Religion Today Summaries - August 11, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - August 11, 2005

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

  • Billy Graham Crusade Ministry Over 

  • German Clergy Lose Professional Esteem

  • Pastor Contends Christians Have Obligation to Warn Homosexuals

  • Peru: Tribal People Overcome Obstacles to Reach their Own

Billy Graham Crusade Ministry Over
Agape Press

Rev. Billy Graham's daughter says his crusade ministry is over. Anne Graham Lotz says this summer's three-day event in New York City was the last Billy Graham crusade, and her father is "at total peace" with that. Lotz has written the foreword to "Living in God's Love" -- a new book containing the sermons that the 86-year-old evangelist delivered there. The ailing Graham has lost much of his hearing and his wife Ruth is mostly blind and unable to walk. But Lotz says her parents' minds are clear and they enjoy holding hands and being together. If her father ever preaches to a stadium crowd again, Lotz says it would likely be at one of his son's Franklin Graham Festivals.

German Clergy Lose Professional Esteem
Wolfgang Polzer, Assist News Service

The clergy are still held in relatively high esteem in Germany, but their prestige is deteriorating. According to a representative poll by the renowned Allensbach Institute 34 percent of the population appreciate the clergy more than any other profession. Pastors come out in fifth place after physicians (71 percent), nurses (56), the police (40) and university professors (36). The clergy dropped down three places from the number two position they held in a poll two years ago. At that time, only physicians were appreciated more than pastors. The topical poll shows significant differences between East and West Germany. 36 percent of the West Germans show high appreciation for the clergy compared to 25 percent in the former Communist East. Approximately two thirds of the 82 million citizens are church members. The Roman Catholic Church has 26.2 million members, the mainline Protestant churches 25.8 million and the Orthodox churches 1.4 million. In addition there are approximately 500,000 members of evangelical churches such as Baptists, Pentecostals and Methodists. Professionals with the lowest esteem in Germany are labor union leaders (5 percent), politicians (6) and television presenters (6).

Pastor Contends Christians Have Obligation to Warn Homosexuals
Allie Martin, Agape Press

An Ohio pastor says Christians who are silent on the issue of homosexuality are not practicing Christ's love. In his new book, “Silent No More”, Rod Parsley tackles many issues facing concerned Christians, including the homosexual agenda. Parsley, senior pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, insists that Christians have a responsibility to address and confront homosexual activism. He says being tolerant toward homosexuals does not mean remaining silent while radical homosexual activists attempt to force their lifestyle on the rest of America. "These people teach our children in public school, they are in places of business, they live in our communities," Parsley acknowledges, "but there's a difference in tolerance and forcing others to give credence to a lifestyle that we believe is abhorrent." According to the Christian author and evangelist, those who follow Christ have a responsibility where homosexuals are concerned. He is also the founder of the Center for Moral Clarity, which exists to effect moral change in America by encouraging "passionate and persuasive Christian leadership" and by educating, mobilizing and equipping believers to speak up for biblical truth in their culture. The outspoken minister encourages fellow Christians not to back down from speaking the truth in love about the homosexual agenda. He feels Christians who remain silent on the issue of homosexuality are not practicing the love of Christ.

Peru: Tribal People Overcome Obstacles to Reach their Own
Christian Aid Mission

In the name of protecting tribal ways of life, certain anthropological groups have been barring non-tribal Christian missionaries from entering reservations in Latin American countries. But, according to Christian Aid's contacts in Peru, they have no way of stopping tribal Christians from sharing the gospel with their own people. As a result, the gospel is spreading among the indigenous peoples of Latin America. While a majority of Latin Americans profess faith in Christ, hundreds of tribal people in remote locations remain unreached by the gospel. In Peru alone, one indigenous mission has identified 14 totally unreached people groups, each with 100-500 members. The mission has located six of the 14 and is working among one. Eight tribes hiding in the jungles remain extremely primitive and fearful of strangers. As in other parts of Latin America, several of Peru's tribes have begun missionary work of their own. Though Peru's infamous Shining Path guerrilla group was disbanded years ago, pockets of rebel activity remain in the jungles where many tribes live. Even today they are known to kidnap young people and force them to join their ranks or to enslave entire tribal communities. Yet tribal Christians in Peru and throughout Latin America continue to take the gospel to their own people, going places foreigners and non-tribal missionaries could never go.