Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 7, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 7, 2008

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Court Rules in Favor of Departing Virginia Churches
  • Archbishop of Wales: 'Church now Looks Absurd'
  • Religion Must be Saved from Extremism, Says Blair
  • ACLU Sues Prison for not Catering to Muslim Demands

Court Rules in Favor of Departing Virginia Churches

According to a release from the Institute on Religion and Democracy, on April 3, Judge Randy Bellows of the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruled in favor of the Virginia churches that have departed the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Bellows ruled that a religious division had occurred, and that the Virginia Statute on Religious Division, Va. Code 57-9(A), is applicable to this case. The Episcopal Church and the diocese are expected to challenge the court's decision. A majority of members in the 11 Anglican churches voted to sever their ties to the Episcopal Church and the diocese following disputes over the redefinition and reinterpretation of Scripture. IRD Director of Anglican Action Ralph Webb commented, “Judge Bellows’ decision commendably recognizes facts that the Episcopal Church refuses to accept. The majority of many congregations across the country and the majority of one entire diocese have voted to leave the Episcopal Church. And it’s ironic and tragic when a secular judge takes the Episcopal Church’s membership in the Anglican Communion more seriously than the denomination itself.”

Archbishop of Wales: 'Church now Looks Absurd'

The Archbishop of Wales on Friday launched a stinging attack on the Church in Wales’ decision not to ordain women bishops, ic Wales reports. Dr. Barry Morgan said rejection of the bill by just three votes makes the church “look absurd in the eyes of the world,” and voiced fears the decision could turn young people away from Christianity. The decision stands in contrast to other part of the worldwide Anglican communion that allow women to be ordained.

Religion Must be Saved from Extremism, Says Blair

The Christian Post reports that former British Prime Minster Tony Blair, in his first major speech on religion, said Thursday night that religion must be rescued from extremism and irrelevance. What's more, Blair suggested, it needs to be seen as a force for good at a time of global turmoil. “For religion to be a force for good, it must be rescued not simply from extremism, faith as a means of exclusion; but also from irrelevance, an interesting part of our history but not of our future," said Blair. Blair converted to Catholicism in 2007. His lecture was the first in a series to examine faith and life in Britain.

ACLU Sues Prison for not Catering to Muslim Demands

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has in the past sought to have Christian ministries removed from prisons, filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming that a Wyoming State Penitentiary policy restricting prisoners' mealtimes violates the constitutional rights of two Muslim inmates. FOX News reports the ACLU filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of two inmates - Joseph Miller and Hurie Purdiman Jr. The prison is alleged to have a rule requiring inmates to eat their meals within 20 minutes after the food is delivered. But the inmates say the rule forces them to choose between eating and practicing their religion when meals arrive during prayer time. On other occasions, meals arrived during a period of religious fasting and then were confiscated before the fast ended at sunset.