Religion Today Summaries, June 28, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, June 28, 2004

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

  • Individual Bishops Deny Liberal Politicians, Despite Higher Decision
  • China Denies Detention of Catholic Bishops
  • Coalition Demands Both Parties Acknowledge God
  • Texas Ministry Promotes Christian Adoption

Individual Bishops Deny Liberal Politicians, Despite Higher Decision
Agape Press

A Catholic pro-life group is praising the initiative some church bishops are taking when it comes to banning liberal politicians from communion services.  The group's praise comes after it condemned the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for refusing to make the ban mandatory.  Pro-life Catholic activist Judie Brown of American Life League was not happy with the decision handed down by the Conference, but says she has been very proud of many bishops who have put the ban in place themselves.  "One of the things [the Conference's] statement didn't do was say anything derogatory about the heroic bishops who have taken such solid, forthright, definitive positions in defense of the Eucharist," she states.  Brown says the governing bishops have a real problem with the decision they made because it shows how divided they are over doctrine and principles.

China Denies Detention of Catholic Bishops
Stefan Bos, ASSIST News Service

China denied Friday, June 25, Vatican claims that it detained three bishops from the country's rapidly growing underground Roman Catholic Church, which refuses to recognize the Communist government as its authority. In statements China's Religious Affairs Office (RAO) and the Foreign Ministry suggested that all three church leaders had been held on a "voluntary basis" and officials said at least one of them had undergone "religious education." RAO official Liu Yongqing told the well informed Asia News website that 84-year old "Mr. Zhao Zhengdong was not arrested" and explained that "our offices organizes courses for local clergy that teach our religious policy." This week the Vatican Press Office had expressed its "profound pain" for the arrest of Monsignor Zhao Zhengdong, who it said was taken "into custody by police and his place of detention is not known." The Vatican said it was also worried also by the detention of two of bishops of the underground Church, who Asia News identified as Msgr Jia Zhiguo, Bishop of Zhengding and Msgr Leo Yaoliang, Coadujtor Bishop of Xiwanzi. In a statement, the Vatican said all these coercive measures were "inconceivable under the rule of law and contravened those human rights, especially that of religious freedom, which are guaranteed by numerous international documents, which include the People's Republic of China as signatory". At least scores of other Catholic Church leaders as well as nuns monks and ordinary believers have been detained in recent months.

Coalition Demands Both Parties Acknowledge God
Agape Press

For the second time this year, both major political parties in the United States are being challenged to acknowledge God's influence on the nation.  Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council leads a coalition of groups intent on getting both the GOP and the Democratic Party to acknowledge God in their election platforms.  "We have a favorable response so far, as you would expect, from the Republican Party because the president sent his own solicitor general to defend the Pledge of Allegiance and our acknowledgement of God before the Supreme Court," Schenck says.  "On the other hand, we've got no response whatsoever from our inquiries of the Democratic Party."  The Christian activist says he halfway expected a "no" response from the Democratic Party, given its anti-biblical stance on moral issues such as abortion and same-sex "marriages" and its efforts to remove God's influence from the public square.  And regarding the recent Pledge ruling handed down by the Supreme Court, Schenck says there is no time to celebrate.  He predicts there is another challenge waiting in the wings.  "We're going to work very hard with a lot of other organizations to protect the Pledge against the next assault," he says.

Texas Ministry Promotes Christian Adoption
Charisma News Service

Beverly Kline's life was scarred by two abortions in the 1970s. But after she found Christ, Kline began providing unwed mothers -- and their babies -- with protection and love. She has spent many years and much of her own resources trying to combat abortion. Her method has been self-sacrifice, however, not political activism. Under the umbrella of her Living Alternatives Ministries, she has rescued lives one at a time by opening the first crisis pregnancy center in Tyler, Texas, an adoption agency and a maternity home, as well as an aftercare program and other ministries. Part of Kline's ministry philosophy has included reaching out to the fathers of the children and to both extended families of the couple so that all may come to repentance and restoration. Kline's Loving Alternatives Adoption Agency helps young women arrange a Christian adoption for their babies. In the last 13 years, the agency has placed more than 120 babies with loving parents. Each set of adopted parents establishes a relationship with the birth mother, and encourages her with prayer and with letters and pictures of her child. Almost 30 years since she had her own struggles with abortion, Kline has never married or had children. "I'll see my two babies in heaven someday," Kline said. "Until then, God has many for me to care for."