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Religion Today Summaries - May 16, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 16, 2008

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

  • China Aid's Fu Criticizes Franklin Graham's Remarks on Evangelism During the Olympics
  • California High Court Legalizes 'Gay Marriage'
  • Vatican: It's OK to Believe in Aliens
  • Bread for the World Urges Christians to Respond to Hunger Crisis

China Aid's Fu Criticizes Franklin Graham's Remarks on Evangelism During the Olympics

On his recent visit to China, Franklin Graham stated that Christians should not evangelize during the Olympic Games as it is against the law in that country. ASSIST News Service reports that Graham made his controversial remarks as he recently talked to reporters in China while visiting communist officials. The Chinese government has stated that evangelism will not be tolerated during the Olympics. The underground church thinks differently, according to one ministry leader. "It is a matter of who heads the church and it is certainly not the government," says Bob Fu, China Aid Association president in an interview with OneNewsNow. He believes the underground church welcomes evangelistic efforts. In response to Mr. Graham's "offensive and inappropriate comments" concerning his opposition to evangelism during the Beijing Olympic Games, Fu stated: "The Chinese Christians are law-abiding, patriotic citizens, but when an unjust law demands them to go against their faith and Jesus' teaching of the Great Commission, they can not and will not succeed to a 'faith moratorium' in order to please an atheistic government during the Olympic Games, even if that means enduring imprisonment and torture. Mr. Graham's comment is a deep offense to hundreds of House Church prisoners and their family members."

California High Court Legalizes 'Gay Marriage'

Baptist Press reports that the California Supreme Court Thursday issued a landmark decision, ordering the state to legalize “gay marriage,” making it the second state in the nation to recognize “marriages” between homosexual couples. The decision sets up a dramatic political and cultural battle in November, when a constitutional marriage amendment that would protect the natural definition of marriage – and reverse the court’s ruling – is expected to be on the ballot. The 4-3 ruling comes more than three years after Massachusetts’ highest court also struck down that state’s marriage laws. But the California ruling – coming in the nation’s most populous states – easily is the biggest win yet for homosexual activists.

Vatican: It's OK to Believe in Aliens

According to an Associated Press report, "believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday. The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones. 'How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?' Funes said. 'Just as we consider earthly creatures as "a brother," and "sister," why should we not talk about an "extraterrestrial brother"? It would still be part of creation.' In the interview by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Funes said that such a notion 'doesn't contradict our faith' because aliens would still be God's creatures."

Bread for the World Urges Christians to Respond to Hunger Crisis

ASSIST News Service reports that Bread for the World has called on people of faith everywhere to respond to the growing hunger crisis all over the world. The organization is asking that people add their voices to the Recipe for Hope campaign which runs May 11 through June 15. “Of course the crisis cannot be solved within six weeks, but we want people of faith to know that they can make a difference by taking a series of simple but critical actions to end hunger now,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Together we can turn the recipe for despair into a recipe for hope for thousands of mothers and fathers struggling to feed their families." The campaign is being conducted against the backdrop of a global hunger crisis that is fueled by rising food prices. Global food costs have nearly doubled in the last three years, with largest spikes for basic grains like rice, wheat, and corn. Bread for the World said the World Bank estimates that as many as 100 million people will this year join the ranks of 854 million poor and hungry people who currently do not have enough to eat each day.