Religion Today Summaries - November 1, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - November 1, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • 'Doomsday Prophet' Harold Camping Apologizes for False Teachings
  • House to Consider 'In God We Trust' Resolution
  • Catholic University Sued Over Muslim Students' Rights
  • Burma Army Targets Christian Civilians in War on Insurgents


'Doomsday Prophet' Harold Camping Apologizes for False Teachings

Family Radio Stations, Inc., founder and chairman Harold Camping said he was wrong to predict Christ's return and confessed that, after decades of misleading his followers, he regrets his misdeeds, the Christian Post reports. Camping, 90, who falsely predicted the world would end Sept. 6, 1994, then May 21, 2011, then finally on Oct. 21, 2011, also said he was wrong to say that God had stopped saving people after May 21. Since 1992, Camping has claimed that he had discovered a special numerical system in the Bible that allowed him to calculate the exact dates of biblical events such as the flood, the crucifixion and the day of Jesus' return to earth. When Camping's final doomsday prediction failed to happen, Family Radio removed its teachings regarding both the purported May 21 and Oct. 21 rapture dates. According to a member of Camping's staff, he is no longer able to lead Family Radio or his ministry.

House to Consider 'In God We Trust' Resolution

The Republican-led House will consider this week a resolution that would reaffirm "In God We Trust" as the official motto of the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times. The measure from Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) would also encourage the public display of the motto in all public buildings and public schools. "If religion and morality are taken out of the marketplace of ideas, the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secure," the resolution reads. It is expected to be heard on Tuesday, one of several social values issues to be considered this week.

Catholic University Sued Over Muslim Students' Rights

A law professor at George Washington University has filed charges against the Catholic University of America (CUA) for not providing Muslim students with prayer rooms free of crosses and Catholic symbols, according to the Religion News Service. "It shouldn't be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus," said John F. Banzhaf III, who earlier filed charges over CUA's switch to same-sex dorms. Banzhaf also complained that CUA did not sponsor a Muslim student association even though it sponsored a Jewish one. (The university does have an Arab American Association, founded this fall by Muslim student Wiaam al Salmi.) "The community here is very respectful of other religions and I feel free to openly practice it," Salmi said. No CUA students have registered complaints about the exercise of their religions on campus, but a spokesman said the university would respond if any allegations were made. The D.C. Office of Human Rights has begun an investigation of the university, which could take as long as six months.

Burma Army Targets Christian Civilians in War on Insurgents

A recent attack on Christians and church buildings by Burmese soldiers in the state of Kachin reflects that Christian civilians are often targeted in the military offensive against insurgents, reports Compass Direct News. For decades, ethnic minorities have been fighting for independence or autonomy from successive military-led regimes, but when Burmese troops fight back, they don't just target the armed groups. On Oct. 16, a group of about 150 soldiers fired at a church, detained a priest and four church members, and burned a church building in a city where insurgents were purportedly hiding guns and bombs. "Targeting of Christians is not unusual in Burma's conflict zones," said Nawdin Lahpai of the Kachin News Group. "The incident reflects the longtime policy of the Buddhist-Burman-majority Burmese government, which discriminates against the ethnic Christian minority." Of the roughly 56 million people in Burma, about 90 percent are Buddhist, and religious conflicts date back decades to the country's independence in 1948.

Publication date: November 1, 2011