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Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 4, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 4, 2009

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

  • South Africans Launch Conservative Anglican Fellowship
  • Pharmacy Owners Win Preliminary Injunction
  • World Church Body Urges Pakistan to Repeal Blasphemy Law
  • Scottish Pastor Heads to Court over 'Unfair' Dismissal

South Africans Launch Conservative Anglican Fellowship

The Christian Post reports that Anglican leaders in South Africa have welcomed a conservative Anglican movement recently founded in London. Participants of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (South Africa) say they are not seceding from the great Anglican Communion, only affirming orthodox, biblical Anglican "inside the fold," as Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, explained earlier. FCA (South Africa) leaders like Archbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, remain deeply concerned about the Communion in light of the Episcopal Church's actions. "Revisionists will not come to repentance," he said. "The action of TEC (The Episcopal Church) at its recent General Convention have confirmed our fears that for them, there is no going back... They claim to be theologically with us, but are in full alliance with all that we stand against."

Pharmacy Owners Win Preliminary Injunction

Baptist Press reports that two Illinois pharmacy owners have gained at least a temporary victory in their effort to conduct their practice according to their pro-life consciences. The Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Springfield, Ill., has granted a preliminary injunction protecting Luke VanderBleek and Glenn Kosirog from having to abide by former Gov. Rob Blagojevich's 2005 order requiring pharmacists to fill all prescriptions. The injunction will remain in effect until there is a final ruling in the case. The decision means the pharmacies owned by the two men will not be required to dispense the "morning-after" pill Plan B and other drugs to which they object. VanderBleek and Kosirog "are suffering irreparable harm in the form of an ongoing chill of their free exercise rights and rights of conscience under federal and state law," Judge John Belz noted in his Aug. 21 ruling.

World Church Body Urges Pakistan to Repeal Blasphemy Law

Religion News Service reports that the World Council of Churches is calling on Pakistan to repeal the mandatory death penalty for blasphemy in the country's penal code. The WCC's governing body, which met in Geneva Aug. 26-Sept. 2, issued a statement Tuesday (Sept. 1) urging Pakistan to "guarantee the rights of all religious minorities in the country." The church council said the law has become "a major source of victimization and persecution" of religious minorities who are living "in a state of fear and terror." Since the penal code of Pakistan was amended in 1986, "Christians in particular have become targets of harassments and persecutions," according to the WCC, which also noted that human rights organizations say blasphemy accusations are often used to have people imprisoned over business or land disputes.

Scottish Pastor Heads to Court over 'Unfair' Dismissal

Christian Today reports that Rev. Mahboob Masih is heading to court after being dismissed from his volunteer position on Glasgow station Awaz FM. The station, where Masih had volunteered as a presenter for six years, says they dismissed him because he "had not been balanced enough" during a radio program debating the uniqueness of Christ for Muslim listeners. Masih says his actions were consistent with British law and the station's code of conduct. "This case shows the scandalous use of public monies to support unlawful acts under the guise of social cohesion," said Rev. Masih. "I do not believe any other religious group could have acted like Awaz Radio. I remain grateful to the British courts... The Pakistani Christian community intends to protest to the Scottish Parliament to highlight discriminatory treatment of Christians."