Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Pew Forum: 6 in 10 American Adults Pray Daily
- Global South Anglicans Reconsiders Communion with U.S.
- Activists Kick Off North Korea Freedom Week in Seoul
- Irish Bishop Steps Down as Abuse Fall-Out Continues
Pew Forum: 6 in 10 American Adults Pray Daily
Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life reports that more than half of Americans incorporate prayer into their daily life. The National Day of Prayer, which was recently ruled unconstitutional by a federal district court in Wisconsin, does not designate a particular religion. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, shows that prayer is a common religious practice in America, with nearly six in 10 adults in the U.S. saying they pray at least once a day. However, frequency of prayer differs significantly by religious tradition, age, gender and income. Seventy-eight percent of Evangelical Protestants pray daily, compared to 71 percent of Muslims and 58 percent of self-identified Catholics. Participants over age 65 were more 20 percent more likely to pray daily than young adults age 18 to 29, 48 percent of whom pray daily.
Global South Anglicans Reconsiders Communion with U.S.
The Christian Post reports that Anglican leaders in the Global South may not abide the presence of the Episcopal Church within the global Anglican Communion for much longer. "Some of our Provinces are already in a state of broken and impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. Their continued refusal to honor the many requests made of them ... have brought discredit to our witness," said some 130 Anglicans from 20 provinces at the conclusion of the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore. The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have both continued their "defiance" of Scripture with the consecration of a partnered lesbian, the Rev. Mary Glasspool, according to the group. "[W]e continue to grieve over the life of The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada and all those churches that have rejected the Way of the Lord as expressed in Holy Scripture," the Global South leaders stated.
Activists Kick Off North Korea Freedom Week in Seoul
Open Doors USA kicked off the annual North Korea Freedom Week for the first time in Seoul. Thousands of Christians worldwide have written messages that will be translated into Korean and broadcast over the radio to North Koreans. "It is so encouraging to see believers in the United States and in other countries participating through all these different avenues," says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller. "If you have not already joined in to support North Koreans, please consider going to our website and making a difference in the lives of those suffering under the most brutal regime in the world." North Korea Freedom Week is held April 25-May 1 this year, and has been held in Washington, D.C., in previous years. There are an estimated 200,000 North Koreans in political prisons, including about 50,000 Christians.
Irish Bishop Steps Down as Abuse Fall-Out Continues
Religion News Service reports that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of an Irish Catholic bishop criticized in a recent government report on clerical sex abuse. The Vatican announced on Thursday (April 22) that Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin had stepped down in accordance with a church law requiring the resignation of a "bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause." Moriarty was one of a number of church leaders criticized in last November's Murphy Commission report, which found a decades-long pattern of clerical physical and sex abuse that had been covered up by the Archdiocese of Dublin, at times with the collusion of the Irish police. When he offered his resignation last December, Moriarty publicly apologized to "all the survivors and their families," but also noted that he had served as an auxiliary bishop of Dublin "prior to when correct child protection policies and procedures were implemented."