Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 18, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 18, 2008

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

  • Aid Begins to Pour into Malnourished in Haiti
  • Iraqi Christians Still Under Siege at Christmas
  • Rick Warren Not Satisfied with Making Abortions 'Rare'
  • Four Christians Missing in Hubei, China since November


Aid Begins to Pour into Malnourished in Haiti

The Associated Press reports that international attention is now making its way to Haiti's most starved villages around Baie d'Orange, but its people's ordeal is not over. Those who now receive food assistance, such as Rosemen Saint-Juste and her four malnourished children, feel the need to share with hungry neighbors or risk revenge. "The food I have is going to last for three days" instead of four, she said after giving away some of her rice. "If I don't share it with my neighbors, the devil will eat my kids," she said, referring to local Voodoo spells she fears may be cast on her family. Local farmers, whose harvests and markets were destroyed by tropical storms in August and September, say the seeds they have received from relief organizations will not help unless they also receive fertilizer to repair their eroded fields.

Iraqi Christians Still under Siege at Christmas

Mission News Network reports that Iraqi Christians will face another isolated Christmas in 2008. "Christians in Mosul over the last few months have been particularly targeted for extermination by the remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq. This Christmas is one of great stress and difficulty for these believers," said Carl Moeller with Open Doors. Celebrations of Christmas, once held in family courtyards and complete with candles and bonfires, have disappeared since "any bonfire attracts suspicious persons... Fires are now linked with explosions and attacks," MNN reports. Iraq's once-large Christian community has dwindled significantly since 2004, and many Christians have left Iraq for Syria, Jordan, Turkey or the West.

Rick Warren Not Satisfied with Making Abortions 'Rare'

The Christian Post reports that megachurch pastor Rick Warren may be on good terms with President-elect Barack Obama, but does not support Obama's policy of making abortions "rare." In an interview with Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman, Warren said, “Of course I want to reduce the number of abortions... But to me it is kind of a charade in that people say ‘We believe abortions should be safe and rare." He continued, “Don’t tell me it should be rare. That’s like saying on the Holocaust, ‘Well, maybe we could save 20 percent of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that,’” Warren said. “I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.”

Four Christians Missing in Hubei, China since November

ASSIST News Service reports that four Christians are missing and many more have been persecuted in Hubei province during the month of November 2008 according to the South China Church house church network. ChinaAid recently received a detailed report from South China Church leaders detailing the arrests, beatings and disappearances of Christians in their house churches in Jingmen city and Xiangfan city areas. According to church leaders, the four missing believers include: Mr. Yi Peng, Mr. Zhu Yongping, Ms. Wang Ke and one other Christian man. They were all last seen being forcibly taken away by Bureau of State Security officials in separate incidents at the beginning of November. None have been heard from since. Other Christians have been beaten publically by plainclothes officials, and their Bibles, personal property and money have been taken.