Religion Today Summaries - October 25, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 25, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • More Than 230 Dead, 1,300 Injured in Turkey Earthquake
  • Six Quake Survivors Pulled Out Alive in Turkey
  • New Libya to be Ruled by Islamic Sharia Law
  • Church Faces Increasing Hostility in Sudan


More Than 230 Dead, 1,300 Injured in Turkey Earthquake

More than 230 people are dead and 1,300 are injured after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey on Sunday, CNN reports. Numerous aftershocks -- the largest a magnitude 6.0 -- rattled the area, one of the nation's poorest regions, and now rescue workers and the military are searching through piles of rubble to find survivors. A total of 970 buildings collapsed, including a health services building, 25 apartments, a student dormitory and part of a hospital. Rescuers and survivors contended with near-freezing temperatures early Monday amid widespread power and gas outages, but officials hope to restore electricity by Monday night. Crisis centers and tent hospitals have been set up, and rescue teams have come from as far as Iran and Azerbaijan.

Six Quake Survivors Pulled Out Alive in Turkey

Six people were pulled alive from the rubble Monday, four saved when one man managed to call for help on his cell phone and two saved later by rescuers, the day after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Turkey, leveling hundreds of buildings and trapping dozens in the debris, the Associated Press reports. Twenty hours after the quake hit, Yalcin Akay was dug out from a collapsed six-story building with a leg injury after he called a police emergency line and described his location. Three others, including two children, were rescued from the same building. Seven hours later, a 21-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were also found and rescued from the rubble of a collapsed cafe. Rescuers continued to search for the missing throughout the night with generator-powered floodlights and cranes while more than 200 aftershocks rocked the area.

New Libya to be Ruled by Islamic Sharia Law

Islamic sharia law will prevail in Libya and any existing laws that contradict it will be abolished, National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel-Jalil said Monday, four days after revolutionary fighers killed former dictator Moammar Gadhafi and one day after Libya's new rulers declared national liberation. "As an Islamic country, we have adopted sharia as the principal law," Abdel-Jalil said, adding that any existing laws contradicting the teachings of Islam would be nullified. He outlined several changes to align with Islamic law, such as banning banks from paying interest and lifting restrictions on the number of wives men can have -- under Gadhafi, polygamy was banned, but the Quran allows men up to four wives. Libyan leaders have said they will form a new interim government within a month and hold elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months.

Church Faces Increasing Hostility in Sudan

Emboldened by the government's push for a Sudan based on Islamic law following the secession of South Sudan, Muslims long opposed to a church near Khartoum have attacked Christians trying to finish constructing their building, Compass Direct News reports. The Sudanese Church of Christ has continued to meet on Sundays in a building without a roof despite opposition from area Muslims and local authorities, and church members were recently attacked by extremists claiming that Christianity was no longer an accepted religion in the country. Muslims in the north, where an estimated 1 million Christians live, "want to reduce or restrict the number of churches, so they can put more pressure on believers," one church leader said.

Publication date: October 25, 2011