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Religion Today Summaries - July 26, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 26, 2005

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

  • Conservative Christian Leaders Organizing Second Nationally Broadcast Rally

  • North Africa: Missionaries Face Persecution, Make Progress in Muslim Countries 

  • Once-Tortured Believer Now an Advocate for 'Christians in Crisis'

  • Authorities Twice Raid Mennonite Center in Vietnam

Conservative Christian Leaders Organizing Second Nationally Broadcast Rally
Agape Press

Conservative Christian leaders are organizing a second nationally broadcast rally -- this time to demand Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. "Justice Sunday Two -- God Save the United States and this Honorable Court" is to feature Focus on the Family's Dr. James Dobson, Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League and the Reverend Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals. Also scheduled to appear on the August 14th broadcast from a Baptist church in Nashville, Tennessee, is the event's organizer, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, former Senator Zell Miller of Georgia and the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly. The first Justice Sunday broadcast, in April, was part of the unsuccessful effort to ban Senate filibusters of judicial nominees.

North Africa: Missionaries Face Persecution, Make Progress in Muslim Countries
Christian Aid Mission

Christian Aid has just learned from sources in North Africa that a native believer has been imprisoned. The man met the Lord while traveling in Europe and returned to his native country eager to preach the gospel. However, he attracted the notice of authorities and has reportedly been arrested and sentenced to long-term confinement in prison. Christian Aid's contacts in that country say that no one other than his immediate family is allowed to visit him. Such opposition is felt by Christians throughout North Africa. Despite persecution, hundreds of North African Muslims are coming to Christ. Another former Muslim wrote, "Thank you for helping me find and walk in this new road that will take me to eternal life. Pray for me, that I will be faithful until the end." One ministry leader wrote Christian Aid that his mission has started a new house church in a North African country, all of whose members come from Muslim backgrounds.

Once-Tortured Believer Now an Advocate for 'Christians in Crisis'
Charisma News Service

A Filipino pastor and evangelist who was tortured and scheduled for public hanging in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, now leads an organization that supports persecuted Christians worldwide. Wally Magdangal had just two days left to live when he was spared a Christmas Day 1992 execution because of the intervention of international human-rights groups, the U.S. Congress and the White House. His crime, according to the Saudi Arabian muttawa'in, or Islamic religious police, was blasphemy. It was a trumped-up charge based on his agreement with a Christian magazine article that predicted the ultimate fall of Islam, he said. He noted that the real reason he was imprisoned was because the underground church he'd led for 10 years in a sprawling Riyadh villa had become one of the largest in Saudi Arabia, with between 300 and 700 people attending each service. Magdangal was imprisoned and tortured for several months. Mathilda, his wife, was able to circulate her husband's story to international media outlets. On Dec. 25, 1992, Magdangal was expelled and returned to the Philippines. He then visited heads of state to tell them about the persecution and torture of Christians and other groups in Saudi Arabia. Magdangal and his family moved to the U.S. in 1993. Christians in Crisis (www.christiansincrisis.net) supports persecuted believers through a network of 500,000 intercessors, and through donations pays for projects such as purchasing bicycles for Chinese evangelists, building seminaries in China and assisting Christians after natural disasters. (www.charismanews.com)

Authorities Twice Raid Mennonite Center in Vietnam
Compass Direct

Just five days after authorities demolished half of a Mennonite church center, officials on Sunday evening forced their way in to disband a prayer meeting. As Christians were praying quietly, one of 30 local authorities shouted at them to stop and ordered Le Thi Phu Dzung (the wife of imprisoned pastor Nguyen Hong Quang) to disband the meeting. Dzung was cited for "gathering a crowd and disturbing public order" and "conducting illegal religious activities." Officials returned to the Mennonite center just before 9 p.m. for a second raid on a tip that Dzung had convened another meeting. Finding no meeting, the security police instead threatened to confiscate motorcycles parked inside the building. A prominent house church leader remarked that the May 2005 U.S.-Vietnam agreement on improving religious liberty is on trial.