Religion Today Summaries - August 16, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - August 16, 2005

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

  • Texas-Based Group Trying To Raise Awareness Of Human-Rights Abuses In North Korea

  • Meeting Aimed to Restore Europe’s ‘Apostolic, Prophetic Foundations’

  • Christian Group Going Native in Gospel Outreach to Tanzanian Tribes

  • Family Shares How Children's Bible Shapes Kids' Faith

Texas-Based Group Trying To Raise Awareness Of Human-Rights Abuses In North Korea
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A Texas-based group is trying to raise awareness of human-rights abuses in North Korea. Recently the Midland Ministerial Alliance joined forces with the National Association of Evangelicals, the Southern Baptist Convention, and other groups in an effort to convince the Bush administration to get tough on North Korea regarding human-rights abuses. Deborah Fikes, executive director of the group, says many people do not realize the extent of abuses taking place in the communist country. "The media tends to cover the nuclear proliferation issues," Fikes points out. "[But] what we are wanting to communicate is that the real issue in North Korea is not nuclear proliferation; the real issue is the current government there -- and the current government is what really puts us at risk." Her group is urging the White House to block trade or unrestricted aid to the Pyongyang regime until in opens its borders and begins to reform human rights. "[W]e cannot send in aid and give aid to North Korea as part of any six-party negotiation unless we know that aid is not going to be used to fund gas chambers, to enlarge the concentration and labor camps," she says. Recently Fikes and several other representatives from the Alliance traveled to South Korea to meet with human-rights advocates.

Meeting Aimed to Restore Europe’s ‘Apostolic, Prophetic Foundations’
Charisma News Service

Hundreds recently convened for a reconciliation meeting aimed at praying for Europe. Organizers of Target Europe - an event that drew nearly 400 people from 20 nations to the strategic naval port of Portsmouth, England - believe God is positioning the church for "a new Europe" by restoring the continent's "apostolic and prophetic foundations." "This event is for those following the Spirit," said speaker and writer Roger Mitchell, who was one of the key facilitators for Target Europe, "as He positions the church for a new Europe." Delegates packed out a meeting suite overlooking the English Channel, a narrow stretch of water that separates Great Britain from the rest of Europe. But people were also crossing more symbolic gulfs as they prayed and worshiped together. A French mission group called Cibler L'Europe, which is translated Target Europe, and an English network dubbed Building Together, jointly hosted the event. The aim was to play their part in "restoring the apostolic and prophetic foundations of our continent." That included praying for reconciliation between Europe and Africa - and sending a representative group to attend the Make Poverty History protest event that happened to be under way at the same time in central London. (

Christian Group Going Native in Gospel Outreach to Tanzanian Tribes
Allie Martin, AgapePress

Some of the most unreached people groups in Africa will soon have a chance to hear the gospel, thanks to an extreme team organized by Book of Hope International that is now on its way to Northern Tanzania. The mission team will spend nearly two weeks in Africa's Serengeti Plain, one of the biggest natural game preserves in the world, in an effort to bring God's Word to two tribes indigenous to that region. The Christian group's objective, Book of Hope spokesman Jason Hall says, will be to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the native people and to demonstrate "that the Creator God of the universe loves them and sent us there to show them that love." The plan, Hall says, is to hand out copies of the gospels and to conduct a number of outreaches. "The Masai people live in the eastern parts of the Serengeti Plain and are herders," Hall notes. "And then, further to the west, the Hadzabi tribes, being nomadic -- we'll be ministering with them as well in the more barren areas of the Serengeti." He says his group will be spending about five days with the tribal people, living alongside them, moving amongst their communities, "and showing them that Christ loves them."

Family Shares How Children's Bible Shapes Kids' Faith
Shawn Hendricks, Baptist Press

With a variety of Bible storybooks scattered around their house, Paul and Madge Vosteen, enjoy teaching their three children Scripture whenever they can. They contend it's never too early to start. "We wanted to expose them to the Bible early on," Paul Vosteen said of his three children. "If you don't get them involved in reading Scripture at an early age, they will fill their minds with other things." After years of hearing and reading Bible stories, two of the three children have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives. The family hopes the third child also will make that decision when he is ready. Read to Me Bible was designed to help parents and teachers bring biblical characters and teachings to life through brief, illustrated Bible stories. Read To Me Bible can provide parents with a useful tool in teaching their children about the Bible, as well as give their children the most important gift they will ever have -- the gift of salvation. The Bible includes additional material, such as "The ABCs of Becoming a Christian," biblical concepts for various age groups and a list of key verses and vocabulary words for children. The introduction addresses parents, teachers and children's leaders, challenging them to read Scripture to children at a young age -- the younger, the better.  (