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Religion Today Summaries - July 22, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 22, 2009

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

  • Slaying of Congolese Aid Worker Prompts Condemnation
  • Yemen: Six Abducted Christians Still Missing
  • Christian Retail Convention Sees Drop in Attendance
  • Congregation Holds First Service Since Church Arson


Slaying of Congolese Aid Worker Prompts Condemnation

The Christian Post reports that Caritas Internationalis is working with Congolese authorities to investigate the murder of one of their workers in Congo. “Ricky Sukaka bravely worked in a war zone to help others rebuild their lives,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary general of Caritas Internationalis, in a statement Tuesday. “The brutality and killing in Congo has got to stop. Caritas calls on all the groups involved to sit down at the negotiating table and work for a lasting peace.” Sukaka, a Congolese national, worked with Caritas to provide emergency aid to 400,000 people caught in the country's continuing civil war. Colleagues found the 27-year-old shot dead last Wednesday morning in Musezero, North Kivu.

Yemen: Six Abducted Christians Still Missing

ASSIST News Service reports that there is still no word about the whereabouts of six foreign Christians abducted six weeks ago in Yemen. A German development worker, his wife, their three children and the British engineer were kidnapped in mid-June during an outing near Saada in North Yemen. They were with two German bible school students and a South Korean teacher. The three were found murdered on June 12. The Netherlands-based humanitarian agency the group worked under, Worldwide Services, has withdrawn all staff members from the country. In the last 15 years at least 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen. In most cases, they were set free after ransom payments, but no such demands have been made in the case. Officials believe the kidnappers were motivated by religious reasons.

Christian Retail Convention Sees Drop in Attendance

Religion News Service reports that attendance dropped by one-fifth at this year's international CBA convention of Christian retailers. The overall Christian retail sales plunged by more than 10 percent, the organization reported. The event, which ended July 15, follows a slumping years for Christian retail stores, which saw net sales drop 10.75 percent from the previous year. In light of the economy and its effects over the past 10 months, we approached this show with conservative expectations," said CBA President and CEO Bill Anderson, who said most trade shows have seen drops in attendance. "While we knew attendance would be down some, I'm satisfied with a strong turnout and the enthusiasm and positive tone throughout the event by both retailers and suppliers."

Congregation Holds First Service Since Church Arson

WATE News in Knoxville reports that one historic church celebrated a memorable first Sunday. The Harris Chapel Baptist Church in South Knox County met for the first time after arson burned the church last Wednesday morning. "This is our heritage," said Julian Harris, whose ancestor founded the church 131 years ago. "It's home." Pastor Jerry Harris said the church is thankful "even in the midst of our sorrows, even in the midst of tragedy." He says the tragedy has worked in the church's life for good. "Now, I am out here in the open. I can holler and praise God and scream," said Pastor Harris. "In a way, it's forced us to come out of the church building come out into the community."