Religion Today Summaries - December 6, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - December 6, 2004

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

  • Anti-Christmas Crusade Well Under Way

  • Cambodia: Former Khmer Rouge Stronghold Reached with Gospel

  • Denomination's Pro-Gay TV Ad Is 'Masterful Propaganda,' Mohler Says

  • Tibet: Refugees Reached in Nepal

Anti-Christmas Crusade Well Under Way

This year's anti-Christmas crusade appears well under way, with the latest example involving a parade this weekend in Denver, Colorado. WorldNetDaily reports that the annual downtown Denver event known as the "AT&T Parade of Lights" will include Hindu and Mestizo dance troupes, a kung fu group, belly dancers, Santa Claus, and even a homosexual (GBLT) American Indian society. But an area church has been told it is not welcome because its members wanted to sing seasonal hymns and proclaim a "Merry Christmas" message on their float. The parade website claims the event organizers are "proud to present an International Procession to celebrate the cultural and ethnic diversity of the region." However, a parade spokesman declared that religious content such as the church group's message is excluded because it might be offensive to some parade attendees. Pastor George Morrison says this exclusion is all part of the "anti-Christmas agenda" that has crept into the parade and which is "robbing us." However, the Christian group has come up with an alternate plan. Morrison says members of his church will be walking the parade route an hour before the event begins, singing Christmas carols to people on the street.

Cambodia: Former Khmer Rouge Stronghold Reached with Gospel
Christian Aid

The Anlong Veng area is infamous as the last stronghold of communist ruler Pol Pot and his feared Khmer Rouge soldiers. For nearly two decades, the community had no contact with the outside world. It was one of the last places in Cambodia to be liberated from the repressive regime of the Khmer Rouge. For years, and especially since Anlong Veng was freed from the Khmer Rouge in 1998, native missionaries have been burdened to establish a witness for Christ in this isolated district. Poverty is rampant, as is illiteracy: statistics gathered in 2000 indicate that an estimated 65% of the residents cannot read. The enforced atheism of the communists created an atmosphere of hopelessness that still pervades much of Anlong Veng. But recently, a new hope has come to this town. One indigenous ministry sent a team of missionaries and church planters to Anlong Veng, and the Lord has blessed their work. Where there was once no Christian church, there are now seven. A home and school for orphaned children has also been established. Many of those coming to Christ in Anlong Veng are former officers of the once-feared Khmer Rouge. Two of Pol Pot's most relied-upon military leaders are now believers in Christ Jesus who further the cause of our Lord as missionaries and pastors.

Denomination's Pro-Gay TV Ad Is 'Masterful Propaganda,' Mohler Says
Jeff Robinson, Baptist Press

A new TV advertisement promoting the United Church of Christ says that God is now affirming homosexuality, but R. Albert Mohler Jr., appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," said the commercial misrepresents biblical Christianity. "It is a piece of masterful propaganda but it is a diabolical misrepresentation of Christianity," said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on the national telecast Dec. 2. "... Jesus Christ did indeed come to seek and to save the lost but as He said to the woman caught in adultery, 'Go and sin no more,'" Mohler said. Jesus "did not invite persons to stay in sinful lifestyles. Rather, He came to save us from our sins and to make us what we otherwise could not be -- and that is victorious over all the sins that entrap us. Homosexuality is one of those." The 30-second spot began running on several cable channels on Dec. 1 and is part of the United Church of Christ's two-year campaign toward an inclusion that affirms "all persons who feel rejected" by the church, said Robert Chase, UCC director of communications, who appeared with Mohler on Good Morning America.

Tibet: Refugees Reached in Nepal
Christian Aid

For centuries, Tibet has been one of the most tightly closed regions in the world. It is one of the last to remain largely unreached by Christian witness. Lama Buddhism still exerts a strong hold over the people. When Chinese communists invaded the land in the 1950s, they proceeded to destroy hundreds of Buddhist monasteries in an effort to overthrow the control Lamas had over the Tibetans. As a result, thousands fled to the neighboring countries of Nepal and India. There, in relative freedom, native missionaries have been sharing the gospel with these refugees. Years of Buddhist tradition have formed Tibetans into tight-knit communities with strong distrust of outsiders. Those who convert to Christianity are likely to be persecuted, as was the case with one Lama in a Nepali village. Along with internal opposition, Tibetan Christians and the missionaries who reach them face trouble from Maoist insurgent fighters in Nepal. Exerting control over many of the villages where Tibetan refugees live, they try to keep missionaries from entering. Several gospel workers have been forced to turn back by Maoists after trying to visit communities for discipleship or evangelism. Despite such obstacles, native missionaries are seeing their work among Tibetan refugees in Nepal bear much fruit. Today, missionaries report that members of this community are coming to Christ each month.