Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 2, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 2, 2007

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

  • Hundreds Remember Televangelist Rex Humbard
  • Episcopal Head Asks 'What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus?'
  • China Urged to Release Christian Human Rights Lawyer
  • Trans World Radio impacting Muslim countries for Christ

Hundreds Remember Televangelist Rex Humbard

According to The Christian Post, hundreds gathered on Saturday in Akron, Ohio, to remember the late Rev. Rex Humbard, widely considered the pioneer of televangelism. "Rex was focused on one thing: to tell people they need to be saved," said Wayne Jones, Humbard's brother-in-law, according to The Associated Press. Humbard died Sept. 21 of natural causes at the age of 88. His body lay in state Saturday at the former Cathedral of Tomorrow in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he broadcast Sunday services to millions of people worldwide. Elizabeth Bandy of Akron said: "I grew up in this church. My parents came to Christ through Rex's ministry. His legacy is so touching. He's made such a difference in this community and his ministry worldwide is so overwhelming. When I look around and see the faces of all these people who came to say goodbye, I realize the one common thread is Rex's ministry."

Episcopal Head Asks 'What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus?'

The Christian Post reports that as Anglicans in the U.S. question The Episcopal Church's disregard of biblical authority on homosexuality and other issues, the presiding Bishop of the ECUSA claimed they are living as Jesus did. "What does it mean to follow Jesus? How did Jesus live? With whom did he eat? With whom did he converse?" Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asked. "Jesus hung out with people on the margins. He hung out with people who were unacceptable to the Judaism of his time," she pointed out. "I think that's what it means to follow Jesus." Jefferts Schori happened to be in San Francisco on the day of the deadline set by Anglican leaders for The Episcopal Church to roll back support for same-sex unions and homosexual ordination. She confirmed that the U.S. church would not retreat but are willing to "pause."

China Urged to Release Christian Human Rights Lawyer

ASSIST News Service reports that a prominent Christian human rights lawyer has been rearrested in Beijing. China Aid Association (CAA) reports Mr. Gao Zhisheng and his family members were reportedly arrested again on September 23, 2007 after he sent an open letter to the US Congress and Senate on September 21. In the letter, Gao lists numerous cases of grave human rights abuses in the name of hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympics and urges the international community not to be fooled by the Chinese government propaganda. Earlier this year after being detained and even severely tortured for a number of months, Mr. Gao was sentenced to three years with five years probation because of his human rights defense work.

Trans World Radio Impacting Muslim Countries for Christ reports that Trans World Radio (TWR), which broadcasts to the Arab world, is making a major impact in the Muslim world. TWR's coordinator, whose name is withheld for security concerns, says although many Arab countries are closed to the gospel, radio waves penetrate all areas of the world with the message of Christ. "A faithful body of Christian believers are facing huge tasks, because they want to fulfill their calling and they want to be the good news for this part of the world -- and they believe that there's something they can contribute to the Muslim community." The coordinator says although Islam is not a peaceful religion, Muslims must be given the opportunity to hear the gospel and respond to Christ.