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Religion Today Summaries - May 17, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 17, 2007

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

  • Is Europe Devoid of Faith and Values?
  • Islamic Rule Good for Christians, Jews, Hamas 'Mickey Mouse' Creator Says
  • North American Unreached People’s Network Established
  • Christian Lawyers Sentenced for ‘Defaming’ Vietnam

Is Europe Devoid of Faith and Values?

An American media expert asked delegates at the World Congress of Families in Warsaw, Poland, if Europe was now devoid of faith and values, ASSIST News Service reports. Dr. Ted Baehr was a speaker at the congress which brought 3,000 leaders from more than 60 countries around the world in Warsaw, Poland to discuss the deterioration of the family in the post-modern era and the long-term impact that this trend will have on the European culture. “European culture has become infatuated with consumerism and hedonism,” said Dr. Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission®. “The influence of Christian values has waned and left a vacuum that is being filled by the entertainment industry with its excessive violence and sexual perversion.” Berlin has recently claimed to be the homosexual capital of Europe, while also boasting the highest abortion rate in the world. Ukraine has the highest rate of AIDS/HIV and is the leader in human trafficking.

Islamic Rule Good for Christians, Jews, Hamas 'Mickey Mouse' Creator Says

Islamic worldwide domination is good for Christians and Jews even if they don't know it, says the Muslim creator of a controversial TV program. CNSNews.com reports Hamas television is going ahead with promoting the message of Islamic supremacy to Palestinian children with the aid of a Mickey Mouse-type character, refusing to remove the program from its Al-Aqsa TV despite having reportedly promised a Palestinian Authority minister last week that it would revise it. One of the creators of the "Tomorrow's Pioneers" program said the show would continue to promote Islamic domination over other religions because it is good for adherents of those other faiths. "What is being asked, so that the Americans and Zionists will be satisfied with you, is to follow their lead," said Hamzim Al-Sha'arawi, deputy director of Al-Aqsa TV. "We [on this program] have a message, and we understood from the beginning that it is a difficult path... But we were sure that we had to go this way because this [young] generation needs someone to direct it ... and this generation is the most worthy of the position of leadership," he said.
North American Unreached People’s Network Established

The Joshua Project defines Unreached People Groups as “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.” According to ASSIST News Service, the Project estimates that more than 6,000 people groups are unreached, meaning nearly 2.6 billion people have limited or no access to the message of the Gospel. A recent meeting in Minneapolis focused on hastening the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ among targeted Unreached People Groups (UPGs), learning from each other, and increasing stewardship of ministry resources by eliminating ministry duplication.

Christian Lawyers Sentenced for 'Defaming' Vietnam

After a trial of only four hours last Friday May 11, a Vietnamese court convicted Christian attorneys Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan of “propagandizing against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” and handed down prison terms for each of them, Compass Direct News reports. Dai, 38, was sentenced to five years in prison and four years of probationary detention (house arrest). The 28-year-old Nhan received a four-year prison term and three years of probationary detention. “I reject this trial,” Nhan said after the verdict was announced. State media accused Dai of instructing his law office staff members to “travel to the north-western, Central Highlands and southern provinces to contact Protestant clergymen and their followers who have shown hatred toward the government” and compiling “evidence of Vietnam’s suppression of the Protestant religion.”