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Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 18, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 18, 2007

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

  • The Most Religious Nations of the World
  • Egypt: Angry Muslims Attack Stores Owned by Christians
  • Turkey: Catholic Priest Stabbed
  • Student Sues History Teacher Over Anti-Christian Comments

The Most Religious Nations of the World

India, Nigeria, Brazil and Morocco are among the most religious nations in the world, ASSIST News Service reports. More than 96 percent of the population in these countries regard themselves as religious. In Nigeria, where Christians and Muslims are roughly equally represented, 92 percent describe themselves as highly religious. These are some of the results of a worldwide opinion poll among 21,000 adults in 21 nations. The study was conducted by the German Bertelsmann Foundation. Detailed results will be presented in Berlin, December 18. As far as spirituality is concerned Western industrial nations lag far behind those in the Two Thirds World. And the USA is an exception of religiosity in the West.

Egypt: Angry Muslims Attack Stores Owned by Christians

ASSIST News Service reports that seven Muslims were detained in southern Egypt on Sunday after setting fire to a church, and stores owned by Christians. The violence was in retaliation for the alleged rape of a Muslim girl, a security source told AFP News. According to AFP, the seven individuals set fire to 13 stores owned by Egyptian Christians in the southern city of Isna late on Saturday. They also threw Molotov cocktails at a local church, AFP reported the source told the news service. They told police they were acting in retaliation for the alleged rape last week of a Muslim girl by three Christians boys. AFP reported the three Christians were detained on Saturday and taken to a police station, where an angry crowd of about 150 Muslims hurled stones and bottles.

Turkey: Catholic Priest Stabbed

Compass Direct News reports that a 19-year-old Muslim youth stabbed an Italian priest in the stomach yesterday after Sunday services outside a Catholic church in Turkey. Father Adriano Franchini, 65, was hospitalized overnight in the Aegean city of Izmir, and hospital authorities expected to discharge him today, the Anatolia News Agency reported. According to the daily Hurriyet newspaper, the arrested assailant admitted in his statement to the police that he had been influenced by a recent episode of the popular television serial drama “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves). The series caricatures Christian missionaries as political “infiltrators” who pay poor families to convert to Christianity. The attack comes amid a growing climate of violence against Turkey’s Christian minority population.

Student Sues History Teacher Over Anti-Christian Comments

The Christian Post reports that a lawsuit filed by a high school honors student and his parents against California history teacher James Corbett for anti-religion bias has ignited debate about the role of a teacher’s convictions in the classroom. Chad Farnan, a sophomore, tape-recorded his Advanced Placement European history teacher’s remarks, including: "When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth” and "Conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies – that's interfering with God's work.” Farnan said, "It just shocks me that someone would think that and say that. He's my teacher, and I've lost respect for him. I'm offended." The 16-year-old and his parents are suing Corbett for violating the Establishment Clause, which prohibits government from advancing religion or promoting hostility toward religion. "Corbett causes students who hold religious beliefs to feel like second-class citizens because of their protected religious expression, beliefs and conduct,” stated an announcement by Advocates for Faith and Freedom, a Christian legal group representing Farnan.