Religion Today Summaries - May 24, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 24, 2007

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

  • Statement from Protestant Leaders against Anti-Catholic Bigotry
  • Anglican Gathering to Meet Without Controversial Bishops
  • Pakistan Government Officials Accused of Taking 'Two Steps Back' in Religious Freedom
  • Many Young People Find College Years Strengthen their Faith

Statement from Protestant Leaders against Anti-Catholic Bigotry

A recently-released statement on part of 30 Protestant leaders, including Chuck Colson, Rick Warren, Frank Page, and Jim Tonkowich, reads, in part: "As Protestant Christians and as Americans, we condemn the grotesque anti-Catholic bigotry that is now on display as a result of the Supreme Court's recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the federal law prohibiting partial-birth abortion. We denounce as particularly odious a cartoon published by the Philadelphia Inquirer depicting the five justices who formed the majority in the case wearing Catholic bishops' mitres. Scarcely less offensive were the comments of law professor... Geoff Stone identifying the Catholic religious affiliation of the justices forming the majority and accusing these distinguished and honorable jurists of imposing their religion rather than faithfully interpreting the Constitution. We believe it is our particular duty to condemn the bigotry we are now witnessing in view of the history of anti-Catholicism in our nation. It is a stain on the Protestant Christian conscience that at one time many of our people accepted the vile teachings of Paul Blanshard in his book American Freedom and Catholic Power, and supported the anti-Catholic agenda of the group founded by Blanshard and others that now styles itself "Americans United for Separation of Church and State" (formerly known as Protestants and other Americans united for Separation of Church and State)."

Anglican Gathering to Meet Without Controversial Bishops

According to The Church Report, Bishops V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire and Martyn Minns of the Breakaway Convocation of Anglicans in North America will not be counted among the bishops invited to next year’s global gathering of Anglican prelates. Robinson, who is openly gay and in a same-sex relationship, and Minns are at the heart of the U.S. Episcopal Church’s division involving sexuality and scripture. Minns was consecrated bishop on May 5 in Virginia by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, who has been outspoken about Robinson’s elevation to bishop. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is not contemplating inviting Minns, although Robinson maybe invited to attend as a guest.

Pakistan Government Officials Accused of Taking 'Two Steps Back' in Religious Freedom

OneNewsNow.com reports that Faith McDonnel of the Institute on Religion and Democracy says Pakistan has taken two steps backwards in religious freedom. Recently, the National Assembly introduced an apostasy bill demanding death for men who convert from Islam and life in prison for women who do the same. The same body rejected amendments to provide equal treatment for all Pakistanis with regard to blasphemy laws. McDonnell says "Christians are pretty much the bottom of the social status" in Pakistan.

Many Young People Find College Years Strengthen their Faith

According to Catholic News Service, college students aren't necessarily graduating with a spiritual void, despite the notion that young people take a hiatus from religion during their college years. Some students find their faith unscathed by the college experience and others even find it significantly strengthened. Ryan Hehman, a 2006 graduate of The Catholic University, said that when he started college he saw people living out their faith more than he had ever experienced. Campus ministries and mission trips were a big part of his experience. "I got so wrapped up in church and faith, that I couldn't settle for a regular job," he told CNS. Hehman does not think he is the exception either. "I think the tide is turning," he said, noting that students on college campuses are living out their faith more fully and are not ashamed to do so.

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