Religion Today Summaries - July 26, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 26, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Five Somali Muslim Men Assault Christian in Ethiopia
  • 800 Christian and Muslim Rioters Face Arrest in Pakistan
  • Church Blasts Gay Priests Leading 'Double Life'
  • Germany's First Woman Bishop Resigns over Sexual Abuse

Five Somali Muslim Men Assault Christian in Ethiopia

Five Somali Muslim men have assaulted and seriously injured a Christian man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for reading a book critical of the Prophet Muhammad, according to International Christian Concern. On July 16, Mike Abdul Falahow, a Christian convert from Islam, was reading "The Great Deception: How Muhammad Tried to Win Christians for Islam" when two Somali Muslims approached. They said the book, a critical study of Sura Al Imran 3:33-64 in the Qur'an, was offensive and attacked the honor of the Prophet Muhammad. Falahow refused to surrender the book. After failing to seize the book, the men commenced punching and kicking Falahow, and three other Muslim men joined in. Falahow sustained a broken leg and cuts to his face. This is not the first time Somali Muslims have attacked Somalis who converted to Christianity in Addis Ababa. However, this is the first time that such an attack took place in a crowded public place. 

800 Christian and Muslim Rioters Face Arrest in Pakistan

ASSIST News Service reports that police have named over 800 people in a report for rioting on June 19 after murder of two Christian brothers outside a court in Faisalabad. Rashid Emmanuel, 30, and his brother Sajid, 27, were accused of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad earlier this month, a charge they both denied. Local Christians took to the streets after hearing the news of murder of the Christian brothers. The angry Christians chanted slogans and caused some damage to properties to vent their anger. Muslims, in retaliation, also took out rallies which aggravated the already tense situation. Hundreds of armed Christians and Muslims maintained their presence on local roads until 3 a.m. The Christian rights activist said that the administration named so many people in the first information report to force Christians to "broker reconciliation with the Muslims."

Church Blasts Gay Priests Leading 'Double Life'

The Associated Press reports that the Catholic Church blasted priests who lead a "double life" as gay men on Friday. The "strongly worded statement" from the Diocese of Rome followed a story in conservative Panorama newsweekly, which followed three gay priests around their clerical duties - and sexual exploits. The church promised to pursue and punish behavior that was not a model "of morality for all." Those who aren't faithful to their vows "know that no one is forcing them to remain priests, taking advantage of only the benefits," the diocese said. "Coherency would demand that they come forward. We don't wish any ill-will against them, but we cannot accept that because of their behavior the honor of all the others is sullied." The Vatican barred practicing gays from seminaries in 2005.

Germany's First Woman Bishop Resigns over Sexual Abuse

Religion News Service reports that Maria Jepsen, the world's first woman to be elected a Lutheran bishop, resigned her post in Hamburg on July 16 after allegations that she failed to properly investigate cases of sexual abuse. Jepsen, who led the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church, was facing accusations that she failed to act swiftly and decisively to investigate cases of sexual abuse in her diocese. The abuse cases date back to the 1980s when a pastor in the town of Ahrensburg reportedly sexually abused as many as 20 children. Jepsen said she had only become aware of the cases in March when one of the victims wrote to her. German media reports, however, said she knew of the behavior as early as 1999. Jepsen, 65, was due to retire in 2012.