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Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 27, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 27, 2008

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

  • Bringing Christmas Gifts to the Persecuted Church
  • Flood Relief Reaches Bihar, India
  • Two Churches Destroyed in Bauchi State, Nigeria
  • New Report Says Global Hunger Crisis Is Worsening

Bringing Christmas Gifts to the Persecuted Church

The Christian Post reports that International Christian Concern is making sure persecuted Christians worldwide are not forgotten this Christmas, encouraging free churches to purchase gifts for those suffering. “The freedom with which we celebrate Christmas in most Western democracies can make it easy to forget that the birth and life of our Savior was and is opposed by many who still walk in darkness,” writes Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, in a recent newsletter promoting the Christmas Catalog. “That opposition means December is a time when our ministry is on special alert for attacks against Christians,” he added. On Christmas Eve 2007, Indians Christians were attacked by radical Hindus, and a "well-respected" Christian leader. 

Flood Relief Reaches Bihar, India

Gospel for Asia missionaries are reaching out to survivors of the massive floods in Bihar, India, with food and clothing. All missionaries in the state went to Purnia, Bihar’s capital city, to organize the distribution. They have identified 1,000 families who need immediate assistance. More than 2 million people were affected by the floods. At least 260 people died as a result of the rampaging waters. An estimated 350,000 people are homeless after their homes were washed away. Relief work is being hampered by the flood waters, which are still high in many places. The floods inundated northern Bihar after monsoon rains caused the Kosi River to overflow its banks. The force of the water caused the river to change course, causing floods in areas that were normally spared from the annual deluge.

Two Churches Destroyed in Bauchi State, Nigeria

ASSIST News Service reports that tension is rising in the northern Nigerian town of Yelwa, Bauchi State after two churches were attacked and destroyed within a three-day period. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says reports indicate that local Muslims dismantled the foundation stones of a new church belonging to the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Sabon Kaura on Sunday, November 16. According to CSW, Bauchi's Military Commandant, Commissioner of Police and Deputy Governor visited the area on Monday, November 17 to investigate further and a guard was placed around the facility. However, despite the presence of these troops, an Anglican church two kilometers away was then burned down on Tuesday evening, November 18. CSW says: "Although there are currently less direct attacks on church buildings than in the past, churches in northern Nigeria and in central states continue to face regular harassment."

New Report Says Global Hunger Crisis Is Worsening

Religion News Service reports that the number of people living in extreme poverty has grown by 100 million, and the number of hungry people has increased by 75 million in the last two years, according to a report issued Monday (Nov. 24) by the Bread for the World Institute. The report by the Christian anti-hunger group calls on Congress and President-elect Barack Obama to strengthen U.S. foreign assistance programs, making them more effective in fighting global hunger and poverty. "As we grapple with the economic crisis, we need to pay attention to the damage it's doing to the world's poorest people," said the Rev. David Beckmann, president of the institute.