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Religion Today Summaries, March 22, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, March 22, 2004

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

  • Louisiana Pastor, Parents Vie Against Pro-Homosexual School Club
  • Two Missionaries and One Ugandan Student Killed In Attack
  • Child Development Ministry Sets High Outreach Goal for Compassion Sunday 
  • Fourth American Missionary Dies from Attack in Iraq

Louisiana Pastor, Parents Vie Against Pro-Homosexual School Club
Jim Brown, Agape Press

Parents in conservative St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, want a local high school to dump its Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club. Pastor Ken Schroeder with First Baptist Church of Mandeville says the GSA has infiltrated Fontainebleau High School by spreading misinformation concerning the need for such a club.  Schroeder and a group of concerned residents are asking the St. Tammany Parish School Board to de-recognize the pro-homosexual club, which he says was approved on the false premise that it was needed to counter "bullying" on campus. According to the pastor, by establishing a GSA club the school system is putting itself in a position of labeling and targeting for abuse "those who disagree with the idea of homosexuality as a normal lifestyle."  In addition, he says, when school authorities sanction a club like the GSA, they are making a statement that the homosexual lifestyle is to be accepted. Schroeder contends that the school board should not be allowing homosexual behavior to be promoted at the high school.  The Baptist pastor says the board must adhere to a recent ruling by a federal judge in Texas who barred the formation of a GSA club in the Lubbock Independent School District. In that case, the judge ruled that the GSA club’s goals violated district and school policies, and acknowledged that parents and the school had the right to control the subject matter discussed on campus. 

Two Missionaries and One Ugandan Student Killed In Attack
Voice of the Martyrs

An American missionary couple and a Ugandan student have been killed in an attack on a Christian agricultural training center in Northwestern Uganda. According to police reports seven armed and uniformed men entered the premises of the school near Yumbe during the night of March 19. They stole equipment and set fire to eight residential cottages for students. One of them died. The Americans Warren and Donna Pett, missionaries with Africa Inland Mission, were shot. They had been teaching at the compound only for a short time. A female German development worker, sent out by the agency Christian Co-Workers International in Stuttgart, was not hurt.

Child Development Ministry Sets High Outreach Goal for Compassion Sunday
Allie Martin, Agape Press

Churches across the United States will be asked to set aside one Sunday next month as part of an initiative from Compassion International. On April 25, the ministry is holding Compassion Sunday. On that day, churches will be encouraged to highlight the ministry of Compassion International and to ask individual members or families to sponsor a child in a developing country through. Regina Hopewell, a coordinator for Compassion Sunday, says the ministry hopes to see more than 17,000 children sponsored. "When people understand how easy it is get involved in making a difference in the life of a child," she says, "they are eager to sign up…And sponsors often find that they are blessed and their lives are changed just as much as the children that they're helping." Compassion International allows an individual or family to sponsor a child for a monthly fee of $28 -- money that goes toward helping the child and his or her family as well as providing health care, supplemental nutrition, supplies, and after-school educational and biblically-based activities for the child.  "Most of these children come from non-Christian homes, so it's really the only opportunity these kids would have to learn about Jesus," she says. Compassion sponsors are encouraged not only to help support a child financially, but also to develop relationships with the child by regular correspondence.

Fourth American Missionary Dies from Attack in Iraq
Charisma News Service

A fourth American missionary has died from a drive-by shooting attack in Mosul on Monday that killed three other Christian relief workers and wounded a companion. According to the Southern Baptist International Mission Board (SBIMB), David McDonnall, 28, of Rowlett, Texas, died Tuesday. McDonnall's wife Carrie, 26, who was wounded, remains in critical, but stable condition. A senior American military officer said insurgents were increasingly turning from targeting military forces to civilians, including Christian relief workers, who are involved in the reconstruction effort. The five missionaries were researching needs for humanitarian projects, including working to convert dirty water into pure water, in northern Iraq when they were gunned down. SBIMB said although the missionaries were not there to proselytize, they were in the war-torn country to "meet the needs of the people and express the love of Christ in that way," the Associated Press reported. The attacks have increased concern among Iraq's Christian community who feel targeted by Muslim militants and remnants of the former regime of Saddam Hussein. Some Christians have left their homes and fled the country because of intense pressure from religious extremists, according to Middle East Concern.