Religion Today Summaries - January 31, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - January 31, 2005

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

  • German Churches Take Co-Responsibility For Anti-Semitism

  • Christian Boot Camps Equip Believers for Biblical Witnessing

  • Christian Family Abducted, Humiliated And Beaten In Revenge For Wife's Integrity

  • Ten Commandments Mini-series In The Works

German Churches Take Co-Responsibility For Anti-Semitism
Wolfgang Polzer, Assist News Service

The German churches have denounced all forms of racism and anti-Semitism. The Roman Catholic Bishops Conference and the Council of the main line Protestant Churches issued declarations in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. On January 27, 1945, the Red Army took the camp in Southern Poland where more than one million people, mainly Jews, were systematically gassed, starved or tortured to death. The churches, representing approximately two thirds of Germany's 82 million inhabitants, also confess responsibility for their contribution to the attempted annihilation of the Jews. An "unholy tradition of estrangement from and hostility towards Jews" had prevented Protestants from resisting anti-Semitism. The history of Auschwitz needed to be remembered in order to preserve the horror about the abyss of human behavior and the shame of grand- and great-grandchildren for the deeds of their forefathers. "Only those who are aware of the human abyss and demonic powers will be prepared to defend humanity and respect the honor of their fellow human beings", declared the Protestant leaders. The Roman Catholic Bishops also deplored "the long tradition of anti-Judaism among Christians and in our church". The Bishops also call attention to the fact that evil is universal.

Christian Boot Camps Equip Believers for Biblical Witnessing
Allie Martin, AgapePress

Two ministries have joined forces to train Christians to evangelize biblically. The Texas-based Great News Network recently teamed up with Way of the Master Ministries to hold intensive witnessing seminars called "Evangelism Boot Camps." For several years now, evangelist Ray Comfort of the ministry Living Waters and actor Kirk Cameron have hosted "The Way of the Master" television show, a weekly half-hour program that teaches Christians how to witness using the Ten Commandments. And now Darrell Runduss, president of the Great News Network (GNN), has banded together with the ministry to equip Christians for biblically sound soul winning. Runduss says in previous years, as a successful businessman, he never knew why he needed Jesus, until someone finally witnessed to him using God's law to explain the basis of the gospel. It was not until someone helped him "look into the mirror of God's ten laws," Runduss says, that he was able to see how far short he fell from God's holy and righteous standard. "It was then," he adds, "that I saw the need for my forgiveness." The goal behind the joint effort between Way of the Master and GNN is to give Christians a biblical model for evangelism and teach them how to use it to lay a strong foundation for an informed Christian faith. The Great News Network conducts several "Evangelism Boot Camps" each year.

Christian Family Abducted, Humiliated And Beaten In Revenge For Wife's Integrity
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

Mrs Hanifan Bibi and three male relatives were abducted by her Muslim employer, abused and mistreated for two days. Finally the family were taken to a police station and accused of theft. Barnabas Fund says Hanifan Bibi, aged around 58, worked as a domestic servant for a Muslim family. She and her husband Kala Masih, son Pervaiz and nephew Kashif were at home in Lahore when her employer's husband and some other men broke down the door and forced the Christian family into a car. Kashif was suspended upside down naked and beaten with a hot metal pipe. Mrs Hanifan was stripped, forced to drink wine, photographed, videoed and severely beaten. Kala and Pervaiz were also beaten. After this ordeal the family were taken to a police station and accused of stealing money and jewelry from Mrs Hanifan's employer."The family believe that their abduction was in retaliation for Mrs Hanifan's refusal to provide the men of her employer's family with Christian women for sex, the Barnabas Fund report says. Mrs Hanifan and her son were hospitalized because of the injuries sustained from their beatings. The case has been taken up the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement.

Ten Commandments Mini-Series In The Works
Erin Curry, Baptist Press

ABC is working on the production of a four-hour miniseries called "The Ten Commandments," which, according to the Hollywood Reporter Jan. 13, will rely on extensive biblical and historical research for a realistic, truthful presentation of Moses and the exodus. Robert Halmi Sr., a veteran TV movie producer who is working on the project, said it will not be a remake of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 movie starring Charlton Heston. "I felt that [the Ten Commandments] is the first written document of law, morality and order for the human race, and we completely ignore it," Halmi said. "I think it's time for the younger generation to revisit this biblical tale as they must realize the importance and consequences of the Ten Commandments." The mini-series will include elaborate special effects and has a budget estimated at more than $20 million, the Hollywood Reporter said.