Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Druidry Recognized as Official Religion in UK
- Algerian Christians Protest as Leaders Await Court Ruling
- Methodist Agency Drops Support of Liberal Rally
- Christians Worldwide Unite to Pray for Jerusalem
Druidry Recognized as Official Religion in UK
Britain officially recognized Druidry, an ancient nature-based belief system, as a religion for the first time and gave it charitable status on Saturday. "There is a sufficient belief in a supreme being or entity to constitute a religion for the purposes of charity law," the Charity Commission for England and Wales said in response to the Druid Network's application, according to ASSIST News Service. The decision will give the neo-pagan religion, known for its cloaked worshippers at Stonehenge and other sites, tax advantages and is expected to lead to broader acceptance. "This has been a long hard struggle taking over five years to complete," said the Druid Network on its website.
Algerian Christians Protest as Leaders Await Court Ruling
At least 50 Algerian Christians recently protested criminal charges against four church leaders, calling the charges against them "absurd." Christians in the Larbaa Nath Irathen, a village in the Kabylie region of Algeria, are now waiting for the verdict after the Sept. 26. Salafist jihadists accused Pastor Mahmoud and three elders of a new church of conducting Christian activity without government authorization and hosting foreigners without reporting their presence. Government officials refused to allow the Christians inside. "This is the first time I've seen this in Algeria," one Christian told International Christian Concern.
Methodist Agency Drops Support of Liberal Rally
A United Methodist agency withdrew its endorsement from this weekend's One Nation Working Together rally here, an event that has drawn support from religious progressive groups. Religion News Service reports that in a Friday announcement, the General Board of Church & Society of the United Methodist Church said it had become "disturbed by some of the overtly political and partisan statements issued by organizers of the march." The "One Nation" rally, which will be held on the National Mall, has been endorsed by the anti-poverty group Sojourners, the Catholic group Pax Christi USA, the Sikh Coalition and the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group.
Christians Worldwide Unite to Pray for Jerusalem
An estimated 100 million of Christians joined in prayer for Jerusalem on Sunday as part of the 9th Annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. According to Christian Newswire, churches from more than 175 nations, including underground Christian churches from seven primarily Muslim countries and mainland China, joined to intercede for the city and its people. "We are living in challenging days, when Jerusalem is under tremendous pressure on all sides," said Robert Stearns, Eagles' Wings founder and co-host of the prayer day. "The prayers of faithful people on her behalf will make a difference, especially as Christians and Jews from the nations, along with Arab Christians and Jews from Israel, stand together in Jerusalem on October 3."