Religion Today Summaries - May 28, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 28, 2008

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

  • China: 80,000 Evacuated Due to Flood Threat
  • Eritrea: Jailed Pastors May Face Treason Charges 
  • Church of England Advised Against Withholding Christ from Muslims
  • Bible Students Beaten by Hindu Radicals in India

China: 80,000 Evacuated Due to Flood Threat

FOX News reports that another 80,000 people are being displaced in China as a quake-spawned dam threatens to unleash floodwaters on a valley of almost 160,000 people from more than 30 townships. Soldiers carried explosives through the mountains to carve drainage channels away from potential break points, preparing to dynamite. The Tangjiashan lake in Sichuan province, formed during massive landslides caused by the earthquake, is only one of dozens of precarious dams that threaten to wreak even more damage. Meanwhile, two aftershocks in Qingchuan county yesterday afternoon flattened 420,000 houses. One aftershock measured a 4.7 magnitude. Officials said yesterday that 67,183 people were confirmed dead, with 20,790 still missing. Health officials say no major disease outbreaks have occurred.

Eritrea: Jailed Pastors May Face Treason Charges 

According to Compass Direct News, the repressive regime of Eritrea plans to press formal charges of treason against several Protestant pastors jailed for the past four years. Official conviction for treason carries the death penalty in the African nation. Relatives and church members of the long-jailed pastors are experiencing "great anxiety" over these unconfirmed reports, sources inside Eritrea told Compass this week. Three of the most prominent Protestant pastors – Full Gospel Church leaders Haile Naizghi and Dr. Kifle Gebremeskel, together with Tesfatsion Hagos of the Rema Evangelical Church – have been imprisoned incommunicado for the past four years. According to an investigative report released last week by Reporters Without Borders, these three pastors "have been missing within the Eritrean prison system since their arrests in May 2004." The report fingered special presidential adviser and government minister Naizghi Kiflu as "the man within the government in charge of crushing the churches."

Church of England Advised Against Withholding Christ from Muslims

Senior church leaders as well as some Muslim figures have voiced anger at the motion which argues the church must proclaim Jesus as the only way to salvation and offer strategies on how to evangelize Muslims, according to the Christian Post. "Most Muslims that I've talked to say, 'I really wish that Christians would stop watering down their faith and expecting us to do the same,'" said Paul Eddy, a lay member of the church’s General Synod who proposed the motion, on BBC Radio Four on Sunday. “Until we start really saying what we really believe in our faith, there will be no respect.” He argues that in trying to appeal to other faiths without offending them, the church has "lost its nerve" and "is not doing what the Bible says." The proposal is expected to be discussed at the General Synod summer meeting, July 4-8, in York in central England.

Bible Students Beaten by Hindu Radicals in India

ASSIST News Service reports that fifteen Indian Bible college students were beaten by Hindu radicals on Saturday, according to A group of 20 members belonging to Hindu radical groups such as Hindu Jagarna Vedike (Hindu Enlightenment Group) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) barged into the rented building of the church-cum-bible college and attacked the students of Timothy Theological College, Bellary, Karnataka. About fifteen students and two college lecturers were mugged. The radicals tore up Bibles, smashed windows and destroyed all furniture in the facility. The attackers alleged that Rev. Jayaprakash, one of the lecturers, was conducting “forced conversions.” Eleven people have been arrested in the case.