Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
'Christian' Nations More Free, Report Says
Countries with Christian roots are the most religiously free domains in the world, according to the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute in a forthcoming report cited on Baptist Press. The report ranked more than 100 countries according to the quality of religious freedom based on the country's religious background. The only countries to receive an ideal score were the United States and Estonia, both with Protestant backgrounds, and Hungary and Ireland, both with Catholic backgrounds. The results of the report were announced July 9 in a briefing at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Center for Religious Freedom, said religious oppression is most often found in Muslim countries with extreme religious parties, such as Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
Christian Fraternity Sues University of Florida
According to a story on The Church Report Online, a Christian fraternity sued the University of Florida on Tuesday, claiming discrimination because the university refuses to recognize it as a registered student group. University officials have told Beta Upsilon Chi that it can't be registered as an on-campus student group because only men are allowed to join. Furthermore, Beta Upsilon Chi is prevented from joining the off-campus Greek system of fraternities and sororities because the fraternity requires its members to be Christians, the suit said. The organization that governs the university's Greek system prohibits religious discrimination. So, "as a Christian fraternity, (Beta Upsilon Chi) is locked out of the UF campus," the lawsuit said.
Three Removed From Senate During Hindu Prayer
CNSNews.com reports that three Christian protestors were removed from the U.S. Senate chamber's observation gallery Thursday when they disrupted the morning prayer, which was being delivered for the first time in history by a Hindu chaplain. The three unidentified protestors began praying loudly when Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain from Nevada, started praying. The demonstrators prayed for forgiveness from Jesus Christ for "betraying" the Christian tradition. Senate security officers quickly removed the demonstrators, and Zed continued with his prayer: "May our study be enlightening... by devotion to selfless work we gain the supreme goal of life." Zed addressed his prayer to "the supreme one" and requested that "he stimulate and illuminate our minds."
Reformed Church Head Rebuts Vatican's 'One True Church' Claim
The Christian Post reports that the head of a global body of Reformed churches has challenged the Vatican’s claim that the Catholic Church is the only true church of Jesus Christ. In a letter addressed to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council of Christian Unity, the Rev. Dr. Setri Nyomi of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches wrote: "We are puzzled by the release of a statement of this kind at this time in the history of the church. An exclusive claim that identifies the Roman Catholic Church as the one church of Jesus Christ... goes against the spirit of our Christian calling toward oneness in Christ. It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the Reformed family and other families of the church. It makes us question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity.”