Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 1, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 1, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Poll: U.S. Split on Whether Islam Promotes Violence
  • Ex-Leader of Belgian Catholics Urged Victim to Keep Silent
  • African Bishops Ask Anglicans to Heed Same-Sex Moratoria
  • Teen's Sweet 16 Raises $30K for Kenyan Orphanage

Poll: U.S. Split on Whether Islam Promotes Violence

Most Americans continue to know little about Islam, and people in the United States remain somewhat divided in their views of the religion, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. According to Baptist Press, the poll found that favorable opinions of Islam have declined since 2005, and a slight majority of Americans do not want to see a mosque built near the World Trade Center site in New York. Pew said 51 percent of respondents objected to the mosque and 34 percent supported it. Meanwhile, 62 percent said they believe Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build places of worship, and 25 percent said local communities should be able to block mosques if they don't want them. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they either don't know much about Islam or know nothing at all, and just 9 percent said they know a great deal. Pew found that 41 percent said they actually know someone who is Muslim.

Ex-Leader of Belgian Catholics Urged Victim to Keep Silent

Religion News Service reports that secret audio recordings show the former head of the Belgian Catholic Church asking a sex abuse victim not to expose the crimes of his assailant, a bishop who was the victim's uncle. The tapes, whose contents were published in Belgian newspapers on Aug.28, were recorded in April of this year. They show Cardinal Godfried Danneels urging a 42-year old victim to remain silent about the years of sex abuse he suffered as a child and adolescent at the hands of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Bruges -- at least until after Vangheluwe's expected retirement the following year. When the cardinal beseeches the victim not to drag the bishop's "name through the mud," the victim's response is unsympathetic. "He has dragged my whole life through the mud, from 5 until 18 years old," the victim tells Danneels. "Why do you feel so sorry for him and not for me?"

African Bishops Ask Anglicans to Heed Same-Sex Moratoria

Conservative bishops in Africa issued a communiqué expressing concern over "progressive developments" in the West and committing themselves to tackling the social ills of their continent. According to Christian Today, the statement came at the conclusion of a weeklong conference in Uganda. There bishops from more than 400 dioceses met to discuss the crises they face within the church and outside the church. The bishops agreed in their communiqué that "in order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory" of all provinces in the global Anglican Communion to continue to observe and honour the moratoria on the ordination of partnered homosexuals, the blessing of same-sex unions, and cross-border interventions.

Teen's Sweet 16 Raises $30K for Kenyan Orphanage

When Megan MacDonald turned 16, she asked her guests to donate to a construction project. Two years later, that initial request led to the completion of a $30,000 church-orphanage in Kenya that provides food, shelter, clothing and education to about 50 orphans. MacDonald initially raised $4,000 for a construction project in India, which was overseen by Hampton, Va.,-based International Cooperating Ministries (ICM). ICM founder Dois Rosser changed her mind after showing her a photo of a child in Kenya. She and her family then raised an additional $26,000 to fund the orphanage project. They attended the dedication ceremony in January, Christian Newswire reports. ""When we drove up to the church, I was blown away by the size, and all the time and effort put into it. It was evident that people really put their heart and soul into this project," MacDonald said.