Religion Today Summaries: Daily summaries of the top national and international religious news stories impacting Christians
In Today's Edition:
- Baptist Missionary Killed, Another Injured as 21 Die in Philippines Airport Blast
- Catholic, Jewish Delegations Join in Condemning Suicide Bombings
- Gallup Finds That Americans Link Faith to Everyday Life
- In India, One Missionary Beaten Unconscious, Another Expelled from Local Village
Baptist Missionary Killed, Another Injured as 21 Die in Philippines Airport Blast
(Baptist Press) A Southern Baptist missionary was killed and another missionary and her two children were injured when a bomb exploded March 4 at the airport in Davao City, Philippines. William P. "Bill" Hyde, 59, died in surgery from severe head and leg injuries. Barbara Wallis Stevens, 33, was slightly injured, daughter, Sarah, 4, was treated and released with minor injuries, and 10-month-old son, Nathan, also was wounded. Husband, Mark Stevens was uninjured in the blast. "Our hearts go out to these families and their coworkers," said Larry Cox, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist International Mission Board in Richmond, Va. At least 21 people were killed and 144 injured in the attack, which occurred outside the arrival terminal of the Davao airport in the Philippines' second-largest city. Hyde was from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Immanuel Baptist Church has been the home for the Hydes, and they also maintained ties with Northbrook Baptist Church, a sister church of Immanuel. A former music teacher, Hyde served in church and leadership development. The International Mission Board appointed him and his wife, Lyn Gage Hyde, in October 1978. The Hydes have two grown sons, Timothy and Steven. www.bpnews.net
Catholic, Jewish Delegations Join in Condemning Suicide Bombings
(RNS) High-level Catholic and Jewish delegations have joined in a statement condemning suicide bombings and calling terrorism carried out in the name of God "sacrilegious." The statement, which also upheld the sanctity of human life and urged respect for family values, was issued Monday (March 3) by members of the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. In a clear reference to suicide bombings by Palestinian extremists, the statement said, "Taking any human life, including one's own, even in the name of God, is sacrilegious. No religious leader can condone terrorism anywhere in the world. It is a profanation of religion to declare oneself a terrorist in the name of God, to do violence to others in his name. Terrorist violence everywhere in the world is a contradiction of faith in God." The statement said that the Catholic and Jewish officials agreed, "every believer, particularly religious leaders, should cooperate in protecting human life." Upholding the institution of the family, they called the traditional family unit "the basis for a wholesome society," adding: "We cannot agree to alternative models of couples' union and of the family."
Gallup Finds That Americans Link Faith to Everyday Life
Adelle M. Banks
(RNS) Large percentages of Americans link faith to their everyday lives, a new poll reveals. But overall, faithful Americans acknowledge a gap between what they believe and how they act. The findings are part of a new joint effort to examine "The Spiritual State of the Union" by the Gallup Organization and the Center for Research on Religion & Urban Civil Society. Among the findings:
- 77 percent of Americans believe the overall health of the nation depends a great deal on the spiritual health of the nation.
- 72 percent said their lives have meaning and purpose because of their faith.
- 60 percent said their faith is involved in every aspect of their lives.
"You really cannot understand America if you do not understand her spiritual underpinnings," said George Gallup, who presented survey findings at a briefing Tuesday (March 4). "This survey makes that point, loudly and clearly." Some of the other findings regarding Christians were that 74 percent believe God is actively involved in their lives, 67 percent find hope from their faith in Jesus Christ during a crisis and 58 percent believe no task is too menial if God calls them to it.
In India, One Missionary Beaten Unconscious, Another Expelled from Local Village
(Charisma News) A Gospel for Asia (GFA) missionary is recovering after being beaten unconscious by a group of men who attacked him as he tried to show a film on the life of Jesus to villagers, last month. The 26-year-old evangelist, identified only as Titus, was strangled, punched and beaten with sticks in the Feb. 18 attack. Other members of the film team were also severely beaten, but managed to escape. "It is very important that we pray for the Lord to intervene in this situation," GFA officials said in an e-mail to supporters. "Let us also pray that the hearts of the villagers will be drawn to Christ as they witness the courage of Titus." Elsewhere, police in a village in northern India joined radical Hindus in recently expelling a native missionary who graduated from a Bible training institute in that region, according to Christian Aid Mission (CAM). "In the last two years, he established a congregation of more than 40 believers and had another 40 who were being prepared for baptism," a source told CAM. "He recently conducted a crusade in his village where about 500 people came and heard the gospel. Many were miraculously healed." www.charismanews.com