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Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 20, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 20, 2007

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

  • Evangelicals Support Conversion Code
  • Author Says Destructive Emotions Prevalent Among Christians
  • Scientology-Linked Group Infiltrates Israeli Summer Camps
  • Churches Remain United in Asia Flood Response

Evangelicals Support Conversion Code

An Associated Press story says, "Evangelical groups have joined efforts spearheaded by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and mainstream Protestant churches to create a common code of conduct for religious conversions that would preserve the right of Christians to spread their religion while avoiding conflict among different faiths. The World Council of Churches, which joined the Vatican last year in launching talks on a code, said Wednesday that the process was formally joined by the World Evangelical Alliance at a meeting earlier this month in France. The code aims to ease tensions with Muslims, Hindus and other religious groups that fear losing adherents and resort to punishments as extreme as imprisonment and even death for converts from their faith and foreign missionaries. The WCC said the code of conduct should serve as an 'advocacy tool in discussions with governments considering anti-conversion laws (and) help to advance the cause of religious freedom.' The rules should also address concerns in other religions about Christians seeking converts, and inspire those faiths to 'consider their own codes of conduct,' it added."

Author Says Destructive Emotions Prevalent Among Christians

Christian Newswire reports that psychologist/author Florence MacKenzie believes that anger, guilt, and fear are more prevalent in the Christian community than most people might think. "Many Christians struggle secretly, fearing disapproval or condemnation from family, friends or church contacts," says MacKenzie. "They try to put on a brave face and not admit they need help." MacKenzie's new book is called Destructive Emotions: Facing Up to Guilt, Fear and Anger. "These emotions become destructive when they destroy our happiness, impair our usefulness, and damage our ability to cope effectively with life," she says. "It's important to demonstrate how... change can be effected."

Scientology-Linked Group Infiltrates Israeli Summer Camps

CNSNews.com reports that a group teaching the core moral values as outlined by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard has been conducting workshops at Israeli summer camps this month without the knowledge of the children's parents. During the month of August, most Israeli children attend summer camps, as both parents typically work. An online Israeli news agency learned that at many of those camps, the children are getting morning lectures by volunteers from the Association for Prosperity and Security in the Middle East (APSME), a group that promotes Hubbard's teachings. At the end of the lectures, the children were all given copies of Hubbard's booklet, The Way to Happiness, and a wall poster containing its main points. APSME insists on its website that the organization and The Way to Happiness are not affiliated with the Church of Scientology.

Churches Remain United in Asia Flood Response

The Christian Post reports that members of the worldwide coalition Action by Churches Together International are continuing to save lives as they bring aid relief and assistance to vast regions of central and south Asia hit by severe flooding. “While the massive amount of water is slowly withdrawing, the damage and emergency need is showing its true colors,” said Arne Grieg Riisnæs with ACT member Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), speaking from Bangladesh. The ACT coalition members have made the most vulnerable their aid priority, particularly those in out-of-the-way communities. Thousands of crops have been destroyed and homes washed away.