Religion Today Summaries - July 5, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 5, 2006

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

  • WCC Head Calls for 'Bold Action' to Halt Israel-Palestine Violence
  • RFI Aims to Distribute Bibles to All in Active-Duty Combat
  • Wash for Life to Support Pregnancy Care on Sept. 16
  • Need for Church Outreach to Those Isolated by Culture of Loneliness

WCC Head Calls for 'Bold Action' to Halt Israel-Palestine Violence

The World Council of Churches’ (WCC) general secretary, the Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, has expressed his “deep distress” over the current escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel, The Christian Post reports. The WCC has call upon the international community “to take bold and novel actions to uphold international law and break the vicious cycle of violence" in the region. Both parties, he said, should engage in "equitable negotiations.” Kobia recognizes Israel’s right “to ensure security for its citizens”, but he nevertheless called on the Israeli government “to refrain from using excessive military force." Kobia believes Palestinian leadership should “also continue to seek a platform for equitable negotiations and hold to the one-party ceasefire and a diplomatic solution.”

RFI Aims to Distribute Bibles to All in Active-Duty Combat

The ministry Revival Fires International has launched an effort to distribute the Bible to every Marine, sailor, soldier, airman and Coast Guardsman serving America in combat areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Revival Fires' spokesman Tim Todd, U.S. military personnel who are deployed and serving their country, in harm's way daily, are open to the gospel and desperately need God's Word. However, he notes, the U.S. government no longer provides God's Word for America's troops. "Because of the foolish 'separation of church and state' battle going on in this country, our military stopped this years ago," Todd observes. "Now our chaplains have to depend on Christian organizations... to provide these Bibles for our servicemen and women." Over 140,000 soldiers who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have received a Bible provided by Revival Fires, AgapePress reports.

Wash for Life to Support Pregnancy Care on Sept. 16

Youth groups often hold car washes to support a cause. It is a way for them to raise money and to make a public statement about what is important to them. Now, a new nationwide pro-life youth event called Wash for Life is organizing thousands of groups across the nation to hold car washes to benefit their local pregnancy care centers - all on the same day. On September 16th, 2006, the money raised by Wash for Life participants will go to their local pregnancy care centers. Wash for Life spokesperson Jonathan Tonkowich said, "Washing cars is something easy that youth can do in their hometown - it is simple and it is local. The Wash for Life will allow teens to do something in their community to help their community directly by supporting their local pregnancy care center. It will also allow communities to see that the youth of America are Pro-life and willing to stand up to help women and children in need. Finally, it will also allow youth to know more about pregnancy care centers and what they do and how they can help people." Wash for Life has set a goal of at least 2,000 participating groups, with a monetary aim of $1,000,000 raised for local pregnancy care centers. More information is available at

Need for Church Outreach to Those Isolated by Culture of Loneliness

An official with Focus on the Family says the Church needs to reach out to isolated Americans, many of whom are caught up in contemporary culture's epidemic of loneliness. AgapePress reports that a study funded by the National Science Foundation says Americans have a third fewer close friends than they did 20 years ago, and one out of every four Americans say they have no one in whom to confide. Focus on the Family VP Dr. Bill Maier blames the change on TV, careers, and the Internet. However, the current situation provides "an excellent wakeup call for the church," Maier says. "First of all," he asks, "are we really living out the 'one another' commandments that we find in scripture? And when I say the 'one another' commandments, I'm referring to statements like pray for one another, confess your faults to one another, encourage one another, bear one another's burdens. Those are not suggestions, those are commandments that we find in God's Word."