Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 24, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 24, 2009

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

  • Agencies Work for Eradication on World Malaria Day
  • Sri Lanka: Refugees Still Caught in Humanitarian Crisis
  • North Korean Freedom Week Spotlights Human Rights Abuses
  • Rick Warren to Address Breakaway Anglicans


Agencies Work for Eradication on World Malaria Day

ASSIST News Service reports that at least 1 million people each year die of malaria -- and most of those deaths could be prevented. World Vision and other groups are pushing awareness for tomorrow's World Malaria Day, ramping up efforts against a disease that kills more children in developing countries than HIV/AIDS. "Malaria's toll is heavy in both lives and livelihoods," said Joe Mettimano, World Vision's vice president of advocacy. "It's a leading killer of Africa's next generation-children under 5-while it also undermines the economic prospects of those who survive." World Vision and the Against Malaria Foundation aim to provide 3 million mosquito bed nets to families in Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya and Mali over the next two years. The groups are pressing for increased anti-malaria funding, saying the number of preventable deaths from malaria should be zero by 2015.

Sri Lanka: Refugees Still Caught in Humanitarian Crisis

Mission News Network reports Sri Lanka's civil war seems close to an end, increasing the danger for civilians still trapped inside the war zone by Tamil Tigers rebels. The International Committee of the Red Cross now estimates about 50,000 people remain in the 5 sq. mile zone after, Reuters Alert Net reports. More than 100,000 escaped earlier this week after government forces blew a hole in the earthen wall Tamil Tigers built. Paul Estabrooks, minister-at-large with Open Doors, says,  "The challenge has been that the church of Sri Lanka is totally prepared to do humanitarian aid for these people, but it has not had the opportunity because it's a closed-off area by government forces." According to the Christian Post, Caritas Internationalis has appealed for $2.5 million to provide emergency relief to more than 100,000 people affect by the 25-year civil war.

North Korea Freedom Week Spotlights Human Rights Abuses

Christian Newswire reports that activists will meet in Washington, D.C., next week for North Korea Freedom Week. The country remains the No. 1 persecutor of Christians in the world, according to Open Doors' World Watch List, and its citizens face multiple humanitarian problems. Bang Mu Sun, a North Korean female defector who was sold three times in the sex-trafficking ring that flourishes on the Chinese-North Korea border, says female refugees are often "sold like pigs in China." Seoul Peace Prize Laureate Suzanne Scholte, who has been organizing North Korea Freedom Week since 2004, says "North Korean people are the most isolated, the most persecuted and the most suffering" in the world. The week's events include rallies, lobbying, Congressional hearings and a prayer vigil to raise awareness of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's abuses. This will be the largest-ever U.S. gathering of North Korean defectors and rights activists.

Rick Warren to Address Breakaway Anglicans

Christian Today reports that megachurch pastor Rick Warren is recognizing a new Anglican body in North America by speaking at the group's first official assembly in June. Other speakers at the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) assembly include Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America and the Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter of Anglican Mission in the Americas. The ACNA rivals the more theologically liberal Episcopal Church in American and Anglican Church of Canada. Warren has previously voiced support for groups breaking away from the Episcopal Church. "(Our) brothers and sisters here at St James in Newport Beach lost their California State Supreme Court case to keep their property," Warren wrote in a letter to Christianity Today in January. "We stand in solidarity with them, and with all orthodox, evangelical Anglicans."