Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 6, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 6, 2008

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

  • Egypt: Court Gives Christian Boys to Muslim Father
  • Only Half of Europeans Trust Clergy
  • Galveston Residents Return to Ike's Mess
  • Thousands of Cali. Youth Encouraged to Defend Marriage

Egypt: Court Gives Christian Boys to Muslim Father

Following the Appeal Court of Alexandria on Sept. 24 granting custody of 13-year-old Christian twins to their Muslim father, their mother now lives with the fear that police will take away her children at any moment, Compass Direct News reports. Kamilia Gaballah has fought with her ex-husband Medhat Ramses Labib over alimony support and custody of sons Andrew and Mario in 40 different cases since he left her and converted to Islam so that he could remarry in 1999. The court ruled in favor of Labib in spite of Egyptian law’s Article 20, which grants custody of children to their mothers until the age of 15, and a fatwa (religious ruling) from Egypt’s most respected Islamic scholar, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, giving her custody. “This decision was dangerous because it was not taken in accordance with Egyptian law but according to sharia [Islamic] law,” said Naguib Gobraiel, Gaballah’s lawyer and president of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations. “They want to stay with their mother,” said Gobraiel. “They don’t know anything about Islam and sharia. They are Christians and go to church on Sundays.”

Only Half of Europeans Trust Clergy

ASSIST News Service reports that only slightly more than one in two Europeans (53 percent) trust members of the clergy highly. They range in tenth place on a list of 20 professions according to the survey “Reader’s Digest European Trusted Brands 2008”. A total of 25,000 persons in 15 countries were interviewed, as the magazine reported in Stuttgart, September 22. Firefighters are the most trustworthy profession in Europe (95 percent) followed by pilots (92) and pharmacists (89). Industrial union leaders (23), car salespersons (17) and politicians (7) range at the bottom of the scale. The survey, which shows similar results as in 2007, was conducted in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Galveston Residents Return to Ike's Mess

Baptist Press reports that residents of Galveston Island are finally able to return home almost three weeks after Hurricane Ike devastated the area, but cleanup is just beginning. Throughout the town, most residents have moved their water-soaked belongings out to the curb waiting for dump trucks to carry everything away, trying to salvage what they can. Members of First Baptist Church in Galveston already have ripped out the burgundy carpet in their 51-year-old sanctuary. They've stripped out the drywall in the fellowship hall where they teach classes for English as a second language. The church has begun to have services again. This Sunday they hope to start meeting in the chapel that was built in memory of 44 church members who lost their lives in the storm of 1900. "We've got a lot to do to get it back," said Ray Meador, the church's pastor of three years.

Thousands of Cali. Youth Encouraged to Defend Marriage

The Christian Post reports that the church-based movement against same-sex marriage in California continued Wednesday night with an event broadcast live to more than 160 churches in California, watched by still more over the Web. "The Fine Line" rally, hosted by the Rock Church in San Diego, focused on equipping youth and their parents on the issue as they mobilize for Proposition 8, providing a panel of experts to answer questions. Proposition 8 would amend the California constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, effectively reversing the court's decision to allow homosexuals in the state to marry. The Post reports that Wednesday’s event was the second of three planned simulcast events in support of Proposition 8. The last will air Sunday, Oct. 19.