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Religion Today Summaries, June 4, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, June 4, 2004

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

  • India: Pastor Arrested, Charged Under 'Freedom of Religion' Act 
  • Homosexual Movement Aims to Silence the Church
  • Christian Aid Workers In Afghanistan Concerned After Deadly Attack
  • Christian Home Business Opportunity Builds Relationships

India: Pastor Arrested, Charged Under 'Freedom of Religion' Act
Compass Direct

Hindu villagers have accused Pastor Subas Samal and six other Christians from Kilipal village, in the state of Orissa, India, of "conversion by inducement" under the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act. Pastor Samal and his assistant Mr. Dhanishwar Kandi were arrested on May 29. All seven defendants were due to appear in court today. Hindu villagers claimed the Christians had converted 25 Dalits in the village over a period of ten years, using financial enticement. Advocate Bibhu Prasad Tripathi said the claims were ridiculous. "I personally feel he and the other Christians are being harassed. This is unwarranted and uncalled for." Five of the accused Christians were victims of an earlier incident on February 10 where their heads were forcibly shaved by Hindu villagers.

Homosexual Movement Aims to Silence the Church
Agape Press

A pro-family leader says predictions about the prime objective of the homosexual movement -- to silence all opposition to the lifestyle -- are coming true. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council notes that his group has been warning churches that "if we continue down this path of legalizing same-sex marriage, there would come a point in time where, to impose this upon the public they would have to silence the opposition, which is the churches. What we didn't expect is for it to be occurring already." Perkins cites a case in which a church is having to deal with a legal action brought against it by a pro-abortion and a pro-homosexual group. The complaint was filed after the Montana church began a petition drive against same-sex marriage. And the FRC spokesman says another complaint has been filed against a Catholic priest who says politicians who support same-sex marriage should be denied communion. "There is clearly this intent, this effort, to silence the churches, and Christians should be aware of it," Perkins says.

Christian Aid Workers In Afghanistan Concerned After Deadly Attack
Stefan Bos, Agape Press

Christian aid organizations in Afghanistan expressed concern Thursday, June 3, about growing Islamic extremism in the troubled country after five workers of Doctors without Borders were shot in an attack on their vehicle near the village of Khairkhana. The Brussels- based Nobel Peace Prize-winning aid agency has suspended its work in Afghanistan following Wednesday's violence in which three foreigners and two Afghans were killed apparently by Islamic militants linked to the previous Taliban regime. Doctors Without Borders named the dead as Afghans Fasil Ahmad and Besmillah, Belgian Helene de Beir, Egil Tynaes of Norway, and Dutchman Willem Kwint. It came also as a major setback for Christian organizations like International Aid (IA) who fear the latest accident is part of a new trend. "(It) wasn't very long ago that someone in a military situation that wore a red cross or was involved in development work was kind of off limits to the combatants and that seems to be changing both in Afghanistan and Iraq," IA's President Myles Fish said. But Fish added the new violence will not stop IA's travel plans and activities in Afghanistan which has been beset by security problems since the invasion in 2001 that ousted the Taliban regime. IA's work includes a medical clinic that is the only source of medical care in an Afghan community.

Christian Home Business Opportunity Builds Relationships
Allie Martin, Agape Press

Two Christian businesswomen are tapping into consumers' growing interest in religious books and at the same time offering opportunities for more individuals to become business owners without having to sacrifice quality time with their families. Several years ago Rebecca Price and Lisa Bergren left jobs in the Christian publishing business to start Good Books & Company. The business features a wide selection of products distributed through independent consultants, who hold home shows where others can buy Christian books and gifts. Price says Good Books is about more than just making a sale -- it is about forging relationships and responding to people's needs. "When a woman sits down at a home show and talks about a need in her life or the life of one of her children or her parents or her friends, then our consultants are able to recommend just the right book," Price says. The Christian entrepreneur says the home-based business is ideal for Christian women who want to spend more time with their families and to help others grow spiritually at the same time. And she says the business is having a real impact, especially on women who desire a deeper walk with the Lord. Good Books & Company offers more than 200 products, including books about living the Christian life, Bible studies, fiction, children's books, and gift items related to faith and friendship.