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Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 11, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 11, 2006

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

  • Pennsylvania Street Preachers Win Right to Witness in Public
  • Egypt Still Holding Christians Arrested in April Rioting
  • China: Pastor Evicted As Government Intervenes
  • Survey: Churchgoing Women also Struggle with Porn Addiction

Pennsylvania Street Preachers Win Right to Witness in Public

Two Pennsylvania preachers silenced by officials in one city have emerged victorious in a legal battle over free speech, AgapePress reports. The two Christians were barred from speaking in a public park last year after they were arrested during a pro-homosexual event known as "PrideFest 2005" in Harrisburg. At that time, both preachers were charged with "defiant trespass" and also with violating the city's noise ordinance for preaching on a sidewalk. The Alliance Defense Fund went to court on their behalf, filing suit against the city and arguing that the Christians' constitutional rights had been violated. As a result of the Harrisburg officials' capitulation, the street preachers were able to witness publicly during the 2006 "gay pride" event. The city representatives also signed the district court's order to guarantee that no further infringement of the Christians' rights would occur.

Egypt Still Holding Christians Arrested in April Rioting

Egypt has detained seven Christian men without charge since a fatal knife attack on churches here last April triggered two days of violence in the Mediterranean coastal city. Alexandrian Christians plan to sue the country’s Interior Ministry for the men’s release, as well as for compensation for Christian-owned shops and Orthodox churches that were damaged during the unrest, Compass Direct News reports. Hesham Azmy Iskender was among 101 Christians and Muslims who were originally detained. Over the following month, police released most of the prisoners. But they have continued to renew the imprisonment of Iskender and six other Christians, even after the prosecutor general issued orders for the release of all the detainees in May.

China: Pastor Evicted As Government Intervenes

A pastor in the Three-Self Church in Pinglu County, Shanxi Province was prohibited from preaching and forced to leave the church by the Chinese Religious Affairs Bureau, ASSIST News Service reports. According to the China Aid Association (CAA), the Pinglu Church invited a Hong Kong based American Pastor, Dennis Balcombe (Chinese name Bao Dening) -- who is strongly opposed by the local Religious Affairs Bureau -- to visit the church. CAA says the Religious Affairs Bureau came to Pinglu church the morning of July 6 to investigate the issue. They came to the church again that evening, to force Pastor Hu Qinghua to cancel the invitation. Their request was refused. On July 10, a group of officials arrived early in the morning; the elders were compelled to retract their invitation to Pastor Bao Dening in front of the church that afternoon. Ultimately, it was announced that Pastor Hu Qinghua must leave Pinglu Church. CAA says Pastor Hu Qinghua has left Pinglu at present, but he still tries to comfort and encourage the brothers and sisters in Linglu Church, by phone, to stand firm in the truth.

Survey: Churchgoing Women also Struggle with Porn Addiction

Responses from a recent poll indicated that sexually addictive behaviors are not foreign inside churches, and a large number of women in the pews struggle with the same temptations as men, The Christian Post reports. According to a poll by ChristiaNet.com and Second Glance Ministries, half of all Christian men are addicted to pornography. That may be nothing new, but the poll found 20 percent of all Christian women to be addicts to pornography. Additional findings showed 60 percent of the female respondents admitted to having significant struggles with lust, 40 percent admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year, and 20 percent of the church-going female participants struggled with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.