Religion Today Summaries - June 23, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 23, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.In today's edition:

  • Christians Arrested for Outreach to Muslims in Michigan
  • Bible Translators Hope for Every Language by 2025
  • Reformed Christians Mourn Death of Nico Smith
  • World Gospel Mission Celebrates 100 Years

Christians Arrested for Outreach to Muslims in Michigan

ASSIST News Service reports that three Christians were arrested on June 18 at the Arab International Festival in Dearborn, Mich., as they shared their faith with Muslims. The three were arrested by police as they engaged in intense, but respectful dialog in which they proclaimed their faith in Christ. "I never thought I would see this in America," says Steven Atkins, a resident of Toronto, Canada, who was visiting the festival and observed the incident. The three arrested include Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, David Woods, and Paul Rezkalla. Dr. Quereshi is co-director of Acts 17 Apologetics Ministries. "When Dr. Quereshi was arrested I heard people clapping and applauding, and some said ‘Allahu Akbar,'" Atkins said. There was a crowd of 15-20 people watching the exchange and subsequent arrest. This year, the city of Dearborn banned the distribution of Christian literature near the festival.

Bible Translators Hope for Every Language by 2025

Progress continues in Wycliffe's Bible Translators' efforts to translate at least part of the Bible in every one of the world's 6,909 spoken languages in the next 15 years, the Denver Post reports. "We're in the greatest period of acceleration in 20 centuries of Bible translation," said Morrison resident Paul Edwards, who heads up Wycliffe Bible Translators' $1 billion Last Languages Campaign. He said portable computers and satellites have helped speed up the process by about 125 years. "Wycliffe missionaries don't evangelize, teach theology, hold Bible study or start churches. They give (preliterate people) a written language," Edwards said. "They teach them to read and write in their mother tongue." About 2,200 languages still have no written Bible.

Reformed Christians Mourn Death of Nico Smith

The Christian Post reports that apartheid-era pastor Rev. Nico Smith, a pioneer for just treatment in South Africa, died Saturday. He was 81. "Dr. Nico Smith was one of those African Afrikaners who renounced their apartheid privileges and decided to suffer reproach with the black majority in South Africa," said Prof. S.T. Kgatla, moderator of the United Reformed Church in South Africa, in a statement. Smith left the Duth Reformed Church in the 1980s to preach in the main black township, Mamelodi. "His sense of justice was what drove him to feel that all people should have access to opportunities," Marita Laubscher, the eldest of his three daughters, told AP. "He felt, as a Christian, how could he be part of a church if not all people could be considered human."

World Gospel Mission Celebrates 100 Years

Christian Newswire reports that missionary organization World Gospel Mission celebrates 100 years of taking the message of the gospel to the nations this year. "Even as we celebrate what God has done through World Gospel Mission over the last 100 years, we can't for a moment take our eyes off of what lies ahead," said WGM President Hubert Harriman. "We must equip the men and women from our fields who have answered the call to missions." In 1910, two missionary couples began working as missionaries in China and their ministry continued until the 1940s. Representatives from China, who are the fruit of those early missionaries, will be present at the June 24-27 celebration at Indiana Wesleyan University, along with international guests from many other countries.