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Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 26, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Aug. 26, 2008

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

  • Christian Groups to Help Clean Up Fay's Mess in Florida
  • Democrats Demonstrate Faith at Convention
  • Are the Chinese Content with Their Spiritual Lives?
  • Survey: Christian Women and Sexual Harassment

Christian Groups to Help Clean Up Fay's Mess in Florida

The Christian Post reports that Christian aid organizations are preparing to head into Florida as tropical depression Fay loses energy, finally leaving the state after a record four landfalls. "We are receiving reports of catastrophic flooding and debris in parts of the state," said Marilyn Swanson, director of Disaster Recovery Ministry for the United Methodist Church’s Florida Annual (regional) Conference, in a report Friday. "We are trying to anticipate the needs that will be arising in the next few days." United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Salvation Army will deliver special support to storm victims who were swamped by severe floodwaters, and UMCOR are also re-stocking their local food pantries. The storm is responsible for at least 11 deaths in Florida, and at least 23 more due to extreme flooding in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Democrats Demonstrate Faith at Convention

This year's Democratic National Convention features a new element: a vast display of faith of all kinds, Fox News reports. The first-ever interfaith meeting featured a readings from the Torah, the Koran, the sayings of Buddha and the New Testament by each religion's representative. The convention begins each night with an invocation and ends with a benediction delivered by a national faith leader, all part of an effort to reach faith voters. “Democrats have been, are and will continue to be people of faith — and this convention will demonstrate that in an unprecedented way,” Leah Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC, said in a written statement. “As convention CEO and a pastor myself, I am incredibly proud that so many esteemed leaders from the faith community will be with us to celebrate this historic occasion and honor the diverse faith traditions inside the Democratic party.”

Are the Chinese Content with Their Spiritual Lives?

ASSIST News Service reports that in a recent www.CBNNews.com story, Brian Grim of The Pew Forum asserted that although 80 percent of Chinese citizens are pleased with the direction China is moving in economically, Grim doesn't believe this is necessarily an indication that the Chinese are happy with their personal lives. Grim further noted that interest in religion is high: “A whopping 96 percent thinks that the Olympics will be a success, but a much lower percentage are satisfied with their jobs and family life, etc. So within this context of high satisfaction with the country and low satisfaction with the daily life, we find that religious interest is very high in China today.” According to a Religion Newswriters Association source guide on China and religion, China recognizes five major religions: Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Catholic Christianity and Protestant Christianity. It is estimated that hundreds of millions of Chinese participate in spiritual practices that are banned by the Chinese government at local altars and temples.

Survey: Christian Women and Sexual Harassment

OneNewsNow reports that a new survey showed that more than a quarter of self-described "active Christian women" have experienced sexually inappropriate behavior, and a quarter of those place the incident inside church settings. The survey by NationalChristianPoll.com asked nearly 800 women about such inappropriate behavior as sexual advances, touching or sexual contact, suggestive jokes, glances with sexual overtones and demeaning comments. The study showed that encounters with inappropriate behavior occurred mainly in non-ministry settings, but also that 53 percent of women who experienced such behavior said they would not report it. "There is a lot of inappropriate 'conversation' being tolerated by women so as not to antagonize men in their workplaces," said Joy Thornburg Melton, an ordained minister and attorney who currently serves in the United Methodist Church as chief resource officer for PACT (United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust), according to Christianity Today magazine.