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Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 6, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Apr. 6, 2009

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

  • Iowa Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage
  • Philippine Christians Still Fearful One Year after Murder
  • Over 230 Churches Join 'Servolution' Call
  • Cross-Carrying Man's Worldwide Trek Reaches Silver Screen


Iowa Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage

New York Times reports that the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously lifted the state's gay marriage ban on Friday. Iowa is only the third state that currently offers marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and the first in the conservative Midwest. At least six Midwest states adopted amendments to uphold traditional marriage. “We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law,” the Iowa justices wrote in their opinion. “If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded.” Iowa may begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples in as soon as 21 days.

Philippine Christians Still Fearful One Year after Murder

Christian Today reports that Christians in the southern Philippines still fear violence from Islamic extremists. Bishop Angelito Lampon, Vicar Apostolic of Jolo in the southern Philippines, said the area is "relatively peaceful" for now, but that extremists have maintained staccato attacks on Christians since the death of a missionary last year. Multiple people ahve been abducted for ransom, but kidnappers have refrained from taking Muslims. Lampon notes that nightly curfews are in place for protection, while public events such as wedding as funerals have become much quieter. “Our faith is no longer only a matter of Sunday churchgoing, nor is it limited to praying novenas, asking for the things we need. Instead it is a daily encounter with God in the events of our everyday life," he said.

Over 230 Churches Join 'Servolution' Call

The Christian Post reports that more than 230 churches around the world have joined the "Servolution." The weeklong event, which ends Friday, purposes to humbly serve neighboring communities simply for the sake of serving. Participants will serve meals to the homeless, give out free coffee and gas, clean up their communities, wash cars and more, all done without planned evangelism. "We believe that as we serve, walls come down and people are willing to open up and ask why we do what we do ... hence the opportunity to share the gospel," Emily Morrow, spokesperson for Servolution, told The Christian Post. "Servolution is a revolution that is powered by humility and servanthood," said Dino Rizzo, lead pastor of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, La.

Cross-Carrying Man's Worldwide Trek Reaches Silver Screen 

OneNewsNow reports that one man's 38,000-mile, 40-year journey bearing the cross will soon make the silver screen. Arthur Blessit, who carried a 12-foot cross across the U.S. in 1969, didn't have plans to go further. Since then, however, he's walked across 315 nations, territories and islands around the world. That walk took him through 52 war zones and thousands of deserted highways, meeting presidents, citizens, and even firing squads along the way. "The Guinness Book of Records says it's the longest walk in documented human history," he shares. "But I didn't just walk -- I carried a cross. So that suddenly gave purpose and meaning to every person who saw it. [They knew] he's on a mission, and the cross is about Jesus." Titled "The Cross," the film's wide release is April 10.