Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.
In today's edition:
- Obama Answers Question: 'Why Are You a Christian?'
- Muslim Extremists Suspected in Death of Christian in India
- Ruling Allows Embryonic Stem Cell Funding during Appeal
- Mission Group Responds to New Floods in India
Obama Answers Question: 'Why Are You a Christian?'
President Barack Obama fielded a surprise question about his faith on Tuesday, when a participant at a New Mexico event asked him why he was a Christian. According to Reuters, the president answered, "It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead -- being my brother's and sister's keeper, treating others as they would treat me." Surveys show that many Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim, but his replies fit with mainstream Christianity. He continued, "And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings -- that we're sinful and we're flawed and we make mistakes, and that we ... achieve salvation through the grace of God." He said that America's strength is that "it embraces people of many faiths and of no faith."
Muslim Extremists Suspected in Death of Christian in India
Family members of a Christian worker who was found dead in a Muslim area in Jharkhand state said they suspect he may have been murdered by local residents. The body of Shravan Kumar, who had worked with the Gospel Echoing Missionary Society, was found lying in a well in Garhwa town very early on Sept. 13, according to Compass Direct News. On Sept. 12, Kumar mentioned to his landlord that he planned to preach at the town's mosque; his family suspects that he preached on the Eid festival, a Muslim celebration. Police have asserted that Kumar had no injuries marking his body despite reports from residents who found Kumar that they saw injuries on his face and neck.
Ruling Allows Embryonic Stem Cell Funding during Appeal
Research on embryonic stem cells will continue to get government funding until a final ruling on the case, an appeals court ruled on Tuesday. CNN reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit permanently lifted an injunction against the funding to allow research to move forward. "President Obama made expansion of stem cell research and the pursuit of groundbreaking treatments and cures a top priority when he took office," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "We're heartened that the court will allow NIH and their grantees to continue moving forward while the appeal is resolved." District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has yet to make a final decision in the case.
Mission Group Responds to New Floods in India
Christian Newswire reports more than a month of battling massive flooding in Pakistan, Gospel for Asia's Compassion Services relief teams are now on the front lines of new floods in three North India states. Floods in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi have left an estimated 2 million people homeless and another 380 dead in their wake. "All around this river, you have people by the hundreds of thousands living in mud-brick houses," said GFA President K.P. Yohannan, "and these simple huts have been completely washed away by 25 or 30 feet of water." He said most people have no resources outside their homes. "Our people are now desperately trying to bring these suffering men, women and children the basic necessities they need, including food, water, clothing, shelter and medicines," he said.