Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 27, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 27, 2009

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

  • 'Bible Across America' Effort Still Ongoing
  • U.S. House Committee Mulls North Korea Sanctions Bill
  • Egypt: Convert Arrested for Marrying Christian
  • Pakistan: Taliban Invade Towns Neighboring Swat Valley

'Bible Across America' Effort Still Ongoing

The Christian Post reports that the "Bible Across America" tour is in its final stages, collecting the last of 31,173 verses people handwrote for the Bible. “The road tour has ended but we are still collecting verses in Michigan,” Bible Across America spokeswoman Tara Powers. “We have about 7,000 to go and have lots of events planned over the next several weeks,” Powers reported. “We expect to have all verses collected by June 1 in order to have the published Bible in stores late fall/early winter.” The tour began as a 30-year anniversary celebration for the bestselling NIV Bible, and has covered more than 19,000 miles of the United States while collecting handwritten verses from Christians across the nation.

U.S. House Committee Mulls North Korea Sanctions Bill

Mission News Network reports that a bill elevating the importance of human rights and religious freedom in North Korea has been introduced in Congress. The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, would impose sanctions against the communist country as a response to its nuclear program and its human rights abuses. The bill's introduction
coincides with North Korea Freedom Week activities in Washington, D.C., this week. "Open Doors estimates that one in four of every North Korean Christian is in a political prison camp," said Lindsay Vessey of Open Doors. "They have absolutely no religious freedom. North Korean Christians have to worship in underground churches," she said. "A country who's not willing to treat its own people well is not trustworthy to negotiate on a nuclear issue."

Egypt: Convert Arrested for Marrying Christian

Compass Direct News reports that Christian convert Raheal Henen Mussa and her Coptic husband are hiding from police and her Muslim family for violating an article of Islamic law (sharia) that doesn’t exist in the Egyptian penal code. Police arrested Mussa, 22, on April 13 for marrying Sarwat George Ryiad in a customary marriage, an unregistered form of matrimony in Egypt made without witnesses. Mussa’s family took her from police custody on Sunday (April 19), but she escaped from them on Tuesday (April 21). She and her husband fled Cairo and are in hiding. According to a strict interpretation of sharia, Muslim women are not permitted to marry non-Muslim men, although the opposite is allowed, and Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution stipulates that sharia is the basis for legislation.

Pakistan: Taliban Invade Towns Neighboring Swat Valley

Human rights watchdog International Christian Concern has learned that the Taliban, emboldened by their success in Swat Valley and advance near Islamabad, have attacked a Christian neighborhood and executed two residents after Christians held a rally protesting graffiti ordering them to convert to Islam or die. ASSIST News Service reports that Christians staged a protest the next day, hoping to attract government attention and protection, but received no official response. That evening, however, more than 100 masked extremists invaded Taseer Town with automatic rifles, looting some homes and burning others. Reports also indicate physical and sexual assault. Two Christians who resisted who publicly executed by the extremists. Police have arrested seven of the Taliban militants involved in the attack. However, they are unsure who was behind the incident.