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Religion Today Summaries - July 2, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 2, 2007

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

  • Confidence in Church Dropping, Gallup Poll Indicates
  • Evangelicals Welcome Britain's New Leader
  • Pope Declares a Pauline Year through Next June 29
  • Creation Museum Evolving Into Quite an Attraction

Confidence in Church Dropping, Gallup Poll Indicates

The Church Report cites a recent Gallup Poll which indicates that 46 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in church/organized religion. Gallup has been polling Americans on this question since 1973, and the 46 percent from this iteration of the poll is one percentage point from being the lowest in the poll's history. Protestants (57 percent) are more likely to express confidence in the church when compared to Catholics (39 percent). However, the low confidence ratings of the Church can't compare with that of Congress. Only 14 percent of Americans have a high level of confidence in Congress.

Evangelicals Welcome Britain's New Leader

The Christian Post reports that the Evangelical Alliance, which represents more than a million evangelicals in the United Kingdom, welcomed Gordon Brown to the Prime Ministry with a challenge to “stand up for justice, family and freedom of conscience during his premiership.” “The Alliance would like to congratulate Gordon Brown on his new office, and to welcome his openness about his Presbyterian background and how his church minister father’s ‘moral compass’ has affected his outlook on life,” an official statement released by the EA read. Dr. R. David Muir, the Evangelical Alliance’s public policy director, added: “Gordon Brown has said the values he grew up with will guide him in his leadership – including honesty, family and respect for others. I hope these values will be evident through the policies he adopts,” he stated.

Pope Declares a Pauline Year through Next June 29

Pope Benedict XVI announced a special jubilee year dedicated to St. Paul, saying the church needs modern Christians who will imitate the apostle's missionary energy and spirit of sacrifice, Catholic News Service reports. The pope said the Pauline year will run from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009, to mark the approximately 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth. "Dear brothers and sisters, as in the (church's) beginning, today, too, Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St. Paul," the pope said. The Pauline year will feature numerous special liturgies and events in Rome, but should also be celebrated in local churches and in the sanctuaries, religious orders and other institutions that have a special link to Paul, the pope said.

Creation Museum Evolving Into Quite an Attraction

ASSIST News Service reports that the newly opened Creation Museum near Cincinnati is enjoying tremendous success with more than 40,000 guests having toured the exhibits since the facility formally opened on Memorial Day weekend, officials announced. Another 9,000 visitors came through during pre-grand opening events, making the grand total just over 49,000 through late June. Because museum officials are hoping for at least 250,000 guests the first year, the total is better than expected now that one-fifth of the yearly goal has been achieved. Zig Ziglar, a longtime supporter of Answers in Genesis, was among the first to tour the new museum. He declared: “I’ve been a Christian for many years, but this museum has strengthened my faith.” The museum is booked solid for tour groups on Saturdays through the entire summer, and group capacity has been met on many other days. This trend should be maintained through the fall as Christian schools and home school groups schedule visits.