News Update-10/10/2011


Increasing Violence, Persecution against Egyptian Christians
The Christian Newswire reports an escalation in hate speech and barbaric violence targeting the Coptic Christians of Egypt-who make up less than 15 percent of the majority-Muslim population-amidst government indifference.

Egyptian leaders have issued proclamations pressuring Christians to convert, accept second-class status, face death or leave the country, and Muslim mobs have burned Coptic churches, homes and businesses and kidnapped young girls. 

Coptic Solidarity warns that the situation could eventually lead to ethnic cleansing against the Copts, and is urging the U.N. Human Rights Council and the international community to come to their aid.

Religion Today Summaries

Pregnancy Help Centers to Expand in Latin America
Heartbeat International, a pro-life pregnancy help center chain, is expanding in Latin America in response to a growing need, according to

Latin America has been one of the major targets of Planned Parenthood and the U.N. Population Fund in spreading the use of contraception and abortion on demand, and Heartbeat spokeswoman Peggy Hartshorn said the need for more pregnancy care centers was obvious. The city of Medellin, Colombia, for example, has three legal abortion clinics, 67 illegal abortion facilities and only one pregnancy help center.

Hartshorn said: "We are helping these startup pregnancy health centers to really have the best materials they can...and know how to market to abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable women who are in their midst."

Religion Today Summaries

Courageous Lights up Box Office on Opening Weekend
In its opening weekend, the Christian film Courageous was the No. 4 top money-grossing film in the country, selling an estimated $8.8 million worth of tickets, reports. For movies that opened this weekend, it was No. 2, trailing only "50/50," which grossed approximately $8.85 million.

Courageous, the police drama that stresses the importance of fatherhood, appeared in only 1,161 theaters nationwide while its competitors showed on two to three times as many screens. The strong debut was an answer to prayer for its filmmakers at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., which produced the previous box-office hits Fireproof and Facing the Giants.

Religion Today Summaries

Most Christians against Gender-Inclusive Bible Translations
A LifeWay study found 82 percent of Bible-reading Christians prefer literal translations of masculine words that describe people in general, rather than more gender-inclusive approaches, Christian Today reports.

The study also found that 61 percent prefer word-for-word translations of the original Greek and Hebrew instead of "thought-for-thought translations, where the translators attempt to reproduce the intent of the original thought rather than translating the exact words," said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research.

Additionally, 46 percent said they preferred traditional language, over 27 percent who favored contemporary language, and 75 percent said accuracy to the original words mattered more than easy readability.

Religion Today Summaries

Franklin Graham Joins Protest of Iranian Pastor's Death Sentence
As Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani awaits his impending execution for refusing to recant his Christian faith, Iranian officials appear to be trumping up his charges-including allegations of rape, extortion, national security crimes and accusations of Zionism-while more and more leaders speak out against his sentence, Newsmax reports.

The Rev. Franklin Graham said: "Faith is the most basic, fundamental right of every human being. [His] sentence [is] in clear violation of international law." He added that international officials would be complicit in Nadarkhani's death if they didn't join House Speaker John Boehner, the White House, and others in demanding a reversal of the sentence.

Religion Today Summaries

India Missionary Attacked with Swords, Left for Dead
A group of anti-Christians attacked a Gospel for Asia-supported missionary in India as he was riding his bicycle down a narrow road to the house of a church member the evening of September 23, ASSIST News Service reports. 

Pastor Bashuda pulled over to the side of the road to let a car pass, but the car stopped and five men overtook him and attacked him with swords. Thinking he was dead, they left him on the side of the road and drove off. Thirty minutes later, Bashuda was discovered by a bicyclist, who rushed back to Bashuda's village for help. Bashuda remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"Once again we see persecution on the uprise," said K.P. Yohannan, president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

Religion Today Summaries

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