Religion Today Summaries - April 19, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 19, 2005

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

  • U.N. Ejects Minister After His Address on China's Religious Persecution 

  • India: Anti-Christian Sentiment Grows in Certain States 

  • Urban Christian Leaders Gather for NY Summit on Moral Values 

  • Pakistan

U.N. Ejects Minister After His Address on China's Religious Persecution
Allie Martin, Agape Press

An activist for China's persecuted Church says it appears the United Nations is more concerned with appeasing that country's communist government than with learning the truth about the persecution of Chinese Christians. China Aid Association president Bob Fu was recently asked to appear before the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The head of the Texas-based ministry spoke during an assembly on religious intolerance and introduced details of abuse by Chinese officials directed at members of unregistered house churches in China. During his address, Fu displayed an electric-shock baton that had been smuggled out of China. He explained that Chinese police used such devices to torture and interrogate Christians. But when the Christian minister showed the device and described its inhumane use, the U.N. ambassador from China reportedly registered a complaint, claiming the baton made the delegate "feel threatened." After his speech, Fu's U.N. badge and the baton were confiscated, and he was ordered to leave the U.N. complex. After being kicked out of the U.N. meeting, the China Aid Association spokesman contends, "It's safe to say that, at minimum," those behind his ejection from the United Nations meeting "care more about the largest human rights violators, in a word, than [they do about] the real human rights violations." Fu says Chinese government officials have demanded an apology from his ministry.

India: Anti-Christian Sentiment Grows in Certain States
Christian Aid Mission

As the number of Indian people choosing to follow Christ grows, so does the intensity of anti-Christian efforts. Christian Aid continues to receive reports, particularly from native ministry leaders in states where anti-conversion laws are implemented or in the works, of persecution and intimidation. Following the February 15 murder of a native gospel worker in Orissa state, missionaries have felt more strongly than ever their vulnerability. Laws meant to stop religious conversions by force or allurement, which extremists claim Christians use, require a potential convert to give local authorities 30 days' notice before officially converting. Leaders of religious groups must also submit a list of potential converts 30 days before any conversions take place. Some laws prohibit religious gatherings without prior permission. Those accused of breaking an anti-conversion law can be sentenced to up to two years in prison or given a $2175 fine. Curiously, Hindu groups in some of these states seem exempt from the laws. Though Rajasthan has not passed an anti- conversion law, a bill is currently being pushed forward in its state government. Despite such opposition, native gospel workers in these areas continue to preach Christ. At the beginning of this year, another ministry began a healthcare program in an Orissa city aimed at spreading Christ's love to 4000 of the city's poorest residents.

Urban Christian Leaders Gather for NY Summit on Moral Values
Ed Thomas and Jenni Parker, Agape Press

More than 125 Christian leaders from New York City and across the United States convened in the Big Apple last week to send a message about moral values to their political leaders. Bishop Harry Jackson and the High Impact Leadership Coalition held a New York City summit and press conference on marriage and other moral issues, calling attention to the voice of the values voters. The nonprofit Christian organization hopes to mobilize the ethnic Christian voters on behalf of biblically-based responses to the moral issues of the day, including homosexual "marriage" and abortion. High Impact spokesman Mike Paul says what they and their constituencies want their elected officials to know is, "if you are voting for gay marriage and against other moral values that we hold dear, then we will simply vote you out of office. And if you think that moral value issues were important in the 2004 election, you haven't seen anything yet." Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church near Washington, DC, is the founder and chairman of High Impact Leadership Coalition. He says the organization seeks to combine righteousness and justice from a biblical perspective in an effort to educate and empower people in urban areas across America on critical moral issues. The bishop contends that the Church must provide leadership in preserving America's moral compass and healing the nation.

Charisma News Service

A pastor was recently killed after reportedly being tortured. The bodies of Shamoun Babar, 37, and his driver, Daniel Emanuel, 36, were found on April 7 in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province, AsiaNews reported. According to the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), Babar and Emanuel were kidnapped on April 5, Assist News Service (ANS) reported. The investigation so far has led to the arrest of a man and woman, both accused of double homicide. Babar belonged to the Jesus Pan Gospel Church in Yousafabad, near Peshawar. Some family members told APMA that Babar had been receiving anonymous threats, asking him to stop church activities. APMA said the increasing number of attacks on believers is terrifying Pakistani Christians, ANS reported. On Easter Sunday, Islamic gunmen opened fire, killing one worshiper and severely injuring seven others during an attack on the Apostolic Church at Khamba near Lahore. (