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Religion Today Summaries - May 21, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 21, 2009

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

  • Evangelical Alliance Urges Churches to Confront Money Issues
  • Sri Lanka Civil War Ends; GFA Workers Reach Out to Survivors
  • Campaign Begins to Rebuild Communities in Orissa
  • Christian Group Urges Nationwide Prayer on July 5

Evangelical Alliance Urges Churches to Confront Money Issues

Christian Today reports that the Evangelical Alliance (EA) is encouraging churches in Britain to be more transparent and vocal about money matters. “Churches are failing their members and communities by avoiding openly talking about money and debt,” the group said. The EA plans to host finance-focused seminars at events this year, joined by presentations from Credit Action Chris Tapp and National Stewardship and Resources Officer for the Church of England, John Preston. “Money is generally seen as a very private subject and this all too often leads to reluctance on the part of churches in discussing financial matters,” Tapp said. “However it is an absolutely crucial issue for Christians to tackle especially today when so many in our churches and communities are struggling desperately with money and debt issues.

Sri Lanka Civil War Ends; GFA Workers Reach Out to Survivors

Monday's announcement that government forces had killed the rebel Tamil leader didn't end Sri Lanka's problems, Christian Newswire reports. "This is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities we have to minister to people in the name of Christ," said Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan. "We have more than 100 churches in Sri Lanka, and our people are engaged in doing whatever they can to help the suffering refugees. This is a drawn-out challenge that will be there for a long time to come." Sri Lanka faces returning almost 25,000 displaced people to new homes and new livelihoods. The defeated Tamil Tigers (LTTE) officially fought for a separate homeland for minority Tamils, but many countries consider them a terrorist organization.

Campaign Begins to Rebuild Communities in Orissa

Mission News Network reports that ministries in Orissa, India, hope to rebuild most of their community this summer and fall. The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and Gospel for Asia will partner in an effort to raise money for rebuilding projects, noting that $40,000 is enough to rebuild an entire community, including its church. "Some of the people are still homeless from what took place back in the summer and early fall," NRB's Ron Harris said. "They need their homes, and they need their churches. Some are still living in tents and out in the woods, and we need Christians to come alongside." Radio and television stations will be invited to support the rebuilding campaign. Thousands of people were displaced in anti-Christian violence last August, when Hindu extremists blamed Christians for the murder of their leader.

Christian Group Urges Nationwide Prayer on July 5

Religion News Service reports that the Family Research Council is spearheading a call for churches to pray for the nation on the day after Independence Day. The conservative Christian group, best known for its efforts to shape public policy, hopes the "Call 2 Fall" initiative will reach thousands of churches. "I think increasingly there's an awareness that there is a problem in America that is not political at its heart but rather it's a spiritual problem," said FRC President Tony Perkins on Tuesday (May 19). Pastor Larry Stockstill of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, La., said the movement goes beyond political issues or figures. "We know the problem lies in us and not in anyone else's issues or policies or persuasion," he said. "We are therefore bringing ourselves to God and asking for his mercy upon us."