Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Evangelical Leader Accused of Homosexual Trysts
- Village Leader in India Seeks to Demolish House Church
- Navy chaplain now Fighting Forced Discharge
- Christians' Wartime Donations of $20m Went Largely Unheralded
Evangelical Leader Accused of Homosexual Trysts
A "gay-sex-and-drugs" scandal has erupted just days before the election, in Colorado -- one of the eight states where a marriage amendment is on the ballot, CNSNews.com reports. Ted Haggard, the leader of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals, resigned Thursday after a Denver man -- a homosexual "escort" -- said Haggard has paid him for sexual encounters over the past three years. Haggard has stepped down from his post as head of the New Life mega-church in Colorado Springs pending the results of a church investigation. Press reports quoted Haggard as saying that he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations," which he publicly denied. Haggard told KUSA-TV in Denver that he "never had a gay relationship with anybody." He said he is faithful to his wife, with whom he has five children. But a senior pastor at New Life Church, Ross Parsley, told KKTV-TV of Colorado Springs that Haggard has admitted to some of the accusations. "I just know that there has been some admission of indiscretion, not admission to all of the material that has been discussed, but there is an admission of some guilt," Parsley told the station.
Village Leader in India Seeks to Demolish House Church
Compass Direct News reports the high court of the western state of Gujarat on Monday (November 6) will hear a complaint by tribal Christians of Surat district that their village head has ordered them to demolish their house church. Vasantbhai Somabhai Chaudhary, head of Hindoliya village in Surat district’s Bardoli Taluka area, on October 4 sent a notice to Rameshbhai Chaudhary accusing him of forcible conversion and ordering him to demolish his house where Christians meet for prayer, Bible study and worship. Along with the complaint against the village chief, Rameshbhai Chaudhary accuses local police of harassing him.
Navy chaplain now Fighting Forced Discharge
AgapePress reports that the Navy chaplain who was reprimanded for disobeying an order after praying in Jesus' name while in uniform outside the White House is now suing to prevent his forced discharge. Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt's attorney, John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute, says the Navy wrongly claimed that Klingenschmitt lacked the church endorsement needed to remain a chaplain. Whitehead says Klingenschmitt received the endorsement of the Full Gospel Church before leaving the Evangelical Episcopal Church. The federal lawsuit alleges that the Navy actually is retaliating against Klingenschmitt for his insistence on being able to pray in Jesus' name. Whitehead says that is an issue that may need to be decided by the Supreme Court.
Christians' Wartime Donations of $20m Went Largely Unheralded
Evangelical Christians dug deep into their pockets to provide humanitarian relief to Israel during the war in Lebanon this summer, donating nearly $20 million dollars to help rebuild the north, according to estimates as reported by Haaretz. Though largely overshadowed by the massive generosity of their American Jewish counterparts, the pro-Israel Christian community also rallied significantly in support of the north, with less fanfare. The evangelical community does not have one umbrella group that keeps track of the donations, so it is difficult to calculate an exact total. A survey of the major Christian groups, however, showed that the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the largest of the fund-raising bodies, collected $17 million from July 10 to September 10, a 100 percent increase over the same period last year. Other g roups like the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and Bridges for Peace, another pro-Israel Christian organization based in the capital, each raised half a million dollars for the north as part of their emergency campaigns.