Religion Today Summaries, February 20, 2003

Religion Today Summaries, February 20, 2003

Religion Today Summaries: Daily summaries of the top national and international religious news stories impacting Christians

In Today's Edition:

  • Study Shows United Methodist Ads Successfully Encourage Church Visits
  • Adrian Rogers Inducted into Broadcasters Hall of Fame
  • Lebanese Cleric Charged with Inciting Violence
  • Qandah Watch Continues in Jordan

Study Shows United Methodist Ads Successfully Encourage Church Visits

A recent study by The Barna Research Group indicates The United Methodist Church's national television advertising and paid media campaign is successfully encouraging people to visit a local church.  The study has concluded that people who saw the United Methodist Church's Igniting Ministry advertisements in 2002 are twice as likely to visit a local congregation as those who did not.  Forty six percent of the target audience who had seen the ads said they are willing to visit a United Methodist church, a gain of 10 points over 2001.  "Being exposed to the advertising translates to greater likelihood to visit a church," said the Rev. Larry Hollon of United Methodist Communications.  Sixty three percent of those surveyed reporting having seen the advertising on television.  The ads run during three periods each year on national cable networks.  Additional local TV placements, and other media placements, newspaper, outdoor and radio, reflect local church participation in the campaign.

Adrian Rogers Inducted into Broadcasters Hall of Fame

(Baptist Press) Pastor and teacher Adrian Rogers, founder of "Love Worth Finding" and a ministry partner of and, was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Love Worth Finding can now been seen and heard worldwide on more than 14,000 television outlets and 2,000 radio stations across America and in more than 120 countries.  The program's Spanish broadcasts reach nearly all of Latin America -- one of the fastest-growing areas in Love Worth Finding's programming.  "I believe God wants us to proclaim the message of salvation in the power of the Holy Spirit by every means possible, especially through radio and television," Rogers said.

Also honored by the National Religious Broadcasters were:
-- Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, with the Board of Directors' Award.
-- "FamilyLife Today" with host Dennis Rainey, named Radio Program of the Year
-- "Money Matters" with host Larry Burkett, named Talk Show of the Year.

You can listen to these ministry broadcasts and more at

Lebanese Cleric Charged with Inciting Violence

(Charisma News) An Islamic cleric who told a soldier that killing Christians was a Muslim's duty has been charged with inciting violence.  Last week, Chief Military Prosecutor Riyad Talieh demanded up to three years in jail for Sheik Mohammed Joumaa for fomenting sectarian strife by telling the soldier that Muslims who kill Christians will go straight to paradise, the Associated Press (AP) reported.  The soldier, Hussein Khalaf, opened fire in a barracks in a Beirut suburb on Dec. 30, killing a Christian colleague and wounding four others.  Khalaf was killed in a shootout with police a few hours later.  Joumaa, who was arrested a few days after the shooting, reaffirmed his remarks to Khalaf in front of prosecutors. According to the charges against Joumaa, Khalaf, before shooting at his colleagues, cried out: "I'm a member of al-Qaida, from Osama bin Laden's group, you are infidels!"  Khalaf frequented the Wadi Khaled Mosque in the northern town of Akkar, where Joumaa preached.  No trial date has been set.  Lebanon is highly sensitive to Christian-Muslim strife, which devastated the country during the 1975-90 civil war, the AP reported.

Qandah Watch Continues in Jordan

(Missions Insider) "No news is good news" is certainly true of the situation concerning the Jordanian Christian widow who has been ordered to turn over her teenage children to be raised as Muslims or be arrested and jailed.  Though the court's deadline was February 5, no arrest had yet been made. Christian Aid's contact in Jordan suggested that police might have been waiting for the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice to conclude.  The only reprieve for Mrs. Siham Qandah and her two children is if King Abdullah II overturns the court ruling or lifts the ban on their leaving the country.  Mrs. Qandah has a Christian relative in a neighboring country who would receive her and her children.  Short messages to the king can be made at his website by clicking "feedback."  Letters also can be faxed to his royal office at (011) 9626-535-3025.  Mrs. Qandah's Christian husband died in the conflict in Kosovo.  When she went to collect widow's benefits, she was told she could receive nothing because her husband had converted to Islam before he died.  Now, Jordanian courts have ruled her children must be raised as Muslims.