Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 9, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Jan. 9, 2007

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

  • House Churches More Satisfying to Attenders Than Conventional Churches
  • Russian Priest Brutally Murdered on the Orthodox Christmas Eve
  • Mohler Out of Intensive Care, Grateful for Prayer Support
  • Frank Pastore Show Wins NRB ‘Talk Show of the Year’ Award

House Churches More Satisfying to Attenders Than Conventional Churches

A new study from The Barna Group indicates: With the growth of house churches across the country, a new study by The Barna Group sheds light on how these independent, non-denominational churches operate. Perhaps the most compelling insight from the national study was an evaluation of the levels of satisfaction of those who attend a house church compared with the views of adults who attend a conventional local church. Four aspects of people's church experience were gauged. Overall, people attending a house church were significantly more likely to be "completely satisfied" with their experience in each of the four dimensions examined. Two-thirds of house church attenders (68%) were "completely satisfied" with the leadership of their church, compared to only half of those attending a conventional church (49%).

Russian Priest Brutally Murdered on the Orthodox Christmas Eve

According to ASSIST News Service, thieves killed a priest on the eve of Russian Orthodox Christmas and stole religious artworks from his church in an attack a senior clergymen said on Sunday showed Russian society was “morally sick.” The Russian Orthodox priest, 40-year-old Rev. Father Oleg Stupichkin, was murdered at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in the Neivo-Shaitanksy in the Alapayevsky district of the Sverdlovsk Region on Saturday night (January 6). Russian Orthodox believers celebrate Christmas Day on January 7. The murder in the Ural Mountains was the second violent death of an Orthodox clergyman in two months. The previous death triggered a bout of national soul-searching about what commentators called the erosion of moral values in Russia. The priest’s body was discovered after a small fire was extinguished at the church. According to Pastor Paul Ciniraj of Salem Voice Ministries, a wound caused by a “heavy article” was found on the priest’s head.

Mohler Out of Intensive Care, Grateful for Prayer Support

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. was moved out of intensive care and into a private room at Louisville's Baptist Hospital East Monday and continues to improve following complications from abdominal surgery, Baptist Press reports. Russell D. Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Seminary, said Mohler is in good spirits following a difficult weekend. “I am extremely encouraged after having just left his room,” Moore said Monday afternoon. “He is eating, he is in good spirits and it looks as though the situation is completely under control at this point. He looks strong, is in remarkably good spirits and is even cracking jokes. “Dr. Mohler is very appreciative of the prayers of God’s people and the outpouring of support from the churches and from the community.” Mohler was placed in intensive care Friday after developing blood clots in both lungs. After nearly a week of intense abdominal pain, Southern Seminary’s ninth president was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 27 and underwent surgery the following day. While physicians reported that the procedure went well and that Mohler’s abdominal issues were remedied, the development of blood clots led doctors to move Mohler to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Moore asked that Southern Baptists continue to pray for Mohler and his family during the recovery. It is not yet known when Mohler will be released from the hospital. Moore said the improvement in Mohler’s condition along with his high spirits were readily evident. “He has a stack of books and articles in his bed along with a massive number of highlighters,” Moore said, “so the Albert Mohler I know is back.”

Frank Pastore Show Wins NRB ‘Talk Show of the Year’ Award

NRB has named KKLA 99.5 FM local favorite, the Frank Pastore Show, as ‘Radio Talk Show of the Year’. Since January 2004, Pastore, a former professional baseball pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds with graduate degrees in both theology and political science has been engaging Los Angeles listeners “at the intersection of faith and reason” with candid talk that grapples with news and burning issues of the day. Pastore, the big-league skeptic who found faith at the cross, also found an eager audience for his straight-talking style with Los Angeles drive-time listeners who tune into the program from 4-7 p.m. on weekdays. According to Arbitron, ratings for The Pastore Show are up almost 60% in the last year among Los Angeles and Orange County area listeners. The Salem-owned Christian teaching and talk station KKLA features Frank Pastore, along with some of the nation’s most respected Bible teachers and ministry experts who offer support for life’s toughest challenges and issues confronting popular culture. “Frank Pastore is the quintessential Salem talk show host, but he’s also the best, as evidenced by this industry recognition,” said Joe Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Salem Communications.