Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
Iraqi Christians Frustrated with Government Promises
Iraqi Christians say they do not believe their government is serious about protecting them, according to the Christian Post. One Iraqi Christian leader said many officials have given their sympathy following Sunday's slaughter at a Baghdad church, but he does not believe any promises. "At the funeral there was the Shiite leader, the official spokesperson of the government ministers," said Bishop Georges Casmoussa of Iraq, according to Christian Today. "All the discussion was flippant - ‘We are with you, we are all suffering,' etcetera, but we have demanded a serious investigation. We can't count on good words anymore. It's all air. We've heard enough." Violence has increased steadily against Christians in Iraq, and about the religious minority has fled the country since 2003. Sunday's attack by Islamic militants killed 58 people and wounded almost 80, making it the deadliest recorded attack on Christians yet.
Haiti Braces for Tropical Storm Tomas' Landfall
Residents and relief groups in Haiti spent the last several days waiting for Tropical Storm Tomas to make landfall and bracing for what many considered inevitable. "This is what we've been talking about for many months," International Red Cross spokesman Matt Cochrane told USA Today. "We knew that Haiti was likely going to be hit by a tropical storm." More than one million Haitians are still homeless and living in fragile tent cities with poor sanitation after the January 12 earthquake. "Branches and trees will fly around and houses can lose their roofs," said Laura Nairn, Tearfund Programme Director, according to Christian Today. "The risk of flooding is huge and with that comes the risk of landslides and increased risk of waterborne diseases."
USCIRF Urges U.S. to Protect Iraqi Christians
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is again urging the Obama administration to recognize Iraq as a "country of particular concern" for its religious freedom violations and sectarian violence. The call follows the deadly attack of a Baghdad church by Al Qaeda-connected militants on Sunday, Baptist Press reports. "We recognize the promptness with which the Iraqi government responded to the hostage situation at the church," USCIRF chair Leonard Leo said. "In the wake of this brazen and senseless attack, we urge the Iraqi government to proactively heighten security a Christian and other minority religious sites and the United States government to increase its support of such efforts."
Grandson of Missionary's Killer at Memorial Dedication
The grandson of a Waodani Indian who took part in the killing of five missionaries in 1956, including Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Nate Saint, was present to help dedicate the missionary's rebuilt house on Saturday. Gilberto Nenquimo is the grandson of Mincaye, one of the tribesmen who killed Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian when they tried to reach the isolated tribe in Shell, Ecuador. ASSIST News Service reports that Nenquimo now pastors a church at the jungle's edge. "This house represents a powerful story that has inspired and encouraged so many people in missions," Chris Nevins, founder of the non-profit Fuel the Mission which oversaw the construction project, told the audience. "We know that God didn't want this story to just go away."