Religion Today Summaries - July 13, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 13, 2006

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

  • Gospel for Asia Calls for Prayer As Bomb Blasts Rock India
  • Prison Fellowship Appeals Judge's Ruling on Iowa Program
  • Faiths in Jerusalem United Against Gay March
  • Good News Holdings & Tyndale House Publishers to Connect Print & Movies via The Atticus Project

Gospel for Asia Calls for Prayer As Bomb Blasts Rock India

Gospel for Asia leaders in Mumbai report that their missionaries were miraculously spared in this week’s multiple train bombings. At the same time, GFA President K.P. Yohannan said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident which, he explained, has spiritual significance. “The attacks occurred during the evening rush hour,” Dr. Yohannan noted, “and normally many of our 250 missionaries in the city are returning to their homes by train at that time after a day of outreach. But as far as we know now, none were on the seven trains that were bombed. The Lord has been good to us.” As of this update, more than 130 people are reported dead in the bombings, and scores more have been seriously injured. Dr. Yohannan added that “In the end we know that all of these things are incited by the real enemy of human beings — satanic powers. That is why we are working so hard to bring the Good News of God’s love to India and the rest of Asia — so that they can know the real peace that only He can give.” Dr. Yohannan called on Christians around the world to pray for the people of Mumbai, and especially for the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy.

Prison Fellowship Appeals Judge's Ruling on Iowa Program

AgapePress reports that Prison Fellowship has launched an appeal of an Iowa judge's ruling that banned "faith-based" prison programs designed to help reform and minister to inmates. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State brought the lawsuit against the prison ministry, claiming it represented an excessive entanglement between state and religion. But Mark Earley, director of Prison Fellowship, insists the court appeal is more than just an attempt to salvage a successful program that has reduced recidivism rates by 60 percent. If the prior ruling is allowed to stand, Earley contends, it will "enshrine" religious discrimination. That ruling, he asserts, "has attacked the right of people of faith to operate on a level playing field in the public arena and to provide services to those who volunteered to receive them." Earley says the lower court's decision assumes that by "warehousing criminals and providing no services to help them change," society will be safer when they get out. However, he insists that "nothing could be further from the truth." Earley believes this case may eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Faiths in Jerusalem United Against Gay March

Jerusalem's conflicting religions have found rare common ground: opposition to an international gay pride parade next month. The Christian Post reports Christian leaders have condemned it; Jewish radicals put a bounty on participants; Muslim clerics threatened to flood the streets with protesters. "We consider this offensive and harmful to the religious integrity of the city," said Sheik Taissir Tamimi, head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "This group of homosexuals, we consider them impure." The march is the centerpiece of the seven-day WorldPride festival, intended to bring people of different faiths and cultures to a strife-torn city in an example of peaceful coexistence, said Hagai Elad, executive director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, which is organizing the event. Three Christian Zionist groups based in Jerusalem issued a joint statement condemning the march, saying its choice of venue was intended to spur conflict.

Good News Holdings & Tyndale House Publishers to Connect Print & Movies via The Atticus Project

Los Angeles-based multimedia company Good News Holdings and Wheaton, Illinois-based Tyndale House Publishers have announced their intent to work together on THE ATTICUS PROJECT, a partnership designed to leverage the power of print media with the magic of film. Religion News Service states the project was announced this week by George Barna, Chairman of Good News, and Doug Knox, Senior VP at Tyndale House. One of their first projects together will be a horror series designed for release both in film and book-form called DUDLEYTOWN, based on a true story concerning the legendary evil that has held Dudleytown, Connecticut in its grip for hundreds of years. Dudleytown has been pronounced by some, including film star Dan Aykroyd, to be "the scariest place on earth." This venture is expected to yield seven projects targeting a teen audience. "Our objective is to be the forerunner in a new genre of multimedia we are calling spiritainment," says Barna. "Our research has shown that people -- especially young people -- absorb an amazing degree of their values, beliefs and lifestyle practices from the media content to which they are exposed.  Our desire is to raise spiritual questions and draw people closer to God and His truths."