Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 8, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 8, 2006

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

  • Hezbollah Guilty of War Crimes, Says Christian Activist
  • Evangelical Leaders Urge Prayers for Sri Lanka amid Conflict, Slayings
  • Christian Stone Mason Beaten for Drinking Water from Public Facility
  • Top College Profs Say Biblical Literacy Essential

Hezbollah Guilty of War Crimes, Says Christian Activist

AgapePress reports a Christian human-rights advocate says there's ample evidence that the terrorist group Hezbollah is deliberately putting Christians in harm's way in Lebanon because they refused to go along with the group's anti-Israel agenda. Dr. Keith Roderick of Christian Solidarity International (CSI) says Hezbollah is using Christian villages as staging areas for its rocket attacks against Israel. He says one Christian told him Hezbollah set up a launcher on the roof of his home. "And they ignored him and launched the rocket," says the CSI spokesman. "So he went down as quickly as possible and gathered his family and fled to his cousin's home, which is some distance from there." Fifteen minutes later, he says, the man's house was bombed and destroyed. The tactic of using civilians and their property in this fashion, says Roderick, is in direct violation of international law.

Evangelical Leaders Urge Prayers for Sri Lanka amid Conflict, Slayings

The head of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has made an appeal urging the Christian community to keep the war-torn island nation of Sri Lanka in its prayers, The Christian Post reports. “Please pray for this country and for the Christians who risk their lives to reach and care for those caught in this civil conflict,” stated Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the evangelical network of churches, in a released statement. "While the world’s attention is fixed on the equally tragic events in the Mideast, little media coverage is given to the Sri Lankan civil war that is taking scores of innocent lives and displacing thousands of people in the island country.” In a report from the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, General Secretary Godfrey Yogarajah described the suffering of the people: ”The war has started once more in Sri Lanka. There is heavy fighting going on. Every day civilians are caught in the crossfire and are dying in great numbers. Thousands of civilians are displaced. Our staff is working night and day to send supplies, relief aid and medicines to the war affected areas.”

Christian Stone Mason Beaten for Drinking Water from Public Facility

According to an ASSIST News Service story, a Christian stone mason received critical injuries, including dislocation of his shoulder, after he was seen drinking water from a public facility by a Muslim man on June 6 (Tuesday) just outside the eastern city of Lahore, the Pakistan Christian Post (PCP) has reported. Nasir Ashraf, the Christian mason was working at the construction site of a school. The trouble for him began while he was returning to the site. Confronting him with anger the Muslim man asked him as to why he drank water from the public facility by using a glass that was placed at the water tank. "Why did you drink water from this glass since you are a Christian?” the PCP quoted the Muslim man as asking Nasir. “The man accused the mason of polluting the glass and proceeded to destroy it. The Muslim man then summoned a crowd by shouting, “This Christian polluted our glass,” and encouraged them to beat him up”, the PCP report said. “The crowd began beating Nasir, eventually pushing him off a ledge. The fall dislocated his shoulder, broke his collarbone in two places and knocked him unconscious,” it said.

Top College Profs Say Biblical Literacy Essential

A survey of English professors at 34 top U.S. colleges and universities yielded a surprising result, AgapePress reports. Almost every single one said that young people need to know more about the Bible if they were to adequately understand both the classics of Western literature and contemporary work. "Loss of recognition [of the Bible] in the last three or four decades has put much of Western literature beyond the reach of many readers," said Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, who is distinguished professor of literature and the humanities at Baylor University. What surprised Dr. Marie Wachlin, who did the research for the study on behalf of the Bible Literacy Project, was how much agreement there was among the 39 English professors surveyed. "The virtual unanimity and depth of their responses on this question were striking," Wachlin said. "The Bible is not only a sacred scripture to millions of Americans, it is also arguably, as one professor put it, the most influential text in all of Western culture." The professors who were surveyed teach at universities which included Yale, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton. The report suggested that high schools make available to students courses that would promote Bible literacy.