Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 6, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 6, 2007

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

  • Evangelicals Have No Sure GOP Pick
  • Christian Worker Beaten to Death in India
  • John Piper and Crossway Win High Profile ECPA Award
  • Evangelical Leader Applauds UN Resolution on Darfur Peacekeepers

Evangelicals Have No Sure GOP Pick

A week ahead of the Republican straw poll, evangelicals in Iowa find themselves with no sure presidential pick, says a story in The Christian Post. "The whole faith and values conversation is falling by the wayside," said the Rev. Mike Rose, senior pastor of First Federated Church in Des Moines. "The country as a whole feels there are issues more pressing at this time. The war with Iraq is on everybody's mind. Right to life and gay marriage... aren't as big with the general public." According to a poll by Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of all registered voters marked abortion as very important in their vote for president, even among Republicans (43 percent). Even so, congregants at Central Assembly of God Church in Des Moines are turned off by candidates who are ignoring abortion and same-sex “marriage” issues and are concerned that the Republican candidates, who all describe themselves as Christian, will be distracted by Iraq and national-security issues.

Christian Worker Beaten to Death in India

Compass Direct News reports that a Christian advocacy group has asked the chief minister of the northeastern state of Assam to provide protection to believers after unidentified assailants suspected to be Hindu extremists beat a Christian worker to death in Guwahati. Hemanta Das, a 29-year-old Christian worker whom Hindu extremists had warned to stop his ministry, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital on July 1, two days after he was beaten. Das worked with a local Christian organization, Resource Centre Under Elohim (RESCUE). A convert to Christianity from Hinduism a few years ago, Das had been a supporter of the Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The All India Christian Council (AICC) on July 25 wrote to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi requesting that he ensure that those who killed Das were arrested and the Christian minority community protected from such attacks. “On several occasions, he was cautioned by radical groups of the dire consequences that would follow if he tried to convert people to Christianity,” the AICC quoted the executive director of RESCUE, Amzad DeCruz, as saying.

John Piper and Crossway Win High Profile ECPA Award

John Piper’s masterful What Jesus Demands from the World (Crossway, 2006) received the 2007 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Christian Book Award in the Christian Life category. The ECPA awards are the highest profile awards in Christian publishing, and the Christian Living category is doubly significant since it represents nearly one-third of all book sales through the Christian retail channel. Crossway President Lane T. Dennis notes: “I can’t think of a more timely book for both Christians and non-Christians today. With the bestseller lists dominated by books on atheism, Piper shows that the only hope for the world lies in the words of Jesus, in the Good News that Jesus proclaimed, and in the Truth that Jesus died for. No one can read these fifty brief chapters without being profoundly moved.” What Jesus Demands from the World draws together fifty of Jesus’ demands from the four Gospels.

Evangelical Leader Applauds UN Resolution on Darfur Peacekeepers

ASSIST News Service that an Evangelical Christian leader has commended the United Nations after its Security Council on Tuesday backed a resolution to protect Sudan’s citizens by voting to deploy a peacekeeping force in the nation’s war-torn Darfur region. “The World Evangelical Alliance applauds the resolution by UN on the deployment of peacekeeping force to Darfur,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance. “The promise of effectively protecting citizens will only be realized if the international community shows the determined political will to make it work.” The new force will be called the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNMID). It will combine nearly 20,000 military personnel and more than 6,000 police officers.