Religion Today Summaries - March 12, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 12, 2010

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

  • World Vision Suspends Work in Pakistan after Killings
  • Nigeria Police, Plateau Officials Disagree on Death Toll
  • Lesbian Bishop-Elect Clears Crucial Hurdle
  • Chinese Bible Updated for First Time in 90 Years

World Vision Suspends Work in Pakistan after Killings

ASSIST News Service reports that World Vision is suspending its operations in Pakistan after militants attacked its office in the country on Wednesday, killing six people. Police and the agency have said that the victims, including two women, were all Pakistani nationals working for World Vision in the northwestern Mansehra district. No group has admitted carrying out the attack but Islamist militants and specifically the Taliban are suspected. Gunmen burst into the World Vision Building in the village of Oghi early Wednesday morning. "About 10 men came, they were all wearing masks. They kicked the doors down, took everyone out of their offices, put them in one place and started shooting," an office administrator told the AFP news agency.

Nigeria Police, Plateau Officials Disagree on Death Toll reports that police and state officials in Plateau state, Nigeria, have released drastically different death tolls after Sunday's violence. The state government originally said that 500 Christians, many of them women and children, were killed in Sunday's violence. Police, however, say that first figure was overblown and that only 109 people died by their count. Many survivors in Dogo Nahawa say police did nothing about security despite rumors before the brutal attack, a claim that police flatly deny. "Prior to the assumption of duty as the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, and in the wake of the on-going crisis, the military had already taken over the internal security of the state through a brief ceremony conducted for the purpose," said Ikechukwu Aduba, Acting Commissioner of Police. State officials challenged Aduba to verify details from journalists who went to the village.

Lesbian Bishop-Elect Clears Crucial Hurdle

Religion News Service reports that a majority of dioceses in the Episcopal Church have confirmed the election of an open lesbian as a bishop in Los Angeles. The Diocese of Los Angeles, where Glasspool was elected as an assistant bishop last December, announced confirmations from 61 of the denomination's 110 dioceses on Wednesday (March 10). A majority of diocesan bishops, however, must also consent to Glasspool's election before she can be consecrated a bishop. Episcopal Church headquarters in New York keeps the bishops' tally, but generally does not release it until the outcome is sealed. Glasspool has until May 8 to receive the necessary votes from bishops. If her election is confirmed, she would be only the second openly gay person to be elected a bishop in the U.S. church or the wider Anglican Communion. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, said last year that Glasspool's election "raises very serious questions" and urged Episcopal bishops to reject it.

Chinese Bible Updated for First Time in 90 Years

According to DeMoss News, the 70 million Chinese Christians worldwide now have access to an updated Bible for the first time since 1919. The update provides an alternative to the Chinese Union Version, a translation that is filled with characters that are no longer commonly used and can be confusing to modern Chinese readers. Beginning March 12, scholars managing the creation of the Revised Chinese Union Version (RCUV) will visit New York churches and congregations to introduce New York's Chinese Christian communities to the newly updated Bible translation. The scholars will also visit San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston. "This new Bible translation honors the many Chinese who have paid a high price and waited so long to experience the Bible," said R. Lamar Vest, American Bible Society president. By comparison, versions of the English Bible undergo revisions every 20 or 30 years to keep up with changes.