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Religion Today Summaries - July 13, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 13, 2010

ADaily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • American Christian Volunteer Killed in Uganda Bombing
  • Chavez, Venezuelan Church Clash over Freedoms
  • Iran's Judiciary Halts Stoning of Woman for Now
  • Anglican Congregations Ask Va. High Court to Reconsider Ruling

American Christian Volunteer Killed in Uganda Bombing

Worthy News reports that an American aid worker with Invisible Children was killed in a bomb attack in Uganda over the weekend. Police believe the Islamist group al-Shabaab is responsible for the attacks. Nate "Oteka" Henn was killed and several other American Christians were injured after a bomb detonated where they were watching the World Cup in Kampala. Henn worked with Invisible Children, a San Diego-based group that helps street children and child soldiers. "Nate worked with us at Invisible Children for a year and a half and leaves behind a legacy of honor, integrity, and service," the group said in a statement. He worked with several former child soldiers-turned-students who gave him the Acholi name Oteka, which means The Strong One.

Chavez, Venezuelan Church Clash over Freedoms

The Associated Press reports that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is increasingly encroaching on religious freedom in the country. The vast majority of Venezuelans are Roman Catholic. In the last week, Chavez has accused church leaders of lying, while Cardinal Jorge Urosa says he was right to remain in Rome and warn the Vatican of Chavez's power grabs. "I don't like the insults that Chavez hurled against the cardinal, but I don't like seeing the Church getting involved in politics either," said Amanda Ortiz, 47, after attending Sunday Mass at a church in downtown Caracas. "Both sides are losing respect for each other." Urosa has accused Chavez of moving the country towards a dictatorship, while Chavez has appealed to the Vatican to effectively fire Urosa. 

Iran's Judiciary Halts Stoning of Woman for Now

ASSIST News Service reports that judicial officials in Iran say a woman's sentence of death by stoning is not being carried out "for the time being." Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, was convicted of adultery in 2006, but the head of East Azerbaijan's Judicial Department says her crimes were "various and serious." Malek Azhdar Sharifi, who heads the province's Justice Department, told Iran's state-run news agency that the guilty verdict is definitive. He said the execution has only been halted by Iran's judiciary chief for humane considerations. Ashtiani has already received a punishment of 99 lashes. Last Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said stoning is a form of execution that is tantamount to torture, calling it a "barbaric and abhorrent act."

Anglican Congregations Ask Va. High Court to Reconsider Ruling

The Christian Post reports that nine conservative Anglicans who lost their property battle with the Episcopal Church last month will appeal part of the ruling. "We are not challenging the Court's legal interpretation of the relevant statute, but we are pointing out that the Court overlooked critical evidence showing that, even under that interpretation, the congregations have satisfied the statute," announced Jim Oakes, chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), which is affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). The question involves a 150-year-old statute that rants property to departing congregations when there is division within the denomination, which the Supreme Court said was applied incorrectly.