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Religion Today Summaries, May 13, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, May 13, 2004

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

  • Indiana Congressman Honored for Christian Statesmanship
  • Spiritual Revolution Continues In Russia
  • Author Says Science Supports Biblical Creation Story 
  • Pakistani Christian Student Dies from Torture

Indiana Congressman Honored for Christian Statesmanship
Jenni Parker, Agape Press

Representative John Hostettler of Indiana has been named 2004's "Distinguished Christian Statesman" by the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship (CSS). The award recognizes character, leadership, integrity and willingness to follow God's call in public service. In a press statement about the selection of Hostettler for the honor, the Center refers to the congressman as one who is "helping to show the way for all who guide our nation right now." According to CSS executive director George Roller, it is the Center's philosophy that any leader who serves in government is a minister, with the added duty of "doing 'business' God's way." Roller says Hostettler was chosen for the Distinguished Christian Statesman award because "his commitment to Christ and love of country compel him to stand for truth and righteousness in government." In an Associated Press interview, Roller notes that Hostettler was elected to Congress some ten years ago, after having attended one of Rev. D. James Kennedy's "Reclaiming America" conferences. In response to being named as this year's award recipient, the Indiana congressman is characteristically meek. "I recognize that God has me in this particular ministry not only to do the right thing legislatively, but also to allow his Holy Spirit to work in me," he says.

Spiritual Revolution Continues In Russia
Dan and Peter Wooding, ASSIST News Service

A Russian Christian leader says that a spiritual revolution that began in November 2003, when as part of the 300 year anniversary celebrations for St Petersburg, a revival crusade took place, as the Olympic Stadium, is continuing today in his country. Each night, the stadium was filled with 25,000 people to experience the ministry of the Reverend Jae-Rock Lee, and his mission’s team from the Manmin church in Seoul, Korea. “We’re very excited about the long-terms results taking place after the crusade,” said Rev. Igor Nikitin, president of the Association of Christian Churches in Russia, during an interview in Seoul. “We felt like really the blessings of the Lord came upon Russia. It’s like the heavens are opened, especially in the relationship between the church and the secular world. The Evangelical church was persecuted as you know for many years in the country of Russia, and even in the last few years, we’ve had lots of attacks on the church. But now through the social work, through relationships we’ve built up, definitely through the blessing of the Lord, the country is open to the Gospel as never before.

Author Says Science Supports Biblical Creation Story
Allie Martin, Agape Press

According to a recent survey conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide, most Americans believe science can prove that the universe has always existed and more than 43 percent believe scientists can prove life exists on other planets. But one Christian author and proponent of "intelligent design" says he is not surprised such outdated scientific ideas dominate American thinking. Lee Strobel is a former atheist, a Yale Law School graduate, and a journalist who has written a series of books encouraging people to investigate science's latest data -- facts that he says point toward an intelligent designer. "The evidence of science does support what the Bible tells us. As one nano-scientist, James Tour of Rice University, told me: 'The more you study science, the more it points you toward God,'" Strobel says. The author's newest book is called The Case For a Creator: a Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God (Zondervan, 2004). In it, he encourages educators, parents, and students to examine science's current findings instead of just giving in to long-held naturalistic views. "The evidence from a variety of scientific disciplines from discoveries over the last 50 years points powerfully towards the existence of a creator," he says.

Pakistani Christian Student Dies from Torture
Barbara G. Baker, Compass Direct

Pakistani police reluctantly detained a Muslim cleric last week after a Christian university student savagely tortured inside an Islamic madrasseh (seminary) died of his injuries. Maulvi Ghulam Rasool was put under detention at a Toba Tek Singh police station at midday on May 2, about 10 hours after 19-year-old Javed Anjum died in a Faisalabad hospital. Rasool has been identified as a prayer leader and watchman at the Jamia Hassan Bin Murtaza Madrasseh, where Anjum was tortured for five days last month. In testimony videotaped by his family as he lay on his deathbed, the third-year student in commerce at Quetta’s Government College said he was seized by people from the madrasseh when he stopped there to get a drink of water. They pressured the young man to convert to Islam. When Anjum resisted, his captors broke his right arm and fingers, pulled out some of his fingernails and severely beat him. The injuries caused Anjum’s death from kidney failure, despite repeated dialysis treatments. Today, Judge Qamar Zaman Khoker ordered Rasool kept under custody for another two days to give police time to recover further evidence and arrest two more suspects in the crime. (www.compassdirect.org)