Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 5, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 5, 2006

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

  • Thousands to Join Global Day of Action for Darfur
  • Nuns Prove God is Not Figment of the Mind
  • Texas Baptists Name Woman to High-Profile Policy Post
  • Prominent Assyrian Christian Leaves Iraq. Says Work Situation “Intolerable”

Thousands to Join Global Day of Action for Darfur

This month, thousands of people across dozens of cities worldwide will take part in the largest campaigning day for peace in Darfur since the start of the conflict, the World Evangelical Alliance has announced. The Christian Post reports campaigners are urging those taking part in the Global Day of Action for Darfur on Sept. 17 to call on their governments to do more to protect civilians in the troubled region of Sudan. "This will be a chance for people across the globe to show that they care about Darfur,” said Jill Savitt, Campaign Director of Human Rights First, one of the organizations coordinating the events. Sept. 17 marks the one-year anniversary of the United Nations’ pledge to provide security for civilians around the world.

Nuns Prove God is Not Figment of the Mind

The idea that there a "God spot" in the brain, a circuit of nerves which could explain mankind's almost universal belief in a deity, is questioned today by a study of Carmelite nuns, The London Telegraph reports. Scientists in the emerging field known as "neurotheology" have been in the pursuit of the brain processes involved in the Christian notion of mystical union with God. However, a new study published in the journal Neuroscience Letters has found that a "God module" in the brain is a mirage. The study does not, according to Dr. Mario Beauregard, "confirm or disconfirm the existence of God." Fifteen cloistered Carmelite nuns of varying ages were subjected to brain MRIs while being asked to relive a mystical experience, rather than actually try to achieve one. Rather than reveal a spiritual center in the brain, the study demonstrated that a dozen different regions of the brain are activated during a mystical experience.

Texas Baptists Name Woman to High-Profile Policy Post

The Baptist General Convention of Texas has named the first female director of its public policy agency. The Christian Post reports Suzii Paynter replaces the longtime director of the Christian Life Commission, Phil Strickland, who died in February. She served as the commission's citizenship and public policy director for five years and has been interim director since March. "Suzii exemplifies the qualities and the passion of the CLC's great leaders," said Charles Wade, executive director of the convention. "She has demonstrated the ability to serve as CLC director, historically one of the most prestigious positions in Texas Baptist life." The moderate, Dallas-based Baptist General Convention of Texas has about 2.5 million members and has become increasingly distant in recent years from the conservative Southern Baptist Convention.

Prominent Assyrian Christian Leaves Iraq. Says Work Situation “Intolerable”

ASSIST News Service reports a leading Assyrian Christian has left Iraq. Ken Joseph of www.assyrianchristians.com, said by e-mail that Donny George, president of The State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, was described by many as a barometer of how things were progressing in Iraq. Joseph said that George, well known for his work preserving the Baghdad Museum, of which he was also director, described his situation as “intolerable”. “The board has come under the increasing influence of al-Sadr – the party founded by the radical Muqtada al-Sadr. I can no longer work with these people who have come in with the new ministry. They have no  knowledge of archaeology, no knowledge of antiquities; nothing,” he said speaking from Damascus to Art News. Joseph said that George also commented on what he called the dramatic increase in a radical Moslem and anti-western environment. Joseph said that in a meeting with the U.N. Director for Human Rights in Baghdad, he and others were given a clear message. He claimed the individual said, “My job is to protect the rights of the Moslems. Christians should leave.” As a result, Joseph said that he and his colleagues immediately left the office.

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