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Religion Today Summaries - August 18, 2011

Religion Today Summaries - August 18, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Nigeria: Suspected Military Involvement in Attacks on Villages
  • New Evangelical 'Creationist' School Set to Open in England
  • Christians in Bangladesh Cleared of Charge of Offending Muslims
  • Bloody Ramadan in Iraq


Nigeria: Suspected Military Involvement in Attacks on Villages

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, members of the Nigerian military have been implicated in violence in Plateau State after military identification documents were allegedly recovered from the scene of an attack that occurred in the early hours of August 15. Four military identity documents were allegedly found after the attack on Heipang where nine people were killed. Eight of the victims were members of the same family. The attack was the latest of a series that have occurred since August 11, when three members of the same family were killed and another was injured. Unconfirmed reports say a military issue helmet and blood-stained belt were also found at the site. There have been a number of worrying reports regarding the conduct of members of the Joint Task Force charged with maintaining peace in Plateau State, ranging from lack of intervention in raids on villages to suspected collusion of soldiers in the violence.

New Evangelical 'Creationist' School Set to Open in England

The Christian Post reports that a new school has been given approval to open in Nottinghamshire, England that will espouse a six-day creation of the earth by God. Evolution will be presented alongside as a theory. The school is part of Everyday Champions Church, an evangelical congregation based in Newark. Their application for approval was accepted by the British Department for Education. Education Secretary Michael Gove had promised that creationism would not be taught in free schools, and, according to the department, Gove remains "crystal clear that teaching creationism is at odds with scientific fact." In January, however, Gove said he would consider applications from creationist groups on a case-by-case basis. Pastor Gareth Morgan of ECC said, “Creationism will be embodied as a belief at the Everyday Champions Academy but will not be taught in the sciences. Similarly, evolution will be taught as a theory.”

Christians in Bangladesh Cleared of Charge of Offending Muslims

Compass Direct News reports that a court in Bangladesh on August 11 exonerated two Christians along with four Muslim friends accused of “hurting religious sensibility.” Nurul Islam, another Christian and their Muslim friends were cleared of the charge after police failed to provide documentation of any evidence against them. In March, Christians under the direction of the Way of Peace movement had arranged a two-day health camp offering free treatment to poor villagers in Damurhuda area in Chuadanga district. Two of the Christian organizers and their Muslim friends were arrested on March 24 under a special power granted to police to arrest anyone on any suspicion. When police failed to submit a primary investigation report within 15 days of the beginning of prosecution, however, the Christians were released at a hearing on April 10. Police again filed a case on April 13, charging them with “hurting religious feelings” of area Muslims as a Japanese doctor had offered Bibles to patients at a health camp. The Japanese volunteer doctor offered Christian leaflets and Bibles to the patients, telling them they were under no obligation to take the literature. The foreign doctor was not named in either of the cases.

Bloody Ramadan in Iraq

Iraq’s day of carnage on Monday may result in this year’s Islamic fast month of Ramadan matching last year’s when it comes to deadly violence in the country, CNSNews.com reports. Some 70 people were killed in multiple attacks across the country, with the choice of targets pointing to the strong likelihood that al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militants were responsible. The surge of violence comes roughly halfway through Ramadan. When Ramadan began at the beginning of August, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a statement calling on Muslims “to respect the sanctity of this blessed month and put an end to all forms of enmity and blood-shedding.”