Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 4, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Mar. 4, 2009

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

  • Parents Trust Experience over Bible, Survey Shows
  • Catholic Priesthood Beginning to Grow Again
  • Christian Father of Two Murdered in Orissa, India
  • Cardinal Calls Atheist Theories 'Absurd'


Parents Trust Experience over Bible, Survey Shows

Baptist Press reports that most American parents believe their parenting skills and family lives are pretty good, but they’re reluctant to describe their homes as peaceful, relaxed or joyful. They say their daily family time consists mostly of eating dinner and watching television, according to a new study from LifeWay Research. While most parents are trying to improve their skills, far fewer look to the church or the Bible for help, the researchers reported. The national survey of 1,200 parents with children under 18 at home was conducted by LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. The study found that 96 percent of parents agree they consistently try to be better parents. "Parents claim they are trying hard to be better parents, but they are not welcoming outside guidance or advice," Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research, said.

Catholic Priesthood Beginning to Grow Again

BBC News reports that a two-decade decline in the number of men becoming priests in the Catholic Churches seems to have ended, and numbers are beginning to climb again. The biggest gains were seen in the Church in Africa and Asia, according to a statistical yearbook recently presented to Pope Benedict XVI. The encouraging trend began a few years ago, the study reads, and shows "a continuing trend of moderate growth in the number of priests in the world which began in 2000 after over two decades of disappointing results." Still, worldwide results showed small decreases in new priests for Europe and the Americas. Another yearbook report showed that membership in the Catholic Church in North America is declining, corresponding with the decrease in priests. Some Western churches have begun attracting priests from Asia to fill empty pulpits.

Christian Father of Two Murdered in Orissa, India

Compass Direct News reports that family members of a Christian found murdered last week in Orissa state’s Kandhamal district said they believe the killers were Hindu nationalists. Hrudayananda Nayak, a 42-year-old father of two, was found dead on Thursday (Feb. 19) with several injuries to his head sustained as he took a shortcut through a forest to his home village of Rudangia. His mother, Prasanna Kumari Nayak, has submitted a written complaint to police alleging the killers were associated with Hindu hardliners involved in last year’s rioting. His nephew, Sujan Nayak, said that his uncle told him before leaving home Feb. 18 that he had received threats from three drunken men who were standing outside shouting threats at Christians in general that morning. “He quoted them as saying, ‘We will not burn houses this time but will kill all Christians one by one,’” Sujan Nayak said.

Cardinal Calls Atheist Theories 'Absurd'

The Associated Press reports that a Vatican cardinal reiterated the Catholic Church's belief that the theory of evolution and church teaching are not incompatible; in fact, he denounced atheist arguments that evolution disproves God as "absurd." Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the statements at a Vatican-sponsored conference dedicated to the work of Charles Darwin. "We believe that however creation has come about and evolved, ultimately God is the creator of all things," Levada said. "Of course we think that's absurd and not at all proven," he said. "But other than that ... the Vatican has recognized that it doesn't stand in the way of scientific realities."