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Religion Today Summaries - March 2, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 2, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Ohio School Shooting Victim's Mother Forgives Gunman
  • Rick Warren's Bridge-Building With Muslims Draws Criticism
  • Two Troops Killed in Afghanistan after U.S. Apology for Quran Burning
  • Indonesian Muslims Pressure Red Cross to Remove Cross From Logo


Ohio School Shooting Victim's Mother Forgives Gunman

The mother of one of the three teens killed in Monday's shooting at Ohio's Chardon High School says she has forgiven the suspected gunman, T.J. Lane, the Christian Post reports. "I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don't know what they're doing," said Phyllis Ferguson, the mother of 16-year-old Demetrius Hewlin, who died in the hospital Tuesday. "I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today, and forgiveness is divine." Ferguson said her son wasn't a morning person and was often late for school, "but that one day he wasn't late. We were running a little late, but we weren't late enough. But it's okay. It's in God's hands. Let His will be done. ... God knew what He was doing. It's not for my understanding, but mine to accept and remember him as he was." Lane, a bullied and outcast student, allegedly opened fire inside the school cafeteria around 7:30 a.m. According to prosecutor David Joyce, the 17-year-old Lane admitted to firing 10 shots and chose his victims randomly.

Rick Warren's Bridge-Building With Muslims Draws Criticism

The Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, one of America's most influential pastors, has received criticism for a new effort to build bridges between Christians and Muslims. According to the Orange County Register, Warren has been outreaching for years to Muslims, including breaking Ramadan fasts at mosques and addressing thousands of Muslims at a national convention in D.C., and has now embarked on an endeavor called "King's Way" that aims to bring Christians and Muslims together. The ChristianNewswire reports that Warren's church and Muslim leaders have co-authored a document outlining points of "agreement" between Christians and Muslims, affirming they believe in "one God" and share the "love of God" and "love of neighbor." They have also agreed to not evangelize each other. Warren has denied that he is promoting "Chrislam" -- a merging of Islam and Christianity -- but Steve McConkey, president of the ministry 4 WINDS USA, argues: "Rick Warren and others who follow him are being led in the wrong direction. Instead of fulfilling the Great Commission of winning and building men and women in the faith, they are building a Tower of Babel that leads to nowhere ... something like the 'bridge to nowhere.' ... Warren has confused the Great Commission with the 'Great Lie,' that we can reach man with a little truth but more love. However, 1 Corinthians 13:6 says 'Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.' As we love others, we need to present the truth clearly despite the resulting persecution."

Two Troops Killed in Afghanistan after U.S. Apology for Quran Burning

Gunmen -- one believed to be an Afghan soldier -- killed two American NATO troops Thursday in southern Afghanistan, the latest retaliation by Afghan Muslims over the accidental burning of a Quran at a U.S. military base last week, CBN News reports. President Obama and military leaders have apologized to the Muslim world for the unintended desecration of Islam's holy book, and when ABC News asked Obama if the apologies had worked, he said: "Yes. ... It calmed things down, [but] we're not out of the woods yet. The politics or the second-guessing [of] these decisions, I'm not worried about. I'm worried about making sure that the men and women in uniform are in the best possible position to come home safely and carry out their mission." Six NATO troops have been killed by Afghan security forces in less than two weeks, and the leader of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan continues to call for "disciplinary action" for the U.S. troops involved in the Quran burning.

Indonesian Muslims Pressure Red Cross to Remove Cross From Logo

The Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia, or PMI, in Indonesian) says it will never change its traditional logo that has made it famous around the world, despite criticism from an Islamist party, AsiaNews reports. The Islamist Prosperous Justice Party said the symbol of a red cross was too easily identifiable with Christian culture and traditions, but Red Cross volunteers rejected the claim, saying any changes to the logo would be giving in to the extremists. "Indonesia is a secular, not Muslim-based state," said PMI executive member Muhammad Muas. "[It] is a state that respects pluralism." Some experts suggested the demand to change the PMI symbol stemmed from the Islamist party's desire to link the Indonesian Red Cross to the Islamic red crescent.

Publication date: March 2, 2012