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Religion Today Summaries - March 9, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 9, 2010

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

  • Protests Held in Nigeria after Sunday Massacre
  • Haiti Judge Orders Release of Another U.S. Missionary
  • Survey: College Grads Take Dim View of Ten Commandments
  • German Choir Abuse Predates Pope's Brother, Vatican Says

Protests Held in Nigeria after Sunday Massacre

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that youths in Jos, Nigeria, are holding protests following the massacre of more than 200 Christians in several villages. Survivors of the massacre say armed men arrived at around three o'clock on Sunday morning, and woke the villagers simultaneously with gun fire and shouting, before setting homes on fire and attacking men, women and children with knives. Army assistance was requested, but arrived after the massacre had taken place. Some youths are now calling for the army to leave, as they question its role in the violence and feel its presence has done little to deter attacks on isolated communities. Sky News reports that more than 90 people, including 19 Muslim Fulani herdsmen, have been arrested following Sunday's violence.

Haiti Judge Orders Release of U.S. Missionary

Christian Today reports that Charisa Coulter, one of two American missionaries still imprisoned in Haiti, has been freed. According to the Haitian judge overseeing the case, all that remains is an administrative knot. "I already signed the release order," said Judge Bernard Sainvil, according to Reuters. "All that is left now is to seal it but they cannot find the official stamp." Coulter will join eight other freed missionaries in the U.S. after all of them were arrested in late January on trafficking charges. The group's leader, Laura Silsby, remains in prison. Sainvil said he wants to further question Silsby for her role in trying to take 33 "orphans" out of Haiti into the Dominican Republic. The group was told it did not have the proper paperwork at the border and was arrested when they returned to Port-au-Prince.

Survey: College Grads Take Dim View of Ten Commandments

Religion News Service reports that college graduates are more likely to consider the Ten Commandments irrelevant than those with no college degree, according to a recent study. They are also more likely to reject the Bible as the word of God. A "distinct shift" occurs after college regarding beliefs and opinion, said Richard Brake, director of university studies at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. The ISI surveyed 2,508 Americans on questions intended to measure the impact of a college degree on people's beliefs. The study also found that people with college degrees were more likely to support same-sex marriage, as well as abortion available at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason. Graduates were also more likely to believe that public school teachers should not be allowed to lead prayers in schools. The shift may be attributed to the unpopularity of strong religious views in academia, Brake said. "I think one of the reasons you see this shift is the people that work in academia share these same views," he said.

German Choir Abuse Predates Pope's Brother, Vatican Says

Reuters reports that a high-profile abuse situation linked to a cathedral choir in Germany may not touch the Vatican as previously believed. Pope Benedict XVI's brother ran the choir for 30 years, but the two reported abuse cases did not happen under his watch, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said. The two cases, which occurred in 1958 and 1964, both resulted in dismissal of the clergymen involved. "Both cases were made public at the time and can be considered closed in a judicial sense. They do not coincide with the time at which Rev. Georg Ratzinger was in charge (1964-1994)," the statement read. Three investigations of alleged sexual abuse from the early 1960s is ongoing. The Vatican said it fully supported the diocese of Regensburg's decision to openly and decisively investigate the issue and the Church's primary concern was to provide justice for any victims.