Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Officials in Sudan Threaten to Raze Three Church Buildings
- Egypt: Muslims Pelt Coptic Funeral Procession with Bricks
- Anti-Christian Extremists Attack South Asian Missionary
- Soccer Player Arrested in Saudi Arabia for Jesus Tattoo
Officials in Sudan Threaten to Raze Three Church Buildings
Local officials have threatened to demolish three church buildings in Omdurman, Sudan, if the churches continue to conduct worship services, Compass Direct News reports. Church leaders expressed surprise at authorities' accusations that their buildings were located on government land and being operated without permission -- claims they insist are not true but simply another way the government is attempting to rid Sudan of Christianity. Members of the threatened churches are concerned about their future, and also believe the government is carrying out secret investigations of Christians and church programs as part of a broader effort to make Islam the official state religion.
Egypt: Muslims Pelt Coptic Funeral Procession with Bricks
As thousands of Coptic Christians marched in a funeral procession for the 24 Copts killed in an attack by government officials earlier this week, Muslims hurled bricks at the victims' families, ASSIST News Service reports. The attackers were armed and gunshots were heard. The mourners sought shelter and called the army emergency phone line, but no help came. Coptic leaders have expressed horror at the acts of persecution and stressed that the Christian faith rejects violence. They have called on all Copts to fast and pray continuously for three days "in order to have peace in Egypt," a request the church has only made three times in its history.
Anti-Christian Extremists Attack South Asian Missionary
A missionary in South Asia who serves as the pastor of a village church in a tribal area was attacked by a mob of about 50 students while distributing Gospel tracts in a nearby village, Gospel for Asia reports. Just as Matthew Kishard and his team began praying for a family with a sick child, a crowd of young men and women showed up and began shouting at him. One man started to beat Kishard with a shoe, and then the mob knocked him to the ground and continued hitting him while grabbing his team's Bibles and tracts. The extremists were on their way to start a fire with the literature when a few elderly people stepped in, stopped them and also stopped the assault on Kishard. Kishard suffered bruises and cuts from the attack, but was not seriously injured.
Soccer Player Arrested in Saudi Arabia for Jesus Tattoo
A Columbian soccer player who plays for a Saudi Arabian soccer club was detained in a shopping mall for allegedly walking around in a sleeveless shirt that revealed a tattoo of Jesus, the Christian Post reports. It is believed that Juan Pablo Pino, 24, who was unaware that Saudi Arabia's Islamic sharia law requires tattoos to be covered at all times, was turned in by other shoppers who complained about his tattoos. Pino apologized for not obeying the rule and was later released from custody. He has since declared that he and his wife have been shopping for "more respectful" clothing; his wife, however, was shaken up by the incident and has asked that her family leave the country.
Publication date: October 14, 2011