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Religion Today Summaries - November 3, 2004

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - November 3, 2004

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

  • Presidential Prayer Team Will Continue To Pray For America's Leader

  • Promise Keepers Founder Aims to Reactivate the Faith of Young Adults

  • Trial Date Set for Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang in Vietnam 

  • Christian Worker Jailed For Faith Released

Presidential Prayer Team Will Continue To Pray For America's Leader

The president of a group that prays for America's commander in chief says whether U.S. citizens elect George W. Bush or John Kerry on November 2, the prayer team will continue praying for the person who occupies the Oval Office. John Lind is the head of the Presidential Prayer Team (PPT), a coalition of some three million volunteer prayer warriors who have committed to intercede regularly for America's leader in the White House. The PPT was formed after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and has been recruiting volunteers to pray for George W. Bush ever since. According to a recent Associated Press report, the team members have been preparing for the 2004 presidential election for several months now, asking God to help the electorate choose the best man to lead and unite a troubled and divided America, and Lind says they are also praying for a clear election result that will precede national reconciliation and a rally of support for the new president. In a pre-election communication, Lind told PPT members to keep in mind that many critical decisions will be made by the people voted in, from "the likelihood of new Supreme Court justices, to the value we place on life, marriage and more." The PPT president says he is confident, because of the prayers that have been offered, that God's grace will be covering the elections.

Promise Keepers Founder Aims to Reactivate the Faith of Young Adults
Charisma News Service

The man best known for mobilizing men to be the godly leaders they were called to be is working to reactivate the faith of another group noticeably absent from many church pews: 20- and 30-somethings. Promise Keepers founder and former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney has teamed up with his GenXer son, Marc, to host Fusion+Dallas at the Dallas Convention Center on Nov. 13, Charisma magazine reported. In recent years, 20- and 30-somethings have been planting churches, writing books and engaging other forms of media to help their peers sort through their spiritual questions and connect with like-minded people of faith. Organized in part by Marc McCartney, 31, and Brian Mosley, the 25-year-old founder of Rightnow.org, an interactive Web site to help 20- and 30-somethings connect with ministry opportunities worldwide, the Fusion event is designed to be interactive and experiential. Instead of the traditional conference fare, Fusion will incorporate film, drama and Bible "discussions" that will encourage group participation. By hosting the Fusion event, McCartney is proving that young adults aren't the only ones who can reach out to 20- and 30-somethings. (http://www.charismanow.com)

Trial Date Set for Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang in Vietnam
Compass Direct

Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang, prominent rights activist and general secretary of the Mennonite church in Vietnam , is scheduled to be tried on November 12. His wife was informed of this on Saturday, October 30. Irregularities and inconsistencies continue to surround the case. Mrs. Quang was denied the bi-weekly visit scheduled for October 15 and went daily after that to try to see her husband. She was finally told on October 22 that she would not be allowed to see him unless she agreed to try to convince him to admit to his "crime." Quang was arrested on June 8 on the charge of "inciting others to resist officers of the law doing their duty." Meanwhile, constant heavy pressure is being placed on Montagnard Mennonites in the Central Highlands. On October 22, Human Rights Watch released news of the September 24 destruction of a Mennonite church, office and home of Pastor Chinh. Compass has received reports and photos of other concurrent abuses.

Christian Worker Jailed For Faith Released
Charisma News Service

A Christian worker from India who had been jailed for seven months for his faith was released yesterday because of advocacy efforts by a human-rights group. Brian O'Connor was recently convicted of possession and sale of alcohol in the strictly Muslim kingdom. Without explanation, an Islamic court in Riyadh ignored the previous charge of spreading Christianity against him, Compass Direct reported. Instead, O'Connor was sentenced on Oct. 20 to three more months in jail, along with a punishment of 300 lashes, for the liquor accusations. He refused to accept the verdict, declaring to the court that he was not guilty of any crime. International Christian Concern (ICC) was informed over the weekend that "O'Connor has been released by Saudi officials and will fly out to Bombay in just a few hours," Assist News Service reported. "Brian's release highlights the power of advocacy and we thank all the individuals that made calls on his behalf to the Saudi embassy and to members of Congress," Washington, D.C.-based ICC said. O'Connor was reportedly tortured by Muslim leaders. He was then jailed on March 25, and was first brought to court on Sept. 15, and formally charged with spreading Christianity, and alcohol and pornography possession, Compass reported. The U.S. State Department listed Saudi Arabia as a "Country of Particular Concern" in its latest report on religious freedom. (http://www.charismanow.com)