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Religion Today Summaries - December 27, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - December 27, 2004

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

  • Stamping Out Christianity From Christmas

  • Black Christians Urged To 'Reach Back' To African AIDS Orphans

  • A Christian Nation

  • Indonesia Orders Tighter Security for Churches this Christmas

Stamping Out Christianity From Christmas

A conservative black pastor says black Christians should be outraged by recent attempts from the politically correct crowd to stamp out Christianity from Christmas celebrations, while at the same time accepting a fake holiday created by a convicted felon.  Jesse Lee Peterson says there is nothing "African" about Kwanzaa, which has become recognized by corporations and even President Bush as an "African holiday."  Peterson, the founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, says the "so-called holiday" was created in 1966 by Dr. Ron Karenga, the head of a Marxist black power group who was later convicted for the assault and torture of two of his followers.  "There is no such thing as Kwanzaa," the BOND president says.  "You can look up and down Africa, you're not going to find Kwanzaa."  Peterson says black Christians need to say no to Kwanzaa and yes to Christ.  "I hear a lot of black folks telling me [they] incorporate Kwanzaa into [their] celebration of Christmas," he shares.  "If you are a child of God, if you believe in Jesus, there's no reason to incorporate anything else because Jesus provides all that we need.  Jesus Christ is the reason for the season."  According to Wikipedia, Karenga was influenced by the Nation of Islam's Malcom X during discussions of black power and social change in the 1960s.

Black Christians Urged To 'Reach Back' To African AIDS Orphans
Charisma News Service

A bishop in a predominately African American Pentecostal denomination has launched a nationwide AIDS campaign to raise tens of millions of dollars for Africa primarily through black Christians. Charles Blake Sr., senior pastor of 24,000-member West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, founded the nonprofit Save Africa's Children (SAC) three years ago after touring the continent and seeing the ravaging effects of the disease on the population. The impetus for the effort is the AIDS and HIV pandemic, which thus far has killed about 17 million Africans and left 14 million children there orphaned. Blake, who supports orphans through $3 million in contributions, is seeking to significantly broaden the program. With the United Nations projecting that the number of orphaned children will triple by 2010, Blake is pressing African Americans to ratchet up their commitment to Africa to make a bigger dent in the problem. "I am appealing to African Americans - but not just African Americans exclusively," Blake, told Charisma magazine. "Our purpose is to reach back and become for Africa what Jewish Americans have become for Israel," he added. SAC is supporting 28,000 children in 160 "orphan-care projects" across Africa. The orphan-care projects include families who agree to raise the orphans; "cluster huts," which care for 10 to 15 orphans at a time; and orphanages.(http://www.charismanow.com)

A Christian Nation

A conservative writer and history professor says historical documents from America's founding fathers clearly indicate they intended for the country to be a Christian nation.  Dr. Thomas E. Woods is the author of the recently published Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.  He says revisionists have done a good job of hiding the vision that the nation's founders truly had for America.  "It was just absolutely taken for granted that this is, by and large, a Christian people," Woods says.  "And as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Joseph Storey said in the early 19th century, it was understood from the beginning that Christianity was to be in effect the religion of the people and would be looked upon benignly -- and even directly and indirectly promoted -- by the federal government."  He points out that the Northwest Ordinance, which dealt with territories beyond the Ohio River, actually pledged federal funds for the Christian education of the Indians.  In addition, Woods notes that John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, actually celebrated the fact that the country was not particularly diverse.  Jay, he says, wrote in the Federalist Papers that Divine Providence had bestowed on the nation a people who speak the same language and, by and large, share the same religion -- Christianity.  "He thought that was good, because that conduces to social comity," says Woods.

Indonesia Orders Tighter Security for Churches this Christmas
Compass Direct

Police in Indonesia pledged today to provide tighter security for churches during Christmas celebrations, after one of their own was arrested in connection with the murder of a Christian official on the island of Sulawesi . Second Brigadier Efendi confessed to his involvement the November murder of Carminalis Ndele, the 48-year-old chief of Pinedapa village, Poso district. "Efendi has engaged in several cases of violence in Poso, including the murder of Carminalis Ndele," Central Sulawesi police Chief Aryanto Sutadi told reporters from The Jakarta Post . Following Efendi's arrest, Indonesian police announced plans to deploy bomb squads to comb churches for explosive materials before Christmas services are held. Officials will equip some churches with metal detectors and provide police guards for pastors in South Sulawesi province. Nearly 10,000 officers will be deployed in the cities of Bandung and Medan to tighten security at churches, shopping malls and other public meeting places.