Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 26, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 26, 2007

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

  • Religious Dignitaries: Violence in God's Name is 'Blasphemy'
  • Religion and Healthcare Should Mix, Study Says
  • Pastors Humiliated and Arrested in India
  • New Poll Finds Half of Christians Surveyed Lied in the Past Month

Religious Dignitaries: Violence in God's Name is 'Blasphemy'

Violence committed in God's name is "blasphemy," dignitaries of the world's main religions said as they wrapped up a "peace summit" in Naples on Tuesday, according to a story carried by Agence France-Presse. "We can say with more emphasis than before that whoever uses God's name to hate others, to commit violent acts, to make war, blasphemes the name of God," the some 300 Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu leaders and political figures said in a joint declaration. The three-day summit on the theme "A World Without Violence: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue," is an annual event organized by the Rome-based lay Catholic community Sant'Egidio.

Religion and Healthcare Should Mix, Study Says

According to a report in ScienceDaily, research shows that religion and spirituality are linked to positive physical and mental health; however, most studies have focused on people with life threatening diseases. A new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia shows that religion helps many individuals with disabilities adjust to their impairments and gives new meaning to their lives. According to the study, persons facing impending death may use religion to help them accept their condition, come to terms with unresolved life issues, and prepare for death. However, the study suggests that religion may be an equally, if not more important, coping mechanism for persons with chronic disabilities such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and arthritis. “Although many individuals with disabilities turn to religion to help them deal with their situations, to date, religion is infrequently discussed in rehabilitation settings and is rarely investigated in rehabilitation research. To better meet the needs of persons with disabilities, this needs to change,” said Brick Johnstone, professor of health psychology in the MU School of Health Professions.

Pastors Humiliated and Arrested in India

ASSIST News Service reports that four pastors who have been preaching the gospel for many years in Orissa and nearby villages were forcibly stopped from continuing their work. According to a report carried on Persecution India (,  on Tues. Oct. 23, these pastors were distributing New Testaments and Gospel Tracts to a village in the Cuttack District. After 2 p.m. about 15 radical Hindus suddenly surrounded the Christians. The Hindus yelled at them and used foul language, and then forced them to go to the village temple. There the Christians were subjected to more cursing. The plan was for the pastors to have their hair forcibly cut and be sprinkled with cow’s urine so that they may be “sanctified.”

New Poll Finds Half of Christians Surveyed Lied in the Past Month reports that a poll by surveyed 700 Christians and asked if they had told a lie in the last month. Over 50 percent said yes. When asked to explain why, the most common response was that they did not want to hurt another person's feelings. Bill Cooper, president of ChristiaNet, says some of those surveyed tried to justify lying with other excuses. "Some of the people said, 'you know, really, what is a lie? Are these white fibs really a lie and does God really care about it?' Those were some of the comments that people were making," states Cooper. Thirty-five percent denied having told a lie in the past month and the remaining 14 percent were not sure whether they had told a lie or not.