Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 25, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 25, 2009

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

  • One Year Later, Christians in Orissa Pray for Peace
  • Christians Called to Pray during Ramadan
  • 'Traditionalist Catholics' Expel Christians in Mexico
  • Christians Weather Recession Stress Better, Says Charity

One Year Later, Christians in Orissa Pray for Peace

Compass Direct News reports that one year after India's worst-ever attack on Christians, churches across the country fasted and prayed for a peace that remains elusive. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India appealed to all the Catholic dioceses in the country to "pray for peace and harmony and a spirit of reconciliation" by fasting on Saturday, one year to the day that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was killed by non-Christian Maoists last year. On Monday, Christians held an inter-denominational meeting to pray for peace, healing and reconciliation in New Delhi to mark "National Kandhamal Day." Christians believe it may take a long time for peace and reconciliation to become a reality in Kandhamal, where the violence lasted for weeks 2008, killing more than 100 people and burning more than 4,500 houses, over 250 churches and 13 educational institutions.

Christians Called to Pray during Ramadan

The Christian Post reports that missionaries are urging all Christians to pray as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins. "It's kind of a time of seeking in a certain sense, when they're fasting and they're more geared toward spiritual things," said Sammy Tippit, an evangelist who focuses on reaching Muslims, to Mission Network News. "And it's out of a sense for God - a thirst for God and a hunger for God. And during these times of Ramadan, many will have dreams about Jesus." Mission News Network is offering a 30-day prayer guide to help Christians understand the holy month and pray effectively for different Muslim cultures worldwide. Younger Muslims in unstable countries such as Iran are especially open to alternatives from Islam, Tippit said.

'Traditionalist Catholics' Expel Christians in Mexico

Compass Direct News reports that "traditionalist Catholic" leaders last month expelled 57 evangelical Christians from their town for refusing to participate in their religious festivals. Leaders of traditionalist Catholicism, a mixture of Roman Catholicism and native rituals, expelled 32 Christians from their homes in a village in Hidalgo state and another 25 from a town in Oaxaca. In each case, the evangelicals were deprived of their property for refusing to participate in drunken festivals that included worship of Catholic icons. The Christians were forced to leave behind 121 acres of land planted with crops, as well as their homes and animals. The Christians had reached an agreement with the community in February allowing them to choose to follow their own faith, but a new town leader reportedly burned the document.

Christians Weather Recession Stress Better, Says Charity

Christian Today reports that Christians in faith communities are the most resilient to recession, according to psychologists. "Resilience factors like a sense of humor, a good upbringing are obvious, but studies also show that having a religious faith is a key factor," said Rob Waller, Consultant Psychiatrist and Director of Premier Mind & Soul. A community of believers can encourage each other with friendship, networking and other means of help. "They [faith communities] can share burdens and compensate for families who are not able or willing to help." The hope of eternal life also puts current trouble in context. "A belief that there is 'more to life than this' can help us in times of pressure - we may not feel so trapped by time, money and possessions and we may be able to hold more faith that this time we are in will not last for ever."