Religion Today Summaries - June 7, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - June 7, 2007

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

  • Bus Bomb Strikes Christian Neighborhood in Lebanon
  • Record $150 million Offering to Result in More SBC Missionaries
  • Christian Activist Advises: View Democratic Faith Forum Politically
  • Death Threat Turns into Opportunity

Bus Bomb Strikes Christian Neighborhood in Lebanon

According to an AP report, a bomb exploded in an empty passenger bus parked in a Christian neighborhood of a residential and industrial suburb east of Beirut Monday, injuring seven passersby. Lebanon has been hit by a series of explosions in the last two years, particularly targeting Christian areas. Two explosions on May 21 and 22 killed a woman and injured a dozen people in two Beirut neighborhoods, as the Lebanese army battled militants holed up in a refugee camp.

Record $150 million Offering to Result in More SBC Missionaries

According to Baptist Press, Southern Baptists topped their 2006 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal, delivering the largest gift in the offering's 118-year history. The final tally hit $150,178,098.06, an 8.9 percent increase over last year. The Lottie Moon offering supports the work of more than 5,100 missionaries across the globe. This year's gifts are expected to have a notable impact on the number of personnel being sent to the field. Board leaders anticipate sending 200 extra missionaries over the next two years, in addition to the normal appointment numbers. "Because we are a missionary-sending organization, the number of missionaries we are able to send is directly related to the gifts we receive from Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering," said Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board.

Christian Activist Advises: View Democratic Faith Forum Politically

As three Democratic presidential candidates answered questions at a televised "Faith, Values and Poverty" forum Monday night, the Christian Defense Coalition protested the apparent contradiction between the stated Christian faith of the participants and their public policy actions and votes, reports. The leader of that group asserts that participation by the three was a "well-scripted" and obvious attempt to redefine themselves as persons of deep faith for election purposes. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and current U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all spoke to questions about their faith in relation to public policy. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, says the three candidates may speak about poverty and social justice, but contends they have no moral authority to speak from the Christian perspective.

Death Threat Turns into Opportunity

A Gospel for Asia missionary who was the subject of death threats by an anti-Christian extremist group is no longer in immediate danger. "He joyfully reports that the death threats turned into an opportunity to share the Gospel with nearly his entire village at one time. Praise the Lord! Once again, Our Lord has taken what man meant for evil and used it for His own good purpose,” said Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan. Missionary Daya Marandi works in Uttar Pradesh, India. In late May, anti-Christian extremists threatened to kill him if he did not immediately abandon his work and leave Uttar Pradesh. They also threatened to harm the 60 members of Daya’s church unless they each agreed to return to their former religions. GFA leaders in Uttar Pradesh responded to the threats by contacting the police. The police superintendent who met with the GFA leaders is familiar with Daya’s ministry and ordered his local officers to protect the missionary. When word of the death threats spread throughout the village, the people became curious; they wanted to know what the Christians were doing that had raised the ire of the extremists. That Sunday, nearly every person in the village attended the worship service at Daya’s church.