Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 23, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 23, 2007

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

  • Egyptian Christian Converts ‘Safe’
  • Muslims Apologize after Desecrating Village’s Christian Church
  • New Documentary Exposes Christian Persecution in Iran
  • Two Christians Murdered in Kaduna, Nigeria

Egyptian Christian Converts ‘Safe’

Two Egyptian converts from Islam to Christianity who went missing last week are said to be in a “good place,” their lawyer said on Sunday, ASSIST News Service reports. According to a story written by Rachelle Kliger for, the converts, Muhammad Hegazi and his pregnant wife Zeinab, went missing last Monday. They had previously not left their home in a month after receiving numerous death threats. The lawyer, Ramsis Raouf A-Naggar, told The Media Line that Hegazi was not communicating with anyone at this point. A-Naggar refused to state the reason for the disappearance of Hegazi and his wife. He talked of “problems with the government and the Muslims in Egypt,” without elaborating. Hegazi, 24, is engaged in a legal battle with the Egyptian authorities.

Muslims Apologize after Desecrating Village’s Christian Church

ASSIST News Service reports that Muslims have submitted a written apology to Christians in a place called Gowind on October 12; two days after about 500 Muslims stormed New Apostolic Church in this village near the India-Pakistan border. Muslims cut wires and plastered dung on the walls while 20 Christians were at an evening prayer service. They were protesting the church's use of its own loudspeaker to broadcast its morning service. Muslim clerics then issued calls over mosque loudspeakers for a “social boycott” of Christians. However, three Muslims -- Daler Khan, Haji Yaseen Gardor and Tariq Mehar -- signed the apology at the local police station while another 100 Muslims stood outside. The apology states: “We apologize to the Christians for desecrating the church and hurting their religious sentiments.” The signatories also vowed to observe Pakistan's laws prohibiting the use of loudspeakers and amplifiers to spread sectarian sentiments. Even so, the events have reportedly left local Christians fearful.

New Documentary Exposes Christian Persecution in Iran reports that a new resource from Open Doors USA seeks to tell the untold story of the persecuted church in Iran. The DVD, A Cry From Iran, was produced by brothers Andre and Joseph Hovsepian, whose father was martyred for his faith. The DVD tells the story of their father, Haik, who led a campaign in the early 1990s to have the death sentence of a Christian overturned. That sentence was eventually overturned, but Haik's body was found a few days later, with 26 stab wounds. Andre Hovsepian says his dad's story shows how Christians in Iran, who are vocal about their faith, regularly risk their lives.

Two Christians Murdered in Kaduna, Nigeria

According to Compass Direct News, one man has been killed with a sword and another bludgeoned to death in central northern Nigeria following Muslim leaders’ appeal to wage violent jihad against youthful Christians. Muslim extremists on October 12 murdered Henry Emmanuel Ogbaje, a 24-year-old Christian, at an area known as Gamji Gate. The following day, church leaders said, a young Christian identified only as Basil was beaten to death with wooden clubs in the same area. Elder Saidu Dogo, secretary of the northern Nigeria chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told Compass that Islamic leader Sheik Gumi had urged Muslims to wage jihad against Christians in televised broadcasts during the Islamic month-long observance of Ramadan. “He specifically called for a jihad,” Dogo told Compass, “and that when they go killing they should not kill the elderly people, because the elderly have spent their years already, but that Muslims should kill young Christians.”