Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Warren's Inauguration Prayer Could Draw More Ire
- Tanzania: 3 Million Will Get Bible in Native Language for First Time
- Women Bishops Proposal Draws Mixed Response
- Canterbury: Disestablished Church Not `The End of the World'
Warren's Inauguration Prayer Could Draw More Ire
Pastor Rick Warren may be in for more protests against his prayer at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration -- from those in his own camp. The Christian Post reports that Warren dodged questions Tuesday about whether he would pray "in Jesus' name." He said in a statement, ""I'm a Christian pastor so I will pray the only kind of prayer I know how to pray ... Prayers are not to be sermons, speeches, position statements nor political posturing. They are humble, personal appeals to God." Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist pastor who prayed at George W. Bush's inauguration, said, "If Rick Warren does not pray in Jesus' name, some folks are going to be very disappointed ... Since he's evangelical, his own tribe, if you will, will have some angst if he does not do that."
Tanzania: 3 Million Will Get Bible in Native Language for First Time
The Christian Post reports that Wycliffe Associates plans to translate the Bible for 3 million people in the Tanzanian highlands before next autumn. The project aims to reach those in the Mbeya region, whose people speak and read Swahili only functionally, thus inhibiting their ability to access Scriptures. The new project will combine ten language translation projects. “This has a huge and positive impact on a culture, both spiritually and intellectually,” said Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “When a larger and nationalized language like Swahili is bearing down on a people group with a different language and identity, that group tends to have its importance in society diminished; and subsequently, their spiritual journey stunted,” he explained.
Women Bishops Proposal Draws Mixed Response
The Church of England on Monday announced draft legislation that would allow parishes opposed to the ministry of women access to a "complementary" male bishop. The legislation is meant to pave the way for women bishops while accommodating more conservative parishes. Christina Rees, chairwoman for campaign group WATCH (Women and the Church), said the group was encouraged to see doors opening, but "dismayed" that women bishops would not have equal status in the Church episcopate. Rod Thomas, spokesman for the evangelical Anglican group Reform, voiced concern for a future beset by legal wrangles if some bishops refused to cede their authority over dissenting parishes to another. The Church of England’s General Synod will consider the legislation in February.
Canterbury: Disestablished Church Not `The End of the World'
Religion News Service reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says he believes that severing the centuries-old ties between the Church of England and the British government would "by no means (be) the end of the world." The comment, in an interview with the British magazine New Statesman, was one of the Anglican leader's most outspoken statements to date on the touchy issue of church and state in Great Britain. Still, Williams made it clear that he expects no disestablishment of the Church of England anytime soon. The Church of England was formed in the 16th-century break from Roman Catholicism, with the English monarch -- currently Queen Elizabeth II -- as its head. The arrangement gives the Anglican church a special link with the state that is denied other religions, but subjects church laws to approval by British Parliament.