Religion Today Summaries - June 22, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 22, 2005

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

  • 'One' Campaign Against Poverty Draws Christian Supporters

  • True Success For A Preacher Is Not Measured By Church Attendance 

  • Vietnamese Church Leaders Submit Testimony in D.C. 

  • Nepal: Murder and Forgiveness in Tribal Village

'ONE' Campaign Against Poverty Draws Christian Supporters
Baptist Press

Rick Warren, Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay and other Christian leaders have added their signatures and support to "ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History," which was started by a diverse coalition of faith-based and humanitarian organizations to fight global AIDS and poverty. "The ONE Campaign seeks to give Americans a voice, to ring church bells and cell phones, on campuses and in coffee shops, for an historic pact to fight the global AIDS emergency and end extreme poverty," according to the campaign's website, www.one.org. "We believe that allocating an additional ONE percent of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation of the poorest countries." In an open letter June 3, Warren said he has never been involved in partisan politics and doesn't intend to start now, but global poverty "is an issue that rises far above mere politics. It is a moral issue ... a compassion issue." He urged fellow Christians to get involved in fighting poverty, starting with signing a letter challenging President Bush to "take specific, measurable actions to fight poverty, hunger and disease" at the Group of Eight summit in Scotland in July. For more information, visit www.one.org.

True Success For A Preacher Is Not Measured By Church Attendance
Agape Press

A well-known evangelist says true success for a preacher is not measured by church attendance.  Speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in Nashville, evangelist Junior Hill encouraged ministers to be a faithful soldier for Christ, as the Apostle Paul said to Timothy.  Hill says pastors should be driven by obedience to God's Word -- not by the latest church growth method.  "The truth of the matter is, there are some churches that wouldn't grow if Moses was the pastor and Elijah [was] the educational director," Hill stated.  "My dear brothers, I think it's high time that those of us who have enough sense to know better say to these so-called 'church growth experts' who have never pastored a church and wouldn't know one if they met it in the middle of the road: 'We don't judge our men of God on the size of their buildings. We judge them on their faithfulness to stand up as a good soldier.'"  Hill said methodology should never contradict or violate scriptural principles.

Vietnamese Church Leaders Submit Testimony in D.C.
Compass Direct

Three Vietnamese house church leaders submitted written testimony to the International Relations Committee in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 20, the first working day of Vietnam Prime Minister Phan Van Khai's historic visit to the United States. The Rev. Tran Mai gave current stories of religious persecution from Hai Phong harbor to the Mekong Delta. The Rev. Pham Dinh Nhan testified about how restrictions had affected his pastor father, his mother and his own family. Evangelist Truong Tri Hien, who fled Vietnam following the arrest of the Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang just over a year ago, described 77 separate actions against the Mennonite church and headquarters in District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City from June 8, 2004, to May 31, 2005. Congressman Chris Smith warned Vietnam that the U.S. would be looking closely to see what happened to those who stand up to speak the truth.

Nepal: Murder and Forgiveness in Tribal Village
Christian Aid Mission

In rural tribal communities of Nepal, choosing to follow Christ can lead to ostracism, rejection or, as in the recent case of one woman, death. According to Christian Aid's contacts in Nepal, the lady was a member of the Santhal tribe in the eastern part of the country. She was recently led to Christ by a native missionary. When her family and neighbors found out about her decision, they beat her so badly that she had to be hospitalized. After five days in the hospital, she passed away. Local police arrested several people and charged them with her murder. However, Christians in the village, led by the native missionary who worked among them, chose to forgive the murderers and withdrew the case. The missionary reports, "The neighbors were very much impressed by this and have been searching for the truth since." In the aftermath of the tragedy, the leader of the indigenous ministry with which the missionary works came to speak to the murdered woman's community. Three hundred and fifty people from the area gathered under a tent to listen to him. He writes, "Seven family members from the tribe who had been accused of the killing accepted Christ." These were followed by 27 more conversions. As a result, a new church has been started in this village and is growing daily.

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