Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 17, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 17, 2008

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

  • Global Church Body Head Visits Violence-Stricken India
  • Survey: Catholics Split on Abortion, Gay Marriage
  • Christians Upset with U.S. Concession to N. Korea
  • ESV Study Bible Goes to Second Printing Pre-Publication


Global Church Body Head Visits Violence-Stricken India

The Christian Post reports that the head of the World Council of Churches, Gen. Secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, visits New Delhi today. Kobia is the latest church leader to visit India and condemn violence against Christians by extremist Hindus, who blame Christians for the murder of an extremist leader. He will meet with Methodist and Catholic leaders while in India, following up WCC's statement issued last monht "about the alarming trend of growing communal violence and religious intolerance in India." The statement continued, ""The government should take steps to prevent violence, and harassment against the Christian minorities in Orissa and other parts of the country." According to the CP, 61 people have been killed, 18,000 injured, 4,500 homes damaged, and 181 church burned. About 50,000 have been forced to flee the violence.

Survey: Catholics Split on Abortion, Gay Marriage

Religion News Service reports that U.S. Catholic voters are split on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage between those who attend church at least twice a month and those who attend church less often, according to a survey released Tuesday (Oct. 14) by the Knights of Columbus. The survey found that non-practicing Catholics -- defined as those who attend church less than twice a month -- were more likely to support abortion rights and same-sex marriage than the American population at large. "Catholics should not be viewed as undifferentiated," said Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus. He said labeling Catholics as a monolithic voting block ignores the disparity between practicing Catholics, who lean more conservative, and non-practicing Catholics, who tend to be more liberal. Seventy-five percent of practicing Catholics oppose same-sex marriage, compared to 54 percent of non-practicing Catholics. Sixty-five percent of non-practicing Catholics identified themselves as "pro-choice" on abortion, compared to 36 percent of practicing Catholics.

Christians Upset with U.S. Concession to N. Korea

Mission News Network reports that North Korean Christians are horrified that the United States' has removed North Korea from its terrorism blacklist, citing North Korea's continued persecution of Christians in spite of the change.
Lindsay Vessey, Advocacy Program Manager for Open Doors USA, said,"It is viewed as a highly-controversial issue because Open Doors believes, and so many others, North Korea hasn't done anything deserving being removed from this list." Vessey said she doesn't understand the concessions. "If you look back at the agreements that the U.S. has made with North Korea, they have violated every agreement. They have agreed for a while. They've gotten concessions from the U.S. government, such as aid, and then they've violated it a few years later." In 2008, Open Doors ranked North Korea as the top religious rights offender for the sixth year in a row.

ESV Study Bible Goes to Second Printing Pre-Publication

According to a news release, the new ESV Study Bible is undergoing its second printing even before it hits shelves, thanks to pre-order demand that surpassed the initial 100,000 printing. Another 50,000 copies are being printed, with a third printing to follow. Mark Traphagen, Web Sales Manager for Westminster Bookstore in Philadelphia, PA, reports record-breaking sales for the new Study Bible, making it “by far the fastest selling new product in the history of our store.” The new study Bible, which uses the bestselling ESV translation released in 2001, contains more than 200 full color maps, 100 articles and introductions, more than 40 illustrations, and 20,000 notes. The notes pinpoint differences between evangelical Christianity and other world religions as well as discuss different interpretations of significant passages. The ESV Study Bible is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published. It was created by a team of 95 of the world’s leading biblical scholars, hailing from 10 countries, nearly 20 denominations, and more than 50 colleges, seminaries, and universities.