Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today’s edition:
Adrian Rogers, Longtime BellevuePastor & Leader in Conservative Resurgence, Dies
Adrian Rogers, who pastored Bellevue Baptist Church in suburban Memphis from 1972 to 2005, died Nov. 15 following a battle with cancer and double pneumonia. He was 74. Rogers’ face and voice were known to millions worldwide thanks to his Love Worth Finding television and radio ministry. In his 35 years at Bellevue, Rogers helped build the church from a membership of 9,000 to more than 29,000. His election as president at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in 1979 marked him as one of the fathers of the “Conservative Resurgence” that brought the SBC back to its biblical, historical roots. Rogers, and the other conservative presidents that followed, promised to use their nominating powers to name only those who believed in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. He also served as chairman of the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message Study Committee that reviewed and revised Southern Baptists' confession of faith. Rogers is survived by his wife, Joyce, as well as four children and nine grandchildren. Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, said Southern Baptists "have lost perhaps their greatest leader and statesman."
Christian Channel Opens in Egypt
Heba Saleh, BBC News
The first Christian satellite television channel in Egypt began broadcasting on Monday. Aghapy Television was established by the Coptic Christian church, the main church in Egypt. The bishop in charge of Aghapy TV says the channel will not carry anything that could upset Muslims. The aim, he says, is to provide a link with the church to all those Copts who may not have access to a place of worship or who live abroad. Copts make up an estimated 10 percent of the Egyptian population and they complain of discrimination in employment and of restrictions on the construction of churches. The Coptic channel will carry church services, family programs and documentaries about ancient monasteries.
Irish Report on Sexual Abuse by Priests Stokes Outrage
New York Times
Following an independent report on sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in Ireland, some members of Parliament are calling for a severing of the formal ties between the Irish government and the Roman Catholic Church. One-fifth of the report's 271 pages is explicit testimony from victims. The report also showed that the Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland was only one part of a system that enabled cover-ups allowing known sexual predators to retain their positions within the church - and their access to young victims. Before 1990, fearful police and schoolteachers were reluctant to investigate claims of sexual abuse by the clergy. Most schools in Ireland are run by the Catholic Church, so even lay teachers found it difficult to sound alarms. Pope Benedict XVI has given no response to the report, in keeping with Vatican policy of refusing to comment on specific cases.
Speakers at Vatican Say Coaches, Parents Must Root for Whole Player
Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
During the Vatican's first meeting on sports, Clark Power, associate director of the Center for Ethical Education at the University of Notre Dame, said the pressure “to develop more elite teams, more winning teams" in youth sports often "leads to unrealistic expectations" about what kids can achieve. Father Kevin Lixey, head of the Vatican's church and sport desk, which sponsored the Nov. 11-12 meeting, said that of all the resources poured into sports coaches typically receive the least investment. According to Lixey, a typical child may spend "20 hours with a catechist, but then spend maybe 200 hours a year in front of a coach." Power said efforts should be focused "on the parents and coaches together, to get them both on the same page.” Coaches should be teachers and ministers who "are here to serve the children." Adults' attitudes should be "I'm here to help the child to play" and to remember "it is just a game.” People need to be reminded that sports should be played "for the good of mankind" and that it is "not about wins and losses, but betterment of human development,” said former Major League Baseball player Darrell Miller. A recent survey by Notre Dame researchers found "a greater incidence" of "poor sportsmanship and worse" in Catholic rather than in public school programs.