Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- U.S. Sends Help to Cyclone-Ravaged Bangladesh
- Lesbian Ordained in Lutheran Church, Refuses Celibacy Vow
- Gideon Can Now Witness without Fear of Arrest
- Survey Shows 5 Kinds of Christians in U.S.
U.S. Sends Help to Cyclone-Ravaged Bangladesh
The White House offered condolences to the victims of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, and said that the United States Government has provided an initial contribution of 2.1 million dollars for emergency relief, ASSIST News Service reports. A statement from press secretary Dana Perino said that the USS Essex and the USS Kearsarge are en route to Bangladesh to assist in operations there. The U.S. will airlift 35 tons of non-food items such as plastic sheeting, jerricans, hygiene kits and other supplies to provide material assistance. Tropical Cyclone Sidr is the deadliest storm to hit the country in a decade.
Lesbian Ordained in Lutheran Church, Refuses Celibacy Vow
The Christian Post reports that a lesbian became the first homosexual minister to be ordained since the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gave leeway to churches in disciplining pastors who violate a celibacy vow requirement. Jen Rude, 27, was ordained on Saturday at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Chicago despite her refusal to take a vow of celibacy. She was installed on Sunday. Under church policy, homosexual – and not heterosexual – ministers are required to make a vow of celibacy before they can be ordained. Although not currently in a relationship, Rude called the policy discriminatory.
Gideon Can Now Witness without Fear of Arrest
OneNewsNow.com reports that a Gideon member who was threatened with arrest while handing out Bibles near a Florida public school has been granted a preliminary injunction by a judge in a federal civil lawsuit. The motion will allow Thomas Gray to freely witness and hand out literature in a disputed 500-foot zone around the school.
Survey Shows 5 Kinds of Christians in U.S.
According to ChristianityToday, even though the United States is described as largely Christian (between 70-80 percent), not all within this vast group of Christians are alike. Christianity Today International partnered with Zondervan Publishers to commission Knowledge Networks to conduct attitudinal and behavioral research of U.S. Christians. In September 2006, they surveyed more than 1,000 self-identified Christians of at least 18 years of age. Subjects were surveyed on their religious beliefs and practices. What emerged were portraits five distinct segments of American Christianity: Active Christians 19 percent, Professing Christians 20 percent, Liturgical Christians 16 percent, Private Christians 24 percent, and Cultural Christians 21 percent.