In Brief


Two Lutheran pastors in El Salvador were murdered in early November, leading the Lutheran World Federation to demand a “swift and thorough investigation of [the] crime, and to bring those responsible to justice.” The two pastors were known for their work in social justice and for being tireless defenders of human rights. LWF General Secretary Ishmael Noko commented, “This tragic news serves to impress upon us again the serious and increasing violence afflicting society in El Salvador.” (ENI)

The U.S. Congress passed a law allowing bankrupt people to continue tithing and making charitable donations. A New York court had ruled that debtors above the median income must pay off their debts before giving to charity or tithing. The new law ensures that all individuals in bankruptcy, no matter their income, would be able to continue giving to charity and their church. (RNS)

Progressive religious groups have asked Wal-mart not to sell Left Behind video games because of the violence and theology in the game that are a spin-off from the Left Behind books. The company producing the game said critics are mischaracterizing it. “The game is about good versus evil, not Christian versus non-Christian,” said Jeffrey Frichner, president of Left Behind Games. “When people understand that, they love what we’re doing because who doesn’t want to fight against evil?”

Critics site “the hypocrisy that exists within the religious right” because some affiliated with it, including Focus on the Family, have supported the game even though they generally speak against violent video games. Wal-mart continues to sell the games. (RNS)