12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

Religion Today Summaries - May 11, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 11, 2005

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

  • Franklin Graham Emphasizes Nat'l Day of Prayer's Traditional Significance 

  • Archdiocese Of New York Spirituality Workshops Focus On Year Of The Eucharist

  • Tolerance, Safety, Diversity, and Multiculturalism

  • Saudi Police Raid Another House Church

Franklin Graham Emphasizes Nat'l Day of Prayer's Traditional Significance
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A well-known Christian ministry feels it is important to set aside a day for the nation to corporately honor and praise God; however, the popular evangelist and author notes that the annual National Day of Prayer was never meant to be an ecumenical celebration. Millions of Christians converged at city halls and in public squares for last week's National Day of Prayer to offer up words of petition, intercession, invocation and thanks to God. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, recently appeared on Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes" show to talk about the nationwide observance. Graham spoke of the significance of and great need for the annual day of prayer. The evangelical leader points out that the Bible instructs believers to pray for those who are in authority over them. And apart from that biblical mandate, he says, there are numerous precedents for corporate prayer throughout America's history and heritage. "The National Day of Prayer goes back to the Continental Congress," Graham points out, "with George Washington, when he set aside a day of prayer. So this goes back to the very beginning and the foundations of this nation." The National Day of Prayer observance fell on May 5 this year. The official theme of the event -- "God Shed His Grace on Thee".

Archdiocese Of New York Spirituality Workshops Focus On Year Of The Eucharist
Religion News Service

The Center for Spiritual Development and School of Spirituality of the Archdiocese of New York will hold is 21st Annual Spirituality Convocation in White Plains on May 21. Scott Hahn, Ph.D., is the keynote speaker for this year's Convocation.  A distinguished author and professor of theology and scripture at Franciscan University in Ohio, Dr. Hahn will discuss "The Lamb's Supper," a reference to the heavenly liturgy depicted in the Book of Revelations. He will help us understand the book of Revelation in light of the Mass. In keeping with the theme of this year's Convocation, The Year of the Eucharist, the program includes a variety of workshops designed to help people celebrate Christ in their everyday lives: spirituality in the secular culture, prayer methods for spirituality and healing, the challenge of midlife, and walk in the light of His image, among others. Other topics for exploration include: the challenge of the Eucharist in the third millennium, women in the life of Jesus, the Eucharist as a model for adult spiritual formation, participation in the Mass, and what a parish can do for the year of the Eucharist. This year's program will also include a special tribute to Pope John Paul II.  Father Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR, the internationally renowned author and speaker, will discuss The Eucharist and the Legacy of Pope John Paul II. The 21st Annual Spirituality Convocation of the Archdiocese of New York will take place May 21, 2005 in White Plains, NY.

Tolerance, Safety, Diversity, and Multiculturalism
Agape Press

Messengers to the upcoming annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Nashville will hear a resolution calling for an investigation into the influence of the homosexual agenda in the nation's public schools. Sponsors of the resolution -- Southern Baptist preacher Dr. Voddie Baucham, and author Bruce Shorrt -- contend that parents are often unaware of what is being taught to their children under the guise of promoting tolerance, safety, diversity, and multiculturalism. According to a press release from the group Exodus Mandate, the resolution encourages every church in the SBC to determine if any schools in their local school district have either a homosexual club or any curriculum or program that "attempts to influence children to accept homosexual behavior as a legitimate lifestyle." If such clubs or material are found, Southern Baptist churches would be urged to let parents in the community know, and to encourage them to remove their children from the district's school immediately. The Baucham-Shorrt resolution also commends Christians who are currently working in the public school system, encourages Southern Baptists to support educational alternatives to government schools, calls for Baptists to pray for homosexuals, and rebukes homosexual activists for "slandering" minorities by claiming that homosexual behavior has any authentic connection with the civil rights movement.

Saudi Police Raid Another House Church
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct

One week after arresting 40 Pakistani Christians, Saudi Arabia's muttawa religious police broke into another private worship service of expatriate Christians, arresting five elders of a house church in Riyadh's central Al-Olaya district. High-ranking Muslim sheikhs reportedly took part in the April 29 raid on a congregation of 60 Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians who had gathered for prayer. The muttawa confiscated the worshippers' personal Bibles and one woman's cross necklace. Permitted telephone contact with their families during the initial fours days of their incarceration, the five elders have reportedly been transferred to prison facilities of the Ministry of Interior, where they are being held incommunicado.