Religion Today Summaries - October 26, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 26, 2005

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

  • National Media Prayer Breakfast' Mobilizes Spiritual Support for Hollywood's Elite

  • Infected.  Ostracized.  Abandoned. Hopegivers International Remembers the Lepers

  • SBC Missionaries Bringing Aid To Earthquake Victims In Need

  • PBS Newsmagazine 'Now' Examines Controversy Around The Role of Christian Groups in the Bush Administration's Global HIV/AIDS Policy

National Media Prayer Breakfast' Mobilizes Spiritual Support for Hollywood's Elite
Religion News Service

More than 1,000 people from across the country are expected to join Hollywood celebrities, top producers, directors and executives on November 4th at the 2nd Annual "National Media Prayer Breakfast," to mobilize spiritual support for the 700 most powerful media professionals in the world. The words "prayer" and "Hollywood" are not often seen in the same sentence, but prayer for Hollywood's leaders will definitely be on the minds of attendees of the 2nd Annual National Media Prayer Breakfast in Los Angeles, California. Established in 2004, the National Media Prayer Breakfast (NMPB) was designed to mobilize spiritual support for leaders of global media, recognize people of faith in media, and reinforce the value of faith in media decision-making. A Christian event open to people of all faiths, NMPB is neither issues-focused nor political. It is a positive expression of care and support for those leaders of global media who wield tremendous influence and who have demonstrated their past appreciation for supportive prayer in the decisions they make. "The message to Hollywood's elite is that there are millions of Christians who care enough about them to pray for them-not boycott, protest or bash them," says Dr. Larry Poland, founder of NMPB and CEO of Mastermedia International. NMPB is sponsored by Mastermedia International (www.mastermediaintl.org), which has been positively supporting Hollywood for 16 years through its Media.

Infected.  Ostracized.  Abandoned. Hopegivers International Remembers the Lepers
Hopegivers International

President of Hopegivers International, Dr. Samuel Thomas, has announced plans to build the first ever Hope Center for lepers in New Delhi, India .  Hopegivers began leprosy outreaches in 1977 and now has nationally recognized programs in Bombay, Chennai (Madras), Delhi , Harayana and Tamil Nadu.  "This will not be an old fashioned leper colony," says Dr. Thomas.  "Our purpose is to create an environment where these despised and feared people will have dignity and be able to face the future without fear." Hopegivers International is a humanitarian organization known worldwide for its tireless efforts to end the distress of orphaned and abandoned children and to provide emergency relief for disaster areas. While Hopegivers operates 20 leprosy colony outreaches in the capital area already, the New Delhi Hope Center for Lepers will be a unique "model city within a city," comprised of six cottage industries and micro-enterprises to help lepers end the degradation caused by begging. The Hope Center for Lepers will include 250 homes, a community center and church, counseling center, a grade school and high school, a clinic, shops and factory workshops. The Hope Center for Lepers will also have a school and orphanage like the normal Hope Centers throughout India. "There are currently 4.5 million victims of leprosy in India. The only way to stop the cycle of leprosy is to teach the children health and hygiene, and a key part of that is to keep a healthy distance between them and their infected parents without totally separating them,"says Dr. Thomas. (www.hopegivers.com)

SBC Missionaries Bringing Aid To Earthquake Victims In Need
Allie Martin, Agape Press

Aid workers with the Southern Baptist Convention are assisting survivors of the recent killer earthquake in Pakistan. SBC missionaries have been in the area for years and are able to use their contacts and knowledge of the local customs and languages to bring aid to those in need. One SBC worker, who cannot be identified because of security concerns, says conditions are desperate. "So many of the people are homeless," he says. "You're seeing videos on television -- that's exactly what's happened here. All those homes are down; people are just hunkered under trees and whatever kind of shelter they can find." The Southern Baptist worker says as many tents as possible are being purchased and provided to those left homeless so they at least have some kind of shelter for their protection. No Southern Baptists serving in Asia were hurt in the earthquake and its immediate aftermath. (www.sbc.net)

PBS Newsmagazine 'Now' Examines Controversy Around the Role of Christian Groups in the Bush Administration's Global HIV/AIDS Policy
Religion News Service

In an upcoming television special, the award-winning PBS newsmagazine NOW examines the role of Christian faith-based organizations in the implementation of the Bush administration's $15 billion global AIDS initiative.  "Global Health: America's Response," airing Friday, November 4, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), examines the controversy around groups which don't believe condoms are effective in reducing HIV prevalence. In fact, the groups argue that condoms contribute to promiscuity.  The program looks at how, buoyed by the fact that a large portion of U.S. money in President Bush's plan is set aside for teaching abstinence, these groups promote "abstinence-only" programs, which downplay or ignore the importance of condoms in HIV prevention. "The Bush plan is historic and an extraordinary step forward in the war on AIDS," says NOW Executive Producer John Siceloff.  "This documentary examines what some believe are strings attached at a time when the world's most successful programs have proven that condoms must be part of the prevention initiative to stem the spread of the virus. The film asks, 'are these programs an attempt to push the moral vision of conservative Christians, Bush's base, on the world?'" The one-hour documentary examines the U.S.'s HIV/AIDS policy from its beginning in the early 1980s through President Bush's historic plan, which has been hailed as a milestone in addressing the world's AIDS crisis. 

 

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