Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 1, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 1, 2007

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

  • Religion Playing Biggest Role in Presidential Politics since 1960
  • Christian Apologist Says Church is Producing Atheists
  • Persecution of Christians Increasing, but Most Americans Unaware
  • Darfur Crisis Getting Worse, Christians Stand Firm

Religion Playing Biggest Role in Presidential Politics since 1960

"Religion has not played so prominent a role in a U.S. national election since 1960, when John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic to be elected president," the Associated Press wrote, according to a report in USAToday. Most of the candidates on both sides seem eager to talk publicly about their faith as they actively court religious voters. But Democratic Senator Barack Obama seems to think that focusing too much on candidates' religion is not wise. "I don't think it's helpful as candidates or as a country to get into discussions about who's more religious," he said in an e-mail interview. Last month, The Gallup Poll wrote that its polling indicates: "Religion could play an important but varied role in the presidential primaries and elections."

Christian Apologist Says Church is Producing Atheists

According to a Christian Post story, churches are producing atheists by not answering the questions of young people and explaining why they believe in the Bible. So says former atheist Anthony Horvath, a Christian apologist who works with young adults. Horvath explains that renowned atheists such as Richard Dawkins were raised in the Church but have become some of the fiercest attackers of God. He further noted, “Books like Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ and Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ do not become best sellers in a society that understands what Christianity is all about.” Horvath explained that some of the recurring questions young adults struggle with but churches often fail to address include the formation and development of the Bible, the presence of evil and suffering in the world, and the question of inspiration and inerrancy. “In large part, it happens when the church leadership is completely unaware that their members – and not necessarily just the young members – have questions at all,” explained Horvath.

Persecution of Christians Increasing, but Most Americans Unaware

A Christian Newswire story says that while Christians continue to be martyred abroad, few American believers are aware of how pervasive religious persecution is around the world. "Christians in this nation don't realize how fortunate they are to live in the U.S.," observes Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International. The Taliban's kidnapping of the South Korean aid workers in Afghanistan illustrates how that conflict is essentially religious. American Christians "belong to an international fellowship of believers," explains Jacobson, and "have an obligation to care for their brethren around the world."

Darfur Crisis Getting Worse, Christians Stand Firm

According to Mission Network News, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan is getting worse. World Vision's Rose Kimeu commented, "The situation is desperate. It is worse than it has ever been before. I recently visited four camps that I had visited last year, and this time the camps are full and they've reached a point where they just can't take in more people. The fighting is ongoing. World Vision has had to expand our food distribution sites. Last year we were distributing in 22 sites, but this year we've increased the number to 38 just to accommodate the new influx of people." Kimue says the stories are just heartbreaking. Kimue has worked in many areas of Africa during her career and says this is the worst situation she's ever seen.

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