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Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 12, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 12, 2010

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

  • Muslim Mob Targets Pakistani Family in Murder Case
  • Chinese Human Rights Activist Still under Strict House Arrest
  • Two Chilean Miners Accept Christ While Trapped Underground
  • La. Pastor Sentenced for Bilking Katrina Victims

Muslim Mob Targets Pakistani Family in Murder Case

A young Christian has been jailed for nearly eight months and his family was attacked after a Muslim friend allegedly framed him for murder. Compass Direct News reports that Yassir Masih, 18, has been locked up at Sheikhupura District Jail during that time. Masih said that his Muslim friend Muhammad Mubashir came to his house late at night and asked him to accompany him on "an urgent piece of work" - which turned out to be accompanying Mubashir the home of Muhammad Imran, a romantic rival. When Imran came to the door, Mubashir shot him dead. After a mob formed, Masih fled, while Mubashir joined the mob to look for the killer. Masih was charged and two of his brothers were arrested. His family's house was ransacked and crops were stolen. Masih's mother tried to file a complaint against the mob's actions but was rebuffed by authorities.

Chinese Human Rights Activist Still under Strict House Arrest

After blind human rights defender Chen Guangcheng was recently interviewed by a Chinese radio reporter, media lost direct contact with him and his wife. According to ChinaAid, family friend Zeng Jinyan says any visitors to Chen'shouse are physically searched by authorized guards who keep the family under house arrest. The guards on watch currently have free rein of Chen's house, intruding any time they wish and threatening Chen. All external communications have been cut, and the family's 5-year-old daughter has not been allowed to attend school. Chen Guangcheng and Gao Zhisheng, both Christian human rights defenders who continue to suffer for their work, were nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Two Chilean Miners Accept Christ While Trapped Underground

When the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, collapsed, three of the miners were Christians. Since then, Baptist Press reports that two more of them have made professions of faith after a minister was invited to the camp above the mine. The miners finally got their own pastor two weeks away, when Pastor Marcelo Leiva of Vallenar Baptist Church in Vallenar, Chile, came from two hours away to join the camp above the men. Trapped miner Jose Henríquez's family quickly connected Leiva to other families. "That [connection] allowed a lot of other people to hear the Word," Leiva says, "and to know that in the midst of this catastrophe, God is in control, and it is the Lord who has kept their family members alive."

La. Pastor Sentenced for Bilking Katrina Victims

Religion News Service reports that a Louisiana minister will spend two years in prison for his role in bilking Hurricane Katrina victims of more than $350,000. The Rev. Martin A. Denesse of Homeplace, La., was sentenced Oct. 6 by Judicial District Judge Joy Lobrano must also pay restitution to his victims after pleading guilty in December to theft more than $500 and unauthorized use of a movable, according to Plaquemines District Attorney Charles Ballay. Denesse has admitted to stealing $363,000 from nearly 200 hurricane victims after promising to supply them with mobile homes because their homes were destroyed in the storm. Denesse is the former pastor of Grace Harbor Christian Ministries and had been appointed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the Plaquemines Parish's official housing liaison in 2007.