Religion Today Summaries - July 31, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff | Friday, July 31, 2009

Religion Today Summaries - July 31, 2009

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

  • Five More Convicted for Orissa Anti-Christian Violence
  • Six Churches Destroyed in Nigeria Islamic Violence
  • Financial Advice from the Bible a Growing Trend
  • Vietnam: Priest Thrown from Hospital Window Amid Protests

Five More Convicted for Orissa Anti-Christian Violence

Christian Today reports that five more men have been convicted in connection with attacks on Orissa Christians last year. The men were all sentenced to a six years in prison, while several others were acquitted for lack of evidence. This is only the second round of convictions handed down for the incidents. About 10,000 people have been named in 827 cases following the violence that burned 4,500 Christian homes and destroyed 180 churches. At least 60 Christians were killed in mob violence after Hindu extremists blamed them for the murder of their leader in August 2008, even though Maoists claimed responsibility. Some Christians have been compensated for their lost homes and property, but many have seen little if any restitution as they try to return home.

Six Churches Destroyed in Nigeria Islamic Violence

Christian Post reports that Islamic militants in Nigeria have targeted at least six churches in two states over the last few days. One Baptist church in Potiskum, Yobe state was burned and destroyed, while another five churches in Maiduguri, Borno state suffered the same fate. The militant group Boko Haram destroyed 14 churches in similar attacks in February. “We were unable to sleep throughout the night as there was an exchange of fire between the group and the security operatives a stone throw from our residence,” said one Christian in Yobe, according to Open Doors. “They burnt one of our churches (the Baptist Church). Our lives are at risk. The group claimed not to be fighting Christians, but... we are not secured at all.”

Financial Advice from the Bible a Growing Trend

The Chicago Tribune reports that financial advice straight from the Bible is gaining in popularity. As more try to get a handle on their personal finances, it's only nature for them to look at the "best-selling personal finance book of all time," said Matt Bell, author of "Money Strategies for Tough Times." Programs such as those by Dave Ramsey, Crown Financial Ministries and Good $ense base their instruction on the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible that concern money and property. Bell notes the Biblical order often focuses on giving as well as spending and saving, an idea that "flips the cultural teaching on its head." Dave Ramsey's radio programs always end with a spiritual reminder: "There's ultimately only one way to financial peace and that's to walk daily with the prince of peace, Christ Jesus."

Vietnam: Priest Thrown from Hospital Window amid Protests

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that Catholics have carried out mass demonstrations in Vietnam this week. The demonstrations follow a violent police clampdown on a protest over a disputed site. Among the casualties was a priest, now in a coma, who was beaten and thrown from the second floor of a hospital by gangs allegedly acting on police instructions. “We are gravely concerned about the reports of violence and growing anti-Catholic sentiment in Vietnam," said CSW’s advocacy director Tina Lambert. "We continue to fully support the Catholic Church’s claim to church property and ask the Vietnamese government to allow the church access to rebuild Tam Toa."