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Religion Today Summaries - May 10, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 10, 2005

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

  • Evangelist Oral Roberts' Wife, a 'Great Woman of Faith,' Dies 

  • Vietnamese Christian Released Early from Prison 

  • Despite Bible Translators' Murder, Efforts Among Wapishana To Continue 

  • Religious Violence in Benue, Nigeria, Claims 17 Lives 

Evangelist Oral Roberts' Wife, a 'Great Woman of Faith,' Dies
Charisma News Service

The wife of evangelist Oral Roberts died in a California hospital after suffering a head injury during a fall. According to Tulsa, Okla.-based Oral Roberts University (OUR), Evelyn Roberts, 88, fell in the parking lot of a Newport Beach dentist's office a week ago, striking her head on the pavement and causing massive internal bleeding. Roberts, who had been in generally good health, lapsed into a coma a short time later and died last Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. Oral and Evelyn Roberts married more than 66 years ago, and she worked with her husband to build his TV ministry and university. She wrote several books, including her best-selling autobiography, "His Darling Wife, Evelyn." "Mrs. Roberts played a vital role in her husband's worldwide evangelistic ministry from its beginning in 1947," ORU's Web site said. "In obedience to God's call on their lives, she was instrumental in helping Oral carry the message of God's saving, healing, delivering power through the building of Oral Roberts University and the many other outreaches of the Oral Roberts Ministries." Besides her husband, Roberts is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Lindsay Roberts, and a daughter and son-in-law, Roberta and Ronald Potts, as well as 13 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, two sisters and three brothers. (www.charismanews.com)

Vietnamese Christian Released Early from Prison
Allie Martin and Jody Brown, Agape Press

A children's Sunday school teacher in Vietnam has been released from jail by communist authorities.  The president of Open Doors USA says public pressure was the key to the prisoner's early release. Le Thi Hong Lien, 20, was arrested months ago along with five other leaders of the Mennonite Church in Vietnam.  She was given a one-year prison sentence related to her Christian beliefs.  However, Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, says Le Thi was released last week, two months short of completing that sentence.  He believes the early release was a response to public pressure. "The Mennonite Church in Vietnam feels it was the result of the international community becoming aware of these human rights violations that were going on there," Moeller explains. But Vietnamese officials have stated Le Thi was released early because of a special amnesty program. Regardless of the reason behind the release, Moeller says it is obvious Le Thi was severely mistreated while imprisoned. "It was very clear from Miss Lien's condition that she had been severely tortured while incarcerated, including -- as we see -- drug injections that were used to alter her mental condition. She was beaten, she was given electric shocks, in addition to being deprived of food and subjected to almost daily verbal abuse." Please pray for her full recovery.

Despite Bible Translators' Murder, Efforts Among Wapishana To Continue
Cory Miller, Baptist Press

Relatives and friends of two Wycliffe Bible translators murdered in an apparent home robbery in Guyana have seen God working amid the tragedy. Rich Hicks, 42, and his wife, Charlene, 58, were found dead March 30 outside their burned home in an isolated area near the town of Lethem in southwestern Guyana near the Brazilian border, according to a Wycliffe news release. Authorities have labeled the deaths as homicides and arrest warrants have been issued. The burned home and later the bodies were found by a friend. Despite the tragedy, relatives have seen much good emerge. The Bible translation the Hickses had undertaken among the Wapishana people will continue, reported David Richards, registrar at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and brother-in-law of the Hickses. The Hickses' Guyana language helpers and a co-worker, Bev Dawson, are committed to continuing with the translation, Richards said. The murders have upset the close-knit Wapishana community where the Hickses had served since 1994. Richards said the Hickses had been struggling to find an appropriate translation for the word "justice." He said their deaths may give the natives an opportunity to better understand the word as an investigation continues and as they reflect on the tragedy.

Religious Violence in Benue, Nigeria, Claims 17 Lives 
Obed Minchakpu, Compass Direct

Fourteen Christians were among 17 people killed in the central state of Benue, Nigeria, after Muslim militants attacked the villages of Chilakera and Imbufu on April 10. A local government official, Tsenongo Abancha, told Compass that tensions between the two religious communities was fueled by the rape of a Christian student at the hands of two Muslim men. "This girl was not only raped by these Muslims, but was also poisoned to death on March 17," Abancha said. Police have reportedly arrested nine people in connection with the incident, including relatives of the dead Christian girl. Meanwhile in the city of Lagos, a street fight broke out when Muslims accosted a Christian woman on a street near a mosque. The fight left four people hospitalized and caused considerable property damage.