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Religion Today Summaries - July 18, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 18, 2008

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

  • Pope Tells Anglicans to ‘Find Road Together’
  • India: State Admits Few Complaints for 'Forced Conversions'
  • Study: Who Really Are the 'Unchurched'?
  • Audio Bible Wins ‘Christian Book of the Year’ Award

Pope Tells Anglicans to ‘Find Road Together’

Pope Benedict XVI has taken an unprecedented step to demonstrate his concern for the Anglican Communion, sending three Catholic cardinals to join the Anglican Communion's Lambeth Conference, the UK Christian Today reports. The two communions have been worked for closer ties over the past three decades, but issues such as homosexual ordination and female clergy in the Anglican Communion has jeopardized those hopes. “The words and the message of Christ are what offer the real contribution to Lambeth and only in being faithful to the message... and God’s words can we find a mature way... to find a road together,” said the Pope in his message this week to Dr. Rowan Williams, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.

India: State Admits Few Complaints for 'Forced Conversions'

Compass Direct News reports that the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat state has disclosed that there were only three complaints of alleged “forcible” conversions in the state in the last 10 years, and only two of those concerned Christian conversions. The state Home Department made the embarrassing disclosure after Samson Christian, a leader of the All India Christian Council, sought the information under the Right to Information Act of 2005. “The Home Department said two of the three complaints were concerning Christian conversions,” Christian told Compass. “One was filed in 2007, and the other in 1997.” The BJP government’s reluctant admission coincided with the notification of the rules under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act of 2003 on July 10. The rules were framed on April 1, and their notification was the last formality in the implementation of the law.

Study: Who Really Are the 'Unchurched'?

The Christian Post reports that a new study by Ellison Research is redefining what it means to be "unchurched," which may have big implications for church outreach strategies. "There’s often an assumption that people either do attend worship services, or they don’t," said Ron Sellers, president of Ellison Research. People who consistently attend a worship service at least once a month are considered "churched." The survey showed that 63 percent of these "churched people" attend church at least weekly. Among the "unchurched," 18 percent say they visit occasionally, and 22 percent attend special occasions such as Christmas. Sixty percent of the unchurched do not attend at all. According to the study, a family history of attendance and religious involvement was linked to adult attendance.

Audio Bible Wins ‘Christian Book of the Year’ Award

The Word of Promise New Testament Audio Bible from Thomas Nelson Publishers became the first audio book to win the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association's "Christian Book of the Year" award, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Bible/audio recording features the features the talents of actors such as Jim Caviezel ("The Passion of the Christ"), Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Lou Gossett, Jr., and Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei, in a scripted dramatization of the New King James Version (NKJV) of the New Testament. The award, announced July 13 at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Orlando, is based on independent judging criteria and sales data.