Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- ABS Survey: Teens See Parents, Teachers, Religious Leaders, & Jesus as Role Models, Heroes
- Ted Haggard "Completely Heterosexual", but Leaving Colo. Springs
- Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Speaks Out
- Christians in India Receiving Help with Famine
ABS Survey: Teens See Parents, Teachers, Religious Leaders, & Jesus as Role Models, Heroes
Dispelling the conventional wisdom that celebrities, athletes and entertainers are the primary role models teenagers look to most, a survey conducted by the American Bible Society revealed that 67.7% of 12-18-year-olds believe parents are the most important role models in today's society, a Religion News Service release reports. The teens surveyed said the most important qualities they look for include biblical principals such as honesty, integrity, loyalty and truthfulness. More than 1,100 12-18-year-olds participated in the eight-question survey. After parents, 40.6% said teachers and coaches followed by siblings (40.4%), religious leaders (18.7%), athletes (18.3%), and celebrities (16.5%). "We are delighted to see that such a significant number of teens in our society today have biblical heroes, in addition to the role models provided by parents and religious leaders in their circles of interaction," said Dr. Paul Irwin, President and CEO of the American Bible Society. "This is a confirmation of the relevance of the Bible in the lives of today's young people."
Ted Haggard "Completely Heterosexual", but Leaving Colo. Springs
The Christian Post reports that one of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual." The Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur also stated that Haggard said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with the allegations. Ralph said Haggard's "complete heterosexuality" is something Haggard "discovered," and the board found no evidence to the contrary, and nobody else has come forward. In his first communication with his former megachurch congregation, Haggard on Sunday said via email that he and his wife, Gayle, plan to pursue master's degrees in psychology, but have not decided where to move, though they were considering Missouri and Iowa. The move out of town was recommended by the board, and the Haggards agreed.
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Speaks Out
According to a Religion News Service release, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead the nation’s 2.5 million Episcopalians, speaks candidly about the meaning of faith, the place of gays and women in the church, and her own life in an exclusive, in-depth interview with PARABOLA magazine. Jefferts Schori has faced the prospect of imminent schism over the issue of gay ordination since she took the reins of the church in November 2006. PARABOLA is "the quarterly magazine of the sacred traditions and the search for meaning."
Christians in India Receiving Help with Famine
Officials with Bibles for the World ministries are helping Christians in India cope with and help those affected by a deadly famine, AgapePress reports. Each half century, the most common type of wild bamboo in northeast India blossoms. That event sends rats on a rampage as they devour the blossoms, then turn their attention to rice fields and breeding. The result is a widespread famine in areas where antiquated agricultural methods are practiced. The problem is made worse by the fact that many in the Hindu religion consider rats to be holy, so they are not exterminated. Mawii Pudiate, along with her husband, Rochunga, founded Bibles for the World. She says the ministry has been able to help many of those affected by the crisis. "We were able to send some truckloads of rice to these severely stricken areas." According to Pudiate, officials in one state who are Christian are better prepared to fight the rodent army because they built barns to store food.