Religion Today Summaries - May 13, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 13, 2008

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

  • Millions Pray 'Your Kingdom Come' on Global Day of Prayer
  • Franklin Graham Delivers Historic Message to 12,000 in China
  • Medical Teams International Reaches Devastated Families in Myanmar
  • Earthquake Kills Thousands in China

Millions Pray 'Your Kingdom Come' on Global Day of Prayer

ASSIST News Service reports that millions of Christians around the world raised their hands up in united prayer and worship on Pentecost Sunday as part of the fourth annual Global Day of Prayer. According to, the UK was among at least 201 nations registered to take part, with major prayer and cathedral events taking place across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under the common theme of “Your Kingdom come… on Earth as in Heaven.” “In London, thousands of Christians gathered at Millwall football stadium in London to pray for God’s love and Holy Spirit to fall upon London, particularly communities blighted by gun and knife crime,” said Mackay. The message on the day was overwhelmingly one of hope and unity. "When the church unites in prayer there is no stopping it," said Jonathan Oloyede, senior Associate Pastor of Glory House and visionary of Global Day of Prayer London. "Prayer changes things."

Franklin Graham Delivers Historic Message to 12,000 in China

Franklin Graham first visited mainland China with his father 20 years ago. Sunday, says a DeMossNewsPond release, the younger Graham delivered an historic message, preaching to 12,000 people in the largest church in the nation. “Franklin Graham’s May 11 sermon at Hangzhou Chong-Yi Christian Church is very significant,” said the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.  “It highlights the strong possibility for cooperation that exists between United States and Chinese religious institutions and marks a positive path forward.” Preaching a Gospel message about the cross, Graham asked those in attendance to stand if they wanted to become followers of Jesus Christ. 1,250 people responded to the invitation. According to senior pastor Rev. Joseph GU, this event was the largest gathering ever at Hangzhou Chong-Yi Christian Church.  Bibles were also given out to those who responded and the church will provide an eight-week course for them on the basics of the Christian faith.

Medical Teams International Reaches Devastated Families in Myanmar

Medical Teams International is addressing critical health needs in Myanmar by helping local partners purchase medicines and supplies for families devastated by Cyclone Yargis. UN officials estimate the death toll from last week's cyclone may reach more than 100,000 in the coming days--especially if critically needed aid fails to arrive soon. Working with partner World Concern in Yangon, Medical Teams International is helping to prevent a second disaster--a looming health crisis caused by the lack of drinking water, poor sanitation, crowded temporary shelters and a devastated health care system. Medical Teams International medical volunteers and staff are also on standby in various countries, waiting for visa approval to enter Myanmar.  Once these approvals are received, these volunteers and staff will provide direct medical care and help local partners expand their efforts to prevent and treat disease. "There are people in Myanmar who need help now," says Bas Vanderzalm, president of Medical Teams International. "They cannot wait for outside assistance."

Earthquake Kills Thousands in China reports that the Chinese government has said nearly 10,000 people have died, with the death toll sure to rise, in a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit around 2:45 p.m. Monday. The epicenter of the quake was in Sichuan province, but reports indicated tremors could be felt throughout most of China. The quake was the largest the region has seen "for over a generation." The CNN story states, "The Red Cross Society of China, coordinating some of the international aid efforts, encouraged financial donations because of the difficulty of getting supplies to those most in need.At least six different schools collapsed to some extent in the quake or aftershocks that followed, Xinhua reported. At one school, almost 900 students -- all eighth graders and ninth graders, according to a local villager -- were believed to be buried."