Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 24, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 24, 2007

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

  • U.N. Secretary Says Christians are Good Allies in the Fight against Poverty
  • Poll: Atheists Less Likely to 'Do Good'
  • Oral Roberts Says Devil Won't Steal ORU
  • Historic Reformed Church Merger Unites 80 Million Christians

U.N. Secretary Says Christians are Good Allies in the Fight against Poverty

ASSIST News Service reports that the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Christians are good allies in the fight to end global poverty. Mr. Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a recent meeting in Arlington, VA, convened by Micah Challenge USA and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) to educate and inform evangelical opinion makers about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and emphasize the significance of the MDGs and their potential of making a lasting impact on poverty. During his speech to hundreds of Christian leaders from the Global North and South, the UN head described Christians around the world as “good allies” in the fight against poverty. The Secretary-General continued, “Faith has always been at the heart of the United Nations... We need the National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge and others in the faith community.”

Poll: Atheists Less Likely to 'Do Good'

Is it necessary to believe in God in order to have solid personal values? A new survey seems to answer that question with a "yes." According to Baptist Press, the survey by a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important." The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.

Oral Roberts Says Devil Won't Steal ORU

An Associated Press story states that Oral Roberts returned to his namesake university Monday. There, he denied the accusations that have threatened to engulf the school, telling students and employees in a chapel service that "the devil is not going to steal ORU." It was Roberts' first visit to the University in three years. He said that his son Richard Roberts, who took a leave of absence as the school's president last week, eventually will return to his position. Roberts, 89, said in chapel that he has moved back to Tulsa from California, where he has lived for several years. The crowd gave him standing ovations. The lawsuit accuses Richard Roberts and his wife, Lindsay, of lavishly spending university funds and improperly asking that students get involved in a local political race.

Historic Reformed Church Merger Unites 80 Million Christians

The Christian Post reports that "The World Alliance of Reformed Churches agreed Monday to unite with the Reformed Ecumenical Council to create a new global Reformed body representing more than 80 million Reformed Christians worldwide. Leaders made the historic decision while attending the WARC’s executive committee meeting in Trinidad and Tobago after two days of in-depth discussions. 'This is truly, truly [an] important moment,' said WARC president Clifton Kirkpatrick after the vote was taken. The global church head invited participants of the meeting to join together in singing the doxology after the vote. His counterpart, REC president Douwe Visser, also recognized the significance of the time saying it was a 'great moment. I hope we can combine the efforts of these two organizations and have an even broader outreach than WARC and REC have at the moment... I have a feeling this new body will be the voice of the Reformed world.'”