Religion Today Summaries - June 21, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 21, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • U.S. Clergy Praise Morocco as Country Jails Christians
  • Bread for the World Wins Top Anti-Hunger Prize
  • China: Chengnan Church Faces Total Destruction
  • $1 Billion in Tax Dollars Given to Abortion Advocates

U.S. Clergy Praise Morocco as Country Jails Christians

Worthy News reports that Moroccan Christian Jamaa Ait Bakim  will serve 15 years for evangelism in Prison Centrale on the country's coast. Meanwhile, the U.S.-based National Clergy Council on June 17 praised Morocco for its "long history of friendship and religious cooperation." National Clergy Council President Reverend Rob Schenck said, "Morocco is virtually unique in the Arab-speaking world. It has consistently topped the lists of religiously tolerant Islamic countries." Morocco recently expelled at least 100 Christian foreigners on charges of proselytizing, which is illegal in the Muslim country. "Christians shouldn't be targeted for deportation simply because of their beliefs," said attorney Roger Kiska, who testified before the Human Rights Commission Thursday, June 18. "None of the preconditions for lawful deportation under Moroccan law was met by the government officials in this case."

Bread for the World Wins Top Anti-Hunger Prize

The president of a Christian anti-hunger lobbying group has won the premier award for fighting world hunger, according to Religion News Service. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton awarded the World Food Prize to Bread for the World President David Beckmann at the State Department on June 16. Beckmann, an economist and ordained Lutheran minister, shared the $250,000 prize with Jo Luck, president of Heifer International. The World Food Prize Foundation recognizes individuals "who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world," according to their website. Bread for the World focuses its work on nutrition programs, development assistance and political advocacy. The organization works with Christian churches -- Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox -- to advocate for hunger causes on Capitol Hill and within their congregations.

China: Chengnan Church Faces Total Destruction

Three of Chengnan Church's buildings were destroyed in December 2008, ChinaAid reports. Chinese authorities are now prepared to destroy the remaining buildings to make way for commercial residential buildings. On June 6, the authorities sent a band of citizens, acting illegally on pretense of enforcing the law, to beat up Christians and to disrupt the Sunday worship held beside the ruins of the church. Chengnan Church members have protested the scheduled demolition, and refuse to give up meeting on the church grounds. The church, situated in Tinghu District, Yancheng City, bought the property in 2005 for US $750,000. The church was registered at that time as a Three-Self Patriotic Movement church, and their documentation for the church properties were all in order. Chengnan church members plan to continue pressing for the rights of the church, but will likely face more loss at the hands of the Yangcheng government.

$1 Billion in Tax Dollars Given to Abortion Advocates

The Christian Post reports that organizations advocating abortion have received more than $1 billion in taxpayer money over the last eight years. A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows the funds went to just six organizations between 2002 and 2009. Almost two-third of the funds went to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which received $657.1 million. "By funding Planned Parenthood and their allies, we are unwittingly supporting an abortion organization and everything they do," said Ken Blackwell, senior fellow for family empowerment at the conservative Family Research Council. "When taxpayer money goes to abortion groups for any reason, it supports the work of the abortion industry."