Religion Today Summaries - April 4, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 4, 2006

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

  • 'Jesus Loves Porn Stars' Bible Nixed
  • Pakistan: Christians Protest Attacks on Churches
  • Da Vinci Code Movie Mania: Dallas Seminary Views Opportunity
  • Christians Are 'Moderating Force' in Lebanon, Says Leading Politician

'Jesus Loves Porn Stars' Bible Nixed

According to a UPI story, U.S. Bible printers are rejecting a special printing requested by the ministry XXXchurch.com, which wants to encourage the pornography industry to read the Bible via the marketing slogan: "Jesus Loves Porn Stars." Pastors Mike Foster and Craig Gross of XXXchurch.com say the brand name would further their work. Foster and Gross say the church needs to use new ways of reaching its flock, including avenues that may be shocking. XXXchurch.com paid the American Bible Society to print 10,000 bibles with the "Jesus Loves" slogan, but the printer won't do it, calling it "misleading and inappropriate for a New Testament." The American Bible Society said it doesn't oppose XXXchurch.com's ministry, there just needs to be "a sense of propriety."

Pakistan: Christians Protest Attacks on Churches

Christians on Sunday protested the desecration of the Bible and arson attacks on their places of worship in various parts of Pakistan, terming the incidents ‘religious terrorism’. The Daily Times of Pakistan reports that special services were held for those who had died in various incidents of violence against minorities. “It is religious terrorism to set our church (in Mian Channu) ablaze during the period when we (Christians) fast. It is an attack on our religion and belief. We feel unsafe and insecure,” said Chaudhry Naveed Amer Jeeva, MPA and the coordinator of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, South Punjab. He said that the present regime had failed to protect churches, missionary properties and religious leaders, adding that churches had been burnt down in Sargodha and Sukkur. “We are peaceful people but we will not let anyone disrupt peace,” said Fr James Chanan, the director of Pastoral Institute and United Religions Intiative Asia.

Da Vinci Code Movie Mania: Dallas Seminary Views Opportunity

Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) is approaching the May release of the film, The Da Vinci Code, as a "both/and" opportunity to dialogue and educate. While others are preparing protests, DTS is presenting podcasts and dialogue with a clarion call for understanding the issues behind the upcoming film. "Some people, including many in the church, have been led to believe what author Dan Brown wrote about the history of the church is historical fact," said DTS president Dr. Mark Bailey. "His presentation is simply not true, yet he presents it as truth. Part of our goal is to set the record straight." In addition to Dr. Bailey, other DTS faculty members are available to interview about the movie. The seminary has also made several resources available online. One of those, the DTS Dialogue is an informal, quick release, pre-recorded online discussion among Dallas Seminary faculty and administration.

Christians Are 'Moderating Force' in Lebanon, Says Leading Politician

According to Catholic News Service, Christians in Lebanon are a "moderating force" because their beliefs promote tolerance, said a Lebanese general often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. Gen. Michel Aoun, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, the largest Christian bloc in the Lebanese Parliament, said Christians were "like a transitional culture between the West and the East... like a human bridge between both sides." Aoun, a Maronite Catholic, said he thought it was "very symbolic for relations" that a memorandum of understanding between his movement and Hezbollah, which represents the Shiite Muslim community, was formally presented in February at St. Michael Maronite Catholic Church in Beirut. The general said he is backed by about 75 percent of Lebanon's Christians, and he has some Muslim supporters. "They are pushing me to be a candidate for president," he said, adding that he feels he could serve his country in other ways, too. Aoun predicts that "the situation (in Lebanon) will get better and peace will be restored -- real peace." For the Lebanese diaspora concerned about the homeland, Aoun said: "I can tell them that Lebanon will be stable. From Gen. Aoun, that means a lot to them. Because I don't say anything lightly."

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