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Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 12, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - September 12, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Americans Mark 9/11 Anniversary in Different Ways
  • Obama Will Not Meet with Netanyahu During Israeli PM's Visit to New York
  • Protesters Storm U.S. Embassy in Cairo
  • Church Demolished by Russian Government Gathers Among Ruins


Americans Mark 9/11 Anniversary in Different Ways

According to a Pew Research Center survey taken in August 2011, almost every American adult remembers what he or she was doing when news of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks spread, and three-quarters say they were affected a great deal emotionally. Yesterday, the way Americans lived out the 11th anniversary varied greatly, USA Today reports. The American Pulse Survey found that half of Americans said they would observe the day in an informal way, and 12 percent did it in a formal manner. Families of the nearly 3,000 victims gathered for memorial services at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa., while other Americans attended local tributes, watched the reading of the victims' names on TV or did volunteer work, which has become linked to the anniversary. For others, however, the day went on just like any other Tuesday: about 30 percent of Americans said they would not do anything different, and 8 percent said they didn't have an opinion. The American Pulse Survey also found that nearly 70 percent of Americans said they somewhat or strongly agreed with the statement "I have moved on from [the events of] Sept. 11." Media attention to September 11 has already waned, says Marywood College sociology professor Brian Monahan, who has researched coverage of the attacks. "Last year, you couldn't avoid it," he said. "This year, you have to go out of your way to find it."

Obama Will Not Meet with Netanyahu During Israeli PM's Visit to New York

President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visits the United States later this month for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, the Jerusalem Post reports. The White House said Obama would not be in New York during the three-day period Netanyahu is visiting, and noted that the president was in the middle of an election campaign. The prime minister's office said Netanyahu would be willing to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet Obama, but the White House said it didn't think that would be possible. Netanyahu has met with Obama on all his U.S. trips since 2009, but tension between Jerusalem and Washington over Iran soared earlier Tuesday when Netanyahu said those who did not place "red lines" in front of Iran had no moral right to put a "red light" in front of Israel when it came to military action. There are continuing speculations if and when Israel will strike against the Iranian nuclear threat, with some terrorism experts suspecting an attack could come as early as this fall.

Protesters Storm U.S. Embassy in Cairo

On the 11th anniversary of September 11, angry protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and hauled down its American flags, replacing them with black flags with Islamic emblems, CNN reports. The replacement flag read, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger," and protesters chanted anti-American slogans and held up bits of a shredded American flag to TV camera crews in front of the embassy. The incident prompted warning shots to be fired as a large crowd gathered outside, apparently upset about the production of a Dutch film thought to insult the prophet Mohammed, according to CNN producer Mohammed Fahmy, who was on the scene. An embassy operator said the facility had been cleared of diplomatic personnel ahead of the apparent threat, and Egyptian riot police were called to help secure the area. The U.S. Embassy said in a statement Tuesday that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

Church Demolished by Russian Government Gathers Among Ruins

Members of a Russian evangelical church in Moscow that the government demolished last week gathered to pray early Sunday morning among the ruins of their once-standing church, CBN News reports. More than 200 worshippers from Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church listened to pastor Vasily Romanyuke preach, and also prayed for the country's authorities. Several banners were hung on the remains of the church structure, including one that read, "The building demolished -- Church is ALIVE." Just after midnight on Sept. 6, a demolition crew accompanied by police began tearing down the church, and by morning almost the entire three-story building was destroyed. The sudden destruction -- which was apparently court-ordered -- left human rights groups and church members shocked. One church member explained that the Russian government was "forcibly" relocating churches, giving them land in more remote areas to build new buildings. Holy Trinity is among many evangelical churches kicked out of Moscow in recent months, which many Christian leaders fear is an indication of fading religious freedom in Russia.

Publication date: September 12, 2012