Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 17, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 17, 2007

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

  • Archbishops to Lead March Commemorating Ending of Slave Trade
  • ‘Disappearance’ of Children Alleged at EMI Orphanage in India
  • Nigerian Bishops Warn of Schism in Anglican Church
  • Christians Pray in Public for the Common Good

Archbishops to Lead March Commemorating Ending of Slave Trade

A march of repentance expressing sorrow for the Church of England’s part in the slave trade is slated to take place in late March, ASSIST News Service reports. It will involve the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who will lead thousands of people through London, while carrying a giant cross. According to Ekklesia, "moments of quiet reflection will punctuate the procession as African drummers beat a somber lament. The march will culminate in a symbolic ‘release from the past,’ possibly in the form of a replica slave auction notice being torn up or shackles being removed from the cross." The "walk of witness" on March 24 coincides with the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade. It is the latest stage in the church’s commemorations since Feb. 2006 when the General Synod voted to apologize for its involvement in slavery.

‘Disappearance’ of Children Alleged at EMI Orphanage in India

Compass Direct News reports that after Rajasthan state officials turned away hundreds of children returning to an orphanage run by Emmanuel Mission International (EMI) last year, the state Bharatiya Janata Party government has formed a committee to investigate EMI for the alleged “disappearance” of children. EMI attorney Mohammad Akram said the state Social Welfare Department was looking into the disappearance of children at the orphanage after the number of residents fell from more than 1,700 to only 435. Akram said most of the children had left for summer vacation in their villages in March 2006, with only 435 children staying at the orphanage. “When the other children returned, the department officials refused to accept them back,” Akram explained.

Nigerian Bishops Warn of Schism in Anglican Church

The Christian Post reports that Anglican leaders from the Church of Nigeria have warned the worldwide communion that they "cannot walk together" with provinces that do not repent of their departure from Scripture. The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria said in a communique that it maintains its posture not to share fellowship with member-Provinces that "denigrate the authority of Scripture." "Our participation in this worldwide fellowship is contingent on genuine repentance by those who have chosen to walk away, for two cannot walk together except they are in agreement," said the Most. Rev. Peter Akinola of the Church of Nigeria in a statement directed to the U.S.-based Episcopal Church which had consecrated an openly gay bishop and elected Katharine Jefferts Schori, who supports same-sex unions, as Presiding Bishop of the U.S. arm of Anglicanism. In September 2006, the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) agreed to "The Road to Lambeth," clearly stating that the North American churches must repent or depart. The Nigerian Anglican leaders at the recent retreat reaffirmed the CAPA document.

Christians Pray in Public for the Common Good

A new trend emerged during the annual Evangelical Alliance’s Week of Prayer in Germany: More Christians prayed in public for the common good. According to ASSIST News Service, approximately 400,000 participants were registered during the interdenominational prayer meetings, January 7 – 14. Many Christians took part in several meetings; therefore the German Alliance estimates that at least 150,000 individuals participated in the Week of Prayer. This constitutes nearly twelve per cent of the 1.3 million evangelicals in Germany, as the Alliance’s General Secretary Hartmut Steeb told the evangelical news agency idea. According to Steeb many prayer meetings focused on social concerns such as unemployment, education, pollution and the integration of immigrants.