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Religion Today Summaries - February 25, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - February 25, 2005

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

  • 100,000 Names On Petition To Save Terri Schiavo To Be Delivered To Representative Of Gov. Bush In Tallahassee 

  • More Than 100 Christian Children Detained By Eritrean Government Forces

  • India: Prisoners Become Missionaries 

  • Faith-Based Reentry Education To Prisoners

100,000 Names On Petition To Save Terri Schiavo To Be Delivered To Representative Of Gov. Bush In Tallahassee
Coral Ridge Ministries News

Dr. Gary Cass, Executive Director of the Center for Reclaiming America, will deliver the names of 100,000 people who have signed an online petition on behalf of Terri Schiavo at a press conference, Friday, February 25, at 2 p.m. on the Plaza Level of the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Dr. Cass will deliver the names on petition, generated in just two days, to a representative of the Governor and will address members of the media at the press conference. The petition urges Governor Jeb Bush "to take immediate action to stop the forced starvation of Terri Schiavo." It may be accessed at www.reclaimamerica.org. "We appreciate the energy, concern, and effort which the Governor has already expended in seeking a way to save Terri's live," Cass said. "These petitions demonstrate the fervent concern in Florida and across the nation that Gov. Bush act to save Terri's life." Cass also urged that calls and e-mails on Schiavo's behalf be sent to Florida Governor Jeb Bush (at 850.488.4441 or [email protected] ); Senate President Tom Lee (at 850.487.5072 or [email protected] ); and House Speaker Allan G. Bense (at 850.488.1450 or [email protected].)

More Than 100 Christian Children Detained By Eritrean Government Forces
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

More than 100 children aged between two and 18 were rounded up by a group of policemen as they were in their Christian classes at a church in the east African nation of Eritrea. An eyewitness report at the scene, which was later verified by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said the police put them in the truck and took them to the nearby Police Station where they registered the children's names and addresses. CSW said after the children were put in a hall at the police station, they started to sing: "I am not afraid of persecution, hardships and even death. Nobody can separate me from the Love of Jesus Christ. He died on the cross and he gave me new life." The policemen ordered the children to stop singing, but the children continued to sing despite their threats. The children were kept at the police station from 10am to 1.30pm and then the children aged two to 14 were released and told to come back on Monday with their parents. The remaining group of 30 children are still detained. The church has been targeted by a special Task Force that has been set up by the Eritrean government dedicated to ridding the country of Pentecostal and Evangelical Christians by the end of 2005.

India: Prisoners Become Missionaries
Christian Aid Mission

Many indigenous ministries are involved in reaching India's prison population of over three million, and often the prisoners themselves become the greatest witnesses for Christ in their jail cells and beyond. One mission in northern India had been working for months in a district jail that held 1000 prisoners when the Lord gave missionaries their first convert, a young man imprisoned for trying to run away with a young girl. This man was to become a powerful voice for Christ in the prison. Other inmates could not help but notice the dramatic change that had taken place in his life and were drawn to him. The man became the jail's unofficial chaplain, leading Bible studies and showing many men the way to salvation. Now that he has been released, he continues to do the work of the Lord in villages where he was once a notorious sinner. Christians are not spared from arrests, mostly on trumped-up charges or for disobeying anti-conversion laws, but God often uses them to draw people to Himself. One believing man in northern India was arrested for sharing the gospel. While in prison, he was able to preach to fellow prisoners about salvation. Two accepted Christ as Savior. Even behind bars, the Lord is showing the way to true freedom in Him.

Faith-Based Reentry Education To Prisoners

A Michigan ministry that employs in-prison education to prepare prisoners for release has announced a new nationwide reentry program designed to help its graduates successfully transition back into their communities. Crossroad Bible Institute, based in Grand Rapids, has been providing faith-based reentry education to prisoners for more than 20 years.  But without reentry assistance, roughly three-fourths of released inmates return to a life of crime. CBI president Dr. David Schuringa says his group's new Reentry Program strengthens their in-prison educational focus "by providing a structure to help inmates put into practice the faith-based principles they learned."  Part of that structure will include helping the released inmates connect with suitable reentry agencies in their area of release, and providing those agencies with promising candidates.  He adds that the new program will help graduates to "stay on the straight and narrow" as they transition back into society, resulting in safer communities with reduced criminal activity.  Schuringa says it has "been a dream" of his to have a reentry ministry that complements the educational focus of the in-prison work -- and "this new program fits the bill," he says.