Religion Today Summaries - June 16, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 16, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • Family of Somali Girl Abuses Her for Leaving Islam
  • Nigerian Bishops Credits Evangelism with Huge Growth
  • Ten Commandments in Kentucky Called Unconstitutional
  • Immigration a 'Kingdom Issue,' Land Says

Family of Somali Girl Abuses Her for Leaving Islam

Compass Direct News reports that the Muslim parents of a 17-year-old Somali girl who converted to Christianity continue to abuse her. They severely beat her for leaving Islam and have regularly shackled her to a tree at their home for more than a month, Christian sources said. Nurta Mohamed Farah has been confined to her home since May 10, when her family found out that she had embraced Christianity, said a Christian leader who visited the area. Her parents also took her to a doctor who prescribed medication for a "mental illness," he said. Alarmed by her determination to keep her faith, her father, Hassan Kafi Ilmi, and mother, Hawo Godane Haf, decided she had gone crazy and forced her to take the prescribed medication, but it had no effect in swaying her from her faith, the source said.

Nigerian Bishops Credits Evangelism with Huge Growth

The Anglican Church in Nigeria has experienced explosive growth over the last two decades to become the largest active Protestant body in the world. The church grew from 24 dioceses in 1988 to 156 dioceses today. According to Christian Today, those in the church credit a changing view of a bishop's role - an evangelist, not a ceremonial leader - for the growth. The Rt. Rev. Peter Jasper Akinola, a previous primate of the Church of Nigeria, says bishops used to enjoy special treatment and were addressed as "His Lordship." Then the church sent bishops to weak Anglican areas to form full-fledged congregations. "Today, every bishop (in the Church of Nigeria) is first and foremost an evangelist," said Akinola. "And from that, other things follow."

Ten Commandments in Kentucky Called Unconstitutional

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the Ten Commandments display placed in the Courts of McCreary and Pulaski Counties in Kentucky violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, according to Christian Newswire. The court noted that the purpose of the displays is religious, while displays in other counties have stood because they lacked that purpose. Judge James L. Ryan recommended a rehearing with the full Sixth Circuit panel of Judges because of several other rulings by the court which had different outcomes. Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University Law School said, "The Ten Commandments are a part of the fabric of our country. They are as much at home in display about the foundations of law or as the stars and stripes are in the flag. The Founding Fathers would be outraged that we are even debating the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments."

Immigration a 'Kingdom Issue,' Land Says

Immigration is "an important issue that has reached a critical phase," Richard Land told members of the National Hispanic Fellowship of Southern Baptist Churches June 13. Baptist Press reports that Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, addressed the small gathering of Hispanic Southern Baptists at First Baptist Church in Kissimmee, Fla. "I'm not telling you anything you don't know when I tell you this issue is rending the social fabric of the country," said Land, who had visited with President Barack Obama's advisers at the White House on the subject during the previous week. He touched on the controversial Arizona law that requires police to check with the federal government on a person's status, calling it a "cry for help." He continued, "As a symptom, it needs to be addressed with a federal immigration policy that works."