Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Study: Even Most Non-Born-Agains Believe Jesus Resurrected
- Student Intern Speech Case Involves Sharing Faith during Lunch Breaks and After Hours
- Trustee: Porn Viewing, Charismatic Prayer Treated Equally in Baptist Missionary Screening
- Islamist Radicals Release Women Accused of being 'Prostitutes'
Study: Even Most Non-Born-Agains Believe Jesus Resurrected
It may surprise many, but 75 percent of the Americans who say they are not born-again Christians still believe the biblical account of Jesus literally coming back to life in his physical body, according to recent research by the North American Mission Board's Center for Missional Research. Baptist Press reports that a less surprising result of the study is that nearly 100 percent of those identifying themselves as born-again Christians believe in the resurrection of Jesus. "It really stunned us to learn that 75 percent of those Americans claiming not to be born-again still believe in the resurrection," said Phillip Connor, research missiology manager. The data was collected from a random sample of 1,204 adults across the U.S.
Student Intern Speech Case Involves Sharing Faith during Lunch Breaks and After Hours
A case involving a graduate student intern who witnessed to co-workers during her lunch breaks and after-hours is headed for trial, barring a last-minute settlement with the government, ASSIST News Service reports. Jacqueline Escobar, a former graduate student at California State University-Long Beach filed a federal free speech lawsuit against the university and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). While completing an internship with DCFS, Escobar came under scrutiny for sharing her faith with co-workers during lunch breaks and after-hours, and for changing into a shirt with the vaguely religious message "Found" after signing out for the day. "Through this case, we hope to send a powerful message to government employers: you cannot trounce upon the First Amendment rights of people of faith and expect to get away with it,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI).
Trustee: Porn Viewing, Charismatic Prayer Treated Equally in Baptist Missionary Screening
The Christian Post reports that half of males who apply to serve as a missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention's international mission agency are turned down. That's according to a Baptist pastor, who cited the primary reason as use of internet porn. A recent regional summit of the International Mission Board noted that female missionaries outnumber male ones two to one, according to Enid, OK pastor Wade Burleson. The summit also mentioned the problem of internet porn among men, with as many as 50 percent of lay men and clergy having viewed pornography in the past year. Even so, porn is not the primary reason men are turned down for a missionary position, said Randy Rains, IMB's associate vice president of the office of Mission Personnel. Rains indicated some 50 reasons ranging from porn and sexual immorality to depression that can prevent an applicant from becoming an approved missionary. The same policy applies to the use of "private prayer language." According to Burleson, the controversial issue and its ban in the IMB cause the use of private prayer language to be treated the same as viewing pornography in the screening process for missionaries.
Islamist Radicals Release Women Accused of being 'Prostitutes'
ASSIST News Service reports that three women accused of being prostitutes have been released from a fundamentalist madrasa (Islamic religious school) in central Islamabad after being forced to "confess" their sins. According to the report one of the three women, Shamim, who was also said to run a brothel, was made to confess her sins in a press conference organized by her captors. "I apologise for my past acts and promise that in future I will live like a pious person", The Guardian quoted her as telling reporters at the religious school named Jamiah Hafsa Madressha. It went on to say that the alleged brothel owner after her release said she had given the statement under duress. "I could only escape after telling reporters what they wanted me to say. Otherwise there seemed to be no power in the world, including President Musharraf, who could free us," the Guardian quoted her as telling ARY television.