Religion Today Summaries - June 19, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 19, 2009

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

  • North American Anglicans Hold First Assembly in Texas
  • Most Iranian Christians Voted for Mousavi, Open Doors Says
  • Survey Shows New Gap between Churches' Budget vs. Actuals
  • Washingtonians Join Nothing But Nets Campaign

North American Anglicans Hold First Assembly in Texas

Anglicans from the United States and Canada will complete the historic task of organizing the new Anglican Church in North America next week. Church leaders will ratify a constitution and canons and install their archbishop at the Anglican Church in North America’s first Provincial Assembly June 22-25 at St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford, Texas. Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh will be installed as the church’s first archbishop. “This meeting is historic because it heals decades of division and represents the answer to many years of prayer," he said in a press release. "It will be a momentous time for orthodox Anglicans everywhere.” Dr. Rick Warren, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America and Rev. Todd Hunter of the Anglican Mission in the Americas will be present as guest speakers at the event.

Most Iranian Christians Voted for Mousavi, Open Doors Says

Mission News Network reports that many Christians in Iran are hoping the post-election tumult will end with new elections that put Mir Hussein Mousavi in power. "We cannot generalize our observations to all Christians," said John Fox with Open Doors, "but we asked 29 Christians from Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan and all voted for Mousavi. One of them says, ‘For us, bad is better than worse. Mousavi also promised more religious freedom, so I hope he does not lie.'" Current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, widely suspected of fixing last Friday's election in his favor, has stepped up the presence of "morality police" and tightened the ability to dissent from government policy or Islamic custom during his time in office.

Survey Shows New Gap between Churches' Budget vs. Actuals

Christian News Wire reports that a recent survey of almost 1,100 church leaders revealed an increasing gap between income and projected expenses for churches. According to the survey results from Your Church magazine, tithes and offerings, which comprise an average of 87 percent of the average church's budget, have declined for 40 percent of the churches surveyed within the past six months. At the same time, 32 percent say budgets have increased between 2 to 10 percent over last year's expenses. "Historically, evangelical Protestant churches tend to be tithe-driven," says Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research. "Effects of unemployment tend to lag a bit for churches that emphasize tithing, but as the unemployment rate continues to increase, more congregations will get hit financially. Churches need to be ready for this impact."

Washingtonians Join Nothing But Nets Campaign

The Christian Post reports that a grassroots campaign stop in Washington, D.C., has turned some people's attention to Nothing But Nets. The campaign partners with organizations worldwide to raise money for mosquito nets that go to protect the over one million refugees in Africa. Partners in the capital have pledged enough funds for 10,000 beds so far. The group notes that malaria-carrying mosquitoes are the number one cause of death for people displaced by conflict. "As we near World Refugee Day on June 20, I am proud to see my fellow Washingtonians join the effort to prevent malaria among one of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Washington councilman Jack Evans. The campaign says it is currently about 346,000 nets away from its goal of one million.