Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 23, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 23, 2009

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

  • Muslim Man Beheads Christian in Egypt
  • American 'Nones': More Skeptical than Anti-Religious
  • British Nurse Ordered to Remove Cross Necklace
  • Karnataka Top in Attacks on Christians in India

Muslim Man Beheads Christian in Egypt

ASSIST News Service reports that three Copts are injured and a third dead after a Muslim man sped through three different towns on a motorcycle and stabbed them. Coptic Christian Abdo George Younan, 63, died of stab wounds inflicted on Sept. 16. Osama Araban allegedly also stabbed Adib Boulos, who remains in critical condition. Araban was arrested the next day. Thousands of Copts joined the funeral procession for Abdo Younan, with hundreds holdings banners protesting the injustice done to Copts. According to Coptic lawyers and activists, Araban not only stabbed Abdo nine times but also by severed his head from his body in an Islamic ritual beheading. He then washed his bayonet with the water hose the victim was using, before setting off on his motorcycle to the next two villages, looking for more Coptic victims, reports claim.

American 'Nones': More Skeptical than Anti-Religious

The Christian Post reports that American skeptics - those most likely to identify themselves as "none" in religious affiliation - are growing. According to a follow-up of the American Religious Identification Survey released Tuesday, "Nones" now makes up 15 percent of American adults, with more than one-fifth (22 percent) of young adults falling into this category. "Will a day come when the Nones are on top? We can't predict for sure," lead researcher Barry Kosmin told USA Today. "American Nones embrace philosophical and theological beliefs that reflect skepticism rather than overt antagonism toward religion." Twenty-seven percent of the group believe in a personal God, while 35 percent are agnostic. Only 7 percent are atheists. According to the Post, Nones are "more accepting of human evolution than the general U.S. population."

British Nurse Ordered to Remove Cross Necklace

ASSIST News Service reports that a Christian nurse in England may face disciplinary action after refusing to remove a cross necklace bearing a cross. She has worn the cross since her confirmation 38 years ago, and has worked at the same hospital for 31 years. "I can't explain how important the cross is to me. Being told to take it off has completely and utterly shaken me," Shirley Chaplin told the UK Sun. "I don't want to have to decide between my faith and my job." The 54-year-old nurse has worn the cross during her entire employment, and her supervisors have only now said they believe it is a safety issue and a "health risk." "Necklaces are worn by other members of staff and the Trust... said that other staff wearing chains including those wearing medialert chains and scarves had complied with their health and safety policy," Chaplin said.

Karnataka Top in Attacks on Christians in India

Compass Direct News reports that Karnataka state in India has seen at least 43 incidents of anti-Christian violence this year, more than any other state. The figure compares with 35 attacks on churches, worship services and Christians during the same period last year in the state, which has become the center of violence against Christians. The states with the next highest incidents of anti-Christian violence from January through August this year were Andhra Pradesh with 14 and Madhya Pradesh with 11, according to figures from the Global Council of Indian Christians and the All India Christian Council. Former Chief Minister of Karnataka H.D. Kumaraswamy on Sept. 11 noted that a Sept. 10 attack on St. Francis De Sales Church at Hebbagudi, on the outskirts of Bangalore, came just days after Gov. H.R. Bhardwaj voiced concern over the security of minorities in the state. Archbishop of Bangalore Bernard Moras told Compass that past experience leaves him little hope for future justice.