Religion Today Summaries - May 18, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 18, 2010

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

In today's edition:

  • U.S. Episcopal Church Consecrates Lesbian Bishop
  • Eritrea Arrests Women and Children As They Pray
  • Poll: More Americans Say U.S. Morality Getting Worse
  • Liberty to Probe Seminary President's Muslim Background

U.S. Episcopal Church Consecrates Lesbian Bishop

Reuters reports that the Episcopal Church has ordained its second openly gay bishop. The Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles ordained Mary Douglas Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as an assisting bishop on Saturday. Her ordination will further stress ties between the Episcopal Church and the more conservative, global Anglican Communion. Some provinces have already cut ties with the Episcopal Church over matters of homosexuality and Scriptural authority. "The event was joyful and well attended," said diocese spokesman Bob Williams. Glasspool was enthusiastic about her new charge. "I am a reconciling person and I will seek to reach out and engage with people who believe or think differently than I do, and to try to build a relationship with them," she said.

Eritrea Arrests Women and Children As They Pray

ASSIST News Service reports that Eritrean officials have arrested 11 Christians, including women and children, in the Eritrean capital of Asmara. On May 9, Pastor Mesfin, Pastor Tekie, Mr. Isaac and his four children, and four women were arrested while conducting a prayer meeting at a private home in Maitemenai, Asmara. According to International Christian Concern, the detainees are members of Faith Church of Christ. ICC says the church has existed in Eritrea since 1950. It was among the evangelical churches that were banned by Eritrean officials in 2002. Eritrea only recognizes four religious groups: Islam, the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea. All the other religious groups are considered illegal. Officials have imprisoned more than 3,000 Christians for exercising their religious freedom.

Poll: More Americans Say U.S. Morality Getting Worse

The Christian Post reports that three-quarters of Americans believe that the country's moral values are slipping. A new Gallup Poll of more than 1,000 American adults found that 76 percent believe America's moral values are getting worse. That number is up five percent since last year, but it still better than 2007, when 82 percent of Americans said moral values were getting worse. According to the Christian Post, opinions about moral values in the country tend to stay relatively stable between years. People were most likely to cite declining moral standards, disrespect of others, parents not instilling values in children or governmental and corporate dishonesty as reasons for this. However, no majority opinion emerged, as the most popular answers only garnered 15 percent of the poll.

Liberty to Probe Seminary President's Muslim Background

Religion News Service reports that Liberty University will investigate claims that its seminary president lied about his Muslim background to make his conversion seem more dramatic. Ergun Caner was named dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005, when he became the first former Muslim to lead an evangelical seminary. Bloggers and online activists say Caner, 43, has misrepresented key parts of his biography, including where he was raised. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said May 10 that the school "does not initiate personnel evaluations based upon accusations from Internet blogs." But, he said, "in light of the fact that several newspapers have raised questions, we felt it was necessary to initiate a formal inquiry."