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Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 26, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 26, 2008

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

  • 'Earth Worship' on the Rise among Evangelical Youth
  • Christian Music Pioneer Larry Norman Dead
  • Churches Urged to be More Artist-Friendly, Transform Culture
  • Muslims Demand Australian Universities Conform to Their Religious Beliefs

'Earth Worship' on the Rise among Evangelical Youth

OneNewsNow.com reports that Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America is saying that many young people in evangelical churches are disturbingly experimenting with Wicca. Crouse warns that Christian parents and leaders must be ready to counter that growing interest. Wicca involves nature worship and stresses moral autonomy, which are appealing tenets to many of today's youth. Crouse cites an article in Religion Journal which said youth pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention were worried about large numbers of evangelicals taking part in Wicca. "They don't want the church telling them that there are boundaries, [that] there are things that they can't do," Crouse explains. She believes interest in Wicca can be traced to recent books featuring witchcraft and similar topics.

Christian Music Pioneer Larry Norman Dead

ASSIST News Service reports that Larry Norman died in Salem, Oregon early Sunday morning February 25 after a long battle with heart problems. With his long blond flowing hair, Norman was a true pioneer of Christian rock music with hits like "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music" and "I Wish We'd All Been Ready." For years, he was a permanent fixture on Hollywood Boulevard, where, despite being a star with Capital Records, he would spend his days and nights sharing one-on-on with the lost youth of Hollywood about the love of Jesus Christ. Sometimes called, "the original Jesus Freak," Norman is also credited with inventing the "One Way To Jesus" finger-pointing sign. In recent years, Norman was battled serious health problems and he finally passed away on Sunday morning. His death was revealed by his brother Charles Norman on Larry's website, www.larrynorman.com.

Churches Urged to be More Artist-Friendly, Transform Culture

The Christian Post reports that hundreds of pastors, church leaders and artists will gather for the first Church and the Arts conference to learn how the Church can reach out to artists and encourage them to transform culture in a biblical way. “Transforming Culture: A Vision for the Church and the Arts” stems from the sense that too often pastors do not know how to connect with artists or nurture their talents to advance the kingdom of God. “A journalist name Steve Turner noted that when Time magazine compiled a list of the 100 most significant people in the twentieth-century for art and entertainment, there were only five who have shown any public sign of the Christian faith,” co-organizer David Taylor, arts pastor at Hope Chapel in Austin, Texas, highlighted to The Christian Post. A recent Barna Group study found that the average American spends 20 times more hours with the media than in religious activities.

Muslims Demand Australian Universities Conform to Their Religious Beliefs

According to The Australian, "international Muslim students, predominantly from Saudi Arabia, have asked universities in Melbourne to change class times so they can attend congregational prayers. They also want a female-only area for Muslim students to eat and relax. But at least one institution has rejected their demands, arguing that the university is secular and it does not want to set a precedent for requests granted in the name of religious beliefs. La Trobe University International chief officer John Molony said several students had approached the Bundoora institution about rearranging class times to fit in with daily prayers. Mr. Molony said the university was attempting to 'meet the needs' of an increasing number of Muslim international students, including doubling the size of the prayer room on campus."