Religion Today Summaries - February 20, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff | Monday, February 20, 2006

Religion Today Summaries - February 20, 2006

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


In today's edition:

Tour Group Brings Religious Interpretation into Science Museums


An AP story describes how inside the flagship lab of the National Center of Atmospheric Research, a dozen home-schooled children and their parents follow Rusty Carter, a guide with Biblically Correct Tours. Carter reads aloud from a museum display describing the disappearance of dinosaurs from the earth about 65 million years ago. "Did man and dinosaurs live together?" Carter asks. A timid yes comes from the students. "How do we know that to be true?" Carter says. There's a long pause. "What day did God create dinosaurs on?" he continues. "Six," says a chorus of voices. "What day did God create man on?" "Six." "Did man and dinosaurs live together?" "Yes," the students say. Mission accomplished for Carter, who has been leading such tours since 1988. He and the other guides counter secular interpretations of history, nature and the origin of life with their own literal reading of the Bible, and they do so right at the point where they feel they feel science indoctrinates young people - museums. "Museums are the secular temples of our day," founder Bill Jack says. Denver museum chief curator Kirk Johnson believes Biblically Correct Tours’ “message is quite backward and intellectually dishonest," though he’s pleased that bringing the children to his museum exposes those taught only about creationism to other ideas. Biblically Correct Tours have gained fresh attention in part because of recent high-profile clashes involving literal creationism and intelligent design.


NAE Intervenes in


Academy Case Challenging Religious Freedom


The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) will intervene in a lawsuit filed by a former Air Force Academy cadet, which could have serious ramifications for the religious expression rights of U.S. military personnel. The lawsuit stems from a complaint that evangelical Christians at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs were overzealous in sharing the gospel with others on the campus. Kyle Fisk, executive administrator for the Colorado Springs-based NAE, says his organization has petitioned to intervene in the case. The Christian organization has become involved in this matter because the group wants to protect the rights of current and future Christian leaders in America's armed services. "We are in this case to defend the rights of military officers to authentically worship according to their conscience, without fear of reprisal that their personal worship could be somehow deemed coercive," Fisk notes. In this important legal challenge, he points out, the opposition is even asking the court to squelch the right of evangelical chaplains to hold private services. "This is the first time in American jurisprudence that a court has ever been asked to regulate and restrict voluntary worship by a member of the clergy," the NAE spokesman says. Therefore, he says, "this is a big issue," the resolution of which may turn out to have a broad impact on religious freedom in the military.


20 Young People Lead Hundred to Christ in Mozambique


As HIV/AIDS, the economy, and the lack of teachers continues to headline the news in Mozambique, young Mozambicans are teaching a message that will answer all of these issues -- the message of Christ. According to Teen Missions International’s Abby Boyd, 250 young people were trained this year in their boot camps. One team in particular saw God at work: "They were an evangelistic team that showed the Jesus Film and then they would preach the Gospel afterward. And, it was a team of about 20 kids. They were mainly 13-16 year-olds and these kids saw over 1,078 salvations just by this one team alone." The conversions took place in an area antagonistic to the Gospel. According to Boyd, there's only one explanation for this kind of response. "We don't normally see that many for one specific team. The only explanation is that God had prepared the hearts of these people and they were just ripe and ready to be harvested at this point and these team members were there to witness it." Since there is a limited Christian witness in the area, planting a church will be a challenge. In the meantime, Teen Missions is recruiting more young people to join them for trips this summer.


Christian Nursing Student Apparently Kidnapped in Nigeria


A nursing school was closed down in Nigeria following the suspected kidnapping of a Christian student by Islamic militants on Friday, February 10. The extremists had accused Ladi Mohammed, a female student of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in the capital city of northern Nigeria’s Sokoto state, of blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad. “For this reason, the militants, who threatened to cut off her head, hunted and kidnapped her after she had fled from the school,” said John Usman, a Christian student at the institution. School authorities closed the school for security reasons. They had had already expelled Mohammed from the institution last week for the alleged remarks.