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Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 16, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 16, 2011

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • With Faith, Businesses Stand to Gain
  • Report: Churches, Charities Don't Compete for Dollars
  • Critics Slam U.S., Media for Response to Religious Attacks
  • Church Sues for Right to Rebuild at Ground Zero

With Faith, Businesses Stand to Gain

A new Barna survey shows that Christian-based companies have more to gain than to lose when it comes to operating according to their faith -- and even promoting it. Baptist Press reports that the new survey found that 43 percent of Americans say they would be more likely to buy from a company that "manages its business according to Christian principles," and only 3 percent were less likely to do so. Thirty-seven percent say they are more likely to purchase products from the business that "embraces and promotes" Christianity, 3 percent less likely and 58 percent have no opinion. "There appears to be a significant opportunity for enterprises that understand and value faith to express their faith consciousness through their business practices -- not simply as a marketing gimmick but as an authentic part of their content," said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. "... [T]he research shows that the consumer audience is divided between those who favor Christian companies and those who are simply indifferent."

Report: Churches, Charities Don't Compete for Dollars

Houses of worship and other charities often aren't in competition for dollars but instead tend to reap donations from similar donors. Religion News Service reports that slightly more than 50 percent of people who financially supported congregations also gave to at least one charitable organization in the last year, according to a study conducted by Phoenix-based Grey Matter Research Consulting. Researchers also found that the more Americans give to a house of worship, the more they donate to other groups. For example, donors who gave between $100 and $499 to a congregation gave an average of $376 to other groups. "Americans who give to their church or place of worship are more likely to give, period -- including to charitable organizations," said Ron Sellers, president of the Phoenix-based research firm, formerly known as Ellison Research. "Rather than be in competition for the donor dollar, it seems that giving fosters giving."

Critics Slam U.S., Media for Response to Religious Attacks

At least 65 Christians have been killed in attacks across the Muslim world in recent months. Fox News reports the killings have sparked sharp criticism from human rights groups that charge the U.S. government and media aren't doing nearly enough to speak out against the violence. "The lack of a policy response beyond sending condolences each time a church or Christians are targeted in some horrific act of violence like in Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria etc. is absolutely bewildering," Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com. "This should be seen as not only a humanitarian issue, but a security issue."

Church Sues for Right to Rebuild at Ground Zero

Greek Orthodox officials on Monday filed suit against the agency charged with rebuilding Ground Zero over the disputed fate of tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Religion News Service reports that the church was destroyed by falling debris on 9/11. Negotiations between St. Nicholas leaders and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey abruptly ended two years ago, which agency officials blame on the congregation's escalating demands. "The parish and the archdiocese would have preferred to rebuild the church without litigation," countered the Rev. Mark Arey, spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Church officials want to proceed with the preliminary agreement to exchange their strategic sliver at 155 Cedar Street -- now under construction for a major vehicle security center -- for a larger piece of property at 130 Liberty Street. Port Authority officials, meanwhile, say the church is welcome to rebuild on the original property once the garage is completed.