Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
Muslim Scholars Begin Revision of the Hadith
According to a Religion News Service release, Muslim scholars in Ankara, Turkey have begun a massive revision of passages in the Hadith; the Islamic text which offers various interpretations and elaborations of what Muhammad’s intended meaning was in various passages of the Quran. That these scholars would take on such an undertaking is extremely exciting as they have given indication that Hadith interpretations regarding violent terrorist attacks and harsh treatment of women are highly suspect and likely to be amended. In light of this information King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has announced an upcoming dialogue between representatives of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The King also announced that Saudi Arabia will allow the opening of between 5 and 10 Christian Church congregations within their borders.
Sorrow and Defiance as Iraq Christians Bury Slain Priest
ASSIST News Service reports that scores of grieving Christians packed a Baghdad church on Sunday, April 6 for the funeral mass of a priest slain by gunmen in the latest attack on a minority community that has become a target in Iraq's sectarian violence. According to a story posted on www.christiantoday.com, men wept and women wailed as the coffin of Adel Yousef was carried into the Syrian Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Baghdad, near where Yousef was killed in a drive-by shooting on Saturday. Iraq's small Christian minority has tried to keep out of the sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands of Iraqis since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. But Christian clergy and churches have been targeted repeatedly in the past few months. The Archbishop of Mosul of Iraq's largest Christian denomination, the Chaldean Catholics, was kidnapped in the northern city in February and found dead two weeks later.
Annual Conference on Preaching Discusses Where Preaching and Culture Meet
The Christian Post reports that hundreds of pastors and ministry leaders grappled Monday with the basic but difficult to answer question of how to stay plugged in to the culture to gain access and share the Gospel with a younger generation that is “fundamentally atheistic.” Attendees of the 19th Annual National Conference on Preaching outside Washington, D.C. will explore the role of preaching in addressing cultural, social, and political issues. Opening the conference, Pastor James Emery White of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, N.C., gave a plenary address titled, “Where Do Preaching and Culture Meet?” White presented the Acts 17 model of preaching, where Paul was able to connect with different people despite the pluralistic cultures he encountered thanks to simple explanation. Rick Warren is scheduled to give a sermon at the conference Tuesday evening. Other speakers include: Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship; Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S. Senate; and Larry Mercer, president of Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary in Maryland.
Crowds Flock to Evangelistic Event in Poland
ASSIST News Service reports that the evangelistic campaign ProChrist is experiencing an extraordinary response in Southern Poland. The meetings in the sports arena Spodek in Katowice are transmitted daily April 6 – 13 to 103 venues in Poland. During the opening night 3,500 visitors flocked to the sports arena to witness the evangelistic program. When German evangelist Ulrich Parzany gave an altar call, more than 1,000 men and women came to the cross in front of the auditorium. 400 participants asked for spiritual counseling. The total attendance at all venues added up to 9,000, as ProChrist director Michael Klitzke told the evangelical news agency “idea.” ProChrist in Poland is a joint venture of Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches in cooperation with the regional Ecumenical Council as well as the Catholic Fokolar Movement and the initiative “Light and Life.”