Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 9, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 9, 2009

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

  • Indonesian Quake Destruction Worse than Thought
  • Texas Schools Confused over Bible Literacy Law
  • Episcopal Nuns Leave to Join Catholic Church
  • Black Woman Files Suit against Billy Graham Ministry

Indonesian Quake Destruction Worse than Thought

Christian Today reports that aid workers in Indonesia are still struggling to grasp the scope of last week's earthquake. "In several villages in Pengalengan sub-district alone, almost all of the houses have collapsed or are heavily damaged," said Trihadi Saptoadi, World Vision's national director in Indonesia. "Right now, there is not enough emergency aid available to meet the growing need." The 7.3-magnitude quake destroyed more than 10,000 homes and buildings on the island of Java. "While the government and local organizations have started providing humanitarian assistance, many victims still have not received adequate food and other necessities," Saptoadi said. World Vision staff say they are still assessing how many displaced families lack access to clean water and proper sanitation.

Texas Schools Confused over Bible Literacy Law

Dallas Morning News reports that the decision to include the Bible in Texas public schools still has many teachers walking on eggshells. The new state law requiring Bible literacy in the curriculum provides little regulation or guidelines, leaving teachers wondering how - and how much - to incorporate the Bible into their existing lessons. "Asking a school district to teach a course or include material in a course without providing them any guidance or resources is like sending a teacher into a minefield without a map," said Mark Chancey, an associate professor of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University and author of the report "Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools." Proponents hope the law will help students examine the Bible's influence throughout history and literature.

Episcopal Nuns Leave to Join Catholic Church

Religion News Service reports that 10 Maryland nuns - almost an entire religious community - converted from the Episcopal Church to Catholicism on Thursday (Sept. 3). The women said they decided to convert because their former denomination had become too liberal in its acceptance of homosexuality. The 10 members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor will continue to live with two nuns who decided not to convert at their convent in Catonsville, Md. The community's chaplain, the Rev. Warren Tanghe, also converted on Thursday with the nuns. Members of the order had been considering conversion for seven years. Mother Christina Christie, superior of the order, told the Baltimore Sun: "We were drifting farther apart from the more liberal road the Episcopal Church is traveling. We are now more at home in the Roman Catholic Church."

Black Woman Files Suit against Billy Graham Ministry

Religion News Service reports that a black woman is suing her former employer, alleging she was fired after expressing concern that the ministry was not sufficiently reaching out to African-American churches. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association denies the claims. The racial discrimination lawsuit by Kimberly McCallum was moved Wednesday (Sept. 2) from a local court to a federal court, the Associated Press reported. The group's spokesman, Mark Demoss, would not comment on McCallum's case, but said the organization has frequently reached out to the black community, and that several prominent black pastors have led recent ministry events. "That's a preposterous claim that the organization would deliberately bypass African-American participation," Demoss said. "In fact, the opposite is quite true."