Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.
In today's edition:
- Petraeus: Quran Burning Could Endanger U.S. Troops
- Cuban Church Leader Released, Cleared of Charges
- Buddhists in India Assault Christian Aid Worker, Friend
- Man Tweets the Bible, One Chapter at a Time
Petraeus: Quran Burning Could Endanger U.S. Troops
A Florida pastor's plan to hold a public burning of Qurans to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has set off angry protests from Afghanistan to Indonesia, and drawn a formal response from the U.S. Embassy condemning the plan. ASSIST News Service reports that the book burning has also drawn the attention of Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of American forces fighting in that country. "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Petraeus told The Wall Street Journal. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community." Terry Jones, the pastor at Dove World Outreach Center, and his church have declared Sept. 11 as "International Burn a Quran Day" as a "warning."
Cuban Church Leader Released, Cleared of Charges
Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that a respected Cuban church leader who was unexpectedly arrested and tried in court last week has been cleared of all charges. After his accusers gave contradictory evidence against him, the Rev. Roberto Rodriguez was allowed to return to his family after being found not guilty of "threatening behavior." His family says officials arrived without warning on Aug. 30 and immediately removed Rodriguez. The 67-year-old pastor was unable to take even his diabetes medication with him. Reverend Rodriguez became a government target after the organization he led publicly withdrew from a government sanctioned religious umbrella group in the second half of 2008. CSW believes that the criminal charges against him are an attempt to discredit and silence him.
Buddhists in India Assault Christian Aid Worker, Friend
A blind Christian and his friend accused drunken Buddhists of abducting and assaulting them last week after the volunteer distributed relief material in a region of India devastated by recent flooding. Compass Direct News reports the two were working in the Buddhist-majority town of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir state's Ladakh region. The attackers, identified as members of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), abducted Ram Kumar Thapa, Stanzin Chosphel and his pregnant wife Putali Sherpa because of their Christian faith and beat the men, the victims said. LBA members were allegedly upset that Thapa was preaching Christianity to displaced residents. Flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses and killed around 200 people in the region on Aug. 6.
Man Tweets the Bible, One Chapter at a Time
One man has 14,000 people following his daily Bible readings -- on Twitter. Chris Juby, 30, from Durham, England, says he's read a chapter of the Bible every day for years, and recently decided to summarize his readings online. Juby, a freelance web developer and director of worship at King's Church in Durham, told ABC News he condenses each chapter into 140-characters. Genesis 1, for instance, became "God created the heavens, the earth and everything that lives. He made humankind in his image, and gave them charge over the earth" on twitter. He doesn't plan to finish his tweets until November 2013. "I think my major hope is that it will inspire people to read the Bible for themselves," said Juby. "I certainly wouldn't want anyone to rely on my summaries. They're definitely no substitute for reading the real thing."