Religion Today Summaries - August 1, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - August 1, 2005

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

  • Abortion Drug RU-486 "Band Aid" Fix To A Major Problem

  • Zennah Ministries Founder Says “You Don’t Backtrack”

  • Faith-Based Organization Earns Praise Of First Lady

  • Mob Attacks Boarding House at Indonesian Theological School 

Abortion Drug RU-486 "Band Aid" Fix To A Major Problem
Bill Fancher, Agape Press

The abortion drug RU-486 has a new FDA warning label -- but a Christian physician says it's just a "Band Aid" fix to a major problem. Four deaths in the past two years have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to mandate another warning on the label of Mifeprex, one of the abortion drugs known as RU-486. Dr. Gene Rudd of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations ( is frustrated by this new effort. "For them to issue another warning -- especially [for] this particular industry that I do not think is as safety conscious as they should be -- I think is just like a drop in the ocean," he says. Dr. Rudd says those doing the chemical abortions are placing themselves, as well as their babies, at risk. The CMDA has been fighting the FDA over the approval process that led to the availability of RU-486 in the U.S. Rudd's organization charges the FDA violated its own rules and guidelines by putting the drug-approval process on the fast track in the waning days of the Clinton administration.

Faith-Based Organization Earns Praise Of First Lady
Religion News Service

World Relief, a Christian Relief and Development Organization operating in 24 countries, has earned the praise of First Lady Laura Bush following her recent trip to Africa. At a recent reception for Maryland Governor Erhlich, Mrs. Bush shared with the audience, "I visited a wonderful church program that also gets some funding from the U.S. government, the World Relief site in Kigali, Rwanda. They work with ministers all over Kigali to provide services to people who have AIDS. They educate children who are AIDS orphans or orphans of the genocide in Rwanda. And they also work, of course, to prevent further HIV transmission." Mrs. Bush visited the Evangelical Friends Church of Rwanda and George Fox Secondary School where she witnessed the efforts of a strong local church partnered with World Relief. Students performed skits based on the teachings they received through the HIV/AIDS program, Mobilizing for Life. World Relief responds to the AIDS crisis through its Mobilizing for Life campaign, fueled by the support of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Through this campaign, World Relief workers teach local church members how to reach out with compassion and care for hurting neighbors affected by AIDS. World Relief also focuses on prevention through training and promoting behavioral change, especially encouraging abstinence among youth and fidelity in marriage.

Zennah Ministries Founder Says “You Don’t Backtrack”
Chad Groening, Agape Press

W.L. Cati is a former Muslim woman who now runs a Florida-based ministry that is dedicated to sharing the gospel to Muslims. She says a Colorado lawmaker should not have back-tracked on a recent comment suggesting a bold response to any future nuclear terrorist attack on American cities. Cati, founder and president of Zennah Ministries (, says U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo should not have attempted to clarify a statement he made on a Florida radio station that the U.S. could consider taking out Islamic sites like Mecca if terrorists detonate nuclear devices in American cities. "You don't backtrack," Cati says. "If you've got guts enough to say it, then you have to stand by it." According to the former Muslim, destroying Muslim symbols is an effective way to deliver a message. "According to Islam, the only possible way they could ever get into heaven, or paradise, would be through death," she says. "So if you go and bomb a bunch of Muslims, you just sent them -- according to them -- straight to heaven, because they died in jihad for the cause of Allah." But Islam's religious artifacts or "holy sites" are more precious to Muslims than human life, she explains -- which is why destruction of those sites would be an effective response.

Mob Attacks Boarding House at Indonesian Theological School
Compass Direct

An angry mob has twice attacked a boarding house at a theological school in Pulo village, Makasar district, east Jakarta, causing more than $10,000 in damage. The Arastamar Theological School's boarding house served students from other provinces. The mob included members of the Front Pembela Islam (FPI or Islamic Defender's Front); the FPI had accused the school of building a church. Local eyewitnesses say government officials accompanied the unruly crowd that attacked without advance warning. When the mob attacked a second time, students were able to turn them away. Local Muslim leaders such as Habib Hussin, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia, have objected to the presence of the school, despite every attempt by school management to meet legal requirements.