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Religion Today Summaries - March 18, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 18, 2005

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

  • National Ad Campaign Plans New 'God Speaks' Billboards
  • Nigeria: Ranked 25th Among The World's Worst Persecutor Of Christians
  • Indonesia: Legacy of a Former Muslim Man of God
  • ISTANBUL: Custody Verdict Postponed For One Week

National Ad Campaign Plans New 'God Speaks' Billboards
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A massive billboard campaign featuring several "messages from God" will soon be unveiled all across America. Six years ago an anonymous donor funded a non-denominational campaign promoting God, and it quickly spread to more than 10,000 billboards around the United States. The campaign featured 18 separate messages -- profound and pithy one-liners based on scripture and "signed" by God. Now the DeMoss Group, Inc., and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America have jointly announced the second phase of the "God Speaks" campaign. Mark DeMoss is president of the DeMoss Group, a public relations firm for faith-based organizations and enterprises. DeMoss says since the first campaign, significant events have refocused Americans' attention on faith, God and spiritual matters. For that reason, he says, "We think it's a good time to do this again." The new campaign includes nine new messages such as "The real Supreme Court meets up here," "As my apprentice, you're never fired." DeMoss says he believes the new campaign will attract as much attention as the first one did. Publicity from the first group of ads created worldwide attention, and DeMoss is confident the second wave of ads will be equally effective. According to the organizers of the nationwide advertising project, the main goal of the God Speaks campaign is to get people focused on the God of the Bible.

Nigeria: Ranked 25th Among The World's Worst Persecutor Of Christians
Charisma News Service

Muslim militants recently attacked a Christian community, killing 36 people and displacing about 3,000 others. The attack occurred on Feb. 4 in Demsa village, located in the African nation's northern region of Adamawa State, Compass Direct reported. The surviving Christians have taken refuge in Mayolope village in the neighboring state of Taraba. While visiting the displaced Christians on Feb. 7, the Rev. Jolly Nyame, governor of the state of Taraba, expressed sadness over the attacks and said the country could progress only through peaceful coexistence. "No community can move forward while crisis takes the center stage. It is only peace that can usher in development in the country," he told the refugees. "Only tolerance and forgiveness can bring about peaceful co-existence among people of different religious backgrounds." Nyame added that the Nigerian government needs to check the activities of Muslim militants, who have provoked crises in different parts of the country. The attack on Demsa village by Muslim militants is the second in Adamawa State. According to the 2005 annual report by Open Doors International, Nigeria is ranked 25th among the world's worst persecutor of Christians. (www.charismanews.com)

Indonesia: Legacy of a Former Muslim Man of God
Christian Aid Mission

On February 27, Rev. Tajib Moerjanto, founder of Rose of Love Ministries, passed away at the age of 60. He left a legacy of commitment to the cause of Christ, serving Him in Muslim areas of Indonesia. His own life was a powerful example of Christ's saving power. A devout Muslim, he was leader of a local Islamic organization on the island of Java when he first heard the gospel at a Christmas presentation in 1967. From his miraculous conversion to his position as head of a fruitful evangelistic ministry, Rev. Moerjanto was a living testimony to Christ's saving power. A particular burden for Moerjanto was the hundreds of poverty-stricken children he saw around him every day. In 1973, he started a home for 18 of the poorest children in his community. Today, a total of two homes care for nearly 200 boys and girls, 75 percent of whom come from Muslim backgrounds. Pray for his ministry as it continues under new leadership to carry out its vital work in Muslim areas of Indonesia.

ISTANBUL: Custody Verdict Postponed For One Week
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct

In a final attempt to wrest custody of his niece and nephew away from their widowed mother, Muslim Abdullah al-Muhtadi demanded yesterday that an Islamic court in Jordan discount the testimony of his sister, Siham Qandah, because she is a Christian. Under Islamic law, the testimony of a non-Muslim carries only half the legal weight of a Muslim in a sharia court. Playing the "religion card" may represent al-Muhtadi's last resort as Judge Mahmud Zghl set March 22 for the final verdict. But Abdullah al-Muhtadi's attempt to play the "religion card" against his own sister may represent the last card in his hand, one of the widow's friends told Compass today. After yesterday's hearing, he reportedly told the children's mother, "Next week I will announce my decision." King Abdullah II and other members of the Jordanian royal family have pledged that the children will not be taken away from their mother. Nevertheless, the three-year custody battle has yet to be resolved.