Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- IHOP Restaurant Drops Suit against IHOP Church
- Afghan Christian Faces Possible Death Sentence for Apostasy
- Indian Pastor Injured in Murder Attempt by Hindu Extremists
- Crossway Gives 50,000 Bibles to Troops
IHOP Restaurant Drops Suit against IHOP Church
The International House of Pancakes has dropped its suit against the International House of Prayer. The restaurant chain initially claimed the Missouri-based church had infringed on its trademarked IHOP acronym. Patrick Lenow, spokesman for IHOP Restaurants, said the suit was dismissed on Dec. 21 but negotiations are continuing between the chain and the church. "We are very interested in resolving this matter amicably, and have voluntarily dismissed our suit in the hopes that this can be accomplished," he said in a statement to Religion News Service. "We are hopeful that further talks will be productive, but all remedies remain open to us." The Kansas City church declined comment other than to confirm it was aware of the dismissal of the suit. In its suit filed Sept. 9 in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the pancake chain said the church "intended to misappropriate the fame and notoriety of the household name IHOP to help promote and make recognizable their religious organization."
Afghan Christian Faces Possible Death Sentence for Apostasy
ASSIST News Service reports that a judge has given an Afghan convert from Islam to Christianity a week to renounce his faith, or else be sentenced with the death penalty or up to twenty years' imprisonment. The verdict is expected this week. An International Christian Concern (ICC) spokesperson said that Shoaib Assadullah was arrested on Oct. 21 in Mazar-e-Sharif for giving a Bible to a man who later reported him to local authorities. Assadullah believes the court will deliver the death penalty, but said, "Without my faith I would not be able to live." Afghanistan is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares that every individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the right to change religions.
Indian Pastor Injured in Murder Attempt by Hindu Extremists
A Christian pastor in India was nearly killed on Sunday night when Hindu extremists attacked him with a meat cleaver. Christian Today reports that Isaac Samuel, coordinator of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), was leading a prayer service when he was attacked. He received 12 stitches between his neck and shoulder from the attack. Sajan George, president of GCIC, accused the attackers of having a "clear intention of killing him." He also criticized the anti-conversion laws currently upheld in several Indian states, labeling the laws as an "excuse for anti-Christian violence." Though India's constitution provides for freedom of religion, six out of 28 states restrict this freedom with legislation that allows for punishment of religious converts who do not inform the state.
Crossway Gives 50,000 Bibles to Troops
Christian Newswire reports that the publishing company Crossway has partnered with Faith Comes By Hearing to provide Scripture to military men and women stationed around the world. The company, which publishes the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible, donated 50,000 ESV New Testaments to Faith Comes By Hearing's Military BibleStick Project. The pocket-sized publication is packaged with Faith Comes By Hearing's Military BibleStick and shipped, free of charge, to chaplains who place a request for these ministry tools. "It is a special delight for Crossway to partner with Faith Comes By Hearing to provide the greatest gift we can give anyone -- God's Word," said Dr. Lane Dennis, president and publisher of Crossway. "It is our prayer that the Lord will use this gift to bring many in our armed services to know Christ as their Savior, even as they defend the freedom of the Gospel and our nation."