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Religion Today Summaries - June 15, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 15, 2007

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

  • Ruth Graham Near Death
  • SBC Addresses Child Abuse, Hate Crimes
  • Vatican Urges Catholics not to Support Amnesty International
  • Bush Thanks Southern Baptists

Ruth Graham Near Death

At press time Thursday, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association had released the latest on the condition of Graham's wife, Ruth: "Ruth Graham remained stable, but precarious, through the night since becoming semi-comatose on Wednesday. This morning, her condition began to deteriorate, with episodes of dropping blood pressure and irregular heartbeat as she has become less responsive to family and care-givers. Mrs. Graham does not have a fever, but has steadily weakened and is receiving measures to relieve congestion related to a recent bout of pneumonia that began two weeks ago. At her request, Mrs. Graham is being treated at home, with minimal artificial support. Earlier this week she indicated she did not want to be given any more food or fluids, though she is receiving medication to manage her pain. She continues to have fluctuating levels of consciousness, but is resting comfortably, with her husband, Billy Graham, and their five children by her bedside."

SBC Addresses Child Abuse, Hate Crimes

Messengers to the 2007 Southern Baptist Convention approved seven resolutions in the June 13 morning session, including one renouncing child abusers and churches that protect them, Baptist Press reports. The vote on a resolution concerning global warming was delayed because messengers were closely divided on an amendment to the measure which ultimately required a ballot vote. In addition to the child abuse resolution, messengers approved statements urging Southern Baptist pastors to preach on "burning moral issues" and to lead congregations to influence the culture by presenting the Lord Jesus as the "only hope." The raised-ballot vote on the child abuse resolution appeared to be unanimous. In approving a strong statement, the messengers spoke clearly on an issue that has gained greater attention in the last year. The resolution expressed a "deep level of moral outrage" at child abuse, repudiating those "who commit heinous acts against children" and "individuals, churches, or other religious bodies that cover up, ignore, or otherwise contribute to or condone" such abuse.

Vatican Urges Catholics not to Support Amnesty International

The BBC reports that the Vatican has urged all Catholics to stop donating money to Amnesty International, accusing the human rights group of promoting abortion. The Vatican, which regards life as sacred from the moment of conception, said it was an "inevitable consequence" of the group's policy change. Amnesty said it was not promoting abortion as a universal right. But the group said that women had a right to choose, particularly in cases of rape or incest. "No more financing of Amnesty International after the organization's pro-abortion about-turn," said a statement from the Roman Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Bush Thanks Southern Baptists

President Bush praised Southern Baptists for their humanitarian efforts and thanked them for their Christian witness and support of religious liberty during a satellite address to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 13, Baptist Press reports. "I appreciate your many good works that make our nation a stronger and more hopeful place," Bush said. "You've contributed millions of dollars to fight world hunger and logged countless hours in disaster relief and rebuilding. Every day Southern Baptists are giving back to their communities and ministering to those in need," he said. In his nine-minute address, Bush expressed gratitude for Southern Baptists' support of military personnel and their families.