Religion Today Summaries - June 1, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 1, 2007

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

  • Evangelical Theologian Counters "Militant Atheists"
  • Christians in Chiapas, Mexico Town Deprived of Water
  • Warrens Respond to Bush's Announcement for a Five-year, $30 Billion HIV/AIDS Plan
  • Muslim Converts Fear for Their Lives in Germany

Evangelical Theologian Counters "Militant Atheists"

A leading evangelical theologian has countered the assault of so-called “new atheists.” According to ASSIST News Service, the ideas of best selling authors like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris are by no means “new”, says Rolf Hille, executive chair of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Theological Commission. The German theologian told the evangelical news agency these “militant atheists” are resuscitating the ideas of the 18th century enlightenment with its accompanying intolerance. With “fanatical bias” the authors are trying to turn the errors of the world religions into the essence of religion itself. That attempt, however, is doomed to return like a boomerang, says Hille. After all, the 20th century had shown with brutal clarity how the atheistic ideologies of the Nazism and Communism had spurred mass destruction and misery.

Christians in Chiapas, Mexico Town Deprived of Water

More than five weeks after town bosses in Chiapas state, Mexico, signed an agreement to restore water lines cut off from Christians since January, the Protestants still rely on dirty, distant wells and puddles for washing and drinking. The April 23 agreement calls for the autocratic rulers or caciques of Los Pozos, near San Cristobal de las Casas, to withdraw a threat to expel 65 Christians, cease forcing them to pay for “traditionalist Catholic” festivals and restore electricity and water services of several Protestant families. Evangelical pastor and attorney Esdras Alonso Gonzalez told Compass Direct News that water lines cut since January 30 had not been restored. “Everyone in the municipality is respecting the agreement, except in the matter of water – it’s horrible,” Alonso said. “We don’t know when they’re going to restore the water; the brethren have not been able to get good information.”

Warrens Respond to Bush's Announcement for a Five-year, $30 Billion HIV/AIDS Plan

A statement from Rick and Kay Warren released by A. Larry Ross Communications reads, in part: "We applaud President Bush's call for the immediate doubling of America's PEPFAR commitment. The President's determination to help those suffering from HIV/AIDS is a compassionate, bold, and forward-thinking act of leadership that will save millions of lives. As the largest commitment of any nation in history to fight a single disease, this challenge represents the compassion and unselfishness of America at its best. The President reminded us in his announcement that to whom much is given, much is required. We have been blessed to be a blessing. AIDS is a much greater killer in the world than most realize. By 2020 over one hundred million people will have contracted this incurable disease and forty million children will be orphaned due to AIDS. We're thrilled that the President's plan calls for a comprehensive program of prevention, treatment, care, and support for those with HIV/AIDS, and a new allocation for the millions of orphans left behind."

Muslim Converts Fear for Their Lives in Germany

Muslim converts fear for their lives – not only in predominantly Muslim countries but also in Germany, ASSIST News Service reports. The leader of the main line Protestant Churches in Germany, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, is deeply concerned about increasing threats to the lives of former Muslims, who have embraced the Christian faith. There are congregations of former Muslims in Berlin, Huber’s diocese, who live in constant fear of violent attacks, the Bishop told the 6,000 participants of a Protestant Church Rally in Bavaria, May 28. Huber: “I am convinced that there are more Muslim converts in Germany than we know of.” According to evangelist Ulrich Parzany approximately 5,000 Muslims become Christians in Germany every year. Many of them change their identity because they are afraid of being killed.