12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

Religion Today Summaries - May 3, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 3, 2005

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

  • Teens Again Will Pray 'A Whole Night' For World's Unreached Young People 

  • 'It's Not Gay' Video Attracting New Attention -- Christians Want to Get Message Out About Destructive Homosexual Lifestyle 

  • 'God Changed Everything' as Sri Lankan Believers Help Tsunami Victims

  • Benin Christians Beaten, Children Kidnapped  

Teens Again Will Pray 'A Whole Night' For World's Unreached
Young People
Baptist Press

On the Saturday night before Pentecost -- all night long -- teenagers around the world will ask God's mercy for young people worldwide who have never heard that Jesus is the way to a life that is full and forever. Last year's "A Whole Night for the Whole World" stirred the hearts of young people on six continents, said Dave Bidwell of Youth for Christ. “Whole Night” organizers with the National Network of Youth Ministries believe the earnest prayers of a few teenagers can change the world, said Daryl Nuss, NNYM international coordinator. "On the first Pentecost, it was the prayers of a few, gathered together in the Upper Room, who experienced firsthand the power of the Holy Spirit, who began to testify, who saw multitudes added to their numbers, who turned the world upside down," Nuss said. This year's event, set for May 14, is being conducted in partnership with Global Day of Prayer, whose Ten Days of Prayer toward a Greater Pentecost will culminate May 15, Pentecost Sunday, with an estimated 200 million Christians on all six continents praying as the sun rises in New Zealand until it sets in the United States. The “Whole Night” website (http://wholenight.com) offers resources and ideas for engaging teens in all-night prayer, Davis said.

'It's Not Gay' Video Attracting New Attention -- Christians Want to Get Message Out About Destructive Homosexual Lifestyle
AFA Journal & Agape Press

Families, churches, individuals and activist groups across the nation and in at least one European country are apparently renewing their efforts to get the truth out about the high personal cost of homosexuality. Produced by the American Family Association, the video -- titled “It's Not Gay” -- is selling at its fastest pace since it was introduced in 2000. AFA has spent no money promoting the video, according to AFA chairman Don  Wildmon. The 25-minute video is an uncompromising yet compassionate look at the tragic consequences of the homosexual lifestyle. It features former homosexuals telling their own stories. The video has now been shown in over 10,000 churches. A recent request came from Lithuania, where a group asked permission to translate it into Lithuanian and Russian and show it on TV stations in that region. The video's content is suitable for adults and older youth. “It's Not Gay” is an unscripted, documentary-style presentation. Medical and mental health professionals appear, as well as those who have left the homosexual lifestyle. "With same-sex marriage in the news regularly, churches and other activists are finally realizing that homosexuality is a critical cultural issue," he adds.  "There is a recognition that the issue isn't going away and that Christians need to be educated about the political movement, as well as the devastating impact on individual lives."

'God Changed Everything' as Sri Lankan Believers Help Tsunami Victims
Charisma News Service

A wave of compassion from Sri Lankan Christians, who have faced opposition from the Buddhist majority, is impacting the tsunami-ravaged southern Asia nation. For the body of Christ in this religiously diverse nation of 20 million people, the tsunami that devastated the Indian Ocean coastline on Dec. 26 provided a door of opportunity to help victims. "After the tsunami, God changed everything," Angela Mudalige told Charisma magazine. Angela and her husband, Yogesh, pastor an Assemblies of God church in Ambalangoda, located in southwestern Sri Lanka. Neighbors who used to eye the couple's church with suspicion - and even joined in persecuting its members - are now receiving relief supplies from them. Within two weeks after the disaster, five families came to Christ and began to attend the church. Seeing the congregation's compassion for the town's suffering, a community Buddhist leader who formerly threatened Yogesh with reprisals if he did not stop preaching the gospel came in tears asking how he could help. The couple's enthusiasm for ministry is being revived by the changing attitudes in the city. (www.charismanews.com)

Benin Christians Beaten, Children Kidnapped  
Christian Aid Mission

The whereabouts of two missionaries' children abducted several days ago from their home in rural Benin by voodooists remain unknown. Many fear the worst: that the two children may be used as human sacrifices to a voodoo god. The children were taken when a local voodoo chief and his followers attacked the family during the night, beating the native missionary father and several other Christians and destroying the village church building, the missionaries' house and several other converts' homes. The missionaries had been serving among the Fon tribe in a remote village for one year. They had won 25 people, most from voodoo backgrounds, to the Lord and started a small fellowship. On the night of the attack, a voodooist district chief arrested the missionary and several other converts and demanded that they leave the village or reject Christ. When the Christians refused to do either, they were beaten, stripped and threatened with castration. To date, neither the children nor their abductors have been located. Please intercede for this Benin family. Pray for swift recovery for the hospitalized believers and for the safe return of the abducted children. Pray that the power of Christ would break through the darkness binding their captors and the country of Benin in voodoo.