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Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 18, 2010

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 18, 2010

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

  • Christian Man, Daughter Killed in Bombing in Iraq
  • U.S. Catholic Bishops Choose Conservative New Leader
  • U.S. Hunger Stats Stable, But Still at Record High
  • Christian Adoption Advisor Loses Discrimination Case

Christian Man, Daughter Killed in Bombing in Iraq

A Christian man and his six-year-old daughter were killed in Iraq on Tuesday, adding to the growing number of Iraqi Christians targeted in recent weeks. The two were killed after an explosive attached to a vehicle detonated in the northern city of Mosul. Recent attacks in Baghdad have killed almost 60 Christians, and the religious violence appears to be spreading. On Monday night, attackers killed two other Christian men before driving off. About the same time, another Christian home was damaged when a bomb exploded outside the house, though no one was injured. Many Christian families in Iraq who spoke to CNN said they feared for their safety and wanted to leave the country, but didn't have the means to do so.

U.S. Catholic Bishops Make Conservative Choice in New Leader

In a dramatic break with tradition, U.S. Catholic bishops on Tuesday elected New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan as their next president. Dolan defeated Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., 128 to 111 in the third and final round of voting. Kicanas has been vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, traditionally a stepping stone to the presidency, since 2007. Tuesday's election marks the first time since the 1960s that a sitting vice president was on the presidential ballot and lost the election. Religion News Service reports that Dolan is an outspoken conservative, while Kicanas is a moderate and conciliatory voice in the church. Observers said the elections show that the bishops' conference is moving sharply to the right. "This is a signal that the Catholic bishops are going to be leaders in the culture wars," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, an expert on the American church and a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

U.S. Hunger Stats Stable, But Still at Record High

Religion News Service reports that the number of Americans struggling with hunger remained stable in 2009 despite the economic downturn, but remained at the highest recorded level. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released statistics Monday that showed one in seven American households could not buy adequate food last year due to lack of money and other resources. The number of people suffering from "food insecurity" increased only one-tenth of a percentage point from 2008, but that number is almost more than 4 percentage points higher than it was 10 years ago, and the highest since 1995. The poverty rate increased by 3.8 million people -- a little more than 1 percent -- during the same time frame. More than half of food-insecure households participated in at least one of federal food assistance programs..

Christian Adoption Advisor Loses Discrimination Case

A Christian adoption advisor has lost her discrimination case against her former employer, Christian Today reports. Dr. Sheila Matthews was dismissed from an adoption panel by Northamptonshire County Council in the United Kingdom after she asked for permission to abstain from voting on the placement of children with same-sex families. Regional employment judge John MacMillan said there was no evidence that Matthews had suffered religious discrimination or that any member of the council who asked to abstain would have been treated differently. "I believe a same-sex relationship is not the best, most healthy, environment in which to raise children," Matthews told the judge. "The overarching principle of adoption is to seek the best interests of the child who has already experienced disadvantage."