Religion Today Summaries, June 2, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, June 2, 2004

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

  • Anglican Church of Canada Elects Liberal Archbishop
  • Prayer Event Aims to 'Raise Spiritual Temperature' of New York
  • Where Communism Once Flourished, the Gospel Is Now Invited In
  • Born Again Christian in India's New Government

Anglican Church of Canada Elects Liberal Archbishop
Agape Press

The Anglican Church of Canada has a new leader, a man described as one of the church's most liberal and politically polished individuals. The Globe and Mail newspaper says the election of Montreal archbishop Andrew Hutchinson this weekend came as a surprise, given his excessive liberal views -- especially in the area of supporting the blessing of same-sex unions. Hutchinson was one of a group of senior Anglican clerics from around the world who publicly dissented with the church's decision in 1998 to oppose homosexual priests. In a resume posted on the Anglican Church website, Hutchinson describes himself as having particular concern for those who live in the margins of society, including homosexuals. Associated Press reports the delegates to the Canadian Anglican meeting face another showdown this week. They will decide whether to give their churches permission to provide so-called "blessing" ceremonies for homosexual couples.

Prayer Event Aims to 'Raise Spiritual Temperature' of New York
Charisma News Service

The Big Apple will be the sight of a big prayer walk this weekend. As many as 10,000 Christians are expected to intercede for all five of New York City's boroughs this Saturday, a month after the National Day of Prayer. Up to 250 churches, representing various denominations and ethnic groups, will participate in "Pray New York!" in a united effort to pray for the 8 million people living in the city. Led by Concerts of Prayer Greater New York (COPGNY) and in collaboration with the New York March for Jesus and New Hope New York, the prayer event is an unprecedented initiative to mobilize believers to spiritually and socially transform the world's most influential city, organizers said. "My vision for the 'Pray New York!' prayerwalk is to see the spiritual temperature of the city raised," said the Rev. Mac Pier, president of COPGNY. "I believe we are living in an unprecedented time to see our city filled with faith, to a level we have not seen in 100 years. We want to pray that reality into our city as a united army of intercessors from every tribe and tongue." "This year our focus will be on seeking freedom in Christ for the people and institutions that make up our community," COPGNY's Web site said.

Where Communism Once Flourished, the Gospel Is Now Invited In
Allie Martin, Agape Press

An international Christian ministry is being allowed to teach ethics from a biblical basis in a former communist stronghold. Years of communism control until 1989 in Czechoslovakia resulted in a moral decline that has been widespread, especially among young people.  Skyrocketing alcohol and drug abuse, among other poor life choices common in that nation's youth culture, prompted government officials to turn to the Christian ministry International Needs, or the IN Network, for help. IN Network spokesman Rody Rodeheaver says believers will now be able to teach ethics in public schools. "What they've done is turn to an organization...who has supplied and put together a group of youth evangelists who have created talks on ethical issues," he explains. Those talks, he says, address such issues as sex and morality, abstinence, alcohol, drugs, and bullying.  "They can actually go in and are allowed by the school to talk about those subjects and to speak from a platform of Christian values," he adds. Such an arrangement, he says, leads to many evangelistic opportunities.  "We're able to present [our talks] and then invite these students back to another location after school... to be able then to talk completely and openly about the gospel and to share the gospel," he explains. And it doesn't stop there, he says.  "Many of these young people are coming to know Christ, and then we're discipling them into churches," Rodeheaver says.

Born Again Christian in India's New Government
Stefan Bos, ASSIST News Service

In an unprecedented move India's first ever non-Hindu Prime Minister has asked a born again Christian to help lead the country, who missionaries hope will help to end persecution of Christians and allow them to set up thousands of schools and distribute Bibles among tens of millions of people. An official of global Bible distributor Bibles For the World told Mission Network News (MNN), a mission news service, that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had appointed P.R. Kyndiah from northeast India to become his Minister of Tribal Affairs all across India. "My dear friend P.R. Kyndiah from northeast India, was not only elected by an overwhelming majority to become a member of parliament, but the prime minister of India inducted him as one of his cabinet members," said Rochunga Pudaite in an interview with MNN. Pudaite, who personally led Kyndiah to Christ, suggested the Minister may support plans to distribute Bibles among over 40-million people.