Religion Today Summaries - August 12, 2011

Religion Today

Religion Today Summaries - August 12, 2011

 

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

Peace Service Held Amid London Riots
AFTAH Protests Willow Creek's Break from Ex-Gay Ministry
Congo: MAF Helping Fight Cholera and Measles Epidemics
Religion Communicators Call for Civil Discourse about 9/11



Peace Service Held Amid London Riots

Religion News Service reports that the annual peace service at Westminster Cathedral acquired fresh significance on Tuesday evening as Londoners gathered to pray for their city and other British communities torn by rioting. A fourth night of unrest brought total arrests in London to more than 700, and looting and arson continued to spread to other cities in Britain. One man has been reported killed and dozens of citizens and police officers have been injured, authorities said. The rioting began on Saturday after a peaceful demonstration in north London over the police killing of a 29-year-old man. One attendee mong the 200 people at the peace service said she needed a feeling of hope. "Faith gives hope that current fears and insecurities will pass and we will feel safe on the streets again and trust our young people," said Ellen Teague. For the first time, the Roman Catholic cathedral's liturgy mentioned those working for peace in inner cities. Pat Gaffney, general secretary of Pax Christi, led the service, saying, "let us pray that we may all become more aware of our responsibilities for what happens in the world around us and be prepared to take what action we can to promote good and prevent evil." There was an ecumenical flavor to the cathedral service as prayers of remembrance were offered for those who have given their lives in the cause of peace.

AFTAH Protests Willow Creek's Break from Ex-Gay Ministry

According to a Christian Newswire release, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) President Peter LaBarbera announced a peaceful sign vigil for August 11-12 outside Willow Creek Community Church to protest the mega-church's disassociation from a Christian ministry that helps men and women overcome unwanted homosexual desires. The Americans For Truth vigil targets Willow Creek's annual "Global Leadership Summit," which draws thousands of Christians annually to the church's campus in Barrington, Illinois. AFTAH's banner message: "Is Willow Creek Qualified to Lead?" will greet Summit attendees. "Christians across the nation were stunned to learn that Willow Creek had abandoned its friendly working relationship with Exodus International, the world's largest 'ex-gay' ministry," LaBarbera said. "Worse, the break came in 2009, shortly after Willow Creek's leaders met with Soulforce, a homosexual activist group. Soulforce activists target mega-churches and Christian ministries like Focus on the Family, demanding a (politicized) 'dialogue.'"

Congo: MAF Helping Fight Cholera and Measles Epidemics

As cholera and measles sicken thousands in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is providing desperately needed flight services to assist medical agencies in their efforts to combat these deadly diseases. A measles epidemic has threatened the DRC for the past nine months. MAF, a faith-based relief organization that brings aid to needy people in remote areas of the world, has been flying medical workers and supplies into the areas most affected. In the past month MAF has carried some 100 medical staff and 14,000 pounds of vaccines and medical supplies to support 24 mobile clinics that Doctors Without Borders has launched to fight measles. According to UN reports, some 115,600 Congolese children suffered from measles between January and June, and 1,145 died of the disease. MAF has provided continuing support for treatment and vaccination campaigns. While measles plagues south central DRC, cholera threatens the western part of the country.

Religion Communicators Call for Civil Discourse about 9/11

A religion communicators group is calling for responsible discussion of faith groups in news coverage of 9/11's 10th anniversary, Religion News Service reports. The Religion Communicators Council urged journalists and bloggers to "pursue accuracy, respect and understanding of people of all faiths and faith communities." The statement is in a resolution adopted August 7 in Philadelphia by the board of governors for the 400-member interfaith council (http://www.religioncommunicators.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=128702). The 17-member board called "for responsible discussion of religion and of all faith groups, seeking the understanding and acceptance of religious communities." The anniversary of the 2001 attacks could "bring about painful recollections of terrorism and its effects," the resolution said. Rhetoric about the attacks "could become heated and distorted as it intermingles the religious identity of participants in those heinous acts," the measure continued. The council encourages communicators for faith groups to adhere to the highest ethical guidelines in presenting religious faith and values in public discourse. "We encourage our members to consider having their faith groups adopt similar resolutions on civil discourse," said Deb K. Christian, council president.

 

 

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