Religion Today Summaries, January 15, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, January 15, 2004

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

  • Trial of Vietnamese Pastor Postponed
  • Attorney Claims Homosexual Students Often Incite Reactions on Campus
  • Churches, Pro-Life Supporters Mark 'National Tragedy'
  • Car Bomb Explodes Outside Pakistani Bible Society

Trial of Vietnamese Pastor Postponed
Charisma News Service

The trial of a pastor of an underground Protestant church in Vietnam was postponed this week reportedly because of vigorous appeals by Christian leaders and international publicity. Pastor Bui Van Ba, general secretary of the Full Gospel Church of Vietnam, has been under house arrest since police raided a prayer meeting at his home in August. After Ba and others were beaten, he was charged with "resisting an officer doing his duty." Ba's trial was supposed to start Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City. But local sources say house church leaders' threat to send demonstrators into the streets and growing international interest caused the postponement. Christian leaders, though, warned that authorities could announce a new trial date for Ba at any time. They also urged Christians worldwide to pray for justice for Ba and for religious freedom in Vietnam.

Attorney Claims Homosexual Students Often Incite Reactions on Campus
Jim Brown, Agape Press

A Christian attorney says homosexual groups are teaching student activists in public schools to use provocative behavior to goad other students into acting hostilely toward them. Five years of litigation recently came to a close when six homosexual students represented by the American Civil Liberties Union won a $1.1 million settlement against the Morgan Hill Unified School District in California.  The students claim they were bullied and harassed because of their sexual orientation.  As a result of the settlement, the entire school district is now required to implement a "sensitivity training" program designed to shield homosexuals from bullying. Scott Lively, president of the California-based Pro-Family Law Center, believes this is the latest in a series of settlements resulting from a deliberate strategy by the homosexual political movement. "Their goal is to transform American public schools into centers of pro-gay activity and training," he says. Lively says student activists who flaunt their homosexual behavior in front of students often succeed in forcing their school to adopt an anti-bullying policy that embraces a pro-homosexual perspective, because if the school does not take action they are likely to be sued.  Lively advises parents who do not want their children to be indoctrinated with a pro-homosexual point of view to put their children in a Christian school or home school them.

Churches, Pro-Life Supporters Mark 'National Tragedy'
Charisma News Service

Marking the anniversary of abortion's legalization, thousands of churches nationwide are again expected to unite and focus on the value of human life starting this weekend. President Bush has again recognized the week of Jan. 18-25 for the national observance of Sanctity of Human Life (SoHL). Churches are encouraged to participate on the observance Sunday or Jan. 25. Jan. 22 marks the 31st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize abortion through the Roe v. Wade case. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood, there have been more than 43 million abortions in America since the landmark ruling in 1973. Focus on the Family's Crisis Pregnancy Ministry is offering several resources, including a church bulletin insert featuring pro-life prayer points, including intercession for abortion clinics, a SoHL drama presentation and sermon outlines. Meanwhile, thousands of pro-life supporters are anticipated to attend the annual March for Life (MfL), which is set for Jan. 22 at the Mall in Washington D.C. "Since 1974, pro-life leaders across the nation have gathered on this day in our nation's capital to petition Congress for redress, and to memorialize this national tragedy," March for Life's Web site said. Last year, Bush addressed MfL participants via a phone call from St. Louis, who called the event a "celebration of life."

Car Bomb Explodes Outside Pakistani Bible Society
Voice of the Martyrs

A car bomb exploded outside the Karachi Bible Society in Pakistan today injuring 10-15 people. Police had received an anonymous tip that the Bible Society would be targeted and had stationed themselves outside the Bible Society. When the bomb went off it injured several members of the Police squad. It was a large explosion that destroyed 11 cars. The head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, said the attack had raised concerns across the country. "This terrorist act has increased the sense of insecurity among Christians. We are shocked, grieved and worried," he said. "These people are bent on creating anarchy in the country."