Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 15, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 15, 2006

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

  • Darfur Violence Driving Out Help
  • Clergy Speak Out on Porn
  • Group to Rick Warren: Speak Out against Abortion, Too
  • Conservative Jews Give in to Homosexuals

Darfur Violence Driving Out Help

At a time when it would be hard to imagine a more deteriorated Darfur – the situation has indeed worsened, forcing many relief groups and individuals to finally relent and flee the human-caused wasteland. “It is unbelievable for any human being to imagine that the entire Darfur right now is unsafe even in the cities,” said Motasim Adam, a Darfurian refugee and president of the Darfur People’s Association of New York, to The Christian Post. “Forget about the camps. One week ago they were safe because the human rights organizations and humanitarian organizations. Now, everything is screwed up,” he added. Mission Aviation Fellowship, although it does not have a base in Sudan, has reported that it is helping to evacuate some of the Christian workers in south Sudan because of the escalation in violence. Caritas Internationalis media officer Nancy McNally recently visited Sudan and noted that the violence has forced some humanitarian groups to leave the region due to insecurity threats.

Clergy Speak Out on Porn

According to a Family News in Focus story, church leaders are speaking out on the dangers of porn, preaching a message that it's far from victimless. Virginia Bishop Paul Loverde says pornography is an attack on the living temple of God, and distorts people’s ability to see one another as unique and beautiful expressions of God’s creation. Father Terry Specht with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington agrees: “Christians are people called apart by God to live a life of holiness. And this life of holiness is incompatible with viewing a human person as an object.” A letter from Loverde is being sent to Bishops across America, but Catholics around the world are seeing it on the Internet. C.J. Doyle with the Catholic Action League thinks the letter couldn’t have come at a better time, and Jenn Giroux with Citizens for Community Values says the document is greatly needed for people of all faiths.

Group to Rick Warren: Speak Out against Abortion, Too

AgapePress reports a Christian activist group is asking one of the most popular pastors in the nation to show more concern about the violence against women and children through abortion. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, recently hosted an AIDS summit at his church. Warren came under fire from many in the evangelical community for inviting pro-abortion Senator Barack Obama to speak during the event. Now Pat Mahoney, who is executive director of the Christian Defense Coalition, is encouraging Warren to speak out on issues other than AIDS. "We wonder why Pastor Warren on one hand would embrace government policies when it comes to AIDS but, on the other hand, run from it when it comes to abortion," Mahoney says. "And we would say [to] Pastor Warren, 'Exhibit the same commitment. You believe the government should actively be involved in a policy toward AIDS, and we agree with that. [But] what about the horrible tragedy and violence and terror of abortion?'"

Conservative Jews Give in to Homosexuals

Displaying indecisiveness amid the growing influence of the homosexual movement, the highest panel of leaders in Conservative Judaism voted Dec. 6 to allow the ordination of homosexual rabbis and the recognition of “gay marriage” in synagogues while simultaneously advising against it, Baptist Press reports. The 25-member Rabbinical Assembly Committee on Jewish Law and Standards issued a series of advisory reports which are “accepted as guides so that the gays and lesbians can be welcomed into our congregation and communities and made to feel accepted,” according to Rabbi Kassel Abelson, a member of the committee. But to show how divided Conservative Jews are on the matter, the same committee voted to uphold a 1992 statement that advises against homosexual ordinations and the recognition of “gay marriage,” Reuters reported. Such conflicting actions supposedly leave it up to individual synagogues to decide their course of action on homosexuality.