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Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 23, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 23, 2008

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

  • Christians to Unite in Prayer for London
  • McCain Claims One-fourth of Evangelical Vote to Win S.C. GOP Primary
  • Two Christians Abducted, Beaten in India
  • Connecticut Anglican Church Faces A Hard Road After Split


Christians to Unite in Prayer for London

According to a report from ASSIST News Service, churches from across London will converge on Westminster Chapel in central London this Friday to launch the Global Day of Prayer London 2008, and celebrate the completion of London’s prayer marathon. According to a story on the Christian Today web site, thousands of individuals from hundreds of churches representing Christianity across England’s capital city joined together in continuous prayer for London every minute of each day in 2007. Christians from every denomination will attend the GDOP launch and celebration, which will kick off with mixed worship and united prayers seeking God’s favour for the United Kingdom, so that individuals, towns and cities are transformed. Christian Today reported that the launch of the Global Day of Prayer for London will be one of the largest gatherings of Christians in the capital this year when it takes place at Millwall Stadium on May 11 2008. As many as 30,000 people are expected to gather to pray for London, the UK and the world. The massive prayer event will build on the success of the Global Day of Prayer London gathering in West Ham Stadium, which drew 20,000 Christians from around the world to pray on Pentecost Sunday last year. “The narrative of the church is the story of prayer,” Dr. Jonathan Oloyede, Assistant Pastor of Glory House church in London and one of the initiators behind the Global Day of Prayer London event, told Christian Today. “When Christians unite to pray things happen; continents are shaken, movements begin and history is made. I truly believe that this is Britain’s season for change.”

McCain Claims One-fourth of Evangelical Vote to Win S.C. GOP Primary

More than one-fourth of evangelicals voted for John McCain Jan. 19 to help him edge former Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee in South Carolina, while a large Mormon population in Nevada helped propel Mitt Romney to a victory there. Baptist Press reports that the South Carolina contest marked the first time this year evangelicals didn't side with the winner. Huckabee won 43 percent of the vote of those who claim to be born-again or evangelical, while McCain received 27 percent, Fred Thompson 15 percent and Mitt Romney 11 percent, according to exit polls. All total, 60 percent of South Carolina's Republican voters claimed to be evangelical.

Two Christians Abducted, Beaten in India

Six Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) extremists stormed a house church, abducted two Christians and severely beat them last Thursday (January 17) in Madhya Pradesh state’s Rewa district, reports Compass Direct. Brandishing swords, knives, tridents and sticks, the alleged members of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal arrived on three motorbikes at a house church prayer meeting in Pathigaon village, Naigadi area, and began forcing Vijaya Kumar Maurya and Keera Lal to come with them to a police station at around 8 a.m., said the Rev. Augustine Jebakumar of GEMS, an indigenous Christian organization with headquarters in Bihar state. The Hindu extremists beat the two Christians, took them to a jungle, and beat them again. “While two of the kidnappers left half way, the other four took us to a temple on a mountain, known as Sahaki Pahar, which is about six kilometers from Pathigaon village,” Maurya told Compass. “They said they were going to sacrifice us to the god of the temple. But they received a phone call and were warned that a police complaint had been lodged. This is why they did not kill us.”

Connecticut Anglican Church Faces A Hard Road After Split

Bishop Seabury Church of Groton Connecticut, an Episcopal Church for 132 years, has severed ties with its historic roots by joining the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), and putting itself under the spiritual and ecclesiastic direction of a more conservative bishop. According to the Hartford Courant, members of Bishop Seabury say they are not the ones initiating the split — "The Episcopal Church finally kicked us to the curb" said Stan Price, junior warden — and lay the blame on a too-liberal theology that doesn't reflect their beliefs. "The Episcopal Church doesn't believe in the Bible anymore," Price tells the Courant. "We read the Bible. We don't interpret the Bible." This split is another example of American Episcolpal Church dissatisfaction with the larger denomination. However the split is interpreted, Bishop Seabury faces an almost certain legal battle with the diocese over whether it or the diocese owns the property where the congregation worships.