The U.S. Congress has passed a resolution upholding the rights of India's Dalits. Members of the "untouchable" caste regularly face educational, economic, and religious discrimination, as well as occasional targeted violence. The nonbinding resolution seeks to "address the problem of the treatment of Dalits and Tribals in India in order to better meet mutual social development and human rights goals." Sixty percent of India's Christians come from a Dalit background, but many have yet to benefit from increased rights afforded Dalits, because Indian courts have ruled that when Indians leave Hinduism, they forfeit the rights of their caste. The All India Christian Council has been pushing for greater protections for Dalits since 1998.

The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) plans to open a branch in Iraq next year. WEA's international director, the Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe, said he hopes the branch will send a message to Iraq's government that though Christians are a minority within the country, they are linked to a broader network worldwide. Iraq's Christians, who numbered more than 3.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion, have dwindled to 500,000. Believers remaining in the country report threats, kidnappings, and even killings by local militias.

The Rev. Frederick K. C. Price, pastor of Crenshaw Christian Center, is suing ABC's 20/20 for defamation. In a report on wealthy televangelists, the program ran a clip of Price saying, "I live in a 25-room mansion, I have my own $6 million yacht, I have my own private jet, I have my own helicopter, and I have seven luxury automobiles." Price, who owns two Bentleys and a mansion in Palos Verdes, California, said the statement came from a sermon preached ten years earlier about pastors who represent "bad success."

ABC apologized and posted a retraction on its website, but Price's lawyer said the retraction is insufficient. Price is suing the network for unspecified damages.

Related Elsewhere:

Congress passed resolution 139 "to address the problem of the treatment of the Dalits and Tribals in India in order to better meet mutual social development and human rights goals."

The Dalit Freedom Network and Asia News have more information on the resolution.

The Christian Post interviewed World Evangelical Alliance's president on their plans for Iraq.

The L. A. Times reported on Price's lawsuit.

Other Christianity Today articles on India, and Iraq are available online.

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