Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 27, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 27, 2009

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

  • Sri Lanka: Church Decries Murder of Christian Journalist
  • Orissa: Christians Forced to Fend for Themselves
  • Call2ALL Networks to Fulfill Great Commission
  • Rwandan Forces Join Congolese; Rebel General Arrested

Sri Lanka: Church Decries Murder of Christian Journalist

ASSIST News Service reports that the Christian editor of a major Sri Lankan newspaper was gunned down Jan. 8, prompting church leaders along with human rights organizations to voice concern over escalating ethnic violence in the island nation. National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka lamented, “The cold blooded murder of Lasantha Wickramatunga has struck the death knell to media freedom in our country.” Wickramatunga blew the whistle on increased political corruption and human rights abuses by the government, including the violent response to rebel Tamil Tiger fighters. Anglican Bishop Duleep de Chickera of Colombo said in a statement, “The assassination of Lasantha Wikramatunga, in broad daylight on a public road, has sent shock waves of anger, fear and desperation through the country. This deliberate and senseless act ... is part of a wider and worsening strategy to suppress and silence the media.”

Orissa: Christians Forced to Fend for Themselves

Mission News Network reports that Indian officials are closing refugee camps in India's Orissa state, forcing Christian refugees to fend for themselves. Officials provided some refugees with US $201, but Voice of the Martyrs reports the money will not help with long-term recovery. Many in the refugee camps fled because their homes were burned and their lives threatened. The camp closing come just a few weeks after the Indian Supreme Court ordered officials to protect Christians in Orissa or have the national government intervene. Christians have been targeted by Hindu extremists since August 2008, when Maoists killed a Hindu extremist leader. Although violence has eased since then, tension still exists between extremists and scapegoat Christians.

Call2ALL Networks to Fulfill Great Commission

The Christian Post reports that hundreds of Christian leaders have participated in recent Call2All Congresses across the nation. Attendees at the most recent conference in Dayton, Ohio, joined in a massive effort to coordinate, network, and share strategies globally, all in hopes of fulfilling the Great Commission in their own lifetimes. “It’s not going to be ‘business as usual’ for the church anymore,” said Mark Anderson, president of Call2All and the Global Pastors Network. Campus Crusade for Christ International, Youth With a Mission, Mission America and the World Evangelical Alliance have all partnered with Call2All. The Dayton Congress is just one of 38 to be held in the next three years as Call2All works to spread the Gospel to every "tribe, tongue and nation."

Rwandan Forces Join Congolese; Rebel General Arrested

Reuters reports that Congo's civil war is once again Rwanda's business, as joint Congolese-Rwandan forces together have clashed with rebel troops for the first time in years. Rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are usually ethnic Hutus, sparking fears that the joint force would target civilian Hutus in Congo. "When they hunt down the FDLR, they are going to kill us as well, because we are Hutus and the FDLR are also Hutus," said a man in the North Kivu town of Rugari. In exchange for allowing Rwandan forces into Congo, Rwandan authorities arrested Congolese General Laurent Nkunda on Thursday. The U.N. has labeled Democratic Republic of Congo a humanitarian crisis, as thousands have died conflict-related deaths. More than 1.5 million in Congo have been displaced by fighting.