Religion Today Summaries - April 24, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 24, 2006

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

  • Anti-Missionary ‘Witch-hunt’ Haunts City in Eastern Turkey
  • Pastors Arrested for ‘Fraudulent Conversion’ in India
  • 'Tiktaalik' Simply Shows God's Divine Design, says Ken Ham
  • Massive Arrest of Church Leaders Including Americans in Yunnan Province

Anti-Missionary ‘Witch-hunt’ Haunts City in Eastern Turkey

Fanned by local media and a Muslim mufti, an anti-missionary “witch-hunt” targeting Christians in the Turkey’s eastern city of Bingol left a Muslim woman beaten in her tailor shop last month while police allowed her attacker to walk free. Guler Morsumbul has not yet found a lawyer willing to represent her in court against the man who attacked her six weeks ago, supposedly for “Christianizing” his daughter. A relative says many others have suffered from a growing climate of fear since reports of missionary activity first appeared in a national newspaper three years ago. “Whoever has a grudge against someone else, whoever wants to destroy someone’s business, simply calls the other person a Christian,” the relative said.

Pastors Arrested for ‘Fraudulent Conversion’ in India

Police backed by Hindu extremists arrested Avinash Lal, an independent Pentecostal pastor from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh state, and six other Christian leaders last night (April 18) on charges on “fraudulent conversion.” They were released on bail at midnight, charged with conversion by allurement and illegal religious gatherings. Madhya Pradesh police burst into the pastor’s home around 8:30 p.m. When Pastor Lal tried telephoning  for help, activists from the extremist Bajrang Dal grabbed his mobile phone. “Police barged into our house, and in loud and threatening voices, they shouted abuses and began pounding the furniture with their batons,” Pastor Lal told Compass. “They slapped me while another policeman grabbed [another Christian leader] by his ears – all the while we could hear the loud ranting of the Bajrang Dal fundamentalists outside.”

Tiktaalik Simply Shows God's Divine Design, says Ken Ham

According to an AgapePress story, the founder of a Christian apologetics ministry says a so-called "missing link" found in the Canadian arctic doesn't prove that land animals evolved from fish, despite reports in the secular press. Earlier this month Scientists said fossil of the lobe-fin fish Tiktaalik also had characteristics that made it a predecessor of amphibians, reptiles, and dinosaurs, revealing "significant new information about how the water-to-land evolution took place," the AP reported. Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, says Tiktaalik does not show a transitional form of animal as evolutionists claim. "What you find is that God has used optimum features in different creatures." Ham says the fossil is just another example of God's divine design. "They're saying that it was evolving legs. But, you know, you've got a shallow water fish here, like the lungfish," says Ham, "and they have the strength in their fins. The lobe fins' bones give them some strength so they can crawl along the mud. I mean, so what? That's not a transitional form. That's a fish designed to do what it does do in shallow water." Ham adds that if evolution were true, there would be millions of fossils representing transitional forms of animals.

Massive Arrest of Church Leaders Including Americans in Yunnan Province

A story from ASSIST News Service states that on the eve of the visit to the White House of Chinese President Hu Jintao, China Aid Association has issued a news release saying that seven foreign evangelical church leaders including five Americans and two Taiwanese were interrogated for five hours on March 23, 2006. “At 9:30am, March 23, 2006, over 120 security officers from five different government agencies raided a conference building in the suburb of Kunming City, the capital of Yunnan Province. The government officers and military police came in two buses and 10 police cars,” said the release from the Midland, Texas, organization. “Eighty Chinese house church leaders from 20 provinces were attending a fellowship meeting with Christian leaders from America. These 80 leaders represent 25 Chinese minority groups. The five Americans are from churches in Greensboro North Carolina. Among them two are white Americans and three are Chinese Americans. Since the two white American pastors are still inside China and some of the released Chinese pastors are still monitored by the Chinese security agents, their names are not available to the public according to one of the arrested pastors who came back to his home in the US. CAA learned this raid was directly orchestrated by the director of the Public Security Bureau of Yunnan Province and carried out jointly by the officers from the provincial public security, national security, foreign affairs office, religious affairs bureau and military police officers."