Religion Today Summaries - July 8, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 8, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Eight Christians Killed in Nigerian Muslim Attacks
  • Barna Study Examines Group Expressions of Faith
  • Worldwide Prayer Chain Begins for Eritrean Christians
  • India: Extremists Use Anti-Conversion Laws to Victimize Pastors

Eight Christians Killed in Nigerian Muslim Attacks

Nigeria's religious communities continue to strike each other with sporadic violence, Worthy News reports. Christians in two states of Nigeria are mourning the killings of at least eight Christian believers. "On the night of July 3, several Muslims attacked Kizachi village in Kaduna State and killed five Christians, including a primary school teacher and mother of six children. The Muslims also burned down five Christian homes," said International Christian Concern (ICC). According to ICC, police stopped protecting the village on July 2 as the government failed to pay their salaries. There was no immediate comment from Nigerian police. The second attack on July 4 happened near the violence-riddled city of Jos, when 200 Muslims armed with guns and machetes stormed Ganawuri community, allegedly killing three Christians.

Barna Study Examines Group Expressions of Faith

A new study from the Barna Group focuses on active churchgoers in America and trends in their expressions of faith. The group's findings confirmed some expectations, such as greater levels of involvement among those over age 45. Other findings ran counter to stereotype, as the findings showed those who attend house churches were more likely to identify as "liberal" than those connected with any other faith activity. Women are slightly more likely to be weekly churchgoers, Bible study members and Sunday school participants than men. Single adults are often missing from faith activities. Almost half of Americans are unmarried, but only a third of those who attend church, go to small groups and participate in Sunday school are single. The South's "Bible belt" also showed in the study, as people living in the South make up the majority of Sunday school attendees.

Worldwide Prayer Chain Begins for Eritrean Christians

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that the Eritrean Paltalk community has started a 24-hour prayer chain for Eritrea. The movement comes in response to the increasing suffering of Eritreans both inside the country and in countries like Libya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and Israel, where they live as refugees. The prayer chain began on July 1 and will run until September 30. Poverty and food shortages, as well as an extremely repressive government, mean that many Eritreans flee the country to seek refuge elsewhere. Among them are Eritreans who have been denied the right to freedom of religion. Many Christians are amongst the estimated 20,000 people currently in detention, where many are slowly dying as a result of the harsh prison conditions. The coordinators of the prayer initiative are inviting people worldwide to join them by praying for at least one hour per day for an end to the suffering of the Eritrean people.

India: Extremists Use Anti-Conversion Laws to Victimize Pastors

ASSIST News Service reports that Hindu extremists continue to victimize pastors in India, using anti-conversion laws as an excuse to attack Christians and limit church activities. According to U.K.-based Release International, two pastors were seriously injured on June 23 when they were attacked by men wielding iron bars in Chandapura, Karnataka state. The men accused them of converting people to Christianity by force. Before that attack some extremists reported to be from the Bajrang Dal organization burnt at least seven vehicles belonging to the Jesus With Us Pentecostal Church. The attack followed efforts by Hindu extremists to prevent the church from holding a four-day convention. The gathering went ahead in a different location under police protection.