Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 9, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 9, 2009

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

  • U.S. Economic Woes Compound Severe Food Shortage Worldwide
  • Calif. Court Appears Likely to Uphold Prop 8
  • China: Law Firm Closed for Defending Human Rights Cases
  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Names New Head

U.S. Economic Woes Compound Severe Food Shortage Worldwide

ASSIST News Service reports that while the United States continues to dwell on the stock market plunge and the current credit crisis, there are severe worldwide consequences to the nation’s economic woes. "Average food prices around the world between 2006 and 2008 have risen at staggering levels," said Mark Hanlon, senior vice president for Compassion International-USA. “I have been fighting poverty for more than 30 years,” said Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International. “Throughout that time I have never seen the potential for devastation that I see in the current Global Food Crisis.” The price of rice has risen 217 percent in many countries. Maize, wheat and soybeans have also jumped more than 100 percent.

Calif. Court Appears Likely to Uphold Prop 8

Baptist Press reports that the California Supreme Court appeared willing Thursday to allow Proposition 8 to stand, with key justices during oral arguments expressing skepticism at the legal reasoning made by attorneys urging the striking of the "gay marriage" ban. At issue is an amendment to the state constitution passed by a majority of voters last fall defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. Prop 8 overturned a 4-3 ruling six months earlier by the court legalizing gay marriage. "From what I'm picking up from the oral arguments in this case is that this court should willy-nilly disregard the will of the people," Justice Joyce Kennard, who voted with the court's majority last year, told an attorney who was arguing against Prop 8. The measure’s success at the polls in November depended in large part on hundreds of churches' efforts.

China: Law Firm Closed for Defending Human Rights Cases

Christian News Wire reports Beijing Yitong Law Firm faces a six-month forced closure by Chinese officials. ChinaAid sources say the reason behind the forced closure is that Haidan District Judicial Burea officials are punishing the firm because some of its attorneys signed an open letter in August 2008 asking that independent candidates be allowed to run in the election of the leadership of the Beijing Lawyers Association [equivalent to the U.S. Bar Association], and because the firm has provided representation for a number of human rights cases, including cases of persecution against house church Christians. Only one lawyer from the firm was allowed to attend a hearing on the subject of the firm's closure on March 3. The committee has not yet reached a decision.

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability Names New Head

ASSIST News Service reports that the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), founded in 1979 to provide accreditation to evangelical Christian nonprofit organizations, has named Dan Busby as its new president, tapping him to lead the national accreditation organization. "Dan not only has a stellar track record of leadership and innovation in the arena of financial accountability and integrity, but he is a nationally recognized authority on the subject. He is the primary 'go to' person in America on matters related to financial integrity for Christian ministries and churches," said Michael Batts, chairman of ECFA’s board. For the past 11 months Busby has been the acting president of ECFA during the board’s search process. During this period, ECFA experienced one of the largest single-year membership increases in its history.

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