Religion Today Summaries - October 19, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 19, 2005

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

  • New 'Left Behind' Film Offered as Evangelistic Tool 

  • India’s Supreme Court will Continue Hearing on Dalit Christian Case on its Constitutional Merit

  • Saints Come Sailing In with Relief and Ministry for New Orleans 

  • New Hampshire Flooding Prompts Baptist Relief Teams To Mobilize

New 'Left Behind' Film Offered as Evangelistic Tool
Rebecca Grace, Agape Press

With the October 21st release of Left Behind: World at War, the third in the "Left Behind" movie series, answers will begin to unfold. This time the original cast is joined by Academy Award winner Lou Gossett, Jr., in the role of U.S. President Gerald Fitzhugh. The movie, based on the best-selling books Left Behind and Tribulation Force. This time their mission is to find and deliver an antidote for a virus outbreak that is claiming lives by the minute, while caring for those already caught in the snare of death. Meanwhile, the anti-Christ is doing everything he can to take complete control of the earth. Instead of releasing the movie in theaters across the country, Cloud Ten Pictures has decided to open the movie in DVD format in churches all across the nation during the weekend of October 21-23. The movie will then be released for purchase on DVD October 25. Churches will pay a one-time licensing fee to show the movie as many times as they want during the designated weekend. The fee for each church is based on a sliding scale according to the number of members and can be found, along with more information, at the movie's website or by calling 1-800-826-0872.

India’s Supreme Court will Continue Hearing on Dalit Christian Case on its Constitutional Merit
Assist News Service

The Indian Government once again tried to scuttle the Supreme Court hearing saying that it had appointed a Commission to look into the matter of reservation (affirmative action benefits) for Dalit Christians and that the Supreme Court therefore should dismiss the case. The Supreme Court, however, said that it was looking into the case of reservation for Dalit Christians on Constitutional merit and it was well within its right to hear the case. The Supreme Court has now fixed October 25, 2005, as the date for the next hearing. The issue before the Supreme Court is about the Constitutional basis on which Dalit Christians were denied their right to affirmative action given to all Dalits. The question is, “Are these Christians indeed Dalits?” If they are Dalits, why has the Parliament not given them their due rights and benefits? Christian leaders are encouraged by the stand of the Supreme Court. A number of national political parties have already given their letter of support to the All India Christian Council on the issue of reservation benefits for Dalit Christians. Earlier, representatives of the All India Christian Council deposed successfully before the newly appointed Ranganath Mishra Commission. Among them were Rev. Moses Swamidass, Dr. John Dayal, and Mr. Franklin Ceasar, the main petitioner in the Supreme Court.

Saints Come Sailing In with Relief and Ministry for New Orleans
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A Christian organization that delivers relief supplies by ship has been working in the storm-damaged Crescent City area since early September. Just days after Hurricane Katrina hit, a ship from a ministry called Friend Ships was loaded with containers of food and other relief items, headed for Louisiana's Crescent City to set up a temporary base at the Port of New Orleans. Since then, Friend Ships volunteers have spent their days clearing debris from yards, homes, and streets and providing hot meals, clothing, and other necessities to relief workers as well as to local residents who are slowly returning home. Don Tipton, president of Friend Ships, says it is vital for Christians to be in the area as the residents return. Tipton believes the Christian ministry workers are well placed, not only to provide relief and recovery assistance, but also to be a blessing to the devastated and demoralized people of New Orleans. Around the city, Friend Ships volunteers have also set up tents in local parks for Sunday morning church services. Tipton believes New Orleans and the surrounding area are open to the gospel, and as head of an organization that uses ocean-going vessels to deliver relief, medical supplies and other support, he feels Friend Ships is well equipped to help deliver the Good News, too.

New Hampshire Flooding Prompts Baptist Relief Teams To Mobilize
Baptist Press

Southern Baptists in New England are assisting at least two towns hit hard by recent heavy rains and strong winds in the region. Crews are being assembled and assessment teams have been deployed for flood cleanup to communities surrounding Keene and Alstead in the southwest corner of New Hampshire, Cal Bankston, disaster relief coordinator for the Baptist Convention of New England, told Baptist Press. Disaster relief teams are on standby as residents of Taunton, Mass., wait to see whether a wooden dam will give way, possibly flooding the town with 6 feet of water, Bankston said. Parts of the Northeast have received more than a foot of rain since Oct. 7, causing major flooding and damage to hundreds of homes, according to the Associated Press. At least 12 people have been killed from Pennsylvania to Maine as a result of the storm system.
States of emergency were declared in Massachusetts and New Jersey but have since been lifted, AP said. New Hampshire state leaders have estimated it could cost $25 million to repair flood-damaged roads.