Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 1, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 1, 2006

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

  • Islam - the 'Elephant' in Europe's 'Living Room'?
  • Hindu Villagers Beat, Expel Christian Families in India
  • Pope Calls Christian Divisions a 'Scandal'
  • Christmas with Billy Graham

Islam - the 'Elephant' in Europe's 'Living Room'?

An author and producer of a documentary on Islam says the long-term future of Europe will be quite bleak if it doesn't recognize the "elephant" that has invaded its living room, AgapePress reports. Gregory Davis' new book is called Religion of Peace? Islam's War Against the World. He also produced the documentary entitled Islam: What the West Needs to Know. Davis says Europe needs to do something about the influx and influence of Islam while it still can. "The West now, including Europe, certainly has the upper hand in just about every respect," he observes. "If there was the will among Europeans to stop this Islamization ... of their continent, they could do it -- but there doesn't seem to be any will. There doesn't seem to be any real recognition of the problem." Davis says if things do not change, he is afraid the long-term scenario will be real warfare on the European continent.

Hindu Villagers Beat, Expel Christian Families in India

Compass Direct News reports that police in the eastern state of Jharkhand have turned a blind eye to the plight of two Christian families who were severely beaten and expelled from their village for refusing to give up their faith. Hindu residents of Dublia village, Ranchi district, drove out the families of Raju Toppo and Santosh Karmali in June after repeatedly assaulting them, according to a spokesman from the All India Christian Council. In May Hindu villagers had accused Toppo of forcibly converting Karmali – his childhood friend – and Karmali’s family. The families have suffered almost continual opposition from local Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member Sandeep Oraon and his friends since they accepted Christ eight years ago. Although the victims filed a police complaint against Oraon and his associates, police have taken no action against them.

Pope Calls Christian Divisions a 'Scandal'

The Christian Post reports that Pope Benedict XVI called divisions among Christians a "scandal to the world" at a joint ceremony Thursday with the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian church, which split from Catholicism nearly 1,000 years ago. Benedict has made a priority in his papacy of reaching out to the 250-million-strong Orthodox Christians. After joining Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to mark the feast day of St. Andrew, the Pope said, "The divisions which exist among Christians are a scandal to the world." Christians should "renew Europe's awareness of its Christian roots, traditions and values, giving them new vitality." Benedict and Bartholomew together stressed the need to "preserve Christian roots" in European culture while remaining "open to other religions and their cultural contributions." Over the remainder of his stay in Turkey, Benedict is expected to sharpen his calls for what the Vatican labels "reciprocity" — that Muslim demands for greater respect in the West must be matched by increased tolerance and freedoms for Christians in Islamic nations.

Christmas with Billy Graham

The Billy Graham Christmas Special, airing December 2-10 in 150 markets across the United States and Canada, offers viewers the opportunity to remember why we celebrate Christmas. The program will feature a 1979 Christmas message from Billy Graham in which he discusses the innkeeper who missed the first Christmas because he was too busy to recognize the Savior being born in his midst. Mr. Graham implores viewers to not make the same mistake. “I’m asking you to let Jesus be born this Christmas in the central places of your heart and life,” he states in this classic address. “Let His birth and His presence fill your home, and flood your heart this Christmas season.” The cornerstone of the program will be Billy Graham’s latest sermon, given at Franklin Graham’s recent Festival in Baltimore. Also included are testimonies from two parents who, for very different reasons, are facing Christmas without their sons. Musical performances are woven throughout the program with never-before-seen Christmas music videos from Paul Baloche and Erin O’Donnell, and songs from multi-Grammy Award winning artists Michael W. Smith and Randy Travis. Visit billygraham.org/tv for the date, time, and station in your area.

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