Religion Today Summaries - October 27, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 27, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Christian Mother of Five in Nigeria Killed
  • Children Affected by Severe Flooding in Thailand
  • Tennessee Hotel Cancels Anti-Sharia Conference
  • Key Evidence Destroyed in Kansas Planned Parenthood Criminal Case


Christian Mother of Five in Nigeria Killed

Nigerian soldiers summoned to the city of Bauchi to stop fights between Muslim and Christian youths last week shot and killed a Christian mother of five, Compass Direct News reports. When violence broke out at a high school soccer match, soldiers were called in to restore the peace, but Muslim soldiers soon joined with Muslim students from the school and attacked Christians' homes as the fighting spread to other parts of the city. Three soldiers chased Charity Augustine Agbo into her house and shot her twice in the chest; she later died at a hospital. "There was not any justifiable reason for the soldiers to have shot the woman," said the Rev. Lawi Pokti, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria. The school where the fighting broke out is known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism; most religious conflicts in the city have been triggered by Muslim students at the school and Christians in the area have been under extreme pressure for more than a decade.

Children Affected by Severe Flooding in Thailand

Children are bearing the brunt of the worst floods to hit Thailand in 50 years, according to Christian Today. The flood waters, which are affecting 26 provinces in the central and northeastern regions of the country, have claimed at least 373 lives and affected more than 600,000 children. Some suburbs of Bangkok are already deluged, including an airport -- jeopardizing the national flood response headquartered there -- and the city's center has been warned of several feet of water if flood barriers break. "We are deeply concerned by the impact of the disaster, especially on the hundreds of thousands of children," said Chitra Thumborisuth, World Vision Thailand's national director. "Houses are muddy and soiled with debris. Families need to replace their basic household appliances and utensils, not to mention find a way of salvaging their livelihoods." World Vision has set up two child-friendly shelters and continues to distribute emergency food and relief items.

Tennessee Hotel Cancels Anti-Sharia Conference

A group dedicated to keeping Muslim law, known as sharia, from being established in the U.S. had its conference venue canceled after the hotel raised safety concerns, Fox News reports. The Tennessee Freedom Coalition was set to meet Nov. 11 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville for its "Preserving Freedom" conference; however, the hotel canceled the event and returned the deposit after learning that two controversial speakers planned to attend. Hotel managers insist the decision had nothing to do with the conference's content, but rather with the "security of our staff and clients." Local Islamic leaders praised the hotel, saying the conference would have promoted bigotry. Lou Ann Zelenik, a member of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, said, "I feel the Hutton is now under sharia law." The conference is now looking for a new venue and considering legal action against the hotel for breach of contract.

Key Evidence Destroyed in Kansas Planned Parenthood Criminal Case

A Kansas district judge postponed a pre-trial hearing in the state's criminal case against Planned Parenthood after prosecutors revealed that Kansas health officials shredded key records and documents, WORLD News Service reports. The organization faces 23 felony charges for manufacturing the records of clients who had late-term abortions and for failing to report cases of child rape in 2005 -- when current Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius was head of the Kansas Department of Health -- and the destroyed documents were evidence central to the prosecutors' case. It was revealed last week that the state health department had shredded the documents in a "routine" purging, but some Kansas pro-lifers believe the evidence was deliberately scrapped. Now, prosecutors have until Nov. 9 to gather other evidence, and depending on the outcome, the trial could still proceed. Planned Parenthood also faces 87 misdemeanor charges for failing to keep proper records and not determining the viability of a late-term baby before performing an abortion, but the abortion provider has long denied any wrongdoing.

Publication date: October 27, 2011