Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 27, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 27, 2007

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

  • Christian Bookstores Refuse to Sell Gay Study Bible
  • DVD Explores Biblical Star of Bethlehem
  • West Bank Pastor Threatened with Violence Flees to U.S.
  • California Student Learns Volunteering at Church is not Politically Correct

Christian Bookstores Refuse to Sell Gay Study Bible

The Christian Post reports that Conservative Christian bookstores are refusing to sell copies of a new Bible study guide that challenges standard New Testament translations that teach gay sex is sin. U.S. distributor God’s Word to Women has banned the Australian publication and withdrawn another Bible translation by the same publishing company, Smith and Stirling, for promoting a lifestyle contradictory to scriptures, according to the Australian newspaper The Age. Because of Ann Nyland’s authorship of the gay study Bible, two American scholars have withdrawn their endorsements from her other works.

DVD Explores Biblical Star of Bethlehem reports that Texas attorney Rick Larson has produced a documentary that looks at the facts behind the most debated and celebrated star in history. Larson, who's also a professor, wanted to produce an accurate portrayal of the biblical star of Bethlehem for a decorative set in his front yard one Christmas. That led eventually to "The Star of Bethlehem," a 63-minute documentary which explores historical documents, scientific findings, and data that explain and confirm the account from the Book of Matthew. According to Larson, "It turns out the solar system and the universe are like a great clock. They're extremely regular in their actions and governed by mathematical laws and they're predictable... We have a very accurate picture -- not really an approximation, [but] an accurate picture of what the skies looked like [at that time]."

Christian Killed in Election Violence in Kano State

Compass Direct News reports that church leaders said violence over local elections in the Sumaila area this month included a religious element, with Muslims killing one Christian in an attack on a Christian settlement. Eyewitnesses said violence broke out in the Gani electoral ward of Sumaila on November 17 after news reports showed that the Christian candidate for councillor for the Peoples Democratic Party, Zara Gambo, was ahead in the polls, signifying the first ever victory for a Christian candidate in the area. As a result, Muslims attacked Christians in Gani town and in Gani Mission, a Christian settlement in the area, destroying their houses and shops, injuring several of them and killing school teacher Danyaro Bala. Sani Duma, Bala’s brother, told Compass that he believes Muslims killed the church elder in order to cow area Christians into submitting to Islam. “Religion is at the center of this attack on us and the killing of my brother,” Duma said. “The selection of only houses of Christians and their shops for destruction shows clearly that Muslims were out to force us into submitting to their hold on political leadership.”

California Student Learns Volunteering at Church is not Politically Correct

According to Family News in Focus, even though community service is a graduation requirement at many high schools, one California student has learned that volunteering at a church doesn’t always warrant credit. 15-year-old Long Beach student Chris Rand spent more than 80 hours working with kids at Long Beach Alliance Church. His high school, however, has stated that, “service to your religious community doesn’t count.” Now, pending the results of a lawsuit he's filing with the help of Liberty Counsel, Rand must start his credit hours from scratch. “This is an obvious and blatant discrimination against community service performed for religious communities and that, I believe, offends the First Amendment,” said his Liberty Counsel representative.