Religion Today Summaries, April 12, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, April 12, 2004

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

  • Muslim Fanatics in Nigeria Burn Down 10 Churches
  • Outreach Group Plans to Take a Stand for the Ten Commandments
  • Pastor in Pakistan Killed after Watching 'Jesus' Film
  • Christ for the Nations Co-Founder, 90, Not Slowing Down

Muslim Fanatics in Nigeria Burn Down 10 Churches
Obed Minchakpu, Compass Direct

Muslim fanatics burned down 10 Christian churches in the town of Makarfi in the northern state of Kaduna, Nigeria, on Saturday. Claims that a mentally retarded Christian teenager desecrated the Quran, the Muslim holy book, apparently incited the attack. Although officials initially reported no casualties in the incident, eyewitnesses saw trucks piled with bodies of dead Christians from Makarfi being taken away for burial by police in nearby Kaduna. The violence also provoked the displacement of hundreds of other Christians from the town. At a press conference on Monday, leaders of the Kaduna chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) confirmed the killings in Makarfi. "It is our conclusion that Muslim leaders are deliberately using fanatics in the name of Islam to engage in periodic attacks on Christians with the sole aim to intimidate, terrorize and force Christians into submission and to denounce their faith," CAN vice-chairman Dr. Sam Kujiyat said.

Outreach Group Plans to Take a Stand for the Ten Commandments
Agape Press

A non-denominational outreach group in South Carolina has initiated a three-pronged approach that Americans can use to take a stand for the Ten Commandments and express their concern about what the group describes as the "rapid disintegration of America's moral fiber."  The S.O.S. Project is encouraging the nation's churches, ministries, and businesses to once again teach, embrace, and post the Ten Commandments.  The group is launching an 11-week project it believes can bring the Decalogue to the forefront of the nation's awareness and understanding.  S.O.S. is suggesting first that churches, ministries, and businesses post a commandment on a sign or strategic location in a building.  The lay outreach group then encourages individuals to teach the Commandments over the 11-week period so that Americans, young and old, are reminded of the principles from which America's laws and social order were derived.  And finally, of course, citizens are urged to put forth a concerted effort, through prayer, asking God to turn the moral tide of the country.  "Ask Him to speak to the hearts of passersby so that as they see the commandments displayed they will feel the need to turn their hearts toward God," the group says in a printed release.  The S.O.S. project is slated to begin on April 19 and end on Independence Day.

Pastor in Pakistan Killed after Watching "Jesus" Film
Stefan Bos, ASSIST News Service

The pastor of a small church in Pakistan was killed near Lahore after watching the world famous film "JESUS" with his wife and four children, Christian broadcaster Mission Network News (MNN) reported Friday, April 9. MNN quoted the Voice of the Martyrs as saying that the attack happened last week, April 2, when Pastor George Masih's, wife Aniata opened the door to go outside after the movie finished. "Two masked attackers burst in, one grabbed Aniata while the other shot George in the face and then hit him with the butt of the gun," MNN said. "Masih had been a Christian for seven years and was active in ministering for the Lord" as pastor of a small church in Manawala, near Lahore. He began the church two years ago in Manawala, which "drew the anger of a Muslim neighbor." The neighbor reportedly urged the landlord to evict the Masih family and had threatened to kill Masih if he continued preaching. It was not clear if any suspects have been arrested. Aniata has urged Christians around the world to pray for her family. There have been several deadly attacks against the Christian minority throughout Pakistan as well as foreign missionary workers. Muslim militants have often linked them to America and its ongoing war on terrorism.

Christ for the Nations Co-Founder, 90, Not Slowing Down
Charisma News Service

Freda Lindsay celebrates her 90th birthday this month, but the leader of an international Bible-training organization shows no signs of stopping. Lindsay is still deeply involved in the ministry activities at Dallas-based Christ for the Nations Institute (CFNI), which she founded with her late husband, Gordon.  The two-year Bible school has trained more than 28,000 students in the last 34 years, and has established 44 associate Bible schools in such nations as Germany, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, Brazil, Japan and India. Lindsay has served as president of the international ministry since the death of her husband in 1973. Her passion remains training young believers from around the world. Each year, CFNI has about 200 international students, 50 of whom are on scholarship. They are required to sign an agreement saying they will go back to their country to minister in their own nations. Today, CFNI reaches 120 nations, has helped build more than 11,230 native churches, has distributed more than 60 million books in 82 languages, and provides shipments of food, clothing and medical aid to nations in need. Still, Lindsay would like to see God do more. A few years ago, she said she gave the Lord a list of things she would like to see come to pass in her final days. Among these, she hopes to complete a World Missions Training Center and build a new Bible school in Vancouver.