Religion Today Summaries, November 24, 2003

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, November 24, 2003

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

  • International Christian Education Partners Plan New School in Nicaragua
  • Christians Shot as Israeli-Jordan Border
  • Drugstore Chain Faces Possible Religious Discrimination Lawsuit
  • Bombs Found in Christian Schools, Pupils Threatened

International Christian Education Partners Plan New School in Nicaragua
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A Christian ministry is helping bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in Nicaragua. Michigan-based Worldwide Christian Schools has just received approval to build and operate a Christian school in Managua. The school will serve students in kindergarten through the 9th grade, and will target Nicaragua's growing middle class. Steven Geurink of Worldwide Christian Schools explains the school's mission of reaching the middle class, and its unique approach to that goal. "The school is more than just a Bible class every day. It looks at Christian education and the effect of the gospel in all areas of the curriculum," Geurink says, "and it looks to integrate the gospel of Christ in all areas of science, math, geography and so on." The WWCS spokesman says the school's approach "is really quite a new concept" in the region's education system, but he believes it will definitely be effective, especially in targeting a specific segment of society for impact through Christian education. The Managua school is a joint effort with the Timothy Project and Project Nehemiah. Nicaragua's National Christian Academy will oversee the school, which is to be built next spring and should be open by late summer or early fall.

Christians Shot as Israeli-Jordan Border
ASSIST News Service

Retired missionary of the Christian radio network HCJB World Radio, Gustavo Molina, and his daughter Kathy were among five tourists wounded Wednesday when a gunman opened fire on the group at the Israel-Jordan border near Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat, on Friday, Nov 21. Jordan denounced the shooting and said it appeared to be an isolated incident carried out by a single person after officials identified the gunman as a truck driver from a mostly Palestinian town in Jordan. The Israeli military said earlier that the attacker apparently concealed himself behind a Jordanian truck approaching the Israeli side of the border. Mission News Network said border guards immediately shot back, killing the attacker. "Although details are sketchy, the injuries to Molina and his daughter are not considered serious, and both are recovering in the Eilat hospital in southern Israel," MNN reported. Patricia Teran, a member of La Republica Alliance Church in Quito, suffered reportedly the worst injuries and was airlifted to Beersheva for treatment of head wounds. The five victims were part of a group of 29 Ecuadorian tourists from Quito and Guayaquil. They were on a tour of Jordan, Israel and Egypt when the fighting erupted. The motives of the attacks were not immediately clear, but militants have pledged to attack Israeli interests and those supporting the Jewish state.

Drugstore Chain Faces Possible Religious Discrimination Lawsuit
Allie Martin and Jody Brown, Agape Press

A California drugstore chain may soon be sued by a Christian employee who has been told she cannot take Sundays off for worship. The employee recently requested an accommodation that allowed her to take Sundays off from work so she could attend church services.  However, her supervisors at Longs Drugs denied her request, saying if she did not workon Sundays, she would be demoted and given a salary cut through a reduced work schedule. Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute says his firm is prepared to sue Longs Drugs on behalf the woman. PJI sent a letter to Longs Drugs explaining the workplace rights that people of faith are entitled to under both federal and California law. Dacus says it is "outrageous" that Longs will only accommodate his client if she agrees to be demoted.  "There's no undue hardship or burden on the employer because there's other employees willing to work on that Sunday," he explains.  "It's just an employer who isn't willing to be accommodative for Christians." The attorney says a lawsuit may be inevitable.  "Although we are hopeful that Longs Drugs will favorably respond to the letter we have sent it, we are entirely committed to vindicating the rights of this employee in a court of law if necessary."

Bombs Found in Christian Schools, Pupils Threatened
Barnabas News Fund

Christian schools have been leafleted with threats demanding the students should become Muslims or face death. Last week bombs were discovered in two schools, one in Baghdad and another in Mosul (northern Iraq). The bomb at St Thomas’ School in Mosul was discovered on 11 November; it was a cluster of low explosive hand grenades that could have caused significant injury or even death. The school has around 500 pupils of whom approximately 450 are Christian and 50 are Muslim. Thankfully the bombs in both schools were successfully defused. The schools have received intimidating written warnings demanding that the children should become Muslims. If they failed to do so, the warnings read, they should expect to be killed. It is thought that a Saudi backed Wahhabi Sunni group are responsible for both the warnings and the bombs.