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Religion Today Summaries - April 25, 2011

Religion Today Summaries - April 25, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • New Christian Convert from Islam Murdered in Somalia
  • Beijing Authorities Break Up Outdoor Easter Celebration
  • Americans Still Appreciate KJV, New Poll Finds
  • Utah Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Cross Memorials


New Christian Convert from Islam Murdered in Somalia

Compass Direct News reports that two Muslim extremists in Somalia murdered a member of a secret Christian community as part of a campaign to rid the country of Christianity, sources said. Christians said two al Shabaab militants shot 21-year-old Hassan Adawe Adan in Shalambod town after entering his house on April 18. “Two al-Shabaab members dragged him out of his house, and after 10 minutes they fired several shots on him,” said a source who requested anonymity. “He then died immediately.” The two militants then shouted “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” before fleeing, he said. Adan, unmarried and living with his Muslim family, was said to have secretly converted to Christianity several months ago. “This incident is making other converts live in extreme fear, as the militants always keep an open eye to anyone professing the Christian faith,” the source said.

Beijing Authorities Break Up Outdoor Easter Celebration

The showdown between Chinese Christians and authorities in Beijing continued on Easter Sunday, when dozens of would-be worshippers were arrested, according to Reuters. Members of Shouwang Church have attempted to meet outdoors for the past three weeks after the 1,000-member church was evicted from their meeting place and prevented from obtaining a new one. However, the leaders have no intention of pacifying authorities by ending services, according to WORLD News Service. Leaders said simply, “Sunday worship is the most basic necessity for Christians in their life of faith.” The church has refused to register with the sanctioned church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

Americans Still Appreciate KJV, New Poll Finds

LifeWay Research reports that, 400 years after it debuted as the first widely distributed Bible for the English-speaking world, the King James Version (KJV) still holds a place of distinction among Americans. A recent poll by LifeWay Research found that more than half of all American adults (62 percent) own a KJV Bible. Among those who read the Bible regularly the percentage of KJV owners is even higher. A full 82 percent of Americans who read the Bible at least once a month own a KJV. More than a quarter of adult Americans (27 percent) indicate they have never read the KJV for themselves. "Christians believe that God's Word is truth and that truth is conveyed through language," said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. "It is hard to overstate the influence of the KJV."

Utah Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Cross Memorials

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff wants the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold families' rights to place memorial crosses for fallen state troopers on state properties. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the 14 crosses honoring a trooper violated the Constitution's prohibition on establishment of religion, but a previous high court ruling found the crosses to be a non-religious display. “With two simple lines the highway crosses remind us of the ultimate sacrifice made by troopers while trying to protect us,” said Shurtleff, according to The Christian Post. “The crosses only establish a trooper died in the line of duty.” The American Atheists, Inc. filed the suit in 2005. Lt. Lee Perry, who helped spearhead the project, told Newsweek in 2007, "It was never our intent to do anything religious. It was strictly to honor their memory."