Religion Today Summaries - October 20, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 20, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Niece Says God Missing from New MLK Memorial
  • Islamic Extremists in Somalia Behead 17-Year-Old Christian
  • The Boy Who's Becoming a Girl
  • 'Underwear Bomber' Says He was Following Islamic Law


Niece Says God Missing from New MLK Memorial

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece says the new D.C. memorial in his honor missed a "wonderful opportunity" to mention God in the engraved quotes, according to the Associated Press. The Rev. Alveda King said she was surprised to see no mention of God or Jesus Christ at the memorial, and that if she had been asked, she would have recommended scriptural passages from her uncle's sermons. She is hopeful, though, that visitors who seek to learn more about King will look deeper into his memory and "[meet] the man who loved and served the Lord."

Islamic Extremists in Somalia Behead 17-Year-Old Christian

Militants from the Islamic extremist group al Shabaab beheaded a 17-year-old Somali Christian in his home near Mogadishu Sept. 25 while his parents were at work, Compass Direct News reports. The militants, who are fighting the transitional government for control of Somalia and who have vowed to rid the country of Christianity, had been observing Guled Jama Muktar's family since 2008, monitoring the fact that they held secret Bible meetings in their home. Muktar's parents, fearing the militants wanted to kill them next, have since fled to an unknown location.

The Boy Who's Becoming a Girl

Thomas Lobel, an 11-year-old California boy who was diagnosed with gender identity disorder at age 7 and is in the process of becoming "Tammy," has begun controversial hormone-blocking treatment -- with the active support of his lesbian parents -- to stop him from going through puberty as a boy, WORLD News Service reports. Thomas' parents, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, report that at the age of 3 he told them, "I am a girl." They helped him start "transitioning" at age 8; he changed his name and began dressing like a girl. Moreno and Lobel believe they are doing what's best for Thomas. Moreno says it's ideal for children to undergo sex-change treatment while they're young -- "as soon as you can make a diagnosis." An implant in Thomas' arm will block the release of hormones until, at age 14 or 15, he can choose whether to go through male or female puberty.

'Underwear Bomber' Says He was Following Islamic Law

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "underwear bomber" who pleaded guilty last week to eight charges of terrorism and possession of weapons in attempting to bomb an airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, insists that he is "guilty under U.S. law but not under Islamic law," according to the Washington Post on Faith. He said committing jihad against the United States was one of "the most virtuous acts" a Muslim could perform, and he told the FBI he was acting in retaliation for U.S. intervention in Muslim nations and acting under the influence of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American imam killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last month.

Publication date: October 20, 2011