Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 8, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 8, 2007

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

  • Abducted Palestinian Christian Leader Found Dead
  • Evangelists Attacked in Karnataka, India, by Hindu Radicals
  • Anglican Panel Says Episcopal Bishops Made Concessions on Homosexuals
  • Poll: Southern Baptists Say 'Don't Drink'

Abducted Palestinian Christian Leader Found Dead

The Christian Post reports that the body of a prominent Palestinian Christian was found stabbed and shot on a Gaza City street, raising fears among Gaza’s Christian community. Neighbors say Rami Khader Ayyad, the 32-year-old director of Gaza's only Christian bookstore, had been abducted by unknown assailants near his home late Saturday afternoon before his body was found the next morning with a visible gunshot wound to the head and numerous stab wounds. Ayyad's store, the Teacher's Bookshop, is associated with the Palestinian Bible Society, and Ayyad regularly received anonymous death threats from people angry about his missionary work, his family reported. In April, the bookstore was firebombed during a wave of attacks by a shadowy Muslim "vice squad."

Evangelists Attacked in Karnataka, India, by Hindu Radicals

According to ASSIST News Service, two evangelists were beaten up by Hindu attackers in a church in Mangalawadi village, Karnataka on Thursday, October 4. According to a report by the Global Council of Indian Christians, the evangelists, Sudhakar and Issac, who work with an organization called India Ministries, were ministering in Mangalawadi when they were attacked. The two men were worshipping with other believers in Jnanamuni Memorial Church when at about 8:30 p.m., a group of 15-20 Hindu radicals barged into the prayer hall and stopped the evangelists from conducting the worship service. They then attacked the two evangelists, beating them with their fists and also kicking them savagely. Evangelist Sudhakar was badly injured and began bleeding profusely. On seeing his deteriorating condition, the attackers left the hall and he was taken to the nearest government hospital, where he is now undergoing medical treatment. Local Christians approached the police authorities the next day to lodge a complaint. However, one of the main police officers sent them away without registering their complaint.

Anglican Panel Says Episcopal Bishops Made Concessions on Homosexuals reports that "a world Anglican panel acknowledges that Episcopal bishops have made concessions to ease the turmoil they created in 2003 by consecrating their church's first openly homosexual bishop. But the committee says all sides in the conflict over the Bible and homosexuality need to do more to keep the worldwide Anglican fellowship from splitting. The advisory report from the lay-clergy Joint Standing Committee was written for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Anglican spiritual leader, as he struggles to prevent a schism. Anglican leaders had set a deadline last Sunday for Episcopal bishops to pledge unequivocally not to consecrate another homosexual bishop. The bishops responded that they would 'exercise restraint.'"

Poll: Southern Baptists Say 'Don't Drink'

Baptist Press reports that a majority of Southern Baptist senior pastors and laity believe Christians should not drink alcohol and that using it could cause other believers to stumble, according to a new poll by LifeWay Research. The survey asked Southern Baptist and non-Southern Baptist pastors and laity a series of seven questions about alcohol, ranging from their views on whether getting drunk is against Scripture to whether drinking alcohol is an example of Christian liberty. Among Southern Baptists, 77 percent of senior pastors and 59 percent of laity believe "Christians should not use alcohol as a beverage." Those percentages fall, though, when Southern Baptists are asked whether "Scripture indicates that people should never drink" alcohol. Forty-one percent of SBC pastors agreed with that statement, while 34 percent of Southern Baptist laity did. Those percentages are higher than they are among non-Southern Baptist Protestants.