Religion Today Summaries - July 13, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 13, 2009

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

  • Obama and Pope Meet, Discuss Bioethics
  • Report: One-Third of Scientists Believe in God
  • Quake Rocks Southwestern China, Kills One
  • Best-Selling 'Love Dare' Hits 3 Million in Print

Obama and Pope Meet, Discuss Bioethics

Catholic News Service reports that President Barack Obama's first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI happened behind closed doors, but clearly involved the president's stance on life issues. The pontiff gave Obama a copy of his latest encyclical on social justice issues, as well as a copy of "Dignitas Personae" ("The Dignity of a Person"). The latter Vatican document presents the church's stance on biomedical issues such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research, both of which are at variance with Obama's positions. "I will have some reading to do on the plane," Obama joked after the pope gave him the documents.  Obama said that the meetings were "very productive" and marked "great progress" and "something concrete," although the precise topic they were discussing at that point was unclear, the Catholic News Service reports.

Report: One-Third of Scientists Believe in God

Religion News Service reports that only a third of scientists say they believe in God, according to a new survey. Eighteen percent believe in a high power and four in 10 scientists believe in neither. The report by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science show scientists vary sharply with findings for the general public. Scientists were evenly split -- at 48 percent each -- between those who claimed a religious affiliation and those who did not. Meanwhile, 83 percent of Americans say they believe in God and 82 percent said they are affiliated with a religious tradition.

Quake Rocks Southwestern China, Kills One

CNN reports that only a year after a major quake struck Sichuan province, China faced another, more moderate quake in the country's Yunnan province. The Thursday evening quake killed at least one person, injured 325 more, and destroyed more than 18,000 homes. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at a 5.7 magnitude, well below the 7.9 quake that hit May 12, 2008. Still, officials said more than 400,000 people had to be evacuated or relocated from the region. China's Xinhua news service reported that emergency supplies are already being distributed by relief authorities.

Best-Selling 'Love Dare' Hits 3 Million in Print

In week 40 on the New York Times bestseller list, "The Love Dare,” introduced in the movie Fireproof, the top-grossing independent film of 2008, has 3 million books in print. Written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, co-writers of Fireproof (and producer and director, respectively), the book began as a plot device. “The Love Dare” entered the market with the Sept. 26, 2008, premiere of Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron. By the end of opening weekend, Fireproof was fourth in the nation and “The Love Dare”—a book that the father in the movie asks his son to read—was near the top of Amazon charts.