indonesian Villages after Tsunami
- Court: Mich. Student Can Hand Out Church Flyers
- Political Mob Assaults Christian Teacher in Karnataka
- Peace Is Possible in the Middle East, Says Pope
Ministries Aid Indonesian Villages after Tsunami
Relief workers are still trying to reach some Indonesian villages flatted by a tsunami on Monday. More than 300 people are dead and dozens are still missing in after 10-foot waves triggered by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit remote areas. Vice President of International Ministries for HCJB Global Dave Pasechnik says his organization partners with a ministry that works in the region. "The ministry facilities have not been damaged... Other towns are totally flooded and washed away, with just a few people surviving," he said, according to Mission News Network. "So it's quite devastating, and the death toll will probably rise even more." Communications were swept away, making contact with some areas even more difficult." Pasechnik said HCJB's partner ministry will be busy helping families stay together in the disaster's aftermath.
Court: Mich. Student Can Hand Out Church Flyers
Children are free to pass out invitations to church activities during school hours, according to a federal court. The Christian Post reports that Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan said the school in question violated one of its student's First Amendment right to free speech when it stopped him from passing out invitations and flyers to a youth summer camp held at Cornerstone Church in Highland, Mich. Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David Cortman commented, "Christians shouldn't be discriminated against and silenced because of their beliefs. The court made the right decision by acknowledging students' and community groups' free speech rights and ruling that the district's viewpoint-based ban on the distribution of literature with a religious theme is unconstitutional."
Political Mob Assaults Christian Teacher in Karnataka
A Christian teacher was assaulted by a mob of more than 300 men for what he says is a completely false accusation. John Philip, vice-principal of Holy Cross School in Karnataka state, says his attackers jumped him as he was returning home from the school, accusing him of misconduct with female students. Christian Today reports that the assailants, who are suspected members of Jaya Karnataka Vedike party, called up local media channels before beating Philip in public. One police inspector reportedly joined in the assault. Philip told a team of the All India Christian Council that it was a planned attack primarily because he was a Christian. He is currently recovering at a local hospital.
Peace Is Possible in the Middle East, Says Pope
On Sunday Pope Benedict XVI called on parties in the Middle East to deescalate the region's violence. "Peace, which is a gift of God, is also the result of the efforts of men of goodwill, of the national and international institutions, in particular of the states most involved in the search for a solution to conflicts," the pontiff said, according to Christian Today. His comments followed a special assembly of Middle East bishops that discussed the future of Christian communities in the region. The assembly issued 44 propositions to aid these groups, including the creation of a new office to study Middle East emigration and greater use of the Arabic language in major Catholic institutions.