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Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 20, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 20, 2008

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

  • Homosexuals Oppose Evangelical Youth Event
  • Chinese Christian Mistreated in Prison for ‘Insulting’ Muslims
  • Possible Terror Attacks on Indonesian Christians this Easter?
  • Mysterious Clerical 'Error' Delays Murder Trial in Turkey

Homosexuals Oppose Evangelical Youth Event

ASSIST News Service reports that a public row concerning an evangelical youth festival and homosexuality has developed in Germany. The federal Parliament, the Bundestag in Berlin, has discussed the subject twice during question time. Approximately 20,000 young people are expected to attend Christival in Bremen, April 30 – May 4. One of numerous seminars and workshops was supposed to deal with the subject of a change of sexual orientation for homosexuals who are disenchanted with their lifestyle. But Volker Beck, Parliamentary whip of the Greens in the Bundestag and a practicing homosexual, took offense. He regards “therapy” for homosexuals as “dangerous charlatanism”. Although the Christival organizers cancelled the seminar immediately, Beck and his Parliamentary group questioned the federal government’s support for the event.

Chinese Christian Mistreated in Prison for 'Insulting' Muslims

Liu Huiwen, a Chinese Christian sentenced to 18 months imprisonment last November for distributing a gospel leaflet to Muslims in Gansu province, is suffering mistreatment in a Muslim-majority prison, local sources told Compass Direct News. After a recent prison visit, Liu’s wife Miao Hui Lian claimed that he was limping badly and looked very thin. Liu, unable to speak openly, told his wife that the prison was a “very bad place” and that he was being “bullied constantly.” When Liu’s wife attempted to travel to Beijing to report the abuse, police warned her to stay at home. A local source told Compass that, “We have reason to believe the guards or inmates are punishing him for what he did and trying to cast terror into his heart.”

Possible Terror Attacks on Indonesian Christians this Easter?

A charity providing assistance for the persecuted church has received what it calls "credible reports" that the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah has threatened to target Christians in Indonesia this Easter, ASSIST News Service reports. In a news release, the Barnabas Fund reported that Jemaah Islamiyah is believed to have organized the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, and bomb attacks at churches on Christmas Eve in 2000. Jemaah Islamiyah is dedicated to creating a single Islamic state throughout South-East Asia under Islamic (Shariah) law. It considers non-Muslims as legitimate targets and is active throughout the region. The Barnabas Fund reported that threats to Christians on major celebrations such as Easter and Christmas are frequent in Indonesia, and security guards are often posted outside churches.

Mysterious Clerical 'Error' Delays Murder Trial in Turkey

The fourth trial hearing against the murderers of three Christians in southeast Turkey was postponed for another month after court clerks mysteriously failed to file a request to replace judges accused of bias, Compass Direct News reports. Plaintiff lawyers’ official demand to replace the presiding judges was filed on March 1, but when the Malatya Third Criminal Court convened yesterday it was confirmed that the request still had not been forwarded to the higher court in Diyarbakir designated to rule on it. Plaintiff lawyers had listed repeated instances of the judges’ bias and partiality that they declared were “obstructing justice.” The failure of the Izmir court to forward the complaint to the higher court in Diyarbakir forced the Malatya court to postpone the hearing until April 14.