Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 4, 2011

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Feb. 4, 2011

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

In today's edition:

  • Christians Launch Anti-Slavery Efforts for Super Bowl XLV
  • Obama Gets Personal at National Prayer Breakfast
  • Archaeologists Uncover 1,500-Year-Old Church
  • Court Rules Judge's Ten Commandments Poster Unconstitutional

Christians Launch Anti-Slavery Efforts for Super Bowl XLV

As Dallas gears up for Super Bowl XLV, Christian anti-trafficking ministries are working alongside government officials to curb sex trafficking tied to the event. Christianity Today reports that pimps and traffickers are expecting to set up makeshift brothels in hotels and blocks of houses, and many of the women sold will be underage minors. Traffick911, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit, has launched the "I'm Not Buying It" ad campaign featuring singer Natalie Grant and former New England Patriot Devin Wyman. Love 146, a group from Connecticut, is working with Dallas-based Irving Bible Church to spread the "It's Not My Fault" awareness campaign and provide other local churches with educational resources and personal prayer guides. Traffick911 founder Deena Graves said such huge sporting events attract traffickers because of crowd is mostly men traveling without families who expect to spend money. "They're coming just for the party atmosphere," she said. "It's kind of that mindset of 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.' "

Obama Gets Personal at National Prayer Breakfast

President Barack Obama continued the presidential tradition of speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, speaking much more personally than usual about his faith. He told the prayer breakfast in Washington that "it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed." The speech comes shortly after survey showed that almost one in five Americans still believe the president is Muslim. "When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people," Obama said later, according to CNN. "And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord and I ask him to forgive me my sins and to look after my family and to make me an instrument of the Lord."

Archaeologists Uncover 1,500-Year-Old Church

Associated Press reports that archaeologists in Israel say they have uncovered a Byzantine church that dates back to the fifth century A.D. The church includes a well-preserved mosaic floor with images of lions, foxes, fish and peacocks. The leader of the dig, Amir Ganor, stated that the floor is "one of the most beautiful mosaics to be uncovered in Israel in recent years." Researchers say that the church is built over another building about 500 years older. The burial cave at the site may also be the resting place of the Old Testament prophet Zechariah. The church will be open for another week and then covered up until it receives funding to open it up as a tourist site, according to Ganor.

Court Rules Judge's Ten Commandments Poster Unconstitutional

Religion News Service reports that an Ohio county court judge who argued that it was his First Amendment right to hang a poster about the Ten Commandments in his courtroom was overruled Wednesday by a federal appeals court. Judge James DeWeese of Richland County, Ohio, had argued that "judges are not First Amendment orphans" as he sought over the last decade to post the biblical laws. In the latest case, he created a poster that compared the commandments' "moral absolutes" and humanism's "moral relatives." The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that DeWeese's poster is unconstitutional because it is "an explicit endorsement of religion." Francis Manion, an attorney for the American Center for Law and Justice who represented DeWeese, said it is likely the Ohio judge will appeal.