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Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 26, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 26, 2010

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

  • Deadly Anti-Christian Violence Continues in Mosul
  • Top German Bishop Steps Down after Drunk-Driving Arrest 
  • Vancouver Olympics Allow Spike in Trafficking
  • Child's Fruit Leads to Church Burnings in Pakistan

Deadly Anti-Christian Violence Continues in Mosul

Open Doors USA reports that Christians in Mosul, Iraq, are again fleeing the city as anti-Christian violence continues. "It was a bloody day yesterday in Mosul," an Iraqi worker of Open Doors reported today. "In one house all the family members were killed -- five people... They even threw two bodies outside the house as a cruel warning for others." Another worker reported that three family members of a Catholic priest were also killed. In the past week, 40 to 50 families, consisting of an average of five members per family, have left Mosul. Another team member of Open Doors said, "I think that since this weekend one or two families leave Mosul every day. However, we receive about 10 phone calls every day of people who say that they want to leave the city." Officials have reportedly told Christians that security forces cannot guarantee their safety.

Top German Bishop Steps Down after Drunk-Driving Arrest 

Religion News Service reports that Bishop Margot Kaessmann, the first female head of Germany's Protestant church, has resigned. Kaessmann stepped down from her position Wednesday amid controversy surrounding her arrest on Saturday for drunk driving. Kaessmann, 51, said she had made a "serious mistake" which she "deeply" regretted, reported the EPD, the official news service of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Germany. "The office and my authority as a regional bishop and the head of the council have been damaged," she said. "I would not have had, in the future, my freedom to point out ethical and political challenges and to make judgments as I do now." Kaessmann not only stepped down from her national role, but also as the bishop for the district surrounding the central German city of Hanover. She will continue to work as a minister.

Vancouver Olympics Allow Spike in Trafficking

Mission News Network reports that human trafficking watchdogs are disappointed by Canada's lack of specific enforcement against human trafficking, a problem that has tarnished multiple Olympic Games. "It's much easier to pass somebody off as a tourist coming to visit and view the Games, when in reality there is a trafficker lurking behind the scenes who will take them to a brothel where they will be forced to work for sometimes years on end," said Jamie McIntosh of International Justice Mission Canada. "The demand generally is heightened when there is laxity in enforcement." Other groups like the Salvation Army and Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity (REED) instituted awareness campaigns, but say Canada's lack of a minimum sentence for human trafficking hasn't helped their cause.

Child's Fruit Leads to Church Burnings in Pakistan

ASSIST News Service reports that at least two Churches were attacked on Sunday in Karachi after a scuffle between a fruit vendor and a Christian family. The incident reportedly began when a Christian child picked up a fruit and ate it while buying it from a vendor. The vendor is alleged to have thrashed the child for eating the fruit. This is said to have prompted the parents of the child to beat the vendor. Once news of this got out, about 200 armed Muslim men attacked Christian residents of Pahar Gang North Nazimabad. The assailants opened fire on Christian houses, shops, vehicles and two churches, but no one was killed. No one was inside the church when the assailants attacked. Police arrested and imprisoned eight men - including some Christians - after the incidents.