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Religion Today Summaries - June 7, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 7, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • 48 to Stand Trial for Cairo Church Attack
  • U.S. Budget Cuts May Hit Iranian Refugees
  • TNIV Debate Renewed in Critique of New NIV
  • Court: NYC Can Bar Religious Services in Public Schools


48 to Stand Trial for Cairo Church Attack

Egypt's government will try 48 people for their involvement in last month's deadly sectarian violence, Christian Today reports. The violence ultimately led to the burning of a church in Cairo and killed 12 people. The accused have been referred to Cairo’s Supreme State Security Court Saturday, for “premeditated murder, harming public security, inciting sectarian tension, burning a church and possessing weapons with the purpose of carrying out terror (acts)." The clashes were allegedly sparked by rumors among the Islamic community that Christians had abducted a woman, Abeer Fakhry, whom they claim had converted to Islam. Muslims allegedly tried to search buildings near the church to find her, leading to the use of firearms on both sides. Of the 48 people referred to the criminal courts, 26 are still at large.

U.S. Budget Cuts May Hit Iranian Refugees

According to Mission News Network, Congress' efforts to plug holes in the budget may effectively trap some Iranian Christians in their home country. The Lautenberg Amendment, which helps persecuted religious minorities get receive visas to the U.S., is on the chopping block in the House Judiciary Committee. Evangelist Sammy Tippit is aghast at what that could mean. His connections with believers there indicate that only extreme circumstances would force a decision to flee. "Most of them want to stay in the country. That's their home. They want to minister, they want to witness. It's only out of absolute necessity that they come to the place where they have to leave." Those that do leave, however, face prison or deportation back to Iran in many countries, necessitating the channel the Lautenberg Amendment provides to the U.S.

TNIV Debate Renewed in Critique of New NIV

Six years after the evangelical world debated the merits of making Bible translations more gender inclusive, the divide is becoming evident once again. At issue is the 2011 translation of the New International Version (NIV), which Baptist Press reports is being released six years after the full version of the 2005 TNIV translation -- which never gained wide support -- was published. The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), the Louisville, Ky.-based group which was a leading opponent of the TNIV, released its review of the 2011 NIV in late May. CBMW concluded that 75 percent of the "inaccurate gender language" present in the TNIV remains in the 2011 NIV. The 22-page evaluation did say, though, that the newest NIV includes "numerous commendable improvements" from the TNIV -- 933 in all.

Court: NYC Can Bar Religious Services in Public Schools

New York City Schools have the right to keep religious services out of public schools, according to a federal appeals court ruling. The New York Daily News reports that religious groups, including churches, may teach and pray, but may not hold "worship services," the 2-to-1 decision read. "It is reasonable for the Board (of Education) to fear ... allowing schools to be converted into churches," the judges wrote Thursday in a decision for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. "The Board's concern that it would be substantially subsidizing churches if it opened schools for religious worship services is reasonable." In the 2008-09 school year, more than 60 congregations had permits to use city schools as their regular meeting place for church services. The ruling ends the ban that had previously prevented schools from kicking out congregations.