Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 13, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 13, 2009

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

  • Iranian Judge Charges Women Converts with Apostasy
  • Christians Take On World Hunger This Week
  • Churches That Split over Race to Worship in Philadelphia
  • Poll: Half of Americans Say Homosexuality Is 'Morally Wrong'

Iranian Judge Charges Women Converts with Apostasy

ASSIST News Service reports that an Iranian judge has charged two Christian women with apostasy and propagation of the Christian faith. Maryam Rustampoor, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were unexpectedly taken before the court on Oct. 7. The women have been held in Evin Prison since March 5. "In a positive development, their case has now been transferred from the revolutionary court to the regular courts after the judge dropped the earlier charge of anti-state activities. Maryam, Marzieh and their lawyer are pleased with this development," said a spokesperson for International Christian Concern. In an interview with the Voice of America Persian News Network, Maryam and Marzieh's lawyer said, "My clients are not prepared to lie about their faith under any condition." 

Christians Take On World Hunger This Week

The Christian Post reports that churches nationwide are calling on their congregations to do something for World Hunger Day on Oct. 16. "I think Jesus was very clear that not only are we to share with people the love of God in sharing about Jesus Christ, but we also are to meet the human needs that exist," said Wendy Norvelle, a spokesperson for the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board. The denomination took an offering on Sunday for its World Hunger Fund. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) has encouraged its members to participate in Food Week of Action, Oct. 11-18. According to the U.N. World Food Program, more than 1 billion people go hungry every day, some of them pushed over the brink by rising food prices and other fallout of global economic problems.

Churches That Split over Race to Worship in Philadelphia

Religion News Service reports that black and white congregations at the center of the two-century-old split in the Methodist Church will soon worship together again. Racial tensions and segregation sparked the split of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from the United Methodist Church in the late 1700s, and the two churches have not been together since. On Oct. 25, the two congregations will meet for a joint Sunday worship service for the first time since their split, though they have previously held ceremonial exchanges. "The incidents that pulled us apart so many years ago do not have to be as powerful as the things that brought the first black and white Methodists together," said the Rev. Alfred Day, pastor of Historic St. George's United Methodist Church, in an announcement. "The experience of God's Spirit is breaking down barriers instead of erecting them."

Poll: Half of Americans Say Homosexuality Is 'Morally Wrong'

Baptist Press reports that half of Americans still think homosexuality is "morally wrong" and few find it "morally acceptable," according to a new Pew Research poll. The survey of 4,013 adults in August shows that 49 percent say that homosexuality is morally wrong, 9 percent morally acceptable and 35 percent say it is not a moral issue. That's little changed from a February 2006 Pew poll, when 50 percent said it was morally wrong, 12 percent morally acceptable and 33 percent said it was not a moral issue. The polls are mostly in line with Gallup surveys from the past eight years, when anywhere from between 48 and 55 percent of Americans have said they found homosexuality to be "morally wrong." Still, 57 percent of all adults favor "allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples."