Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 1, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 1, 2007

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

  • Evangelical Leaders Call Christians to Pray for Peace of Jerusalem
  • Alleged Instigators Named in Turkey’s Malatya Murders
  • Colorado Students Walk Out on Pledge to Protest 'Under God'
  • Poll Examines Beliefs about Mormonism

Evangelical Leaders Call Christians to Pray for Peace of Jerusalem

Rev. Robert Stearns, director and founder of Eagles Wings Ministries, and Dr. Jack Hayford, president of the Foursquare Denomination International and chancellor of The Kings College and Seminary, co-chair the annual global Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, held the first Sunday of every October, says a release from A. Larry Ross Communications. “The fact is, whatever our theological or political positions regarding Israel, we can all agree there is a biblical mandate and a current crisis that should cause us to pray,” Rev. Stearns said. He urges all believers to join with the likes of Michael W. Smith, Dr. Frederick Price, the Newsboys, Pat Boone, Larnelle Harris, Dr. John Hagee and others in response to the biblical mandate. The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem will be held Sunday, Oct. 7, simultaneously around the world.

Alleged Instigators Named in Turkey’s Malatya Murders

Compass Direct News reports that an e-mail message to Turkish Protestant leaders in June surfaced in the Turkish press last week, revealing the names of Malatya officials alleged to have plotted the murder of three Christians there last April. The Firat News Agency (ANF) reported on September 18 that an anonymous e-mail message signed simply “A.A.” had named a colonel in the Malatya gendarmerie along with an Islamic faculty member as the instigators of the plot to kill the three Christians. The ANF article identified the officer as Mehmet Ulger but gave only the initials of several others. A September 19 article in Birgun newspaper, however, listed the name of the faculty member as Ruhi Babat. It also identified a member of parliament from Malatya, one military commander and another suspect, claiming that the murder conspiracy had been planned for four or five months. The Alliance of Protestant Churches in Turkey is calling on Turkish congregations to designate each Thursday for prayer and fasting for the upcoming murder trial.

Colorado Students Walk Out on Pledge to Protest 'Under God'

USAToday reports that about 50 high school students in Boulder, Colo., filed out in a First Amendment protest over the words "under God" in the daily Pledge of Allegiance. According to the (Boulder) Daily Camera, the students have three objections: It takes away from school time; it's ignored or disrespected by mocking teens; and the phrase, "one nation, under God," violates the separation of church and state. In place of the Pledge, the group recited a revision written by the president of the Student Worker club, which organized the walkout: "I pledge allegiance to the flag and my constitutional rights with which it comes. And to the diversity, in which our nation stands, one nation, part of one planet, with liberty, freedom, choice and justice for all."

Poll Examines Beliefs about Mormonism

A slim majority of Americans believe Mormonism is a "Christian religion," although a slight majority of white evangelicals who attend church regularly think otherwise, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Baptist Press reports. The poll found that American adults, by a margin of 52-31 percent, believe Mormonism is a "Christian religion." But among white evangelicals who attend church at least weekly, the data is just the opposite -- 52 percent say Mormonism is not Christian. Robert Bowman Jr., a Southern Baptist apologist and an expert on Mormonism, said Mormonism is not a "valid, authentic, faithful expression of the Christian faith... From an evangelical perspective, Mormonism is not faithfully or soundly Christian because it deviates from historic, biblical standards of orthodox Christianity," Bowman told Baptist Press in a statement.

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