Religion Today Summaries - June 5, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 5, 2007

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

  • Billy Graham Library Dedicated
  • 'Interfamily Squabble' among Evangelicals on Global Warming
  • 'People of All Faiths' Urged to Combat Ahmadinejad's Message of Hate
  • Pope Hopes Murder of Iraqi Priest Helps People Reject Hatred

Billy Graham Library Dedicated

Baptist Press reports that a crowd of 1,500 people, including three former presidents, gathered in Charlotte, N.C., May 31 to dedicate the Billy Graham Library, something the evangelist called "just a building" and an instrument to share the Gospel. The 40,000-square-foot, $27 million facility sits on 63 acres just four miles from the farm where Graham grew up. It will open to the public June 5 for 90-minute self-guided tours with no cost for admission. "I feel like I've been attending my own funeral with all these speeches," Graham, 88, said during the dedication. "I know they all meant it. But I feel terribly small and humbled by it all, and I feel I don't deserve it because it's been a whole team of people that have worked together, prayed together, traveled together, believed God was going to do wonderful things together." Graham had asked former President George H.W. Bush to deliver the 12-minute keynote address for the dedication, while former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter spoke for about five minutes each.

'Interfamily Squabble' among Evangelicals on Global Warming reports that a panel of evangelicals sharply disagrees on whether policies aimed at fighting global warming will actually help people living in poor and developing nations. Family Research Council hosted a recent discussion called "Faith and Science in the Global Warming Debate." As part of the debate, Dr. Ken Chilton, director of the Institute for the Study of Economics and the Environment, urged Christians to be "agnostic" on the issue of climate change, calling the idea that we created a problem and also must solve it "the height of human hubris." Representing the other side of the argument was Dr. Rusty Pritchard, editor of Creation Care magazine, who argued that in order to mitigate global warming, greenhouse gas emissions must decline by 80 percent of year 2000 levels by 2050.

'People of All Faiths' Urged to Combat Ahmadinejad's Message of Hate

Israel has called on "people of all faiths" to unite against the hateful message of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who unleashed another venomous tirade against Israel over the weekend, reports. Ahmadinejad said Sunday that the countdown had begun to Israel's destruction. "God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime," Ahmadinejad said at a speech commemorating the death of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The "arrogant superpowers and the Zionist regime" invested all their efforts in last summer's war between Israel and Hizballah, but to no avail, said Ahmadinejad. Israel is "very concerned" about the declarations of Ahmadinejad, who previously called for Israel to be "wiped off the map. "People of good will across the globe, people of all faiths should unite against his hateful and extremist message," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said on Monday.

Pope Hopes Murder of Iraqi Priest Helps People Reject Hatred

According to Catholic News Service, Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped the killings of a Chaldean Catholic priest and three subdeacons in northern Iraqi city of Mosul would inspire people to reject hatred and violence and to bring about justice and peace in Iraq. Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and subdeacons Basman Yousef Daoud, Wadid Hanna and Ghasan Bida Wid were killed June 3 while leaving the Church of the Holy Spirit after having celebrated Sunday Mass. A telegram sent in the pope's name to Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul said Pope Benedict "prays that their costly sacrifice will inspire in the hearts of all men and women of good will a renewed resolve to reject the ways of hatred and violence, to conquer evil with good and to cooperate in hastening the dawn of reconciliation, justice and peace in Iraq."