Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Northern Nigerian Christians Wary of New Muslim President
- Churches Preach Creation Care on Earth Day
- Ministry in the Aftermath -- VT's InterVarsity Chapter Preparing
- Plant-A-Cross Initiative Marks 400th Anniversary of First English Colonization
Northern Nigerian Christians Wary of New Muslim President
Christians fear that persecution especially in predominantly Islamic northern Nigeria will increase following the election on Saturday of Muslim Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president. As governor of Katsina state in northern Nigeria, Yar’Ardua imposed sharia (Islamic law) and presided over a system of deliberate denial of land for building churches, as well as government agencies that arbitrarily closed some churches, Christian leaders told Compass Direct News. Major political parties in Nigeria nominated only Muslims from the north as part of an unwritten agreement among leaders that the presidency would alternate between north and south. The Rev. Bulus Polit of the Evangelical Church of West Africa in Jos told Compass that between the two Muslim presidential candidates, Yar’Adua’s opponent was the more hard-line Muslim who would have presented greater problems to Christians in the country.
Churches Preach Creation Care on Earth Day
According to The Christian Post, the message preached to thousands at the Washington National Cathedral on Sunday highlighted the “deep trouble” that scientists say the earth is facing as human-generated greenhouse gases are threatening the ecosystem. “The Earth coming alive is really a miracle; but today we have to face the fact that miracle is terrifyingly fragile,” said the Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III. “We – you and I – are part of the problem,” said Lloyd, noting that the U.S. makes up only four percent of the world population but is producing 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. The Episcopal pastor also highlighted that a survey a couple of years ago indicated that the more religious a person was the less inclined they were to care about the earth. Joining Lloyd and congregation was the Rev. Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals’ vice president for governmental affairs, who has been a major leader in spearheading the global warming and creation care issue among evangelicals.
Ministry in the Aftermath -- VT's InterVarsity Chapter Preparing
A campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Virginia Tech says Christian groups are prepared to minister to thousands of hurting students as they return to the campus, OneNewsNow.com reports. Most of Virginia Tech's students went home after last Monday's mass shooting. As classes resumed Monday, InterVarsity's Robert Howe says campus ministries, area churches and local believers can play a key role in the healing process - something that has already begun for those students who stayed on campus. "Right now, people are asking a lot of questions," he points out. "...We want to give people time to [grieve and mourn]." IVCF is not planning any "huge events" at this time, Howe said. "We're just practicing the ministry of presence, being available, opening up our home for students to come over for a meal, for worship, just to pray, to talk."
Plant-A-Cross Initiative Marks 400th Anniversary of First English Colonization
It was April 29, 1607. After a four-month voyage at sea, a young Anglican chaplain, Robert Hunt, led a group ashore and planted a cross on what is now known as Cape Henry, Virginia, seeking God's blessing on the founding of a new nation. Now, as part of The Assembly 2007 - an event that has drawn support from top Christian leaders across the country - thousands will come to Virginia Beach to relive the historical moments of that day. Key Christian leaders who will participate include: Rev. Pat Robertson, Pastor John Hagee, Pastor Rod Parsley, and Rev. Marcus Lamb. The Assembly 2007 is hosted by Rock Church International (Virginia Beach, VA) under the leadership of Bishop John Gimenez and Pastor Anne Gimenez. "Dedication Sunday" is Sunday, April 29th from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the shores of Virginia Beach at the 20th Street Oceanfront. There will be a historic re-enactment in costume of the First Landing event, followed by a time of thanksgiving and prayer for God's blessings on America. The event is free and open to the public.