Religion Today Summaries - June 5, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 5, 2006

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

  • Promise Keepers Kicks Off '06 Campaign to 'Unleash' Thousands
  • Hindu Villagers Gang-rape Two Christian Women in India
  • Dads Happy in their Role
  • Methodist Students Stress Inclusivity of Homosexuals

Promise Keepers Kicks Off '06 Campaign to 'Unleash' Thousands

Promise Keepers' 2006 'Unleashed' conferences kicked off Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Christian Post reports the stage is set for the first of 19 conferences which are expected to be the best ever in their 16 years of ministry. Heading the 2006 national run is Dr. Bob Reccord, former president of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, who will be speaking to tens of thousands of men across the nation from June 2 to Oct. 21. The kick-off conference will gather 7,000 men, according to Promise Keepers spokesman Steve Chavis. New features this year are PK7's latest music "Worship Unleashed," which was just released and Saturday morning interactive sessions with Bishop Joseph Garlington, senior pastor of Covenant Church of Pittsburgh. Sessions will help men explore their heart and talents in detail and put them into action. "Unleashed - Releasing the Raw Power of Your Heart," this year's theme, is about helping a man discover his God-given potential, optimize his talents and then move out in those with other men.

Hindu Villagers Gang-rape Two Christian Women in India

With the encouragement of a local chief and the apparent backing of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, villagers in the north-central state of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday (May 28) gang-raped two Christian women after the husband of one refused to deny Christ. According to Compass Direct, at 3 p.m. villagers had beaten up Gokharya Barela, the husband of one of the victims, and took him to Sirvil village, near Nadia, where the village court demanded he forsake Christianity. When he refused, the village head, Pandya Patel, had villagers force Barela to drink wine and told them they could feel free to rape Christian women. Barela’s wife was raped by three men that evening, and before that two other Hindu villagers went to the house of Garsia Barela, also a Christian, and dragged his wife onto the verandah and raped her. Both women attend prayer meetings of the Indian Evangelical Team (IET). The BJP has filed “forced conversion” cases against nearby Christian missionaries and are planning to accuse an IET member of the same to try to insulate the perpetrators from prosecution, said Sajan George, national convener of the Global Council of Indian Christians.

Dads Happy in Their Role

According to a Family News in Focus story citing a study by the National Center for Health Statistics, ninety-four percent of men say being a parent is worth it despite the cost and effort. Carey Casey with the National Center for Fathering stated, “Previous generations of fathers may have focused on the roles of providing for their children, but the current generations of dads are fully understanding that we need them to be more involved in their children’s lives. When children are being fulfilled, they are fulfilled naturally in the married situation.” The study also found that seventy-six percent of men thought that it was more important to be with their family than to be successful in their career. Casey adds that taking fatherhood seriously is also the fulfillment of a God-given role.

Methodist Students Stress Inclusivity of Homosexuals

United Methodist students approved resolutions condemning the war in Iraq, genocide in Sudan, and criticizing a recent church court ruling that upheld a Virginia pastor’s decision to withhold membership from an openly homosexual man, The Christian Post reports. The resolutions were presented at the annual United Methodist Student Development Conference May 25-28. According to United Methodist News Service, students voted on 16 resolutions, 14 of which dealt with issues of inclusiveness, particularly regarding homosexuality. According to the Rev. Luther Felder, these resolutions stem from the new generation’s emphasis on inclusivity. One of the two resolutions that did not meet the two-thirds majority needed to pass would have asked the church to say the Bible cannot be taken literally, ultimately debunking plain scriptural texts condemning homosexuality.