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Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 18, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 18, 2008

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

  • Kenya's Persistent Violence Disturbs Christian Groups
  • Love In Action Ministers to Those Wanting out of Homosexual Lifestyle
  • Kazakhstan's President Says Country Must Curb Activities of Missionaries
  • Audio Bible Ministry Gives Out 10,000 Bibles

Kenya's Persistent Violence Disturbs Christian Groups

The Christian Post reports that violence in Kenya continued Thursday between angry young demonstrators and police, making it difficult for Christian aid groups to provide help to affected victims. Since Dec. 27, when the presidential election was disputed, more than 600 people have died and 250,000 have been displaced. International aid groups working with local churches have responded to the instability by distributing food and relief supplies to sustain vulnerable children and adults. Christian aid agency World Vision has provided humanitarian supplies to more than 150,000 people in Kenya. World Vision noted that the humanitarian situation is likely to get worse.

Love In Action Ministers to Those Wanting out of Homosexual Lifestyle

According to OneNewsNow.com, Pastor John Smid, founder and president of Love in Action Ministries, says conflicting messages abound in the media about freedom from destructive lifestyles. Smid, a former homosexual, believes the church must do a better job of ministering to gays. He shares that he was able to achieve victory over same-sex attractions two years after he became a Christian in the early 1980s. But, he says, "There are many people within that community who are very intolerant of people who choose to walk away from it," says Smid. To better minister to that community, says Smid, the church must be "willing to be real and honest" about the struggles people have about a variety of unhealthy and inappropriate sexual behaviors.

Kazakhstan's President Says Country Must Curb Activities of Missionaries

According to Interfax, "Kazakhstan should put an end to the uncontrollable activities of its numerous religious missionaries, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a Thursday meeting of his Nur Otan party's political council in Astana. 'We are a secular state and have no official religion. However, this does not mean that Kazakhstan should become a dumping site for religious movements of all kinds,' he said. 'Thousands of missionary organizations are functioning in Kazakhstan. We are unaware of their goals. We must curtail their unlimited freedom, as this country does not need it,' Nazarbayev said. Nur Otan 'should actively promote the idea of ethnic peace and accord, as well as ethnic and religious tolerance,' he said. The party should permanently oppose such destructive phenomena as religious radicalism and political extremism, the president said. 'Nur Otan should work on improving laws aiming at containing negative phenomena and educate people,' he said."

Audio Bible Ministry Gives Out 10,000 Bibles

ASSIST News Service reports that Audio Bibles are being given out and downloaded by the thousands in Albuquerque and its surrounding communities. Area churches have distributed more than 8,500 Audio Bibles in MP3 format to their congregations, challenging them to listen through the whole New Testament in 40 days. More than 1,700 people have also downloaded their free New Testament from the website, www.FaithComesByHearing.com. “You've Got The Time Albuquerque is off to a great start,” said Jerry Jackson, Faith Comes By Hearing's founder and president, in a news release. “The launch has been very successful with many churches beginning their Audio New Testament listening right after Christmas,” added Jackson. Launched in mid-December by Faith Comes By Hearing, “You've Got The Time Albuquerque” is an audio Bible listening campaign designed to reach the unchurched, strengthen local congregations and provide people with audio Bibles. Throughout 2008, church leaders from nearly every denomination here will distribute free audio New Testaments and KidzBibles to every man, woman and child in their congregation. Then they will challenge their congregations to listen to the entire New Testament by spending 28 minutes a day for 40 days.