Religion Today Summaries - February 8, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - February 8, 2005

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

  • Museum Aims to Equip Christians With Bible-Based Science

  • Jailed Iranian Pastor Finally Produced in Court

  • Evolution A Dark Religion

  • Vietnam: Court Delayed Final Appeal of Two Imprisoned Christian Leaders

Museum Aims to Equip Christians With Bible-Based Science
Allie Martin and Jenni Parker, AgapePress

Work continues on an exciting new educational facility designed to teach about how science supports the biblical view of creation. The 100,000-square-foot building that will house the Creation Museum is complete, but numerous displays for the project remain under construction. The 25 million-dollar facility, which sits on a major highway exit near the Kentucky-Ohio border, is set to open to the public in the spring of 2007. Ken Ham is president of Answers in Genesis, the organization spearheading the museum project. "It's going to be a walk through biblical history with animatronics and computer technology, telling people the true history of the world, about creation, the fall of man, the flood of Noah, the origin of races, marriage ... and so on," he says.  AIG's mission involves equipping Christians to defend creationism and other scientific ideas based on scripture. The ministry is in the process of raising money for the completion of the multi-million-dollar Creation Museum, which Ham says will be a center for both education and evangelism. The AIG spokesman says the museum will present information to help believers learn about the science and scripture behind many scientific controversies.

Jailed Iranian Pastor Finally Produced in Court
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct

Christian lay pastor Hamid Pourmand went on trial before a military court in Tehran last week, charged with deceiving the Iranian armed forces about his religion. It was the first time Iranian authorities have produced Pourmand since his arrest five months ago. An army colonel, Pourmand converted from Islam to Christianity nearly 25 years ago. Iranian laws prohibit non-Muslims from serving as military officers. However, Pourmand reportedly declared in court last week that he had documented proof that the army knew he had become a Christian before he was ever given officer rank. It is expected that regardless of the outcome of his deception charges before the military court, Pourmand will now be forcibly discharged from the Iranian army.During the hearing, court officials declared that for many years Pourmand had belonged to an "underground" church through which "many Muslims" had deserted Islam and become Christians. The world's only theocratic regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran maintains harsh suppression of local evangelical churches and various house-church movements accused of evangelizing Muslims. Pourmand also faces another trial on two separate charges of apostasy and proselytizing. Under Iranian law, apostasy is listed as a capital offense. Since 1990, several ex-Muslims who converted to Christianity have been either assassinated or executed by court order, under the guise of accusations of spying for foreign countries.

Evolution A Dark Religion

The president of a ministry that helps equip Christians to fight the culture war says evolution is a dark religion. The comments came at a "Defending the Faith" conference this week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Gary DeMar of American Vision says the ultimate goal of evolutionists is to remove Christianity from every area of society. DeMar says evolution has all the markings of a religion because it cannot be established by empirical evidence, though adherents believe and defend it with fervor. He urges those who put faith in Jesus Christ to highlight the dilemma faced by evolutionists. "What we as Christians have to do," he asserts, "is to force the unbelieving, materialistic, naturalistic evolutionists to live consistently with that worldview -- make them choke on the basic assumptions of their worldview." DeMar says believers should not allow evolutionists room to breathe until they recognize the problem of evolution: that it provides no basis for morality and leaves humanity with "no place to go."

Vietnam: Court Delayed Final Appeal of Two Imprisoned Christian Leaders
Charisma News Service

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court has delayed the final appeal of two imprisoned Christian leaders. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the appeal of pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and evangelist Pham Ngoc Thach of the Vietnam Mennonite Church (VMC), which was originally set for last Wednesday, was postponed and a new court date has not been announced. On Nov. 12, Quang, VMC's general secretary, and Thach were given a three-year and a two-year sentence respectively on charges of "inciting others to resist persons doing their official duty." They were charged in connection with a March 2 incident involving two undercover government operatives. Quang and Thach are being held in the Chi Hoa Prison in Ho Chi Minh City. The VMC issued a call to Christians worldwide for prayer and fasting from last Tuesday to last Thursday in support of the imprisoned duo. "The international community must shine the light of truth and justice on this case at this pivotal moment of appeal," CSW's advocacy director Tina Lambert said. "A failure by the court to grant the appeal will be a damning indictment not only on Vietnam's respect for human rights and religious freedom but on the legal system itself." (