Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 31, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 31, 2008

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

  • Violence Spreading in Kenya's Post-Election Unrest
  • McCain Wins Florida's Evangelical Vote
  • Ministry Opens its Doors to 300 Children
  • United Church of Christ Seeks to End Feud with Scientists

Violence Spreading in Kenya's Post-Election Unrest

According to ASSIST News Service, stories of unrest and instability are coming out of riot-torn cities in Kenya, following the disputed December 27 re-election of incumbent President Mwai Kibaki. One ministry based in the United Kingdom, which wrote to ANS about what is going on in Nairobi and surrounding areas of the country, says it has a worker in Nakuru who is located opposite the stadium where all the displaced people who have been driven from their homes are now situated. The same ministry said that friends in Mitimingi were attacked and had to have helicopters break up the fight. That ministry has another contact in Molo who is just trying to escape the violence. Another friend of that organization located in Elburgon has sent several text messages asking for help in getting him out of the country. A spokesman for that ministry says: "What can I say it -- is a mess, we have a school that has not opened because we cannot get staff there, we have a feeding program for street children that is not happening because people cannot move around. My friend says that you almost cannot go out; he has said that there are street blockades, manned not by police or the army, but by gangs of youths, and each one charges you according to your tribe, so if you are the wrong tribe it costs your more."

McCain Wins Florida's Evangelical Vote

U.S. Sen. John McCain won the Florida primary Jan. 29 as well as the evangelical vote, although Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney finished close behind and tied for second among that key voting block, Baptist Press reports. McCain won 30 percent of those who profess to be born-again or evangelical, while Huckabee and Romney each got 29 percent, according to exit polls. With the exception of South Carolina, evangelicals have sided with the winner of every GOP contest thus far that had exit polling. Evangelicals comprised 39 percent of GOP voters in Florida. McCain won Florida, 36 percent to Romney's 31 percent, Rudy Giuliani's 15 percent and Huckabee's 14 percent. The senator from Arizona has been at odds with conservatives on several issues over the years, and during his victory speech he touched on a few themes important to those voters.

Ministry Opens its Doors to 300 Children reports that Hopegivers International, which operates orphanages, schools and other outreaches in India, has announced it would adopt 300 children of prostitutes. Robbie Brumberg of Hopegivers says the women approached the ministry about taking in their children, and he says the children will be able to live in ministry orphanages, known as "Hope Homes." "We got to visit one of these places where the women work, and we got to meet their children and see the conditions," Brumberg says. "And I tell you, I've never seen anything like that in my whole life. [It's] just a terrible environment for children to grow up in. These ladies came to us because they're tired of seeing the way that their kids are treated, tired of seeing them being mocked by their friends and not have access to healthcare [or] education." Hopegivers' long-term goal is to open a community center and a job training facility in the area.

United Church of Christ Seeks to End Feud with Scientists

The United Church of Christ, considered the most liberal mainline Protestant denomination, announced Tuesday the launch of its new web-based advertising campaign to reach out to scientists to end the age-old rift between the religious and scientific community, The Christian Post reports. Efforts toward reconciliation include the purchase of ads on more than 30 popular science-oriented blogs for the month of February. The ads aim to promote both a pro-science, pro-faith message. “Our hope is to begin to move the church to the place where its public image, public witness and public identity is one of a community of faith that is eager to engage science and to welcome and honor scientists,” said the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC’s general minister and president, in a statement.