Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 24, 2008

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 24, 2008

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

  • Iraq: Mosul Persecution Worsening
  • Mexican Kidnappers Demand $1M for Pastor
  • Somali Christian Shot at Muslim Wedding
  • Survey: Most Americans Believe God Uniquely Blesses U.S.

Iraq: Mosul Persecution Worsening

Mission News Network reports that the situation facing Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul is not improving. "I'm a afraid it's actually getting worse," said President of Open Doors USA Carl Moeller. "The Christian community continues to be terrorized by extremists and basically are being forced out of homes at gunpoint, children and elderly people being murdered. This is a real crisis. Not just a Christian crisis, but a real humanitarian crisis for the country of Iraq." Coalition forces in the area are not authorized to aid Christians, however, as the situation is viewed as an internal matter. "[I]t's really an international crisis where the Christian community is in danger of being extinguished completely in Mosul... The city itself is being religiously cleansed of Christians." Moeller believes al Qaeda is behind the attacks.

Mexican Kidnappers Demand $1M for Pastor

Baptist Press reports that kidnappers are demanding $1 million for the safe return of Manuel Jesus Tec, a Southern Baptist pastor in San Diego who was kidnapped in Tijuana, Mexico, around 5 a.m. Oct. 21. Tec, who lives in Tijuana, was driving across the border with his wife and one of his sons when gunmen stopped his car and forcibly abducted him. His wife and son were unhurt. The pastor's older son, Johnny Tec, who also is a pastor, said his father's kidnappers have called the family three times, demanding a $1 million ransom or else Tec's life would be on the line, according to Richard F. Vera, multi-ethnic evangelism specialist for the California Southern Baptist Convention and a colleague of Manuel Tec. Tec is pastor of a new church plant in San Diego, Iglesia Familiar Amor y Vida. Tec's family believe the kidnapping is a case of mistaken identity that will be resolved favorably.

Somali Christian Shot at Muslim Wedding

According to International Christian Concern, a 22-year-old Somali Christian was killed by guards last month at a wedding ceremony in Somalia, Mission News Network reports. Ahmadey Osman Nur was attending a Muslim wedding that was being performed in Arabic, the language of Islam, and had asked for the wedding to be translated into the Somali vernacular, as even most Somali Muslims do not understand Arabic. Aware of Nur's conversation, the officiating sheik then accused him of apostasy and took offense at the request. The sheik also reportedly asked a guard to "silence" Nur, who was then told to leave the ceremony. The guard shot and killed Nur as he left. The 22-year-old is the sixth Somali Christian to be killed in nine months, due to the influence of Islamic extremism.

Survey: Most Americans Believe God Uniquely Blesses U.S.

The Christian Post reports that 61 percent of Americans agree that America is a nation specially blessed by God, and 59 percent agree that the United States should be an example of a Christian nation for the world, according to a survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc. for the PBS news program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and the United Nations Foundation. These ideas were most familiar to Americans who attend weekly religious services. People who strongly believe in America's special blessing and duty to set an example were morely likely to view American involvement in world affairs as a moral obligation. Nonetheless, Americans are equally split about whether the U.S. has a positive or negative impact on the world.