Religion Today Summaries - July 31, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 31, 2007

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

  • UMC Criticized for Partnership with Muslim Aid
  • Survey: Christians Worldwide Too Busy for God
  • FX's 'Rescue Me' Rips Catholicism
  • Nigerian Bishop Targeted By Gang for Second Time

UMC Criticized for Partnership with Muslim Aid reports that the United Methodist Church, specifically UMCOR, the church's Committee on Relief, is being blasted for partnering with a Muslim relief organization. UMCOR recently announced a partnership with British-based relief organization Muslim Aid. According to Mark Tooley with the Institute on Religion and Democracy, the Muslim group is "very clear about its Islamic mission -- and on its website there are numerous references to the Koran and the false god, Allah. In its materials and on its website, it talks about the need to serve Allah, and one of its programs is to help Muslims around the world fulfill their Islamic obligations." Tooley also noted that while Muslim Aid is vocal about its beliefs, UMCOR has virtually no mention of God, Jesus, or the Bible on its website.

Survey: Christians Worldwide Too Busy for God

The Christian Post reports that Christians worldwide are simply becoming too busy for God, according to the results of a newly released five-year study. 20,000 Christians aged 15 to 88 from 139 countries were sampled for The Obstacles to Growth Survey. Findings indicated that more than 4 in 10 Christians say they "often" or "always" rush from task to task. Such busyness was more prevalant in Japan, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Indonesia. Christians in Uganda, Nigeria, Malaysia and Kenya were least likely to rush from task to task. Even so, 6 out of 10 Christians worldwide agreed that "the busyness of life gets in the way of developing my relationship with God" often or always.

FX's 'Rescue Me' Rips Catholicism

A Christian Newswire release reports that last Wednesday's episode of the FX drama "Rescue Me" featured an exchange about the Bible, during which a veteran firefighter played by Denis Leary told a rookie fireman that the Bible is to Catholics what The Godfather is to the Mafia. In the scene, Leary's character continued to defame the Catholic Church for being corrupt. He equated his 12 years in the Church to being in prison and referred to the Pope as "the biggest gangster on the planet." Later in the episode, a former nun is shown having sex while wearing a habit. "Imagine what would happen if every Catholic priest, nun, brother and lay person in the United States who volunteers his or her time in hospitals, clinics, hospices, after-school programs, camps, soup kitchens, day care centers, mental institutions and the like were to go on strike for one day. Would the Denis Learys of this world still be painting them as corrupt and oppressive? countered Catholic League president Bill Donohue.

Nigerian Bishop Targeted By Gang for Second Time

ASSIST News Service reports that the family of Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin Kwashi, Anglican Bishop of Jos in Plateau State, Nigeria was attacked in their home on Tuesday, July 14, 2007 by a gang armed with hammers, axes and diggers. This is the second time the family has been targeted, as the gang had previously attacked them while the bishop was visiting the UK last year. This news comes from the UK-based human rights group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). A CSW spokesperson told ANS, “Early in 2006, the gang of armed men broke into the bishop's residence in Jos in search of the bishop. When they failed to find him, they subjected his wife Gloria and two of their sons to a horrendous attack from which the family had only recently fully recovered. One son, Ringi, was beaten unconscious and Mrs. Kwashi’s head injuries were so severe that she was blinded. She has subsequently undergone treatment in the US which has fully restored her sight. “At 2am on Tuesday, the men proceeded to break into the family’s house for a second time. While Mrs. Kwashi was not injured this time, she has been traumatised by the return of the men who previously subjected her to appalling mistreatment. Ringi, who had just arrived home for his school holidays, was once again severely assaulted.