Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 27, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 27, 2008

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

  • Orissa: Hindu Mob Attacks Christian Orphanage
  • Young Adults Struggle More with Morality, Survey Finds
  • India: Many Dead, Homeless as Monsoon Hits
  • Malaysia: Government Issues Demand to Catholic Newspaper

Orissa: Hindu Mob Attacks Christian Orphanage

Christian Post reports that the deadly attacks on Christians following the killing of a radical Hindu leader are becoming a "rampage" in India's Orissa state. Christians are literally "running for their lives," says one missionary. A Hindu mob burned down a Christian orphanage on Monday, seriously injuring a priest and killing one woman. The mob removed the children from the orphanage but trapped the 21-year-old woman inside before torching the building. Gospel for Asia reports that at least one of missionaries was attacked, but rescued by police. Radical Hindu leader Swami Laxmananand Saraswati was killed by suspected Maoists or communist rebels, but Christians are being blamed. The Bishop of Sambalpur Lucas Kerketta told the Hindustan Times, “We are afraid to move out. Some Christians staying in institutions or bungalows are hiding in jungles or villages. We have two to three policemen, and they can’t control a big crowd... we have asked for more security.”

Young Adults Struggle More with Morality, Survey Finds

The Christian Post reports that new study from the Barna Group finds that Americans are talking about moral issues more and more, and that talk is redefining acceptable action, especially for young adults. Adults under 25 are more than twice as likely to cross traditional standards, according to the survey. “The moral code began to disintegrate when the generation before them - the Baby Busters - pushed the limits that had been challenged by their parents - the Baby Boomers,” director George Barna noted. “The result is that without much fanfare or visible leadership, the U.S. has created a moral system based on convenience, feelings, and selfishness.” More than 1,000 adults surveyed were asked if they had engaged in any of eight morally questionable behaviors over the past week, such as lying, using profanity in public, and having sex with someone to whom they were not married.

India: Many Dead, Homeless as Monsoon Hits

Mission News Network reports that at least 1,060 people in India have died as monsoon season hits. Brent Hample with India Partners says their ministry partners have also suffered. "Nearly 70 villages have been marooned by floods and have been completely cut off. Houses collapsed, and that's how a lot of people perish in the flooding--when the mud walls of the thatched huts collapse on people and the weight pins them under the water." People fear disease may take hold as they are without food and clean water in the flooding, which is worst flooding in 10 years. According to Hample, India Partners is working to provide shelter, food, clean water and medical care.

Malaysia: Government Issues Demand to Catholic Newspaper

Compass Direct News reports that the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a warning to a Catholic weekly demanding an explanation for articles that did not “focus” on religion and for a report that allegedly degraded Islam entitled, “America and Jihad – where do they stand?” Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, revealed on August 10 that the ministry had issued the “show-cause” letter accusing the newspaper of breaking publication rules on July 16. The ministry’s letter reportedly warned that it “would not hesitate to take sterner action” if the Herald repeats its alleged offenses. According to The Associated Press, an unnamed ministry official on August 11 said the Herald must explain satisfactorily why it ran the articles and pledge to stick by the rules or risk suspension. Fr. Andrew told Compass the letter did not specify exactly what the “sterner actions” would be.