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Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 13, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 13, 2009

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Rioters Attacks Christian Shops after Muslim Murdered
  • Falwell's Megachurch Merges with Global Charity
  • Ministry Helps Those Dealing with Binghamton Shooting Spree
  • Vandals Damage Ill. Church Where Pastor Was Slain



Rioters Attacks Christian Shops after Muslim Murdered

ASSIST News Service reports that hundreds of Muslims attacked Christian shops and a police station in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on Apr. 5, following rumors that a Muslim man was stabbed and killed by his Christian landlords. The trouble started when many Muslims gathered at a mosque for funeral prayers for the dead man, Abdel Razeq Gomaa. They then started to chant “They’ll die, they’ll die.” Three Christian brothers were accused of murdering the Muslim man, as Gomaa had been previously injured in an earlier fight with the men. All three have been detained in connection with Gomaa's death. The situation is a mirror image of a 2006 incident, in which a Muslim killed a Christian, leading to three days of Christian-Muslim violence in Alexandria.

Falwell's Megachurch Merges with Global Charity

Christian Post reports that one charity and one megachurch are forming a unique partnership -- actually, a merger. Gleaning for the World, a little-known but highly effective supplier for humanitarian projects, will merge with the 22,000 member Thomas Road Baptist Church, founded by the late Jerry Falwell. Both groups are based in Lynchburg, Va. "We expect to double the organization and supplies we're placing in the field," said Davidson, who left his position as pastor of a 1,200-member church to start GFTW in 1998. "That's what this merger means to us. We're simply going to reach a lot more people." Both sides said they hope the move generates more awareness, enthusiasm and support of the charity. Last year, the group "gleaned" $42 million in medical and essential supplies to distribute worldwide.

Ministry Helps Those Dealing with Binghamton Shooting Spree

Baptist Press reports that in the aftermath of a shooting spree at an immigrant center in Binghamton, N.Y., one ministry has opened its doors to offer free counseling. "Basically we're just trying to be a listening ear for people," said Rick Martin, director of the Carroll Street Ministry Center in Binghamton. "I feel like the fellow that did the shooting was far too long alone in his thoughts and pain. Maybe people weren't reaching out to him, and certainly he wasn't reaching out to others." Jiverly Wong invaded the American Civic Association April 3 during citizenship classes and killed two employees and 11 immigrants taking an English class before killing himself. "The main thing I hear people say is, 'I did not think this kind of thing would happen here.' Also the question I hear regularly is 'Why?'" Martin says several people have been open to the Gospel as he talks with them.

Vandals Damage Ill. Church Where Pastor Was Slain

The Chicago Tribune reports that two churches in southwestern Illinois were vandalized this week, one of them being Maryville First Baptist Church. The church's pastor, Fred Winters, was shot and killed during a service just over a month ago. Maryville Police Chief Rich Schardan says someone broke three glass doors and a window at First Baptist Church with rocks, but the incident appears unrelated to the shooting. Prosecutors have charged 27-year-old Terry Sedlacek with first-degree murder in the March case. He's jailed without bond in Edwardsville. Winters “was on fire for the Lord. He only worried about people who were lost,” Jeff Ross, a lay pastor as the church, said after Winters' death.