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Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 29, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 29, 2010

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

  • Death Toll of Christians in Jos, Nigeria Clash Hits 48
  • Eritrean Christian Woman Dies in Detention Center
  • Faith Leaders Highlight Need to Remember Holocaust
  • Haitians Keep Churches Alive Amid Tragedy

Death Toll of Christians in Jos, Nigeria Clash Hits 48

Compass Direct News reports that two pastors and 46 other Christians have been confirmed killed in the outbreak of violence 10 days ago in Jos, Plateau state in Nigeria, according to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). In the Muslim/Christian clash, triggered when Muslim youths on Jan. 17 attacked a Catholic church, 10 church buildings were burned and 27 Christians are still missing, CAN officials said at a press conference in Jos today. Police estimate over 300 lives were lost in the clash. The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) accused the state General Officer Commanding, Major-Gen. Salleh Maina, and some soldiers of taking sides in the clash. "Soldiers were seen in some parts of Jos watching Muslim youths shooting Christians and burning places without any efforts to stop them," according to a PFN press statement. At least 500 people were killed in similar violence in November 2008.

Eritrean Christian Woman Dies in Detention Center

ASSIST News Service reports that another Christian has died while serving time in one of Eritrea's harsh detention centers. On Jan. 24, Hana Hagos Asgedom, 41, became the eleventh known Christian to pay with her life for her faith in Jesus Christ. Asgedom died of a heart attack while being kept in solitary confinement at Alla Military Camp. Shortly before her death, she apparently endured beatings with an iron rod for refusing to "make the chief commander in the camp a cup of coffee." When Asgedom resisted this order, which Christians interpret as sexual advances, she was apparently sent back to her cell where she endured punishment and later succumbed to the heart attack. Asgedom had been in custody for almost four years. She refused all opportunities to renounce her faith.

Faith Leaders Highlight Need to Remember Holocaust

The Christian Post reports that the Pope and spiritual head of the Anglican Communion remembered the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in strong terms. The Jan. 27 anniversary has been internationally recognized since 2006. "As those who directly connect us and our children with that archetypal genocide pass from this life, we are confronted with the challenge of keeping alive the reality of what happened and of its defining significance," said the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Pope Benedict XVI told his listeners to remember the "homicidal madness" out of respect for others' suffering. "May Almighty God enlighten hearts and minds so that such tragedies are never repeated," the German-born pontiff said.

Haitians Keep Churches Alive Amid Tragedy

Christian Today reports that Haitian Christians have not given up their faith despite the devastating earthquake two weeks ago. "Our missionaries tell us in Port-au-Prince [people] still put on their best clothes and walked to church this past Sunday," Assemblies of God General Superintendent Dr. George O. Wood said. He said many churches have continued to meet in open spaces even when their houses of worship have been destroyed. Seattle-based Pastor Mark Driscoll observed the same thing during his trip to Haiti last week. "It was so amazing in the midst of devastation to see the people that love Jesus also love the church and no matter what were committed to being the church and being mission on the church," he told his congregation at Mars Hill Church. "If you really love Jesus, you love the church. If you don't love the church, you don't love Jesus," he said. If you'd like to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, consider joining some of Crosswalk.com's partners in their work: Global Aid Network (GAiN) USA, Food for the Hungry, Samaritan's Purse, and World Vision.