Religion Today Summaries - November 24, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - November 24, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • India: Pastor Arrested for Baptizing Muslim Converts
  • More Businesses Than Ever Rated 'Gay-Friendly'
  • More Than 700 Unborn Saved in 40 Days
  • In Washington, a Five-Fold Increase in Lobbying by Religious Groups


India: Pastor Arrested for Baptizing Muslim Converts

A pastor in Kashmir, India, was arrested and imprisoned for baptizing seven Muslim converts to Christianity, International Christian Concern reports. The Rev. Channa Mani Khanna was accused by the Grand Mufti of the region of forcing conversions for money, then called before a sharia (Islamic law) court to answer charges of forced conversion; police also arrested and beat the seven converts. "[They] were exercising their constitutional rights to religious freedom and freedom of choice; they have done nothing illegal," said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians. "The request to appear before a sharia court is alarming. ... India is a secular country with a secular constitution, which states without exception and demands respect for the principles of equality among citizens of the republic." Anglican bishop P.K. Samantha Roy of the Docese of Amritsar is calling on the government of Kashmir for justice, and said the church would seek legal redress.

More Businesses Than Ever Rated 'Gay-Friendly'

What do Toyota, Starbucks, Delta Airlines and Apple have in common? They all received perfect scores this year for their homosexual-friendly policies from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, according to the Christian Post. The report, released every fall from the nation's largest gay-rights organization, rates companies on their practices and policies for LGBT workers. This year, 615 companies were rated, and of those, 337 received the top rating of 100 percent. Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, says the rating is "not an award" but rather a tool designed to improve workplace conditions for LGBT people; however, author Dr. Michael Brown says the real implication is to blacklist companies unless they comply with the policies. And consumers are caught in the crossfire: Pro-family groups and individuals who disagree with the homosexual agenda are finding it increasingly harder not to support corporations that don't share their values, he said.

More Than 700 Unborn Saved in 40 Days

More than 700 unborn children were saved from abortion during pro-life group 40 Days for Life's fall campaign, according to Baptist Press. The semi-annual campaign, which focuses on peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion clinics, was held this fall at a record 301 sites in the United States and abroad, and 40 Days staff received reports of 732 unborn babies protected from abortion from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6. More than 5,000 unborn children have been saved since the 40 Days effort began in Texas in 2004; the effort went national in 2007.

In Washington, a Five-Fold Increase in Lobbying by Religious Groups

The number of religious groups lobbying in Washington has increased fivefold since 1970 to become a nearly $400-million industry, a new Pew Forum report shows. The 212 religion-related advocacy groups operating in the nation's capital are 19 percent Roman Catholic, 18 percent evangelical, 12 percent Jewish, 8 percent mainline Protestant and 8 percent Muslim, with a small minority of other religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindus. The largest percentage, however, is inter-faith groups, who make up 25 percent and who either represent multiple religions or advocate on religious issues without representing a particular faith. According to the report, the most common issues for religious groups include church-state relationships, civil rights for minority religions, abortion issues, family issues, international human rights issues and the promotion of peace and democracy around the world.

Publication date: November 24, 2011