Religion Today Summaries - May 14, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 14, 2010

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Malaysia Christian Leader: We're Not Fighting for 'Allah'
  • In China, Church Harassment Continues: Pastor Detained
  • Study: American 'Millennials' Value Family Most
  • Atheist Plans Appeal of Inaugural Prayer Case

Malaysia Christian Leader: We're Not Fighting for 'Allah'

The Christian Post reports that Malaysian Christians are clarifying that recent court battles are not strictly over the use of the word "Allah." Instead, it's about fighting a forced reversal of minority culture and language. "Native Malaysians have been using 'Allah' for centuries and now you are saying they cannot any longer," said Christian Federation of Malaysia Chairman Ng Moon Hing. "It's not a fight for it; it's just that it has been part and parcel of their religious and social life." He continued, "It's not right to change another people's language. If the people themselves want to change it, let them change it themselves... no one should change another people's language." Muslims, Christians, and other religions in Malaysia have all used the term for centuries.

In China, Church Harassment Continues: Pastor Detained

ASSIST News Service reports that, in the latest wave of persecution against Liangren Church in Guangdong, China, Pastor Wang Dao was criminally detained on May 9. He was interrogated for two days. Pastor Dao's wife received notice of her husband's formal criminal detention, purportedly on charges of "gathering a mob to disrupt the public order." He is currently being held at the Fanyu District Detention Center of Guangzhou Municipality. They said that authorities searched Wang's home for evidence on May 8. "When they found Pastor Wang Dao's computer, they were in euphoria," Mrs. Wang said. "They said they at last had the evidence with which they could punish him for his offense. After that, they seized Pastor Wang Dao's ID card, passport, Hong Kong-Macau Pass and bank passbook." Mrs. Wang was then taken to a police station and interrogated for more than 20 hours before being released without charge.

Study: American 'Millennials' Value Family Most

The Christian Post reports that the Millennial demographic - those ages 18-29 - say family comes first, according to a new LifeWay Research study. The survey of 1,200 Millennials found that 61 percent place family at the top of their priority lists. Friends (25 percent), education (17 percent) and careers (16 percent) follow in important. Only 13 percent said spirituality/religion is most important. "Millennials are committed to family above other priorities, even though many are waiting to start their own families," said Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. "To minister effectively, the church should tap into this priority among Millennials. Churches with a strong understanding and sense of family will be able to more easily reach Millennials. I expect that ministries that cross generations - such as older adults mentoring young adults - could be highly effective in connecting Millennials to Jesus."

Atheist Plans Appeal of Inaugural Prayer Case

Religion News Service reports that atheist lawyer Michael Newdow said Tuesday (May 11) that he will continue his fight to ban "so help me God" from presidential inaugurations. He will appeal a court decision that said his bid to halt prayers and "so help me God" phrase is now moot. "We will be petitioning for a rehearing," said Newdow, who represented himself and other atheists in the case. "If the ruling stands, it seems to me that the executive branch of government will henceforth be able to trample on individual rights with impunity." In a May 7 ruling, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the issues of the case are no longer timely. In a concurring opinion, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh said neither "so help me God" in a presidential oath nor the inaugural prayers could be considered proselytizing.