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Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 14, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 14, 2008

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

  • Ghana's President Orders Schools To Reintroduce Religious And Moral Education
  • Algerian Christian Sentenced for 'Proselytism'
  • Obama: 'Creation Doesn't Hold Up to Scientific Inquiry'
  • Commission Urges President to Boycott Olympic Opening unless China Changes

Ghana's President Orders Schools To Reintroduce Religious And Moral Education

ASSIST News Service reports that President John Agyekum Kufuor of Ghana has instructed authorities of basic schools in the country to revisit the teaching of Religious and Moral Education (RME), which hitherto had been removed from the syllabus. President Kufuor made the call when he addressed school children at the country’s 51st Independence Day celebration. The call was in response to persistent calls made particularly by Christians and Muslims for reintroduction of the subject in the schools’ curricular. The president expressed displeasure about the negative moral impact of globalization on the youth through the mass media. He therefore urged the school children to balance their academic learning with that of their moral duty. “The television, the Internet and other modern gadgetry undermine cultures and moral values. The result is that humanity is already confronted with the challenge of a serious split between knowledge and morality. Unless mankind finds a way to overcome this challenge, there is a real danger of it becoming less than human,” President Kufour told the students.

Algerian Christian Sentenced for 'Proselytism'

An Algerian Christian was handed a two-year suspended sentence for “proselytism” last week amid an ongoing government crackdown on 26 of Algeria’s 50 Protestant congregations, a church leader said. A court in Tiaret delivered the written verdict after convicting the Christian on April 2, said Mustapha Krim, president of the Protestant Church of Algeria. Prosecution of “proselytism” violates Article 18 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms the inherent right to publicly manifest one’s faith, Compass Direct News reports. The Christian, who requested anonymity, plans to appeal the two-year suspended sentence and a 100,000 dinar fine.

Obama: 'Creation Doesn't Hold Up to Scientific Inquiry'

The York Daily Record recently interviewed democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Among the questions they asked was, "York County was recently in the news for a lawsuit involving the teaching of intelligent design. What's your attitude regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools?" Obama's response: "I'm a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there's a difference between science and faith. That doesn't make faith any less important than science. It just means they're two different things. And I think it's a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don't hold up to scientific inquiry."

Commission Urges President to Boycott Olympic Opening unless China Changes

Baptist Press reports that China's crackdown on Tibetans' religious freedom has caused the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to urge President Bush not to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games this summer without marked improvement by the communist government. The 2008 Olympics, slated Aug. 8-24, already had stirred up controversy because of the selection of Beijing as the host. The government's continued abuse of Tibetans, among the worst examples of religious repression in China, has added to USCIRF's concerns, according to a commission statement released April 4. China's policies toward Tibet have fueled protests and resentment. The Chinese recently met what began as a peaceful protest by Buddhist monks in Tibet with sometimes lethal force. As many as 140 people died during the protests and crackdown, The Washington Post reported.