Religion Today Summaries - September 3, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 3, 2004

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

  • Nepali Missionary "Besh" Freed!

  • Foreign Islamists attempt to incite Muslims against Christians

  • Fired School Official Now Educates Christians About Religious Freedom

  • Rights Groups Condemn Baptists For "Praising" China's "Freedom Of Worship"  

Nepali Missionary "Besh" Freed!
Gospel For Asia

Native Gospel For Asia (GFA) missionary Besh has been freed from the Maoist group that abducted him in mid-August. Another missionary had been sent to search for him, but in the meantime Besh was safely returned, physically unharmed. This is nothing short of a miracle when we consider that Maoists in this district typically kill those they abduct. GFA appreciated all the prayers for this brother in Christ throughout his ordeal. Give thanks to the Father for his protection and release. Pray for His comfort and healing to be upon Besh as he recovers from the experience and continues evangelizing the unreached. Continue to pray with us for the Lord to intervene and bring peace to the nation of Nepal, where insurgent Maoists fight for a communist state and control 60 percent of the country. More than 9,000 lives have been lost since the conflict began in 1996.

Foreign Islamists attempt to incite Muslims against Christians
Charisma News Service

Foreign Islamists have reportedly infiltrated the northern provinces of the western African nation in an attempt to incite Muslims against Christians. According to the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, Garga Aoudou, a community activist with a Dutch development organization, told Inter Press Service (IPS) last month that Garoua, the capital of North Province, has been "literally inundated with fliers inciting Muslims towards a hatred of Christians," Assist News Service reported. "Religious fanatics exhort Muslims to increase the number of marriages between young Muslim men and Christian girls in order to convert them to Islam, to refuse to rent houses or sell land to Christians or to get them to move by raising the rent," Aoudou said. Yves Steven, the bishop of the town of Makolo told IPS: "Several Christian families have come to me to complain. They were subjected to physical violence. Some of them were forcibly evicted from their homes with bats and at knifepoint before they could collect their property." Lele Lafrique, the chief of police in the North Province, fears the situation may get worse. "We're calling upon ... all Cameroonians not to fall prey to those seeking to create the chaos we've so often witnessed in neighboring countries," Lafrique said. (

Fired School Official Now Educates Christians About Religious Freedom
Jim Brown, AgapePress

The Missouri superintendent who lost his job for posting the Ten Commandments on a school wall is speaking out about his ordeal. Even though a federal lawsuit against the Humansville school district cost Superintendent Greg Thompson his job, he says God turned an ugly situation into a beautiful one.  A day after the plaque was removed from the Humansville High School cafeteria, 75 students posted the Ten Commandments on their lockers at the school. Thompson is currently working with a ministry called Asleep kNOw More. But the former superintendent says he was born an educator, and he plans to be back in a public school some day. After what happened to him, Thompson wants to get the word out to other Christians that no public school district in America is immune from attacks on religious expression. He himself was not only forced out of a job, but also told he could not allow prayers at school functions or even have a Bible or a cross in his office. Now, the former school administrator works to educate fellow believers and encourage them to stand up for their constitutionally protected rights. He believes restoring religious freedom will be a key beachhead in the battle to reverse this trend. 

Rights Groups Condemn Baptists For "Praising" China's "Freedom Of Worship"
Assist News Service

Christian human rights groups condemned Wednesday, September 1, the United States based Baptist World Alliance (BWA) for "praising" China's treatment of Christians and their churches. The Voice Of the Martyrs said the BWA had been "extolling the freedom to worship" in the Communist nation, at a time when many believers are reportedly imprisoned, tortured, and in several cases even killed for their faith. In an article the Baptist organization "sings the praises of the China Christian Council and the seminary in Nanjing, which the majority of Chinese Christians see as tools of China's communist regime," VOM added. The BWA acknowledged last week in a press release that "the Church in China has gone through persecution, suffering and imprisonment since 1949" but it concluded that "now, in the post Red Guard period, the churches are flourishing" with one or two congregations opening every day. "The church has grown remarkably strong during these years. There are estimates of a community of between 40 and 50 million Christians in China; some put the number even higher." The BWA added that "this is not with the Western understanding of religious freedom which includes witness beyond the walls of the church building" but, it said "with their freedom of worship it is amazing how God's Spirit is moving in China."