Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 7, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 7, 2010

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

  • Christians Fear Violence from Anti-Quran Protests in U.S.
  • Anti-Gay Church Defends Itself before Supreme Court
  • Black Christians Largely Absent from U.S. Missionary Force
  • Christianity a 'Faded Memory' for Most Young Britons

Christians Fear Violence from Anti-Quran Protests in U.S.

Christians across the Middle East said they will be the ones to suffer if a group of anti-Islamic protestors in the U.S. publicly tear up or otherwise desecrate the Quran. Atef Samy, assistant pastor of a large congregation in Egypt, said U.S. citizens who are protesting Islam need to think about how the results of their "irrational actions" will incite people to commit anti-Christian violence. "Has anybody thought how we will pay for their actions or even their words?" he told Compass Direct News. Martin Accad, a Lebanese Christian and director of the Institute of Middle East Studies at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, said, "We are held guilty by association by extremist Muslims, even though the vast majority of Muslims will be able to dissociate between crazy American right-wingers and true followers of Jesus."

Anti-Gay Church Defends Itself before Supreme Court

Westboro Baptist was defended by one of its own when Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Wednesday against the Topeka, Kansas-based church in a free speech case. Margie J. Phelps, daughter of church founder Fred Phelps, maintained that her group protested soldiers' funerals to generate "public discussion." However, most of the justices seemed to agree with the Maryland father of a Marine killed in Iraq, who said the group intentionally inflicted emotional distress on him personally. On their website Phelps' group accused Albert Snyder of raising his son to "serve the devil." It will be several months before the court rules in Snyder vs. Phelps. The ruling could affect blogs and other Internet news, the Los Angeles Times said, since it tests whether personal attacks can lead to lawsuits.

Black Christians Largely Absent from U.S. Missionary Force

Statistics show Richard Coleman a lopsided picture of the American missionaries. Despite the prevalence of predominantly black churches and denominations, a 2007 study showed that African Americans make up less than one perfect of the total number (118,600 of U.S. missionaries. Coleman, who serves as the director of candidacy and mobilization for The Mission Society, says he noticed the trend while attending Oral Roberts University. While there, he was one of the few African Americans who went on a summer mission trip to Uganda. "Then when I went to Africa, Africans would say 'Where are the blacks? How come they don't come?'" the 32-year-old evangelical told The Christian Post. He is convinced that denominations such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church have fewer than 10 missionaries serving throughout the world.

Christianity a 'Faded Memory' for Most Young Britons

Young adults in Britain don't bear any animosity towards Christianity; they just consider it irrelevant, new research shows. Researchers surveyed 300 young people from Generation Y - those born after 1982 - who had attended a Christian youth or community project. Christian Today reports that the five-year study found that young people were more likely to put their faith in friends, family or personal experience rather than God. Sylvia Collins-Mayo, a sociologist of religion and one of the researchers behind the study, said, "For the majority, religion and spirituality was irrelevant for day-to-day living; our young people were not looking for answers to ultimate questions and showed little sign of ‘pick and mix' spirituality."