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Religion Today Summaries, January 28, 2003

Religion Today Summaries, January 28, 2003

Religion Today Summaries: Daily summaries of the top national and international religious news stories impacting Christians

In Today's Edition:

  • Christian Widow’s Arrest Ordered in Jordan
  • Veteran May Fight 'Blessing' Firing
  • New Converts Face Persecution in India
  • More than 40 People Turn to Christ at Super Bowl Block Party

Christian Widow’s Arrest Ordered in Jordan

(Barnabas) A court in Jordan has ordered that a Christian widow should be arrested and her children taken from her to be raised as Muslims.  The court order requires Siham Qandah to be imprisoned for 30 days unless she immediately surrenders her children to the care of her Muslim brother Abdullah al-Muhtadi to be raised as Muslims.  Siham’s lawyers have appealed against the ruling giving the family several weeks grace before the order can be enforced whilst the court considers the appeal.  Siham and her children Rawan (15) and Fadi (13) are currently living in hiding.  In May 2002 in response to international lobbying Jordanian authorities met with Siham and assured her that she would be allowed to keep her children.  However, when she came out of hiding the authorities reneged on this.  On 7 October 2002 Siham received a letter stating that unless she handed over her children in five days they would be seized.  The family therefore went back into hiding.  There are no higher courts to which Siham can appeal and the family cannot leave the country as the children are known to immigration officials.  www.barabasfund.org

Veteran May Fight 'Blessing' Firing

(Charisma News) A Vietnam veteran fired for saying, "God bless you" at gravesite flag presentations at a veteran's cemetery where he served as an honor guardsman may go to court to get his job back.  Patrick Cubbage is to meet with the Rutherford Institute, which specializes in religious rights cases, to discuss his firing last October from the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown, N.J.  A committed Christian and retired police officer, 54-year-old Cubbage said he only spoke the blessing - which was included in protocol guidelines he had been given when he started the part-time job - when it seemed appropriate, "The Philadelphia Inquirer" reported.  "No family ever objected," Cubbage said.  But two other honor guardsmen at the cemetery complained about Cubbage's actions, and he was told to stop saying "God bless you" when he handed over a folded American flag to the bereaved family.  He did so reluctantly until Oct. 31, when he asked one family if they would like the blessing and they said yes.  He was fired that same day for "disregard for stated policy."  www.charismanews.com

New Converts Face Persecution in India

(VOM/Canada) Twenty-three tribal families in a remote village in West Bengal are facing social ostracism and intimidation after converting to Christianity.  They have been threatened and relatives have been prevented from visiting.  They are living in fear for their safety.  Meanwhile, American missionary Joseph Cooper who was attacked last week has been ordered to leave the country within a week.  But before he can do so, he may find himself in court answering criminal charges that could result in imprisonment for three years.  The VHP (World Hindu Council) is demanding that the missionary be charged with breaking visa regulations that supposedly do not allow anyone traveling on a multiple entry tourist visa to speak at religious meetings.  www.persecution.net

More than 40 People Turn to Christ at Super Bowl Block Party
Todd Starnes

(Baptist Press) More than 40 people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior during a Super Bowl block party Jan. 25 at First Baptist Church in Imperial Beach, Calif.  The block party was one of three sponsored by the San Diego Baptist Association and hosted by three area churches.  The churches served free burgers, hot dogs and nachos and offered extreme games for the kids and musical performances -- all designed to let community residents know their local Baptist church cares about them.  But what happened at Imperial Beach is nothing short of a miracle, said Doug Johnson, pastor of the 75-member church.  The small Baptist congregation hosted a block party that attracted nearly 700 people at Veteran's Park.  More than 40 residents gave their lives to the Lord inside the park.  "I am so proud of our people," Johnson said.  "They are willing to take on any challenge.  I believe what happened inside this park today has raised our people's faith to a new level."  www.bpnews.net