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Religion Today Summaries - September 23, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 23, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • More Than 100 Christians Killed in Nigeria's Plateau State
  • School Board Rules Explicit Survey Unnecessary
  • Iranian Youth Searching for Answers; Open to the Gospel
  • Pakistan: Christian Mother of Five Raped


More Than 100 Christians Killed in Nigeria's Plateau State

A series of attacks by armed Muslim extremists in Nigeria's Plateau State have left more than 100 Christians dead, including one pregnant woman and the elimination of many entire families, according to Compass Direct News. Nigerian Muslim nomads, enlisted by militant Muslims to attack Christian communities because of their expert understanding of the rural terrain, raided three villages in guerilla-type "hit-and-run" attacks during the nights of September 8, 9 and 10. Survivors of the attacks said men in military uniforms of the Nigerian Army accompanied the assailants. Emmanuel Dachollom Loman, chairman of the local government council, said he had repeatedly reported attacks to security agencies and the Nigerian government, but nothing had been done to protect his people. "This is becoming too much to bear," he said. "The government should help us before Muslims come and wipe all of us out one day."

School Board Rules Explicit Survey Unnecessary

Public schools in Fitchburg, Mass., have decided to stop administering a sex survey to middle-school students after one mother stood her ground, OneNewsNow.com reports. Arlene Tessitore, upset that her daughters were being subjected to the explicit "Youth Risk Behavior Survey" without her permission, appealed to the Massachusetts Department of Education. In response to the legal attention, the Fitchburg district superintendent and principals decided the survey was not necessary to gather information about students who practiced at-risk behaviors.

Iranian Youth Searching for Answers; Open to the Gospel

A significant number of young Iranians, searching for answers to the issues they face, are coming to Christ, the Christian Newswire reports. In many ways they have the same interests and questions as youth in the West, and many of them dream of leaving the country because of the current economic situation with the lack of job prospects, says Ramin, a Christian leader who works with young people in Iran. Nader, another Christian leader, says young Iranians are thirsty for the Gospel, even many who appear to be devout Muslims. Young people are coming to Christ through personal evangelism, satellite TV and websites Christian leaders direct them to through Facebook. Believers must be careful; they face challenges from their families and sometimes suffer or are arrested if they become too outspoken, Ramin says. Iran is ranked No. 2 on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians.

Pakistan: Christian Mother of Five Raped

A Christian mother of five who reported being raped by two Muslim men last week is being pressured to drop the charges against the suspects, Compass Direct News reports. Area Muslims are threatening to harm her family, and local police have asked her husband to take money in return for withdrawing the case. The 32-year-old woman said she was returning from her job at a garment factory when she was abducted at gunpoint and raped in an abandoned house. Muslim criminals in Pakistan, where the population is more than 95 percent Muslim, tend to assume they will not be prosecuted if their victims are Christians, and the victim said Muslim men in the area had been harassing Christian women for some time. Unfortunately, Christians have little legal or societal standing; an area church leader said Christians were essentially helpless because Muslims held sway over local police.

Publication date: September 23, 2011