Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.
In today's edition:
- Anglican Head Says He Has 'No Problem' with Celibate Gay Bishops
- Atlanta Pastor: 'I'm Going to Fight' Sex Allegations
- Converting Faiths May Become Illegal in Nepal
- Missionaries Acquitted of Inciting Muslim Crowd in Michigan
Anglican Head Says He Has 'No Problem' with Celibate Gay Bishops
The Archbishop of Canterbury gave his strongest endorsement yet of gay bishops over the weekend, according to Christian Today. In an interview with the UK Times, Dr. Rowan Williams said, "There's no problem about a gay person who's a bishop. It's about the fact that there are traditionally, historically, standards that the clergy are expected to observe," clarifying that this includes church teachings on marriage and homosexuality. He added that the Bible "doesn't give much ground for being positive about" partnered gays. "There is still no incontrovertible evidence to suggest that orientation is not a choice but an inherited characteristic," he continued. "So if someone believes strongly that they are gay ... in such a situation the Church necessarily, clearly, firmly and consistently has to witness to the teaching on sexuality which it has received and which it is called to uphold.
Atlanta Pastor: 'I'm Going to Fight' Sex Allegations
Speaking for the first time since lawsuits alleging sexual coercion were filed against him, Baptist televangelist Eddie Long said he was "not the man portrayed on television." The pastor of Atlanta-based megachurch New Birth did not address specific allegations in any way. "I've been accused, I'm under attack," he told his congregation on Sunday, according to CNN. "I want you to know, as I said earlier, that I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I'm going to fight," he said. "I feel like David against Goliath, but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one yet." He walked away from the pulpit to loud applause from his audience. Four young men from satellite campuses have accused Long of abusing his influence to take them on overnight trips and eventually lure them into sexual encounters with him.
Converting Faiths May Become Illegal in Nepal
Nepal's Christians say the country's proposed constitution could limit religious conversions, but at least recognizes Christianity as a legal religion. "We know that the new constitution will restrict conversions in order to 'protect' the country's demography and thereby its culture," said Gospel for Asia's leader in Nepal. According to Mission News Network, he believes the law may be interpreted more harshly than it is written. However, Gospel for Asia President Dr. K.P. Yohannan says the law does offer some encouragement. "Until now, the Nepali government has not recognized Christianity as a legal religion," Yohannan explained. "So Christians cannot register a church, buy property, or conduct weddings and funerals. If, under the new constitution, the government recognizes Christianity, this will be a positive thing for the churches."
Missionaries Acquitted of Inciting Muslim Crowd in Michigan
Worthy News reports that a jury has acquitted four Christian missionaries accused of inciting a crowd while videotaping themselves at the Dearborn Arab International Festival in June. Negeen Mayel of California, Nabeel Qureshi of Virginia and Paul Rezkalla and David Wood, both of New York, were acquitted of breach of peace, but Mayel was found guilty of failure to obey a police officer. The missionaries, members of Acts 17 Apologetics, "refute the arguments of those who oppose the true gospel, most commonly the arguments of Muslims and atheists." They claim Islam is a false and violent religion. The four were all charged in July with disorderly conduct after police said they received a complaint of harassment from a volunteer working at the festival.