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Religion Today Summaries - June 29, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 29, 2009

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

  • The Gospel According to 31,173 Americans
  • Worldwide Support for New Anglican Body Grows
  • 167 Displaced Pakistani Families Get Relief Goods
  • Family of Kidnapped Colombian Pastor Flee Home


The Gospel According to 31,173 Americans

Religion News Service reports that nearly nine months after it hit the road, Zondervan's hand-written Bible Across America came home Wednesday (June 24) bearing Scripture verses inscribed by 31,173 people. Among them: a little girl who guided her blind sister's hand; a father who flew from Baltimore to Los Angeles to write in it with his son; and Antoinette and Jim Barry, a couple from Palos Heights, Ill., where church leaders 44 years ago conceived of the New International Version Bible. The Barrys' daughter, Maureen "Moe" Girkins, is president of Zondervan, the mega Christian publishing house. Last year, she inscribed the first verse ("In the beginning ...") from Genesis 1:1, and on Wednesday penned the final verse from Revelation 22:21: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen."

Support for New Anglican Body Grows

The Christian Post reports that the new Anglican Church in North America now has the formal support of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East and the Province of Southeast Asia. "Our prayers are for you and for the new Province to continue to stand firm in faith as you have always done," the Most Rev. Mouneer H. Anis of the Jerusalem and Middle East province wrote. "May the Lord keep your unity in order to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ in North America!" Officially, nine of the Anglican Communion's 38 provinces have given their support to the new province, including bishops from England, Sydney and parts of Africa. The province has yet to be recognized by the Communion's spiritual leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

167 Displaced Pakistani Families Get Relief Goods

ASSIST News Service reports that 167 Christian families who are currently taking refuge in camps in the city of Mardan, Pakistan have received relief goods from Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan. Another 100 internally displaced Christian families are thought to be taking refuge in other parts of the country. Pakistan's Christians face discrimination even in normal circumstances, and report being overlooked by government aid. A spokesman for Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan said the families received everything from food to sewing machines to toilet cleaners. Still, Paul O'Brien with Concern Worldwide reports that international aid has been less than expected for Pakistanis fleeing the war-torn North West Frontier Province.

Family of Kidnapped Colombian Pastor Flee Home

Compass Direct News reports that the wife and children of kidnapped pastor William Reyes have moved from their home to another city after receiving threats. The pastor was kidnapped September 25, 2008, in Colombia and is still missing. Family members have not heard from Pastor Reyes since, nor have his abductors contacted the family to demand ransom. Idia Miranda Reyes, her son William, 19, and daughters Luz Nelly, 17, and Estefania, 9, suddenly left their home in Maicao in the department (state) of La Guajira two months ago and moved to an undisclosed location in the country. The family had two encounters with strangers threatening harm to the pastor and his family before that, which prompted them to leave. The family believes Reyes was abducted by illegal armed groups operating in the La Guajira peninsula.