Religion Today Summaries - May 9, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - May 9, 2007

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

  • Professors Hold 'Unfavorable' View of Evangelicals
  • Christians Unite to Pray for Middle East Peace
  • Christian Files Suit to Block Construction of Mosque in Florida Neighborhood
  • Former Presidents to Help Dedicate Billy Graham Library

Professors Hold 'Unfavorable' View of Evangelicals

A majority of American university faculty members view evangelical Christians unfavorably and would like to see the influence of "Christian fundamentalists" on American politics lessened, according to a study released Monday by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research (IJCR). The survey, which polled more than 1,200 university faculty members, found that 53 percent of them have "cool" or "unfavorable" feelings toward evangelicals, a group that may account for one-third of the American population. The study also found that one-third of faculty members had a negative view of Mormons. Dr. Gary Tobin, president of the IJCR and a co-author of the study, told Cybercast News Service he hopes the research will encourage university administrators and faculty to examine their own prejudices. "This is an opportunity for reflection and honest debate and improvement," he said. "It's an issue about the heart and soul of the academy. Universities should not be [places] that tolerate prejudices of any kind, even if it's a prejudice against America's largest religious group." Jonathan Knight, director of the Academic Freedom Program at the American Association of University Professors, said he doesn't see "any connection between what those views are and what happens in the classroom."
Christians Unite to Pray for Middle East Peace

Groups and ministries as diverse as the Newsboys, AGLOW International, the Foursquare denomination and Christian Arabs are responding to the Middle East crisis and are rallying globally around the common cause of prayer for the peace of Jerusalem, says a release from A. Larry Ross Communications. The international prayer effort, Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (, is expanding rapidly and now includes than 150,000 churches in over 100 nations, partnering in prayer for the city of Jerusalem on the first Sunday of every October. “In these unprecedented days when movements of prayer are being raised up by God on every conceivable front and locale, The Global Day of Prayer joins hands with others in summoning the Body of Christ to pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” said Dr. Robert O. Bakke, executive director of The Global Day of Prayer – North America. U.S. Christian leaders ranging from Bishop T.D. Jakes to Dr. Ravi Zacharias and recording artist Michael W. Smith have all lent their names and support to the initiative, joining their hearts with the thousands around the world, asking for God’s special blessing and protection for Jerusalem.

Christian Files Suit to Block Construction of Mosque in Florida Neighborhood

According to, a Florida Christian has filed suit to block the construction of a Muslim mosque in an area of Pompano Beach where very few Muslims live. The area is described as African-American Christian. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and the World Wide Christian Center are located near the site. Antioch member Rodney Wright is concerned that the mosque's imam has ties to terrorism and that the facility will pose a threat to his neighborhood. Wright's suit is being brought against the ICOSF and both the Florida and national offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) because he alleges those groups are trying to bring a radical form of Islam to his neighborhood. Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the World Wide Christian Center, has been an outspoken critic of the mosque, claiming that CAIR has "acted in concert" with ICOSF, "working hard to oppose anyone that gets in the way of the mosque's creation."

Former Presidents to Help Dedicate Billy Graham Library

Two former US presidents, along with family and friends, will be among the guests joining Billy Graham in Charlotte to help dedicate the new Billy Graham Library May 31, ASSIST News Service reports. The 40,000-square-foot Library depicts the life of evangelist Billy Graham, and rather than simply serving as a memorial, is designed to inspire visitors as part of the ongoing outreach of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Located on the grounds of the organization's international headquarters, the Library is designed to resemble a barn, recalling Graham's childhood on the family dairy farm in Charlotte. It will house six exhibits, four galleries, and two theaters, covering the span of Graham's lifetime work on six continents speaking to more than 210 million people. The Library will also be the repository fo Graham's personal papers, including his correspondence and sermon manuscripts. President George Herbert Walker Bush will deliver the keynote address and President Bill Clinton will also take part in the ceremony.