Religion Today Summaries - September 19, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 19, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Praying in Paris Streets Outlawed
  • Mexican Government Called Upon to Protect Protestant Minorities
  • Voices of the Unborn to be Heard on Capitol Hill
  • FBI Drops Training Lecture Criticized for Its Portrayal of Muslims


Praying in Paris Streets Outlawed

Praying in the streets of Paris is now against the law, after Interior Minister Claude Guéant warned that police would use force if Muslims, and those of any other religion, disobeyed the new rule to keep Paris' public spaces secular, the Religion News Service reports. After a controversy arose in December when a French politician brought to national attention "more than a thousand" Muslims blocking streets every Friday to pray, and likened them to a "Nazi occupation," President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a debate on Islam and secularism and went on to say that multiculturalism had failed in France. "The street is for driving in, not praying," Guéant said, adding that the ban could be extended to the rest of France. France has Europe's largest Muslim population, an estimated total of five million.

Mexican Government Called Upon to Protect Protestant Minorities

Traditionalist Catholics in the state of Puebla recently threatened to “lynch and crucify” about 70 evangelical Protestants, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling on the Mexican government to protect the religious minorities, who sought refuge in a church and expressed fear for their lives. CSW has also asked the government to intervene in another town in Puebla, where local authorities cut off water supply to Baptists who refused to give money to a Catholic religious festival. Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s chief executive, said: “While we agree that the Mexican government should remain neutral in religious matters, this does not mean that it can stand by while the most basic rights of its people are violated. The Mexican government must uphold religious freedom for all.” Conflicts between Catholics and Protestants are common in Mexican states like Puebla where there are large indigenous populations.

Voices of the Unborn to be Heard on Capitol Hill

Members of Congress will be able to hear for themselves on October 13 what the beginning of life sounds like, straight from the womb, through the use of “real time” ultrasounds performed on women in the first through third trimesters of pregnancy. The Christian Post reports that all 535 members of Congress are invited to the "Voices of the Womb" event in the Congressional Auditorium, which is also open to the public. Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said, "For the first time in history, the preborn children of America are coming to Capitol Hill to have their voices 'heard' in our nation's capital." The event will kick off the "Voices of the Womb" national campaign, which will include a tour throughout the nation performing ultrasounds in schools, churches, state Capitols, parks and legislative hearings.

FBI Drops Training Lecture Criticized for Its Portrayal of Muslims

The FBI has dropped a training lecture that had come under criticism for its portrayal of Muslims, according to USA Today. The lecture, which was presented at the FBI's training ground to counterterrorism-designated agents, included the statements that devout Muslims were more likely to be violent, that Muslims’ destructive tendencies could not be reversed, that Muslim law justified any war against non-believers and that “a moderating process [could not] happen if the Koran continued to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.” FBI spokesman Christopher Allen said the training was derived from a variety of open-source publications that included opinions of analysts, but Robert McFadden of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service contended that the lecture was “no way to stop actual terrorists.”

Publication date: September 19, 2011