Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 21, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 21, 2010

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

  • Driscoll: Sex Trade Happening in Port-au-Prince
  • Food, Medical Supplies Running Low in Haiti
  • Middle East Bishops Lament Exodus of Christians
  • Christian Teen Runaway to Stay in Foster Case

Driscoll: Sex Trade Happening in Port-au-Prince

The Christian Post reports that Seattle megachurch Pastor Mark Driscoll returned from relief work in Haiti with grim stories. The pastor of Mars Hill Church visited with a church-to-church ministry checking on devastated churches in the area, but also found what looked like human trafficking. Speaking the USA Today after arriving back in the U.S., Driscoll reported seeing a man who sold cell phones, cigarettes, and several young girls at a street cart. Driscoll watched another man, who claimed to be a translator for a relief group, haggle over a girl's price. The man said he was the girl's friend and was "trying to connect." "That's ridiculous. A young girl. A man 20 or 30 years older. I told him this was unacceptable. MacDonald confronted him, too. But there were no police and you could argue all you wanted but the girl took his money and they walked away."

Food, Medical Supplies Running Low in Haiti

GAiN USA reports that the lack of medicine and medical supplies is hindering relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. "They are going to run out of medicines and medical supplies very soon," said Duane Zook, president of Global Aid Network (GAiN). "We are working to get them additional supplies." GAiN is part of an international effort to help Haiti recover from last week's massive earthquake. According to Zook, "We're getting food and supplies trucked from the Dominican Republic... Eight additional shipments are already en route." Zook says the group has handed out nearly 1 million meals since last week's earthquake. "But we'll be out of food by the end of the week," he continued. "We're feeding about 100,000 people per day. The need is great. We need people to continue to pray and continue to provide the much-needed food, water, water filters and medicines."

Middle East Bishops Lament Exodus of Christians

Religion News Service reports that Catholic bishops in the Middle East called for greater religious freedom in Muslim countries and denounced Islamic fundamentalism Tuesday. The group lamented the dwindling number of Christians in the area and criticized Israel's "occupation" of the Palestinian territories. The statements came in a document, released at the Vatican on Tuesday (Jan. 19), laying out topics of discussion for a special synod of Middle Eastern bishops, to take place at the Vatican in October. The Christian population of Israel and Palestine, which six decades ago was as high as 20 percent of the total, is today only 2 percent, largely because of economically driven emigration. The situation of Iraqi Catholics is equally dire, with tens of thousands fleeing since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Christian Teen Runaway to Stay in Foster Case

Christian Press reports that Rifqa Bary, the teen who converted to Christianity and ran away from her Muslim parents, will remain in foster care until she is 18. Tuesday's ruling confirmed the 17-year-old's dependent status in the state of Ohio. According to the Ohio court documents released late Tuesday evening, Bary's parents gave up their fight to get their daughter back, and opted to allow her to remain in Ohio foster care until she turns 18 in August. In exchange for dependency, Rifqa agreed that she violated rules by fleeing her home. Once she turns 18, Bary will be free to live where she wants. The agreement ends a six-month battle that began when the teen took a Greyhound bus to Orlando, claiming her father threatened to kill her for switching from Islam to Christianity. Officials in Ohio say they found no credible evidence of the threat.

If you'd like to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, consider joining some of's partners in their work: Global Aid Network (GAiN) USA, Food for the Hungry, Samaritan's Purse, and World Vision.