Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 10, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 10, 2009

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

  • Death Toll Climbs in Islamic Attack in Nigeria
  • China False Evidence Accepted at Christian's Trial
  • Russian Orthodox Head Rejects Calls for Independent Church in Ukraine
  • Charities Wary of 'Cash for Clunkers'

Death Toll Climbs in Islamic Attack in Nigeria

Compass Direct News reports that 12 Christians, including three pastors, have been confirmed killed in rioting ignited by an Islamic sect, but that number may rise. "We are still taking inventory of how the crisis affected our members, but so far we have confirmed some of the Christians killed and churches burnt,” Samuel Salifu, national secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Compass. Rampaging members of the sect burned 20 churches before police captured and killed Boko Haram’s leader, Mohammed Yusuf. The chairman of the Borno state chapter of CAN, the Rev. Yuguda Zubabai Ndurvuwa, said many Christians abducted by Boku Haram extremists were yet to be found.

China: False Evidence Accepted at Christian's Trial

Mission News Network reports that a detained Uyghur Christian in China faced a trial stuffed with forged documents. The Kashi District Intermediate People's Court in Xinjiang openly used forged documents to accuse Alimujiang Yimiti of "revealing state secrets or intelligence to overseas organizations," saying they were under no obligation to prove the documents' validity. Yimiti's family was barred from the trial, where he was convicted with the falsified evidence. Only his two lawyers were allowed inside the courtroom. Yimiti's wife and two sons have seen him only once – en route to a police car – since he was detained 18 months ago. His family said they are disappointed that "such a wrongful case" proved "so difficult." The court has not yet handed down its verdict.

Russian Orthodox Head Rejects Calls for Independent Church in Ukraine

The Christian Post reports that Ukrainians will not easily establish a church independent of Moscow, despite thawing relationships with the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Kirill told Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko last Monday that a local church "already exists" under his headship. "But wounds have formed in this church," he acknowledged, according to The Associated Press, "and these wounds must be healed." Some churches in Ukraine have proclaimed themselves independent of Moscow, but the world's orthodox spiritual leader, Bartholomew I of Constantinople, has yet to speak clearly for either side. The request is part of Ukraine's ongoing efforts for cultural independence from Russia.

Charities Wary of 'Cash for Clunkers'

The Christian Post reports that the government's "cash for clunkers" initiative may further impact charities that accept cars as donations. "One man's clunker is another man's coat" said Ron Marlette, executive director of Mission Solano that operates a charitable car lot in Fairfield, Calif. His group accepts and then resells old cars to fund their mission to the homeless. "It is too early to know how much we will be hurt by the Cash for Clunkers program, but we know we can't compete with the government's checkbook," he said. "Our donations were already down due to the economy as people are driving their old cars longer or brokering a sale themselves. The Cash for Clunkers program could shut us down."