Religion Today Summaries, May 3, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, May 3, 2004

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

  • Conservatives Rally against 'Judicial Tyranny' in Jackson, TN
  • Terrible Train Blast Could ‘Open Up North Korea to the Gospel’
  • Resident Says City Leaders Ignored Public Comment on Islamic Call to Prayer
  • Study Finds Christian Men 'Marginally Satisfied' with Church

Conservatives Rally against 'Judicial Tyranny' in Jackson, TN
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A conservative Christian activist says a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is proof that many of this nation's judges are on a quest for a religion-free America. Last week, the high court refused to consider the appeal of a judicial ban on cadet-led mealtime prayers at Virginia Military Institute.  By refusing to hear the appeal, the Supreme Court abolished a practice at VMI that was more than 100 years old. The president of Vision America says he is not surprised by the action and it is one of the reasons he is hosting a series of rallies in support of the Ten Commandments and the right to acknowledge God in America.  Jackson, Tennessee, was the site on Saturday for a rally. Vision America president says the effects of the VMI ruling will be far-reaching.  He believes by such rulings, the United States is pitting itself against God. He says Christians need to act by standing up against judicial tyranny. Those who attend rallies will be encouraged to carry a message back to their communities: that they will only elect candidates who are "willing to stand up and publicly profess that they are against the organized immorality which threatens the Judeo-Christian ethic on which this nation was founded." 

Terrible Train Blast Could ‘Open Up North Korea to the Gospel’
ASSIST News Service

The senior pastor of one of South Korea’s largest churches believes that the recent train blast in Ryongchon, North Korea, that killed at least 161 people and injured at least 1,300 on Thursday, April 27, could “open up North Korea to the Gospel.” Dr. Jae-Rock Lee, who leads the 80,000-member Manmin Joong-Ang Church in Seoul, South Korea was asked how people can pray for North Korea at this traumatic time. He replied, “Both believers and non believers are doing their best to help the North Korean people and…pray that the door may be opened through this accident so that people in North Korea may hear the good news of Jesus Christ…We have been preparing a special team to go there to share the Gospel message even though they realize that they may have to lay down their lives and become martyrs.” Dr. Lee was speaking before the start of the 12th annual special revival meetings that begin today. Tens of thousands will be packed into the sanctuaries in Seoul and then be broadcast live through satellite and the Internet. Around 250 people from 26 countries would also be attending. “These revival meetings are a wonderful opportunity especially for unbelievers, to listen to the Gospel message but to also experience the power of God through tangible evidence,” said Johnny Kim, Director of Manmin International Missions.

Resident Says City Leaders Ignored Public Comment on Islamic Call to Prayer
Chad Groening, Agape Press

Long-time residents of a Michigan community are outraged over Tuesday night's unanimous decision by the city council to give final approval of an ordinance permitting area mosques to broadcast calls to prayer over loudspeakers. Hundreds of people crowded into the Hamtramck City Hall to voice their opinions about the controversial noise ordinance that would allow a Muslim prayer call five times a day -- something supporters say is the equivalent of church bells.  Opponents contend allowing the Islamic call elevates that religion above others. Despite the ethnic and religious friction generated by the proposed ordinance, all five members of the city council voted in favor of it. The mayor says he will not veto the amendment. Resident Bob Golen says the council obviously did not care what anybody else thought or stated during public hearings leading up to the final vote.  In Golen's opinion, the council was swayed by what he calls "stupid arguments" from members of the Muslim community and by the presence of one Muslim on the council.  He is convinced other communities will face similar ordinances in the future. One of the city councilmen stated afterward that he was "proud to set a precedent in this country." 

Study Finds Christian Men 'Marginally Satisfied' with Church
Charisma News Service

More than 85 percent of Christian men nationwide say they are not spiritually challenged. According to a Barna Research Group (BRG) survey released yesterday, nearly six in 10 men are "marginally satisfied" with their church experience. The study, which was commissioned by Promise Keepers (PK), revealed that while spirituality and faith may not be top priorities for men, family and children are (42 percent), along with career/money (39 percent) and health concerns (20 percent). "It's certainly clear to us that we have a great mission field in front of us in reaching the men of America," PK President and CEO Tom Fortson said. "Much, much more needs to be done to engage men with their spiritual side, and then to see them make an impact on their families, churches and communities. We've only scratched the surface." When asked specifically about spiritual needs, many men could not think of any, or identified superficial goals, the BRG survey found. The study also discovered that only four in 10 men (42 percent) would turn to Christian friends during a time of crisis. These data suggest that even though men have what they consider to be close Christian friends in place, those networks of relationships do not typically get used effectively, PK officials said.