Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 24, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 24, 2009

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

  • Muslims Demand Arrest of Christians for 'Provoking' Gojra Violence
  • S.C. Supreme Court Rules for Breakaway Episcopal Parish
  • Kidnapped Christian Doctor in Iraq Freed in Critical Condition
  • 'See You at the Pole' Draws 2 Million Students

Muslims Demand Arrest of Christians for 'Provoking' Gojra Violence

ASSIST News Service reports that Muslim residents of Gojra have demanded that Christians who have been accused of provoking violence be arrested by today. The violence ended in seven Christian being burnt alive by a Muslim mob on Aug. 1. The calls for Christian men's arrests became strident on Tuesday after a Muslim man who had allegedly opened fire on Christian residents on Aug. 1 died in Allied Hospital, Sargodha. The man, Amjad, had suffered injuries during the Gojra violence. The Muslims gave police a 48 hour ultimatum, warning that the onus of consequences will be on the administration if the Christian accused of provoking violence were not arrested. So far, heavy contingents of police have been deployed around the local Christian colony, apparently to prevent further violence. Police also stood outside the Bishop House and the Catholic Church.

S.C. Supreme Court Rules for Breakaway Episcopal Parish

Religion News Service reports that a South Carolina parish that split from the Episcopal Church in 2004 can keep its church property, the state's Supreme Court has ruled. The ruling is a rare legal victory to conservative dissidents. A majority of members of All Saints Church at Pawley's Island voted to secede from the Episcopal Church five years ago, after an openly gay man was consecrated bishop of New Hampshire. The Episcopal Church maintains that congregations hold their property in trust for the denomination; if they decide to leave, the property stays with the diocese and the national church, Episcopal leaders argue. Applying "neutral principles," South Carolina's Supreme Court ruled on Friday (Sept. 18) that All Saints, which dates to the early 18th century, had secured ownership to the property in 1902, well before the Episcopal Church instituted its trust rules in 1979.

Kidnapped Christian Doctor in Iraq Freed in Critical Condition

Compass Direct News reports that Islamic kidnappers in Kirkuk last week dumped a Christian doctor in critical condition in front of a mosque after 29 days of torture and threats. Thanks to his 23-year-old daughter's negotiations with the terrorists, 55-year-old Sameer Gorgees Youssif was freed but with wounds, hematomas and bruises covering his body. The doctor's daughter, who requested her name be withheld, said that for two weeks the abductors insisted on $500,000, and then dropped the amount to $300,000. The terrorists found phone numbers of friends on the doctor's mobile phone and called them, instructing them to tell his family that if they did not produce the money they would kill the doctor. In the end, the abductors lowered the demand to $100,000. "They were threatening us all the time, and we were living in hell," his daughter said. "God was our only hope."

'See You at the Pole' Draws 2 Million Students

Christian Newswire reports that an estimated two million students gathered for the 20th annual See You at the Pole event yesterday. Students gathered at their school's flagpole to pray for their school, their community and their country. The event began as a student-initiated movement, and has won several court battles challenging its location on school property. See You at the Pole event began near Ft. Worth in the town of Burleson, Texas, in 1990. The event's organizers note that the day of prayer comes just after Liberty Counsel successfully defended two Christian employees in a Florida public school against a charge of criminal contempt after they prayed at a school luncheon.

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