Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 24, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 24, 2010

Daily briefs of the top Christian news and persecution stories impacting believers around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Sojourners' Jim Wallis Admits to Soros Funding
  • New Catholic Mass Approved for 2011 Roll-Out
  • Texas School Reneges Enrollment for Lesbian Couple's Daughter
  • Pastors, Congregants Arrested in India


Sojourners' Jim Wallis Admits to Soros Funding

Jim Wallis, president of the left-leaning religious group Sojourners, has acknowledged the group received funding from liberal billionaire George Soros. Soros, one of the leading billionaire leftists—he has financed groups promoting abortion, atheism, same-sex marriage, and gargantuan government—bankrolled Sojourners with a $200,000 grant in 2004. Sojourners received several more grants in the following years. Last month, World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky asked Wallis to admit his affiliations, but Wallis explicitly denied the funding to PatheosChristianity Today reports that on Aug. 18, he amended his response and said, "I answered in the spirit of the accusation and did not recall the details of our funding over the decade in question." He claimed the funds "made up the tiniest fraction of Sojourners' funding during that decade -- so small that I hadn't remembered them."

New Catholic Mass Approved for 2011 Roll-Out

Religion News Service reports that the most sweeping changes to the Catholic Mass in 40 years will be rolled out in 2011, the U.S. bishops announced Aug. 20 after receiving formal approval from the Vatican. The new English-language translation of the Roman Missal, the official text of prayers and responses used in the Mass, will be implemented on Nov. 27, 2011, the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of a new liturgical year. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Vatican approval was granted on June 23, with additional changes approved on July 24. Pope John Paul II ordered the new translations to encourage greater fidelity to the original Latin. Translations into local languages after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s were too hastily and sloppily produced, according to the late pope.

Texas School Reneges Enrollment for Lesbian Couple's Daughter

A Bedford, Texas, couple is upset that their daughter was denied admission to a private Episcopal school just before the school year began, Fox 4 News in Dallas reports. Jill and Tracy Harrison were married in Canada in 2006, and enrolled their daughter, Olivia, last month. The school says it does not agree with their lesbian lifestyle, but previously assumed that Tracy was a man on the admission forms. After the couple attended parent's night, Olivia was denied admission. "We regret the disappointment the mother feels. It is clear, however, that enrolling the child in a traditional Christian school, such as St. Vincent's School, would not foster her own personal values at home. And it might undermine the moral instruction of our clergy and teachers in the minds of our schools students and parents. Our prayers are with Olivia and her mother," the school said.

Pastors, Congregants Arrested in India

Worthy News reports that two Christian pastors and some of their congregation were arrested last week for preaching the gospel in India. Pastors Sheathes Pas and Ravi Pas were arrested for conducting worship services in KR Nagar, Mandya, on Aug. 15. Members of the Hindu nationalist groups Rashtiya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal, entered the house during worship service and proceeded to attack the congregation and the pastors. About 20 congregants, plus the pastors, were taken to the local police station after the attack. While the members of the congregation were later released, pastors Pas and Pas were still in jail. Christian advocacy group All India Christian Council is currently working for their release.