Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 21, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 21, 2007

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

  • Roman Catholic Bishop Wants Everyone to Call God 'Allah'
  • Christians Respond to Peruvian Earthquake
  • Survey: Nearly Half of Christians Think Some Alcohol Use is Acceptable
  • Evangelical Pastor Ordered to Leave Israel Over Missionary Suspicions

Roman Catholic Bishop Wants Everyone to Call God 'Allah'

FOXNews reports that a proposal by a Roman Catholic bishop in the Netherlands that people of all faiths refer to God as "Allah" is not sitting well with the Catholic community. Tiny Muskens, an outgoing bishop who is retiring in a few weeks said God doesn't care what he is called. "Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah?... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem," Muskens told Dutch TV. "I'm sure his intentions are good but his theology needs a little fine-tuning," said Father Jonathan Morris, a Roman Catholic priest based in Rome.

Christians Respond to Peruvian Earthquake

According to Mission Network News, the death toll is expected to rise in the aftermath of the earthquake that rocked Peru last week. The magnitude 7.9 quake was centered off Peru's Pacific Coast south of Lima. The region near Ica was the hardest hit area. 300 of the victims were in a cathedral when it collapsed. Rescue workers reported difficulty getting to Ica because of cracks in the highway and downed power lines. World Vision has work in Peru, says the organization's disaster operations specialist, Rose Kimeu. "We are supporting almost 20 development programs. And, we have about 20,000 children that we are supporting. The good news is that we received confirmation that all of our children are safe and that they're doing well." However, Kimeu says they're concerned about many others who have been affected.

Survey: Nearly Half of Christians Think Some Alcohol Use is Acceptable

OneNewsNow.com reports that a new poll shows that nearly half of Christians believe it is acceptable for believers to drink alcohol -- provided they don't get drunk. The poll, conducted by ChristiaNet.com, surveyed 6,000 believers and asked if it was wrong for a Christian to consume alcohol. Participants were given choices of "yes," "no," and "unsure." Forty-nine percent believed that drinking small amounts of alcohol is acceptable, as long as the person does not become drunk. Many said consuming alcoholic beverages for "relaxation" or a "social gathering" is also acceptable.

Evangelical Pastor Ordered to Leave Israel Over Missionary Suspicions

The Christian Post reports that an American evangelical pastor and his wife who have lived in Israel for nearly two decades were told to leave the country over suspicion of mission activities, officials said Thursday. The couple – Ron Cantrell, 59, and Carol Cantrell, 54 – was told that they have two weeks to leave after their application for permanent residency was rejected. Interior Ministry officials say the decision resulted from suspicion that Cantrell was participating in missionary work – which Israel bans. The pastor has denied the accusation, and his case is being viewed by some observers as another example in a growing debate on whether Christians, especially evangelicals, should unequivocally support Israel.

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