Religion Today Summaries - September 1, 2011

Religion Today Summaries - September 1, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • 11 Irene-Affected States to See Baptist Disaster Relief Units
  • Ahmadinejad: 'No Room for Israel' if Palestinian State Formed
  • Archbishop of Canterbury Looks to Ease Zimbabwe Church Violence
  • Theme Park Brawl after Head Scarf-Wearing Muslim Women Banned from Rides


11 Irene-Affected States to See Baptist Disaster Relief Units

In the wake of Hurricane Irene -- which has now claimed 40 lives -- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) leaders and volunteers are mobilizing for an 11-state disaster response, Baptist Press reports. Coordinated by the North American Mission Board's disaster operations center in Alpharetta, Ga., Southern Baptists are deploying to  respond in 11 states up and down the East Coast -- North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The American Red Cross has asked SBDR to generate the capacity to prepare and deliver 100,000 meals a day in North Carolina, 50,000 meals in Virginia, 15,000 meals in New England and 5,000 meals in New York.

Ahmadinejad: ’No Room for Israel’ if Palestinian State Formed

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says after the formation of a Palestinian state there will be no room for Israel in region, ASSIST News Service reports. According to, Ahmadinejad's comments came after a day of pro-Palestine rallies on Friday. The rallies were part of an annual demonstration called Quds Day, an occasion where Iranian officials show their support for Palestine and condemn Israel. Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem. Tens of thousands attended the Quds Day rally in Tehran. The regime's state TV reported millions of Iranians participated in the rallies in cities and towns across Iran, the news agency said. Ahmadinejad also urged the West to stop supporting Israel. "You and the Zionist regime will have no base in the Middle East," he warned, and dismissed the West's support for a two-state solution as a tactic meant "to save" Israel.

Archbishop of Canterbury Looks to Ease Zimbabwe Church Violence

According to The Christian Post, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is hoping to help alleviate conflict over church properties during a visit to Zimbabwe in October. Since 2007, the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been in a state of upheaval, stemming from some being opposed to a seemingly liberal stance on homosexuality. Matters have recently taken a violent turn, with Bishop Nolbert Kunonga being recently granted authority over various Anglican church properties in a court ruling. However, he has reportedly chosen unethical and violent ways to remove priests and worshippers from the properties. "Clergy and members of the laity belonging to the Anglican Diocese of Harare... have been receiving threats, constant harassment and lately severe beatings from Kunonga's hooligans, masquerading as clergy, accompanied by 'certainly hired thugs,’” a press release stated.

Theme Park Brawl after Head Scarf-Wearing Muslim Women Banned from Rides

A report in the Daily Mail states that Rye Playland in New York was forced to temporarily shut its gates to visitors August 30 when a mass brawl broke out after Muslim women were banned from rides unless they removed their headscarves. Two rangers at the theme park were injured and 15 people, including three women, were arrested in the scuffle, charged with disorderly conduct and assault. Muslim visitors involved in the fight accused police of brutality and claimed they were treated 'like animals'. One said: "It's clear, this all happened because we're Muslim." Roughly 3,000 of the park's 6,000 visitors that day were in a Muslim tour group celebrating the end of Ramadan. Trouble flared when women wearing Muslim hijab scarves were refused entry to rides which banned any head coverings and offered refunds. Parks official Peter Tartaglia said that the Muslim American Society of New York had been "painstakingly" advised of the rule many times before its tour took place, and defended the policy against head coverings on rides for safety reasons, since scarves can become entangled in mechanical parts, choke riders or fly off and land in a ride's tracks. A spokesman for the Muslim American Society of New York said it plans to investigate what happened.