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Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 1, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 1, 2008

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

  • India Church Leaders Commit to Peace after Mumbai Siege
  • Thousands Protest, Vandalize Church in Egypt
  • Conservative Presbyterian Church Splits with Denomination
  • More Flood Vicims Found in Brazil


India Church Leaders Commit to Peace after Mumbai Siege

Christian Post reports that church leaders in India believe the attacks by Islamists in Mumbai aimed at "spreading fear and projecting the country as unsafe." Although attacks on Christians by Hindu extremists are common in more rural Orissa and neighboring states, Mumbai had been peaceful. Now, "The terror attacks have shaken the church in the city," said Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Mumbai-based Catholic Secular Forum. Dias said his group will try to comfort victims while helping thwart terrorist efforts throughout India. The attacks on 10 locations killed 155 people and wounded 327 more in what was the deadliest attack in India since the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai, which killed 257 people.

Thousands Protest, Vandalize Church in Egypt

Compass Direct News reports that thousands of Muslim protestors on Sunday (Nov. 23) attacked a Coptic church in a suburb of Cairo, Egypt, burning part of it, a nearby shop and two cars and leaving five people injured. Objecting to a newly constructed extension to the church of St. Mary and Anba Abraam in Ain Shams, the huge crowd of angry protestors gathered outside the church at around 5 p.m. following a consecration service for the addition earlier that day. Chanting, “We will demolish the church,” “Islam is the solution” and “No God but Allah,” rioters pelted the church with stones and burned part of the structure; priests and worshipers were trapped inside, and five people were injured. “It was a terrifying moment,” said lawyer Nabil Gobrayel, who was inside the church at the time. “They were shouting ‘holy slogans’ like, ‘We will bring the church down,’ ‘The priest is dead’ and ‘The army of Muhammad is coming.’”

Conservative Presbyterian Church Splits with Denomination

The Associated Press reports that at least one local church's split with its parent denomination has gone peacefully, as a western Pennsylvania presbytery voted to allow the "conciliatory" split between Portersville Presbyterian Church and the Beaver-Butler Presbytery in Pennsylvania. The Portersville Church will now join the more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church. "There is still one body, one church, one faith, one Lord Jesus Christ, the savior of us all," said the Rev. William Jamieson, a retired pastor who served on the presbytery commission. "Bless this church and bless this presbytery." According to the AP, moving into sister Presbyterial denominations often helps avoid lawsuits concerning financial matters.

More Flood Vicims Found in Brazil

CNN reports that 1.5 million of Brazil's population has been affected by flooding in southern Brazil. Almost 79,000 people have lost their homes, and at least 109 people had been confirmed dead on Saturday. "I've never seen anything like this," said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after he flew over some of the affected areas this week. The bulk of the damage hit Santa Catarina state, whose Itajai city houses a major port.