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Religion Today Summaries - April 20, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 20, 2010

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Egypt: Teen Convert Subjected to Acid Attack
  • Haiti Drops Charges against Nine Baptists
  • NCAA Bans Eye Black with Messages
  • Francis Chan Resigns from Church to Step Out in Faith

Egypt: Teen Convert Subjected to Acid Attack

ASSIST News Service reports that Dina el-Gowhary, a 15-year-old Egyptian girl who converted to Christianity, has been subjected to a failed acid attack. The incident is the latest attempt by Muslim fanatics against her and her father, 57-year-old Peter Athanasius (Maher el-Gowhary), who converted to Christianity 35 years ago. Multiple fatwas calling for the "spillingof his blood" have been issued for el-Gowhary. He and his daughter have moved hiding places every few weeks to avoid attack. Dina said that three weeks ago, as she ventured out from their hiding place in Alexandria with her father to get some bottled water, her jacket was set on fire due to acid being thrown at her. "My father quickly took my jacket off before the fire reached my arms," she said. "Ever since then I am terrorized to go out in the street, with or without my father."

Haiti Drops Charges against Nine Baptists

Baptist Press reports that the charges against nine of 10 Baptist volunteers who were jailed in Haiti but are now free have been dropped, according to multiple reports. Kyle Hines, a spokesman for Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, told CNN he had been told by the U.S. State Department that the charges of child kidnapping were dropped. One of the 10 volunteers, Laura Silsby, remains in jail. "The senator is pleased to hear that the charges have been dropped and is looking forward to the situation being resolved," Hines said. When eight of the volunteers were released Feb. 17 and allowed to fly back to the United States, charges were still pending. That was also the case when a ninth volunteer, Charisa Coulter, was released March 8. The 10 volunteers were arrested Jan. 30. They had planned on taking 33 children across the border to an orphanage being started in the Dominican Republic.

NCAA Bans Eye Black with Messages

Religion News Service reports that the National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned the use of eye black with messages. The practice was used prominently by former University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow to display Bible verses. The NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a policy Wednesday (April 14) that players cannot place symbols or messages on the black strips under their eyes, which are used to reduce glare from the sun. The association denied that the rule was influenced by Tebow's biblical messages. "When this rule was proposed the committee did not focus on any one team or student athlete," said Cameron Schuh, a spokesman for the NCAA. "That measure reinforces what the intended use of eye black is, which is to shade the eyes from the sun."

Francis Chan Resigns from Church to Step Out in Faith

In an video interview with Catalyst, Pastor Francis Chan said he will be stepping away from Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Cali. Chan announced the news to his church on Sunday, after telling the elders several weeks ago. Chan called the decision part of a "crazy time in my life" where he felt God's calling to somewhere else. Chan has served as senior pastor of Cornerstone Church for 16 years, and says he sensed that God calling him to step out in faith. "I've been sensing this calling for a while, that the Lord wants me to do something different. I don't even know what it is," he said. "I would be a hypocrite if I didn't go," he added.