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Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 4, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Dec. 4, 2008

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

  • Kazak Religion Law Passes Parliament Despite Promises
  • Biblical Counseling Pioneer Henry Brandt Dies
  • Atheists Want God out of Ky. Security Plan
  • Zoo Drops Partnership with Creation Museum after Complaints


Kazak Religion Law Passes Parliament Despite Promises

Mission News Network reports that despite promises to allow the international community a public review of a draft religion law, the bill has passed parliament to the president's desk. The controversial law would severely restrict unregistered religious activity and evangelism, and even charitable work. Joel Griffith with Slavic Gospel Association says the politics make the bill's future uncertain. "The president of Kazakhstan was quoted earlier as saying that he was uncomfortable with the idea of missionaries in Kazakhstan. He basically said, 'We really don't need missionaries in Kazakhstan.' But again, considering that Kazakhstan is part of this international organization that expects adherence to international standards; we really don't know what tactic he'll take." Kazakhstan is scheduled to lead the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010.

Biblical Counseling Pioneer Henry Brandt Dies

Dr. Henry Brandt, acknowledged by many as the "Father of Modern-Day Biblical Counseling" died Tuesday from complications related to Parkinson's disease. He was 92. According to a press release, Dr. Brandt acted as an international consultant, educator, counselor, author, and conference speaker who focused on individual development as well as marriage and family living. He was the author of numerous books including the classic, "The Heart of the Problem." He taught at multiple colleges and seminaries, and was instrumental in founding departments of psychology for both Christian Heritage College and Palm Beach Atlantic University. In 2003, the American Association of Christian Counselors presented Henry with their "Care Giver Award" for his lifetime achievements in counseling.

Atheists Want God out of Ky. Security Plan

MSNBC reports that Kentucky's homeland security policy has earned a lawsuit from atheists for its insistence that safety depends on God's help. American Atheists Inc. say the 2002 law violates both state and U.S. Constitutions, especially because of the law's requirement that a plaque be posted to say safety and security "cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God." Kentucky's homeland security is required to emphasize this practically, both through training and educational materials. "It is one of the most egregiously and breathtakingly unconstitutional actions by a state legislature that I've ever seen," said Edwin F. Kagin, national legal director of Parsippany, New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. But Democratic state Rep. Tom Riner, a Baptist minister from Louisville, disagrees. "No government by itself can guarantee perfect security," Riner said. "... this is a foundational understanding of what America is."

Zoo Drops Partnership with Creation Museum after Complaints

Religion News Service reports that the Cincinnati Zoo has dropped a business arrangement with the nearby Creation Museum after it received numerous complaints about a joint Christmas promotion. Officials at the museum expressed disappointment that the promotion had to be called off less than three days after it began. Ken Ham, founder and president of the museum in Petersburg, Ky., expressed disappointment. "At the same time," he said, "I have learned that the zoo received hundreds of complaints from what appear to be some very intolerant people, and so I understand the zoo's perspective." The Cincinnati Enquirer said zoo officials found themselves embroiled in a debate between creationists who support the museum and evolutionists who oppose it after agreeing to a deal that would reduce entry to the zoo's "Festival of Lights" and the museum's "Bethlehem's Blessings."