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Religion Today Summaries - March 27, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 27, 2007

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

  • Anglican Head: Episcopal Rejection of Ultimatum is 'Discouraging'
  • Pastor Shot Dead While Praying in Trinidad
  • Nonstop Prayer Hits College Campuses in Tents
  • Evangelist Suspends Ministry after Extramarital Affair Revelations

Anglican Head: Episcopal Rejection of Ultimatum is 'Discouraging'

According to The Church Report, the Anglican spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, issued a brief statement Wednesday calling a decision by Episcopal bishops "discouraging." The bishops risked losing their place in the global Anglican family Wednesday by affirming their support for gays and rejecting a key demand that they give up some authority to theological conservatives outside the U.S. church. "No one is underestimating the challenges ahead," Williams said. Anglicans have been debating for decades how they should interpret Scripture on salvation, truth and sexuality. Last month in Tanzania, Anglican primates issued an ultimatum giving the U.S. church until Sept. 30 to unequivocally pledge not to consecrate another partnered gay bishop or authorize official prayers for same-sex couples.

Pastor Shot Dead While Praying in Trinidad

ASSIST News Service reports that a 34-year-old pastor was shot dead while he was praying with others in his church on Wednesday, March 21 at the St. Mary's Village of Gomaz Trace in Moruga, the southern sea town in Trinidad. Pastor Austin was shot in the head and died from his wounds. Kevin Austin of the Independent Assembly of the Mantle Sword of the Spirit church was murdered in the galvanized shack which is being used as the worshipping Center and his family's home. The Pastor may have known his life was in danger; he had written to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago asking for police protection. Local people in Gomaz Trace said they know nothing of Pastor Austin and his church, because "we don't keep much contact with new residents."

Nonstop Prayer Hits College Campuses in Tents

The Christian Post reports that 24/7 prayer tents are becoming the latest venue for Christian students on college campuses to bring light to those searching. At the University of Arizona, students have led an unbroken prayer chain since last month. "I guess we feel like there's a lot at this campus that really needs to be prayed for," Andy Hall, a freshman involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, told the the university's student newspaper. "I feel like the campus is kind of a place of darkness and that the power of God can help. There are a lot of people who are hurting; there are a lot of people who are lost.” InterVarsity is one of nine UA Christian groups engaging in 40 days of 24-hour prayer until Easter. The tent is open to anyone who wants to pray. Students at UCLA recently finished a similar prayer chain with a 12-hour tent pitched on campus. There are 23 groups around the world participating in 24-7 prayers at this time.

Evangelist Suspends Ministry after Extramarital Affair Revelations

Evangelist Rick Ousley has suspended his ministry after admitting to an extramarital affair, OneNewsNow.com reports. Ousley, 55, admitted to the affair after a 43-year-old Texas woman said she began a sexual relationship with Ousley 25 years ago, after he and his first wife divorced. The woman added that the relationship continued after Ousley married his current wife. Ousley served as chaplain of the Samford University football team. He traveled with the team, which, according to the woman, is when she and Ousley would meet. Ousley has stepped down as team chaplain and has suspended all speaking engagements. He had built his Birmingham area church from 30 members to more than 4,000, though he retired as pastor in 2005.