Religion Today Summaries - May 17, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 17, 2005

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

  • Homosexual Festival Scheduled In Jerusalem Cancelled

  • Evangelical Strategy Statement Gains Approval 

  • Holman CSB, In Its First Year, At No. 5 On Bookstore Charts 

  • Hindu Extremists in India Attack Bible College Students

Homosexual Festival Scheduled In Jerusalem Cancelled
Agape Press

There's good news from the Holy Land. The international homosexual festival that was scheduled to take place in Jerusalem this summer has been cancelled.  Organizers of WorldPride 2005 says it is being put off until August 2006 because it would coincide with Israel's planned withdrawal from Gaza and West Bank settlements.  Thousands of homosexuals were expected for the ten-day affair which included street parties and a homosexual film festival.  Many Christians have been praying that God would intervene to put a stop to the event -- and it is expected those prayers will continue in hopes the gathering never takes place.

Evangelical Strategy Statement Gains Approval
Ed Vitagliano, Agape Press

Almost 90 evangelical leaders have given their approval to a document that calls conservative Christians to go beyond their usual issues, like abortion and homosexual rights, and involve themselves in such matters as poverty, justice and human rights. Titled For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility, the tome was crafted under the auspices of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). The project was commissioned by the NAE at its 2001 convention, and nearly two dozen leading scholars drafted the document. The NAE says it represents 30 million people in 45,000 churches and 52 denominations in the U.S. The American Family Association is examining the document, but chairman Don Wildmon said the ministry was already in agreement with the general sentiments of For the Health of the Nation. "Evangelical Christians in America face a historic opportunity. We make up fully one quarter of all voters in the most powerful nation in history," the document states. "Never before has God given American evangelicals such an awesome opportunity to shape public policy in ways that could contribute to the well-being of the entire world. Disengagement is not an option." For the Health of the Nation lays out seven principles it says should guide Christian political engagement. The full text is available on the National Association of Evangelicals website. (

Holman CSB, In Its First Year, At No. 5 On Bookstore Charts
Baptist Press

The Holman Christian Standard Bible, at the first anniversary of its release, has exceeded expectations in the marketplace, said David R. Shepherd, Broadman & Holman senior vice president/publisher and executive editor of the new translation. "From December 2003 to December 2004, the Holman Christian Standard Bible soared from No. 11 to No. 5 in the General Versions & Translations' best-seller chart of national sales data from Christian retail stores," Shepherd said. "This is particularly significant," he noted, "because the entire Bible wasn't even released until April 2004, so it went head-to-head with translations that had Old and New Testaments available during that entire 12-month period." The Holman CSB, the first all-new Bible translation from a major publisher in more than 25 years, was commissioned by Broadman & Holman Publishers, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. An international team of 100 scholars and English stylists representing more than 20 different Protestant denominations worked together from the original biblical languages of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic to achieve a translation that is both accurate and readable. A number of churches throughout the nation used the Holman CSB translation in their Year of the Bible readings.

Hindu Extremists in India Attack Bible College Students
Vijayesh Lal, Compass Direct

A group of extremists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) attacked and beat eight students from Beersheba Bible College of the Indian Pentecostal Church of God at Maraman, Chettimukku, on May 12. The students were making their way on foot to attend a funeral when about 15 motor-cycle-mounted RSS members assaulted them with sharp weapons. All eight Beersheba students were treated for injuries at a district hospital in nearby Kozhencherry; three of them required hospitalization. Despite continuing RSS threats against the college, Beersheba principal Shibu Nalweli said the campus community has chosen to forgive the attackers and does not wish to press charges. However, local police have registered a criminal case against the 15 RSS members involved in the incident.