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Religion Today Summaries - May 2, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 2, 2007

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

  • Working Replica of Noah's Ark Opens
  • Catholic Hospitals May be Forced to do Abortions
  • Iraqi Priest Recalls Kidnapping Ordeal
  • Statistics Show Evangelical Influence Growing throughout United Kingdom

Working Replica of Noah's Ark Opens

The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark was thrown open Saturday, drawing a crowd of curious pilgrims and townsfolk to behold the wonder, the Associated Press reports. The half-scale replica of the biblical Ark was built by Dutch creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible. Johan's fully functional ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits (three stories) high and 20 cubits wide. Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine - the Bible says Noah used "gopherwood," but scholars aren't certain what that is. Construction on the ark began in May 2005. Soon it will feature a petting zoo on the top level. Visitors on the first day were stunned.

Catholic Hospitals May be Forced to do Abortions

The Connecticut state Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday April 25 that would require all hospitals — including the four Catholic facilities — to provide the Plan B emergency contraceptive (the "morning after" pill) to rape victims, Spero News reports. “This bill is a violation of the separation of Church and State,” wrote Bishops Henry Mansell of Hartford and William Lori of Bridgeport in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday. “The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut are responsible for establishing and determining what moral guidelines Catholic institutions should follow; not the Connecticut General Assembly.” The hospitals would be allowed to refer such patients to other facilities, but would have to report their reasons for doing so to the Department of Public Health.

Iraqi Priest Recalls Kidnapping Ordeal

According to Compass Direct News, Iraqi priest Douglas Yusuf Al-Bazy was able to laugh and joke as he recounted the details of his recent kidnapping and torture. “I’m not afraid any more,” the Chaldean priest said. “When you meet the face of death, you aren’t afraid of death after that.” It still is not known whether anti-Christian sentiment lay behind Christian kidnappings, or whether Christians were merely the victims of money-making gangs out to target anyone with wealth. Maybe missing priests were merely victims of gangs who couldn’t care less if their captives were Sunni, Shiite or Christian.

Statistics Show Evangelical Influence Growing throughout United Kingdom

OneNewsNow.com reports that evangelicals appear to be thriving throughout the United Kingdom as traditional churches struggle. According to a recent census, 72 percent of people in England identified themselves as Christian; however, the Church of England says that less than 10 percent of its members are regular churchgoers. On the other hand, evangelicals account for about 40 percent of the nation's regular churchgoers.