Religion Today Summaries - July 25, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 25, 2008

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

  • Wristbands Remember Persecuted Chinese Christians
  • Iraqi Refugees Struggling After Leaving Homeland
  • Gay Bishop Dismisses Calls to Resign
  • Enns Leaves Westminster Theological Seminary

Wristbands Remember Persecuted Chinese Christians

Voice of the Martyrs and China Aid Association are encouraging Christians to wear "Pray for China" wristbands as the opening ceremonies approach, according to OneNewsNow. Reports of increased house church raids and imprisonment of Christians have trickled through government lines in a pre-Olympics crackdown. "The Chinese government wants this Olympic season to be a great coming-out party for the nation of China. So they are doing everything they can to keep Christians out of Beijing, especially those who would be inclined to protest or make any kind of public spectacle," VOM Spokesman Todd Nettleton said. "The Chinese government wants to ensure this Olympics goes on right on schedule, without a hitch." Wristbands can be ordered at the VOM and China Aid Association Web sites.

Iraqi Refugees Struggling After Leaving Homeland

Mission News Network reports that of the thousands of Iraqi Christians who have left their country, many are traumatized and struggling to cope without real support. Open Doors USA's Al Janssen said, "More than half of all the Christians have been displaced by the conflict. Certain Muslim extremist groups have taken opportunities to persecute Christians. Sometimes it's to grab their property or to kidnap them. So people have had to flee for their lives." Janssen and his team are trying to provide trauma counseling for these refugees, who are not used to expressing emotion or private thought in their honor culture. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has officially banned Iraqi athletes from competing in Beijing due to the Iraqi government's interference with its National Olympic Committee.

Gay Bishop Dismisses Calls to Resign

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson has refused to step down in spite of the Anglican Archbishop of Sudan's calls for his resignation, the Christian Post reports. In a lengthy post on his blog, Robinson wrote that his resignation would not restore unity to the Anglican Communion. "Those calling for my resignation seem to be under the impression that if Gene Robinson went away, that all would go back to being 'like it was,' whatever that was! Does ANYONE think that if I resigned, this issue would go away?!" New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson said Wednesday in his blog. The New Hampshire bishop has lived openly with another man for 20 years and had a civil ceremony in June. The Anglican Communion, meanwhile, rejects homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture. He is in Canterbury as a "friendly reminder" during the Anglican Communion's once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, to which he was not invited.

Enns Leaves Westminster Theological Seminary

Westminster Theological Seminary professor Peter Enns and WTS issued a joint statement Wednesday announcing the end of his time with the seminary, eliminating the need for a dismissal hearing scheduled for Aug. 25, according to Christianity Today. Enns was suspended because of theological issues in his book, "Inspiration and Incarnation," and whether it fell within the bounds of the Westminster Confession of Faith. All WTS faculty must affirm that confession. According to the statement, Enns and the WTS administration both agreed to his leaving. It continued, "The administration wishes to acknowledge the valued role Prof. Enns has played in the life of the institution, and that his teaching and writings fall within the purview of Evangelical thought. The Seminary wishes Prof. Enns well in his future endeavors to serve the Lord."