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Religion Today Summaries - April 24, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - April 24, 2006

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

  • Anglican Bishop Survives Fourth Attack
  • Hope Rwanda Begins!
  • On 100th Anniversary of Azusa Street Revival, Pentecostals Praise God in Many Tongues
  • Some Look to Bible for Financial Guidance

Anglican Bishop Survives Fourth Attack

The latest attack on the Rt. Rev. Ali Buba Lamido, 47, Anglican Bishop of Wusasa diocese in Kaduna state, began as the past year’s previous three did: Armed men whom he believes were Muslim militants asked the guards at his home where he was, announcing they were going to kill him. This time, on March 10, a guest of one of his guards was shot dead. The guard and another worker were seriously injured. The four attacks on his house since April 2005 have involved no attempted robbery. “It is difficult to believe that it was not religiously motivated, because some bishops have been attacked and one priest was murdered in a similar way,” he said. “And the killers never stole any thing from their houses.”

Hope Rwanda Begins!

After years of preparation, Book of Hope has begun blanketing the country of Rwanda with volunteers, hope, and the Bible in observance of the 100 day genocide that ravaged the country of Rwanda from April 7 - July 15, 1994. Hundreds of people from more than 20 Christian and humanitarian organizations from around the world have traveled to Rwanda to conduct a massive countrywide rebuilding and relief effort. During the first week of Hope Rwanda, Book of Hope volunteers have visited hospitals and met with children who were receiving free heart surgery from Operation Open Heart as a part of Hope Rwanda.  Book of Hope volunteers have given every child they've visited in these hospitals a Book of Hope Scripture book as a means of reaching their goal of providing a Book of Hope Scripture book to every child in the country. Book of Hope will bring in 7 teams of volunteers from America to join local volunteers to visit schools throughout Rwanda, distribute Book of Hope Scripture books, show the Book of Hope animated film called The GodMan, and conduct city wide evangelistic festivals for children and their families. Under the leadership of Australia's Mark and Darlene Zschech, dozens of international organizations - including Book of Hope - have come together to provide numerous services throughout Rwanda from April 7 to July 15, including: construction, medical assistance, immunization, education, care, & child and youth evangelism.

On 100th Anniversary of Azusa Street Revival, Pentecostals Praise God in Many Tongues

Carrying banners and making music, about 3,000 exuberant Christians on Saturday kicked off a weeklong centennial celebration of the birthplace of modern Pentecostalism with a "Holy Spirit Procession" through downtown Los Angeles, the LA Times reports. Thousands of Christians worldwide are coming to Los Angeles this week to mark the 100th anniversary of what is called the Azusa Street Revival, considered the cradle of the global Pentecostal movement, "It's so incredible to see all the nations coming together, not just to celebrate but to ask God for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit," said the Rev. Jonathan Ngai, pastor of Transformations Community Church in Arcadia, which is not affiliated with the Pentecostal movement. There are many groups within the Pentecostal movement, but what unites them is their belief that the spiritual gifts of speaking in tongues, witnessing signs and performing miracles are available to them through baptism, as they were to Jesus' apostles. Sometimes this is called a second blessing, said the Rev. David Scholer, professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. In contrast, mainline Protestants believe that once they are saved, the rest of the Christian life is a process "theologically called sanctification," Scholer added.

Some Look to Bible for Financial Guidance

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, many people are turning toward spiritual guidance to get their financial lives on track, pointing to some 2,350 references to money in the Bible. "People know that they've got personal struggles," said Howard Dayton, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries and author of Free and Clear: God's Road Map to Debt-Free Living. "People, I think, are really hungry to find answers," he said. Dayton said he's aware that some people like to keep money and religion separate. "It's totally understandable that many people partition handling money from their spiritual life and view it as secular," he said. "What you see in scripture is there's no partition at all. It's, in fact, one of the key pieces in the puzzle in a person growing in their spiritual life." Dayton said 15 percent of everything Jesus says in the Bible is about money and possessions. And how you handle money reflects your values, he said. Christianity isn't the only faith to acknowledge a link between money and religion. Similar attitudes about overspending and debt are present in Judaism, and Islam forbids the charging or paying of interest.