Religion Today Summaries - January 26, 2012

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - January 26, 2012

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Vanderbilt Christian Group Says It's Being Forced Off Campus
  • An Entire Christian Library in the Palm of Your Hand
  • Survey Reveals 'Cultural Divide' Between White House, Churchgoing Americans
  • Pakistan: Asia Bibi's Accuser Reportedly Admits False Charges


Vanderbilt Christian Group Says It's Being Forced Off Campus

The adviser for Vanderbilt University's Christian Legal Society (CLS) says it is being forced off campus as a result of a recently instituted nondiscrimination policy that placed several religious groups on probation, the Christian Post reports. Law professor Carol Swain said CLS had amended its constitution to comply with the university's policy prohibiting clubs from barring students from leadership positions based on their beliefs, but said CLS had to draw the line when it came to certain biblical principles and responsibilities. "When you cannot require your leaders to lead Bible study and worship, then it ceases to be a Christian organization," she said, adding that CLS would be forced to leave Vanderbilt if the university would not reinstate prior religious-freedom protections to campus groups. Vanderbilt created the nondiscrimination policy a year ago when a Christian fraternity reportedly asked an openly gay member to resign from his leadership position. After instituting the policy, the university placed four clubs, including CLS, on provisional status last spring.

An Entire Christian Library in the Palm of Your Hand

Bible League International and the Digital Bible Society are partnering to create thumbnail-sized chips containing an entire seminary library and distribute them to Christians in countries where possessing unapproved religious materials can result in punishment or death, such as Saudi Arabia and China, the Religion News Service reports. "It's like a miniature Christian bookstore," said Robert Frank, global CEO of Bible League International. Each chip includes a library's worth of multiple versions of the Bible, Bible commentaries, Bible studies, Christian books, movies and worship music, and leaves no traces on the computer of its use, unlike the trails left by accessing websites. They are available in Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin and other languages in areas where Christians are persecuted. "Pastors in these countries want to be trained, but they have no seminaries," said Melany Ethridge of the Bible League.

Survey Reveals 'Cultural Divide' Between White House, Churchgoing Americans

The annual Spiritual State of the Nation survey by Truth in Action Ministries of more than 6,800 evangelical Americans found deep disagreement with the Obama administration's policies and an overwhelming mistrust of the president, according to TIAM's John Aman. Just 2 percent of respondents said they trusted President Obama, and only 9 percent trusted the government to keep the nation safe. Ninety-eight percent opposed giving taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, 99 percent opposed same-sex marriage, 85 percent opposed allowing open homosexuals to serve in the U.S. military, and 95 percent favored a federal amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Jerry Newcombe, co-host of Truth That Transforms with Dr. D. James Kennedy, said: "This survey reveals a gaping cultural divide between our current White House and ordinary church-going Americans who embrace biblical morality and want traditional values reflected in our nation's laws. It's no wonder that so many in the Christian community deeply mistrust the president."

Pakistan: Asia Bibi's Accuser Reportedly Admits False Charges

The case of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian mother of five who was sentenced to death for alleged blasphemy, appears to have taken an extraordinary turn. According to a story monitored by the ASSIST News ServiceBibi's accuser, Qari Salam, is reported to have "ostensibly" regretted filing false charges against her, which resulted in a jail sentence and possible hanging. ASSIST writes that the story, originally posted on, states: "The source of his guilt -- realization that the case was not based on facts but on hyped religious emotions and personal bias of some village women, including his wife. ... Qari, according to some of his close friends, was now thinking of not pursuing the case anymore and expressed his desire to some of his friends, only to find himself in a difficult situation when activists of an Islamic religious organization 'convinced' him not to change his mind ... upon hearing that [he] might not go to Lahore High Court when the review petition against Asia's conviction is taken up."

Publication date: January 26, 2012