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Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 30, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - August 30, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • GOP Rejects Gay Marriage, Abortion in Platform
  • Anti-Obama Documentary Expanding to 1,800 Theaters After Surging to Box Office No. 2
  • China's 'Most Significant Christian Leader' Dies at 76
  • Haiti Begins Cleanup in the Aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac


GOP Rejects Gay Marriage, Abortion in Platform

Social conservatives are hailing the Republican Party platform for its firm stand against abortion and gay marriage, CBN News reports. On Tuesday at the convention in Tampa, Fla., the party approved its official document, which calls for bans on all abortions and gay marriages. The platform affirms the rights of the federal and state governments not to recognize same-sex marriage and backs a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. On abortion, the platform states that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." It also opposes the use of public revenues to promote or perform abortions and the funding of organizations that perform or advocate abortions, and says the party will not fund or subsidize health care that includes abortion coverage.

Anti-Obama Documentary Expanding to 1,800 Theaters After Surging to Box Office No. 2

2016: Obama's America, the conservative documentary that surged to No 2. at the box office Monday with its challenge to the president's worldview, will expand from the 1,091 theaters it played in over the weekend to about 1,800 theaters on Friday, Yahoo! News reports. The film, based on Dinesh D'Souza's book The Roots of Obama's Rage, has now grossed $10.5 million to become the No. 6 political documentary of all time and the top conservative film. It's also the top documentary of 2012, excluding nature films. "It's extremely rare for a documentary to break into the top 10, but August can be a land of opportunity for smaller films," said Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com. Conservatives have likely accounted for most of the documentary's audience so far, D'Souza said, but the attention it is now receiving could prompt left-leaning viewers to check it out. "What's happening is that people are really hungry for new information about Obama," he said. "There really is this sense that he remains an elusive figure. Then there's a second sense that the American dream is in the balance, the American dream is at stake, and that gives people a sense of anxiety about where the country is going." D'Souza said Obama's America would probably remain in theaters until early October, followed by a DVD release in the homestretch leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

China's 'Most Significant Christian Leader' Dies at 76

According to Christian Aid Mission, one of the most significant leaders in the history of Christianity in China has died of cancer at the age of 76. Dr. Sun Yi-yin, known in America as Freddie Sun, organized and helped with the operation of 154 Bible institutes and missionary training centers inside China during a 20-year period from 1992 to 2012. More than 60,000 graduates of these schools, serving as native missionaries, have planted more churches in China and led more people to Christ than did all the foreign missionaries combined who served in China between 1807 and 1949. Dr. Sun said his his preparation for missionary service began during 10 years of forced labor in Communist prisons, during which he never lost his faith but instead increased his devotion to Christ. Before his imprisonment, Dr. Sun had served as a university professor and was involved with house churches in Shanghai started by Watchman Nee. Dr. Bob Finley, founder and chairman of Christian Aid, said: "I believe history will show that Freddie Sun's work ... during the past 20 years has a greater impact for the cause of Christ in that Communist country than that of any other single person or ministry. When I left China in 1949 we estimated that there were less than half a million evangelical Christians in the entire country. Today there are more than 100 million. Most have been won to Christ by native missionaries working with local house churches throughout the country. And by far the greatest source for these native missionaries has been the 154 Bible institutes started and financially supported by Freddie and Dorothy Sun since 1992."

Haiti Begins Cleanup in the Aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac

When Tropical Storm Isaac hit Haiti with torrential rains and high winds over the weekend, it didn't do the widespread damage that was most feared. However, Mission Network News reports, the rain caused flooding in many tent cities, as well as mudslides and downed trees and power lines. In other areas, high winds shredded tents and caused the complete collapse of one small makeshift camp outside of Port-au-Prince. Storm-related accidents killed 24 people, although the government authorities evacuated 15,000. Damage assessments are just beginning, but ministries are already stepping in to help. "The initial response is just to provide food and water," said Paul Jenks, president of AMG International. "Then, as the trauma is assessed, there are other ways that we as Christians can come alongside and do triage, and hopefully even some counseling that would bring hope -- a sense of the Lord's presence to these people."

Publication date: August 30, 2012