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Religion Today Daily Headlines - November 9, 2012

Religion Today Daily Headlines - November 9, 2012

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

In today's edition:

  • Blast in Kenya Church Kills Pastor, Wounds 11
  • Two-Thirds of Evangelical Leaders Don't Give Money to Politicians
  • Mormonism's Cultural Rise Likely to Continue
  • Justice Department Targeting Abortion Protesters


Blast in Kenya Church Kills Pastor, Wounds 11

A pastor was killed and 11 others wounded in the eastern Kenyan town of Garissa on Sunday when suspected Islamic extremists launched a grenade through the sheet-iron roof of Utawala Interdenominational Church during the worship service, the Christian Post reports. At least three of the 11 injured had wounds so serious they were airlifted to Kenyatta General Hospital in Nairobi. According to a source, the grenade "landed right at the podium where the chaplain was delivering a church sermon, hitting him right at the forehead, and he died immediately." Then followed several gunshots, the source added. It is suspected the blast could be a revenge attack by sympathizers of the terror group al Shabaab in neighboring Somalia, where Kenyan forces are involved in fighting the Islamists.

Two-Thirds of Evangelical Leaders Don't Give Money to Politicians

A recent survey by the National Association of Evangelicals indicates that nearly two-thirds of evangelical leaders do not financially contribute to political candidates, Christianity Today reports. According to the NAE, many of its board members "prefer donating to churches and other ministries," while some "expressed realism about the limited impact of their contributions." Those that do give money, however, do so because, in the words of one, "rendering to Caesar in a democratic republic means that Caesar has invited us to participate in the political process. If we do not, we lose our influence."

Mormonism's Cultural Rise Likely to Continue

Although Mitt Romney lost his presidential bid, Christians should be prepared for higher Mormon visibility and credibility in America, according to an interfaith witness expert and a seminary professor, Baptist Press reports. Tal Davis, who spent more than 20 years with the North American Mission Board training Christians in interfaith witness, said: "When Mormon missionaries knock on people's doors, they will be seen in a more positive light when people know that [Romney] was once a Mormon missionary. They will likely gain entrance into homes where they formerly would have been denied." Ant Greenham, assistant professor of missions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, said Mormonism may be on track for complete acceptance in American culture, but that it would be "due more to society's postmodern tendencies than to ongoing Mormon efforts to achieve acceptance." Both Greenham and Davis encouraged Christians to become better informed of their own faith, the distinctives of the Mormon belief system, and the differences between the two. "Mormonism is not Christianity," Greenham said, "no matter how much Mormons would like to be considered part of the Christian mainstream." Davis advised Christians to "engage Mormons with love and friendship. ... Nonetheless, we cannot ignore the need to share Christ with them. Mormonism is undeniably a false system and those in it are lost and need the salvation that only Jesus can provide."

Justice Department Targeting Abortion Protesters

According to CBN News, government officials are increasingly using lawsuits to target pro-life protesters outside abortion clinics. A variety of laws have already put restrictions on these protests -- a major one being the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which can cause convicted protesters to face thousands of dollars in fines as well as jail time -- and the Feds have steadily stepped up the number of cases in the past few years. "They're trying to shut down free speech at abortion clinics, but then [Planned Parenthood president] Cecile Richards is one of the most frequent  visitors to the White House, so you know she's having an impact," said Jo Scott, a longtime protester outside Planned Parenthood in Denver who has faced several charges of obstructing the clinic's entrance with her husband, Ken. Though the government has had a tough time winning many of its cases against pro-life protesters, the FACE Act remains "dangerous in so many ways," said pro-life attorney Rebecca Messall. "And it's been used ... across the country to try to intimidate and punish people for exercising their First Amendment rights."

Publication date: November 9, 2012