Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 25, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 25, 2006

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

  • Christian Woman Says Cross Necklace Brought her Suspension
  • Indonesia Church Set Ablaze Amid Religious Tensions
  • Churches in the UK Attribute Growth to the Holy Spirit
  • Success of Gospel in India Breeds Hatred, Attacks, Says Ministry Leader

Christian Woman Says Cross Necklace Brought her Suspension

British Airways has informed told a Coptic Christian employee she cannot wear a cross necklace on the jobsite because it breaches the company's dress code. AgapePress reports that when Nadia Eweida refused to comply with her duty manager's instructions to either remove the cross or hide it beneath a neck scarf, she sought permission from upper management and was denied. She was ultimately sent home. ASSIST News Service says Eweida told The Daily Mail that only Christians are forbidden to express their faith while working for the airline. "British Airways permits Muslims to wear a headscarf, Sikhs to wear a turban, and other faiths religious apparel," she is quoted as saying. "I will not hide my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ." According to the reports, Eweida has sued British Airways for religious discrimination after being suspended from work without pay for two weeks.

Indonesia Church Set Ablaze Amid Religious Tensions

The Christian Post reports a church was set on fire Tuesday in a central Indonesian region plagued by sectarian violence since last month's executions of three Roman Catholic militants, police said. No one was injured in the blaze. The arson attack in the town of Poso on Sulawesi island apparently followed rumors that an Islamic school had been torched, said police spokesman Lt. Col. Muhammad Kilat, urging residents to be on alert for "a campaign to fuel unrest." An investigation was being carried out, he said, adding that "arsonists were behind the Eklesia church blaze."

Churches in the UK Attribute Growth to the Holy Spirit

According to ASSIST News Service, sixty-five percent of Christians in expanding churches in the UK attribute their growth to movements in the Holy Spirit. The encouraging statement comes from a recent survey of over 2000 Christians conducted by Premier Radio in London, UK, for Church Army in Britain. The survey found those in growing churches also believed strong leadership and evangelical outreach played an important part in the progression and growth of their church. Ian Robertson, Premier's National Development Director said, "We've now a much richer picture of why some churches are expanding while others are in speedy decline.” Robertson reported that those in both growing and declining churches felt they knew the reasons behind the condition of their church. “Church members in growth churches attribute their success to the movement of the Holy Spirit, strong church leadership, evangelical outreach and youth work. This contrasts strongly with those churches in decline where they consider an increasingly secular British society, aging congregation and lack of youth work to be behind their falling numbers.”

Success of Gospel in India Breeds Hatred, Attacks, Says Ministry Leader

Violence against Christians in India continues to increase -- and Hindu fundamentalists are behind it, says the president of Gospel for Asia (GFA). AgapePress reports a Christian pastor in India recently was ambushed by a Hindu mob as he was on his way to a prayer service. The 48-year-old pastor was targeted, says K.P. Yohannan, because of his missionary work in Maharashtra. Meanwhile, another pastor was dragged from a bus stop and beaten last month. According to Yohannon, while Hinduism as a rule is a peaceful religion, there are fundamentalists and extremists. "[W]e have never experienced this kind of frequency in being beaten up, abused, and all kind of things for the sake of Christ," the GFA leader says. "One of the main reasons, really, is the number of untouchables, or Dalits, turning to Christ."