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Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 14, 2008

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 14, 2008

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

  • Iraq: 3,000 Christians Flee Mosul after Murders
  • Dobson Condemns Conn. Gay Marriage Ruling
  • India's Christians Celebrate First Woman Saint
  • Poll: Campaign Season Has Little Impact on Charitable Giving

Iraq: 3,000 Christians Flee Mosul after Murders

In the past two weeks, thirteen Christians were killed in Mosul, Iraq, prompting thousands of other Christians to flee the city in fear, CNN reported. The AFP reported that nearly 1,000 police reinforcements moved into Iraq's third-largest city on Sunday to restore stability, hoping to slow the "major displacement" of Christians. Duraid Mohammed Kashmoula, the governor of northern Iraq's Ninevah province, told the AP that "al Qaeda elements are behind this campaign against Christians," as Mosul is regarded as the last stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq. According to CNN, last week several predominantly Christian neighborhoods received leaflets that demanded their conversation, payment, or death. Gunmen began stopping vehicles at new checkpoints several days later, targeting - and killing - those with Christian names or other signs of Christian faith.

Dobson Condemns Conn. Gay Marriage Ruling

According to a news release, Focus on the Family Chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., issued the following statement Saturday in response to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision to order same-sex marriage in that state: “Today’s ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court to impose same-sex marriage adds another tragic example of runaway judges trampling on citizens’ right to decide public policy for themselves. In doing so, the court has placed the desires of adults over the needs of children who, social science research proves, do best when they are raised by their married mom and dad living in the same home ... We decry this decision by justices unelected and unaccountable to the people, and will do whatever is necessary to oppose it." Dobson went on to emphasize the importance of state amendments that define marriage between one man and one woman, such as those on the ballot in California, Arizona and Florida.

India's Christians Celebrate First Woman Saint

Even as Christians in India face continued violence from Hindu extremists, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday recognized the faith of one Indian woman with the announcement of sainthood, the AP reported. Sister Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception is the first Indian woman to be canonized, although many view Mother Teresa, originally of Albania, as one of India's own. Alphonsia was beatified by the previous pope, John Paul II, which is the second-to-last stage to formal sainthood. The pope also recognized three other new saints Sunday, saying, "May their examples give us encouragement, their teachings give us direction and comfort."

Poll: Campaign Season Has Little Impact on Charitable Giving

Although the economic downturn continues to have an impact on giving, a poll sponsored by Dunham+Company in late September shows the political campaign season has not significantly affected charitable giving. “The fear that the political campaigns would add to the financial woes of charities by dramatically impacting giving is unfounded,” said Rick Dunham, the company’s president and CEO. “There is a greater likelihood, however, that charities supported by those who lean liberal or Democratic could feel some impact.” Wilson Research Strategies conducted the polling. The study found that nearly 8 in 10 (78 percent) of Americans say they will not contribute to the political campaigns in the coming weeks. In the key giving demographic of adults 55-64 years old, nearly 9 in 10 (85 percent) say they won’t contribute. And of those who do say they will contribute to the political campaigns, 63 percent say it won’t limit their giving to charity.