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Religion Today Summaries - July 3, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 3, 2007

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

  • Christian Activists Urging Public Stand against Hate Crimes Legislation
  • Muslim Rule in Kebbi, Nigeria Chokes Church
  • Pope Urges Chinese Catholics to Unite
  • Over 16,000 College Students Called to Spark Spiritual Revolution

Christian Activists Urging Public Stand against Hate Crimes Legislation

OneNewsNow.com reports that a coalition of pro-family groups is calling Christian activists to Washington to take a public stand against proposed hate crimes legislation. On July 11, several activist groups will conduct a news conference regarding Senate Bill S 1105 and other hate crimes legislation, which many believe will seek to criminalize Christianity in the U.S. Michael Marcavage, president of Repent America, says hate crimes legislation is unnecessary. "We already have laws for those who act violently towards others. As Christians we do not advocate violence against other people, so that's not an issue. However, the lawmakers in Washington are attempting to criminalize Christians because of their faith in Jesus Christ and because they choose to speak the truth of God's Word. And that's exactly what is happening."

Muslim Rule in Kebbi, Nigeria Chokes Church

For Kebbi state pastor Nuhu Mamman, to become a Christian was to have a death sentence passed on the life he knew: converting killed his past, and his future appeared moribund as family, friends and fiancée abandoned him. Raised a Muslim, Mamman received Christ as a young man in 1969. Learning to read and write using only the Bible, Rev. Mamman never attended elementary or high school but ended up attending seminary and becoming pastor of a church with over 2,000 members. Converts to Christianity still face humiliation and stigma, he said. “We are always being forced to transfer former Muslims who have become Christians to other parts of this country in order to shield them from persecution,” Rev. Mamman said. Obtaining places for converts from Islam to worship is problematic; the state finds pretexts for preventing construction of churches or demolishing existing ones, and Muslim extremists burn down sanctuaries, Compass Direct News reports.

Pope Urges Chinese Catholics to Unite

According to The Church Report, Pope Benedict XVI made his most significant attempt to unite China's 12 million Catholics Saturday, urging the underground faithful and followers of the state-run church to overcome decades of animosity and distrust. Benedict lamented the lack of religious freedoms in China and called the government-sanctioned church "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine for appointing bishops without Vatican approval. But he also said he hoped the Vatican could reach an agreement with Beijing authorities on nominations.

Over 16,000 College Students Called to Spark Spiritual Revolution

Over 16,000 college students from around the world are on the verge of a "spiritual revolution" in Busan, Korea, The Christian Post reports. Leaders of Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI) are targeting campuses across the globe for world evangelization through college students. Students from 127 countries packed the BEXCO Convention Center during the opening ceremonies of CM2007 (Campus Mission) Monday night. It was the first night that the international students, who commenced the historic global student missions conference on Saturday, were joined by over 10,000 CCC students from Korea. The students from overseas welcomed the Korean students to the conference with a bow and greeting in the Korean language. "We believe that God wants to use South Korea in a mighty way to send revival around the world," said Pastor Rick Warren in a video message.