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Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 28, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 28, 2009

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

  • Motive Sought for Slaying of Church Worker in Bangladesh
  • Iran Leader 'Potential Hitler,' Says SBC Leader
  • British Methodists Laud Fiji Church in Face of Persecution
  • 'Designated Giving' an Option for Lutherans, Activist Says

Motive Sought for Slaying of Church Worker in Bangladesh

Compass Direct News reports that Authorities are investigating possible motives for the vicious killing of a church worker by students at Dhaka University. A management student at the university and his friends are accused of torturing and killing Swapan Mondol, 35, on Sept. 12 in a park adjacent to the university. Mondol, a convert from Hinduism, was supervisor of youth mission for Free Christian Church of Bangladesh. Friends of the primary suspect, Mohammed Rajon, claim they came to his aid after Mondol stole his cell phone, a scenario that Mondol's wife and police doubt. His wife, Lucky Mondol, told Compass that when she arrived at the hospital she found her husband's body smeared in congealed blood and with two holes in his head. "The students said they caught him red-handed, so why didn't they just hand him over to us?" local police inspector Rezaul Karim said. "If he had snatched anything from them, we would have recovered it from him."

Iran Leader 'Potential Hitler,' Says SBC Leader

Baptist Press reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has demonstrated again why he is "the potential Hitler of the 21st century," Southern Baptist ethics leader Richard Land said. Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, Ahmadinejad repeated his attacks on Israel, saying the Jewish state is guilty of "inhuman policies" in its occupation of Palestinian territories. He said the Palestinians were victims of "genocide" at the hands of the Israelis. "If he lived in a civilized nation, he would be institutionalized," said Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "Unfortunately, he lives in a country where he runs a barbaric dictatorship that clearly, clearly does not have the support of the majority of the Iranian people."

British Methodists Laud Fiji Church in Face of Persecution

Christian Today reports that Methodist Church leaders in Fiji continue to face close government monitoring, setting them apart from any other faith group. "The Methodist Church is the only faith group in Fiji to receive this treatment, but it remains committed to playing its necessary role in building a renewed and just society in Fiji," said Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator of the Methodist Church in Britain. The Church's President, the Rev. Ame Tugaue, and General Secretary, the Rev. Tuikilakila Waqairatu, were released on bail but still face trial in November for "breaching public emergency regulations." The church has called the country's military government "illegitimate" since they took power in a 2006 coup. "This is intimidation and we applaud the Church in Fiji for its continuing attempts at dialogue rather than confrontation." Pearce said.

'Designated Giving' an Option for Lutherans, Activist Says

OneNewsNow reports that conservatives in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America say they don't want church members to withhold funds after the denomination's approval of gay clergy. They simply urge congregants to carefully designate their tithes and offerings to "solid ministries" within the denomination. "...[T]here shouldn't be just general support for the churchwide organization because it's clear that they're up to no good," Mark Chavez, director of the conservative ELCA group Lutheran CORE, said in August. He clarified that statement this week. "They would designate in their gifts to their congregations -- and congregations should start designating in their gifts that they send to their synods and so forth," he suggests. "And if the synods won't work with them to honor those requests, they unfortunately are just going to have to send the money directly to independent Lutheran ministries, or [to] some of the good ministries within the ELCA or their synods."