Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Muslim Students Guilty of Disrupting Jewish Speaker
- Vanderbilt Christian Groups Threatened with Shutdown
- Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Gains Popularity Weeks Before Elections
- Cuba Prayer Retreat Being Watched by Police
Muslim Students Guilty of Disrupting Jewish Speaker
Jurors on Friday found 10 Muslim students guilty of disrupting a lecture by an Israeli diplomat at a California university last year, OneNewsNow.com reports. The students were also convicted of conspiring to disrupt Israeli ambassador Michael Oren's speech; they stood up one by one to shout prepared statements at him, despite university officials repeatedly pleading with the crowd to behave. Defense attorneys argued the students had a right to protest, but prosecutor Dan Wagner told jurors the students "acted as censors to block the free flow of ideas" and infringed on the rights of 700 people who had gone to the Irvine campus to hear Oren. Each of the students was sentenced to three years of probation, 56 hours of community service and $270 in fines, but said they planned to appeal the verdict.
Vanderbilt Christian Groups Threatened with Shutdown
Vanderbilt University has decided five on-campus Christian groups are in violation of the school's non-discrimination policy and has placed the groups on "provisional status," OneNewsNow.com reports. Each group's constitution includes a clause restricting leadership positions to those who share the group's core beliefs, goals and values, and university officials told the groups this violated the non-discrimination policy. Should the groups not adhere, they risk being shut down. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said it was ridiculous to forbid student organizations from deciding the standards that their own leaders must meet, and he said he was urging AFA supporters to contact the university's chancellor in protest.
Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Gains Popularity Weeks Before Elections
The first of Egypt's three-tiered elections is scheduled for November, with the increasing possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood will take charge, according to a report by Mission Network News. In January, 10 percent of people polled thought the Muslim Brotherhood would be fit to lead the country, compared with 50 percent today. Concerns for Christians are rising along with the popularity of the Brotherhood; a recent poll shows that 82 percent of Egyptians believe Muslim converts to Christianity should be killed, and 30,000 anti-Christian terrorist prisoners were recently released during the government collapse. Carl Moeller of Open Doors said, "Egyptians have had the tradition of setting the course for a large part of the intellectual direction of Islam;" if Egypt becomes more radical, chances are high that other nations may follow.
Cuba Prayer Retreat Being Watched by Police
In Havana, an evangelical pastor and 60 church members have locked themselves inside their church for the past three weeks, praying for a "new Cuba free of sin," WORLD News Service reports. The prayer retreat has caught the attention of the Cuban government and the world media, and church spokesman William Herrera said the group had been mistaken for a doomsday cult or a political demonstration because of the length of the retreat, which he said will end when God tells them to stop. Officials entered the church to make sure four pregnant women and 19 minors were healthy and not being held against their will. Cuba's Christian population is growing; out of the population of 11 million, there are more than 800,000 evangelicals in the country.
Publication date: September 28, 2011