Religion Today Summaries - June 8, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 8, 2009

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

  • San Diego County Formally Apologizes to Local Pastor
  • Publishers Hope New Arabic Bible Will Open Doors
  • Church Vandalism Gets City's Attention
  • Pakistan: Muslim Forces Kidnapped Girl to Convert, Marry


San Diego County Formally Apologizes to Local Pastor

The Christian Post reports that San Diego county officials have issued a formal apology to a pastor who was told he couldn't hold Bible studies in his home without a permit. County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard sent the letter to Pastor David Jones on Wednesday, fulfilling Jones's demand for the rescinded decision in writing. “Christians should not be punished simply for holding a Bible study in their home, so we are very encouraged by the county’s response and their commitment to immediate corrective action,” said Dean Broyles, president of the Western Center for Law & Policy and Jones' attorney. The county offices were reportedly flooded with complaints when several media outlets printed the story in April.

Publishers Hope New Arabic Bible Will Open Doors

Mission News Network reports that World Bible Translation Center (WBTC) has just released a new version of the Bible in updated Arabic language. "You will have many Arabs that will say, 'If we could just get our governments out of the way, we wouldn't have all these problems,'" said Eric Fellman with WBTC after a recent trip to the Middle East. "It's on that level that I think there's a tremendous opportunity for the Gospel to spread." Although the Bible has been available in Arabic since 1860, WBTC's Easy-to-Read Arabic Bible is the first translation since then, and replaces the outdated vocabulary and grammar of the previous translation. The project required almost 10 years of work.

Church Vandalism Gets City's Attention

Baptist Press reports that vandals did more than $63,000 damage to the newly renamed Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, but they did more good than bad. Because of the news media's coverage, everyone in Grand Junction, Colo., now knows about the church, interim pastor Robert Babcox said. "The community has just come alive with this," said Babcox, who also works as a Sears operations manager. "I was praying for ways to reach out to the community, how to do it so God would get the glory. In my wildest dreams I couldn't come up with a better plan than what God did." The dwindling church, which called Babcox in April, received thousands of dollars in support from the community, and hosted a barbeque to thank the community just two weeks after the vandalism.

Pakistan: Muslim Forces Kidnapped Girl to Convert, Marry

Compass Direct News reports that a Christian mother in Punjab Province whose 12-year-old daughter was kidnapped by Muslim men is losing hope for her return. Huma, 12, has been coerced into converting to Islam and forcibly married to a 37-year-old Muslim. The reaction of Pakistani law enforcement authorities to Sajida Masih’s complaint so far – ridiculing her and asserting that there is nothing she can do because her daughter is now a Muslim – does not encourage her hopes of recovering Huma at Thursday’s (June 11) hearing. Masih said that Muhammad Imran abducted Huma at gunpoint on Feb. 23, forcibly converted her and then married her. Imran, father of three children, has since disappeared along with his first wife, children and new child-bride.