Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 19, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - June 19, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory in Egypt Elections
  • Islamists Bomb Three Churches in Kaduna State, Nigeria
  • Democrat Running for Congress Honors Women Who've Had Abortions
  • Indonesia: Two Evangelists Arrested and Beaten


Muslim Brotherhood Claims Victory in Egypt Elections

The Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential elections this weekend, though the official results won't be published until Thursday, CBN News reports. However, Egypt's ruling military council took steps to keep control of the country whether Morsi or his opponent, former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, wins the election. On Sunday, the military rulers issued a temporary constitution and gave themselves control over the legislature, the budget and who will draft the new constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood accused the military of mounting a coup and warned that it did not recognize the dissolution of parliament or the military's interim constitution -- pointing to a potential power struggle between the Brotherhood and the military. "If the president will be a Muslim Brotherhood, there will be a clash between the army and the president," said Zvi Mazel, former Israeli ambassador to Egypt. "So wherever you look, no matter what angle you look there are problems -- very important problems, very heavy problems legally and politically. The first objective of the Muslim Brothers is to have more missiles, more equipment, and more weapons against Israel." Mazel also warned that the Brotherhood's goals spread far beyond Egypt: "They want one and only one thing: to make Egypt Islamic and then to go into all the other countries and to make a kind of caliphate and even go to the United States and Europe."

Islamists Bomb Three Churches in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Suspected Islamic extremists bombed three churches in Kaduna state June 17, the third consecutive Sunday that worship services in Nigeria have ended in lethal bloodshed, Compass Direct News reports. In Zaria, a suicide bomber crashed a car into a barricade at an Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) church around 9 a.m., setting off explosives that killed at least 24 people and wounded 125, according to one unconfirmed report citing an anonymous state official. A few minutes later, suspected Islamic extremists set off explosives at Christ the King Catholic Church in Zaria. An eyewitness said at at least 10 corpses were removed from the cathedral, with dozens of people injured, many critically. A short while later, a Pentecostal congregation called Shalom Church in Kaduna city was bombed, killing at least 10. Retaliatory attacks reportedly killed several others. Andrew Gani-Ikilami, executive director of the Wusasa Business School in Zaria, and Dr. Taylor Adeyemi, medical director at St. Luke's (Anglican) Hospital Wusasa in Zaria, confirmed that many of the victims arriving at the hospital were children. The attacks are believed to have been carried out by the Islamict sect Boko Haram, which took responsibility for similar attacks in Plateau and Borno states on June 10 and in Bauchi state on June 3.

Democrat Running for Congress Honors Women Who've Had Abortions

A Democratic congressional candidate called for attendees at a progressivist conference to exercise "cultural power" by proudly touting past abortions, and urged post-abortive women in the audience to stand and be recognized, reports. Darcy Burner, who is running for a seat in the House of Representatives for Washington state's first district, was the opening speaker for an afternoon session of Netroots Nation, a convention for liberal activists held last week in Rhode Island. The session was titled "The War on Women" and the theme of Burner's talk was "Going on the Offense." She said, "If you are a woman in this room -- and statistically this is true for about one-third of the women in this room -- if you're a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up." Conservative blogger Melissa Clouthier, who was in attendance, said the number of women who stood was "difficult to estimate" but that they were "sprinkled throughout the room." Burner went on to say, "We can exercise cultural power and have women come out of the closet, cast off the shame and the embarrassment that the Right would like to put upon us, and stand up tall for the choices that we make."

Indonesia: Two Evangelists Arrested and Beaten

Two evangelists were arrested and beaten after meeting with a Muslim woman on Indonesia's Sumatra island, Voice of the Martyrs reports. The evangelists, Roy and Ribur, were accused of coercing the woman, from a Muslim-majority area, to be baptized. The pair had met with her previously and asked her to join their church, then were invited to her home on May 28 for further discussion. But when the evangelists mentioned Jesus Christ, the woman appeared confused and went outside to talk to her neighbor. She eventually went to the village head to report that there were Christians in the village. Roy and Ribur were brought before the village head, who confiscated their bags containing gospel tracts, a list of new believers and a water bottle that was believed to be used for baptisms. News of the "forced baptism" quickly spread, and a mob that had gathered outside the village leader's office began to beat Roy and Ribur. Police intervened and arrested the two evangelists.

Publication date: June 19, 2012