Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 28, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 28, 2007

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

  • Billy Graham Continues to Show Progress
  • Hindu Extremists Target Christian Dalits
  • Gospel for Asia Helping India Flood Victims
  • Several Christian Lawyers Join All Pakistan Minorities Alliance

Billy Graham Continues to Show Progress

ASSIST News Service reports that Billy Graham, who is hospitalized for treatment of intestinal bleeding, continues to show progress, his staff reported Sunday, August 26. “His appetite is excellent and he resumed a normal diet at noon, enjoying a mid-day Sunday dinner after watching his favorite worship service on television,” said a spokesperson for Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville, NC, near his mountain home in Montreat, where he is being treated. “This afternoon he has visited with family and taken several walks, including the longest one since he was hospitalized. He will continue to undergo physical therapy to build strength and condition him in preparation for going home.” Mr. Graham was admitted to the hospital early on Saturday, August 18 with intestinal bleeding, which subsequently recurred two times. He underwent a diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy on Wednesday evening, during which his physician identified and treated a lesion in the colon. He has not had clinical evidence of bleeding since the therapeutic intervention. Mr. Graham, 88, remains under close observation for the next several days as he continues to recover. He is listed in fair condition. No date has been set for his discharge.

Hindu Extremists Target Christian Dalits

Compass Direct News reports that an attack on a Christian hospital during its program for Dalits in Uttar Pradesh state highlights Hindu extremists’ main objection to Christian work: conversion of people who were once called “untouchables.” The mob of about 100 people on August 17 barged into the compound of the Kachhwa Christian Hospital (KCH) in the Kachhwa Bazaar area of Mirzapur district and struck those leading the program, as well as the Dalit students and parents, according to the Evangelical Fellowship of India. The mob was said to be led by extremists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The previous day, about 20 extremists had intruded into the hospital compound and warned Dr. Raju Abraham, chief surgeon at KCH, that he would be killed if he continued with the program for Dalits. Because conversion of Dalits in most instances happens en masse, Hindu nationalists are deeply concerned that Christian work could bring a change in religious demographics.

Gospel for Asia Helping India Flood Victims

Missionaries with Gospel for Asia are assisting many who have been driven from their homes as a result of monsoons throughout India, according to a report. Record monsoons have caused the worst flooding to hit India in years, leaving a reported 28 million homeless and claiming more than 2,000 lives. GFA founder and president K.P. Yohannon grew up with monsoons, "but this exceeds even last year's floods in terms of the number of victims -- and we don't even have the final numbers yet." GFA Missionaries are on site, providing rice and beans, cooking utensils, kerosene, and other items to flood victims. GFA's Chris Brewer says conditions are extreme in flood-stricken areas.

Several Christian Lawyers Join All Pakistan Minorities Alliance

Pledging their support to the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), several Christian lawyers have joined the alliance’s Lawyers’ Wing to provide free legal assistance to the minority people of the country, ASSIST News Service reports. The APMA held a press conference where Wing Coordinator Chaudhry Azra Shujaat welcomed the Christian lawyers into the APMA lawyers’ wing. He said the APMA was setting up free legal aid cells in every district of Pakistan to provide legal assistance to the victims of religious discrimination and to those whose “human rights have been abused.” APMA lawyers’ teams, he said, had been formed to help achieve the said goal. He told journalists that APMA will challenge “discriminatory” and “unjust” laws in the country’s superior courts.