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Religion Today Summaries - May 14, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 14, 2007

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

  • Pakistani Christians Threatened: Convert to Islam or Die'
  • Spiritual Interest Rises among Hispanics, New Study Says
  • Abortion Provider Caught Encouraging Minor to Lie About Age
  • Police Investigate Man who Threw Pie at Episcopal Pastor

Pakistani Christians Threatened: Convert to Islam or Die'

Christian residents of Charsadda in the Northwest Province of Pakistan received a threatening letter with an ultimatum of 10 days to convert to Islam or face dire consequences and bomb explosions, ASSIST News Service reports. The deadline of the ultimatum expires on May 17, 2007. According to All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), copies of the letter are being distributed among the Christians in Charsadda, a town where Islamic militants have a heavy presence and are attacking video, audio and barber shops. APMA says the militants are harassing women to veil themselves and not to attend schools and threatening barber shops to stop shaving beards and mustaches.
Spiritual Interest Rises among Hispanics, New Study Says

According to Baptist Press, two Southern Baptist Hispanic leaders see evidence of a spiritual hunger and high receptivity to the Gospel among Hispanics in a recent study by the Pew Research Center. Bob Sena, director of the field services team in the North American Mission Board's church planting group, said the fact that 23 percent of the Hispanic population now identifies with either evangelical or Protestant churches "indicates that Hispanics are now more receptive to the Gospel message than ever before in the history of this country. My prayer is that the Lord will give us a passion to lead untold numbers of Hispanics to Christ and to start churches in the hundreds of communities across North America where Hispanics now live." Daniel Sanchez, professor of missions and director of the Scarborough Institute for Church Planting and Growth at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, agreed that the study confirms a deep spiritual hunger among Hispanics in the United States. "They are searching for an experience that connects them more closely to God than they find in their traditional forms of worship," Sanchez said.

Abortion Provider Caught Encouraging Minor to Lie About Age

Planned Parenthood is under fire after one of its employees was recorded encouraging a student - who was posing as a pregnant minor - to lie about her age in order to obtain an abortion without the abortion provider having to report the "statutory rape" to the police. CNSNews.com reports that Lila Rose, an 18-year-old sophomore at UCLA, visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city, posing as a 15-year-old impregnated by her 23-year-old boyfriend. The visit was part of an investigation for The Advocate, a new pro-life magazine distributed on the UCLA campus. California law requires abortion clinics to report instances of statutory rape to police. The age of consent in California is 16. In covertly-filmed video of the meeting between Rose and an unnamed Planned Parenthood employee, the staffer is heard to tell Rose: "If you're 15, we have to report it... If you're not, if you're older than that, then we don't need to." "Okay, but if I just say I'm not 15, then it's different?" Rose asks. "You could say 16," the worker replies, later adding, "Just figure out a birth date that works. And I don't know anything." Other parts of the video clip show the manager of another Planned Parenthood clinic encouraging Rose to seek an abortion.

Police Investigate Man who Threw Pie at Episcopal Pastor

According to OneNewsNow.com, a teenager faces possible criminal charges after throwing a cream pie at the pastor of a breakaway Episcopal parish as the cleric was leading Sunday worship. The Rev. Donald Armstrong was reading a Church of England sermon called "Of Christian Love and Charity" at the time. The pie missed him. Marcus Hyde, 18, tried to escape, but parishioners chased and caught him. Hyde's actions are believed to have been motivated by Armstrong's biblical stance on homosexuality.