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Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 17, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 17, 2006

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

  • Methodist Clergywomen Celebrate 50th 'Jubilee Week'
  • Pastor in Jabalpur, India Arrested for ‘Forcible Conversion’
  • Islamic Terrorists Simply Adhering to Quran's Basic Teachings, Says Christian Researcher
  • American Bible Society Partners with Salvador to Promote Bible Reading Among Latino Population

Methodist Clergywomen Celebrate 50th 'Jubilee Week'

More than 1,500 United Methodist clergywomen from around the world are celebrating their rights and advancements in Chicago this week, The Christian Post reports, 50 years after the milestone decision that granted full clergy rights to women. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of Jackson, Miss., called it "jubilee week." From Aug. 13-17, clergywomen are observing the milestone year at the 2006 International United Methodist Clergywomen's Consultation under the theme "The Spirit of God Is Upon Us: Celebrating Our Courageous Past - Claiming Our Bold Future." Today, there are about 9,500 United Methodist clergywomen, accounting for one fifth of all United Methodist ministers. The Rev. Jerome Del Pino, top executive of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry, was in the audience as a young boy when women were granted full clergy rights. He stressed at the consultation that the church "has no right, whatsoever, to do anything other than to invite."

Pastor in Jabalpur, India Arrested for ‘Forcible Conversion’

A group of 45 to50 Dharma Raksha Sena Hindu extremists on Monday (August 14) mobbed Pastor Vinod Karsal, 50, as he visited another pastor in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh to pray for him. Karsal, a pastor at the Assembly of God Church in Jabalpur, was praying for pastor Shaun Kushwaha when a mob of 45 to 50 people from the Dharma Raksha Sena (Defense Army) gathered outside the house, began shouting anti-Christian chants and broke in. Unable to find the Bible the pastors had hidden, the Hindu extremists planted gospel tracts in the glove compartment of his Karsal’s scooter and police soon arrived to arrest him for “forcible conversion.” Police held Karsal until 11:30 p.m., until raging crowds outside the station baying for the pastor had dispersed. Dr. John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council, told Compass Direct News, “The escalation of incidents against Christians in Madhya Pradesh is quickly reaching the threshold of patience.”

Islamic Terrorists Simply Adhering to Quran's Basic Teachings, Says Christian Researcher

While British authorities are looking for whatever motivated the "home-grown" terrorists to launch their plot to bring down several jetliners, a media researcher says the answer is right under their noses. AgapePress reports White Horse Media president Steve Wohlberg says the politically correct idea that Muslim terrorists are just perverting Islam is making the threat worse. "I don't believe that those of us in the West, including our government, can really deal effectively with this threat by coming to the conclusion that they're radicals," Wohlberg offers. The root problem, he insists, is the teachings found in the Quran -- and most Muslims, who he says are peaceful, rely on their imams to teach them what the Quran says. "They believe that Islam is really a peaceful religion -- and they're misled," he says. "And those that have their eyes open, those that are really reading the Quran, many of these people are the terrorists." Wohlberg insists that Islam's holy book is filled with violent commands designed to force the world's adherence to Islam. He also believes that until this truth is acknowledged, the U.S. government will not be able to deal with the threat of terrorism.

American Bible Society Partners with Salvador to Promote Bible Reading Among Latino Population

The American Bible Society (ABS) announced its newest partner, the band Salvador, will work with ABS on “La Biblia Es Mi Guia” (The Bible Is My Guide), the national advocacy campaign to promote Bible reading among Latinos. Audiences at Salvador's 200 annual touring dates will be invited to attend in-depth Bible readings, and Salvador will provide Spanish-language Scripture booklets featuring translated Biblical excerpts and study guides produced by ABS – both are free. “La Biblia Es Mi Guia” will reach Latinos in cities like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles by partnering with prominent Latino figures to spread the Word. The campaign offers additional outreach via the web, and through free bible reading materials distributed to neighborhood businesses by way of the Bless a Bodega campaign. “Partnering with Salvador allows us to use their music ministry to entice young and old to turn to the Bible for guidance," said Rev. Emilio A. Reyes, VP for Hispanic/Latino Ministries at ABS. "Research shows that church goers are not reading the Bible. Through the 'La Biblia Es Mi Guía' campaign [ABS] will do our part to show everyone that the Bible is still alive and active.”