Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 4, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 4, 2009

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

  • Another 5 Chinese Megachurch Leaders Sentenced
  • Los Angeles Episcopalians Eye Gay Bishop
  • Christians Campaign for Return of London Homeless Advisor
  • Stars Lined up for New Audio Bible

Another 5 Chinese Megachurch Leaders Sentenced

The Christian Post reports that five more Chinese pastors have been sentenced to two years of hard labor after they tried to defend their church from being demolished. "To arbitrarily send five innocent citizens to labor camps is in direct violation against the international human rights covenants and norms the Chinese government has signed and even ratified," said Bob Fu, president of CAA, in a statement. "This case shows the Chinese government is determined to be on the wrong side of history by clenching its power with suppressing the basic freedom of religion and conscience for Chinese citizens. We call upon the international community to hold these rights abusers accountable." Five other pastors were sentenced earlier this month. None of the leaders were given a court trial.

Los Angeles Episcopalians Eye Gay Bishop

The Washington Times reports that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles may likely elect a lesbian priest to fill a suffragan bishop position. The Rev. Mary Glasspool, currently an Episcopal priest in Annapolis, Md., has more experience than the other four candidates, who include a gay man. "I think a gay candidate has a strong possibility of being elected," the Rev. Altagracia Perez, rector of Holy Faith Church in Inglewood. "Most people I've asked say she's their first or second choice. She has a great resume." Glasspool's orientation is "a nonissue," according to one clergy in the diocese. If elected this weekend, Glasspool would be the first openly gay bishop elected in the Episcopal Church since 2003, when New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson's election ignited a firestorm of controversy.

Christians Campaign for Return of London Homeless Advisor

Christian Today reports that a Christian group is lobbying for the return of a London homeless prevention officer who was fired after suggesting faith to a client. Duke Amachree was dismissed by a London council two days after talking with a homeless woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. He encouraged her to look to God, a suggestion which the woman reported to his supervisors. "Is this really the Britain we live in? Whether we have faith or not, to the mind of every reasonable person I speak to, this treatment is astonishing," said Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre. The group is gathering Christians to show their support at Amachree's internal appeal hearing on Dec. 15.

Stars Lined up for New Audio Bible

The Los Angeles Times reports that a four-year, $4-million project to record a star-studded audio Bible is ready for its audience. The recordings were spearheaded by radio veteran Carl Amari, a Chicago-area producer behind "Twilight Zone Radio Dramas" and "Mystery Theater." "I always thought it would be cool to do a radio drama of the Bible," said Amari. "You're dramatizing the greatest story ever told. It's God's word. How can you make God's word lift off the page? With great actors, great sound effects and music." Released from Thomas Nelson Inc., the recording involved more than 1,000 actors, technicians and musicians. Voice work included actors Jim Caviezel (Jesus), Malcolm McDowell (King Solomon) and Richard Dreyfuss (Moses). The finished work, "The Word of Promise Audio Bible," clocks in at 98 hours and 79 CDs.