Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 21, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Nov. 21, 2007

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

  • Survey: Many Christian Parents Choose to Satisfy Children Over God
  • Eritrea Denies Expelling Missionaries
  • Researchers Turn Adult Cells into Embryonic-like Cells in Stunning Development
  • St. John’s Church Reopens in Baghdad

Survey: Many Christian Parents Choose to Satisfy Children Over God

The Christian Post reports the results of a Barna Group survey that shows Christian parents are purchasing media such as DVDs, music, and video games for their kids despite having personal convictions that run contrary to the content of the purchased media. 26 percent of parents who purchased DVDs for their teens or younger children in the past year did not feel comfortable with the products they purchased. About six out of 10 parents bought music CDs for their teen children but one out of every three of them had concerns about the content. Also, slightly more than half of all Christian parents had purchased video games for their children yet 46 percent of parents of teens admitted to concerns about the content of those games. Those most comfortable were single parents, mothers and parents least active in practicing their faith.

Eritrea Denies Expelling Missionaries

Eritrea on Monday denied reports claiming that it had expelled 13 Roman Catholic missionaries, The Christian Post reports, instead saying that their residence permits simply have not been renewed. “It is purely a routine immigration issue,” Yemane Gebremeskel, the director of Eritrean President Issaias Afeworki’s office, told Agence France-Presse. “These are people who do not have valid resident permits anymore. If you live somewhere and your residence permit has expired, and it is not renewed, then it is not renewed,” he said. Catholic news agencies last week accused the Eritrean government of forcing priests, nuns, and lay missionaries to leave the country within a two week deadline.

Researchers Turn Adult Cells into Embryonic-like Cells in Stunning Development

Baptist Press reports that skin cells have been converted into embryonic-like stem cells in human beings, scientists in Wisconsin and Japan revealed Nov. 20, producing a dramatic shift in favor of opponents of research that destroys embryos. The news elicited excited responses from both supporters and foes of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) because of its potential for providing therapies for debilitating diseases. It proved especially rewarding, however, for President Bush and others who have worked to hold back the persistent campaign for the government to fund experiments that destroy human embryos. The reports showed stem cells that have, in essence, the same properties as embryonic ones can be produced without destroying tiny human beings. A human embryo is killed when stem cells are extracted from it. "We don't want to jump the gun scientifically, but this may well be the end of the debate over embryonic stem cells," Southern Baptist bioethicist C. Ben Mitchell told Baptist Press. "This is exactly why many of us were saying, 'Take the moral high ground and work for ethical alternatives to embryo-destructive research.'"

St. John’s Church Reopens in Baghdad

ASSIST News Service reports that neighborhood Christians and Muslims attended a mass to celebrate the reopening of St. John's Church in Baghdad on November 15. According to a copyrighted story by Michael Yon ( ) for the Assyrian International News Agency ( a Bishop came to St John's Church in Baghdad last week, where a crowd of locals welcomed him home. They were joined at the service by soldiers from the 2-12 infantry battalion, many of whom had fought hard to secure these neighborhood streets. Members of the hard-fighting Iraqi Army 3rd Division were also here for this special day, says Yon. Most Reverend Shlemon Warduni, Auxiliary Bishop of the St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Diocese for Chaldeans and Assyrians in Iraq officiated, standing directly beneath the dome under the Chaldean cross. Speaking in both Arabic and English, Bishop Warduni thanked those American soldiers sitting in the pews for their sacrifices.