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Religion Today Summaries - April 15, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 15, 2010

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

  • Assemblies of God Leader Bows out of Civility Statement
  • Survey: 3 in 5 Unchurched Americans Are Christian
  • Christian Music Artist Jennifer Knapp Confirms She's Gay
  • Don't Forget Afghan People amid Politics, Aid Group Urges

Assemblies of God Leader Bows out of Civility Statement

Religion News Service reports that the top leader of the Assemblies of God wants his name removed from a civility statement signed by religious leaders after learning that its signatories included nonevangelicals.  George O. Wood, general superintendent of the prominent Pentecostal denomination, made the decision to remove his name from "Covenant for Civility" earlier this month, his denomination's spokeswoman said. "The problem is the tent that has grown so large on the signatures of this that are including people who are supportive of gay marriage and abortion rights," spokeswoman Juleen Turnage. "He just felt that he could not become a part of a large tent." Wood, an executive committee member of the National Association of Evangelicals, signed the document during an NAE board meeting in March that he hosted at Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Mo. The statement was signed by more than 100 Christian leaders -- from Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson to United Church of Christ President and General Minister Geoffrey A. Black.

Survey: 3 in 5 Unchurched Americans Are Christian

The Christian Post reports that a significant portion of unchurched people in America still have a biblical understanding of who God is. About 3 of every 5 unchurched persons identify as Christian. A study by Barna Group shows 68 percent of these self-described Christians also believe that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the universe and that He still rules that universe today. A little over a third of this group also believes the Bible is totally accurate and applicable. The survey also found that these unchurched Christians were more likely to complain about a lack of authenticity and humility in the church. "The unchurched really want to see a Christian live incarnationally," said Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Christian Music Artist Jennifer Knapp Confirms She's Gay

Christianity Today, The Advocate, and Reuters all confirmed rumors regarding Grammy-nominated musician Jennifer Knapp's sexuality, with the artist herself as the source. Knapp, who retured to the music industry last year after a seven year absence, did not dwell on the subject but also did not shy away from her eight-year relationship with a woman. "I'm in no way capable of leading a charge for some kind of activist movement," she told Christianity Today. "I'm just a normal human being who's dealing with normal everyday life scenarios. The struggle I've been through—and I don't know if I will ever be fully out of it—is feeling like I have to justify my faith or the decisions that I've made to choose to love who I choose to love." Her new album, "Letting Go," will be released next

Don't Forget Afghan People amid Politics, Aid Group Urges

Christian Today reports that aid and development groups worry that strained political ties with Afghanistan could hamper development efforts in the country. Christian Aid said it was "extremely concerned" over recent tensions between the White House and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "One of the best ways for the needs of the poorest in Afghanistan to be met is through participation in the democratic process. It is very important that the international community does not undermine this process," said Robin Greenwood, head of Christian Aid's Asia and Middle East Division. Serena Di Matteo, Christian Aid's Country Director for Afghanistan, agreed. "The human rights of all Afghans - rights to dignity, security and development should be the paramount concern and should not be compromised, as part of the military campaign against the Taliban and its allies," she said.