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Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 18, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 18, 2007

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

  • Growing Crisis of Sexual Addiction among Christian Women
  • Responding to the Cry of  143 Million Orphans
  • Religious Viewpoints Receive Equal Playing Field in TX Schools
  • Pope Completes Second Encyclical, a Meditation on Christian Hope

Growing Crisis of Sexual Addiction among Christian Women

According to a Religion News Service release, there is a crisis brewing in the Church: a growing epidemic of sexual addiction among women. A new book from Pure Life Ministries by authors Steve and Kathy Gallagher, Create in Me a Pure Heart, explores the scope of the problem and provides biblical answers for the church and the struggling woman. For twenty-two years, Kathy Gallagher has been helping women cope with their husbands’ sexual addictions. Now she is responding to a growing number of women addicted to porn and online sex. “Thirty years ago,” remarks Gallagher, “you never would have thought that the woman sitting next to you in Sunday school might be viewing porn. But with the growth of the Internet, the gap between what men and women do in secret has been drastically reduced.” Nielsen NetRatings indicate nearly one-third of the visitors to adult websites are female. Today’s Christian Woman reported that 34 percent of their online newsletter readers admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn.

Responding to the Cry of  143 Million Orphans

The United Nations reports that the number of orphans around the world waiting for help is 143 million - that’s more than the populations of Canada and Mexico combined, says a release from DeMoss News Pond. Recognizing that the severity of today's orphan crisis is bigger than any one organization, FamilyLife, Focus on the Family, and Shaohannah’s Hope launched the Cry of the Orphan campaign to help raise awareness and encourage Christians and churches to get actively involved in caring for the world's orphans. Their efforts continue to gain momentum and recently led to the creation of the Christian Alliance for Orphans - a formal coalition of more than 75 churches, ministries and orphan-related organizations working together to make a difference in the lives of orphans. "I believe God is willing and planning to do even greater and mightier things through us corporately than He has done through all of us individually," said Kerry Marks-Hasenbalg, Christian Alliance for Orphans partner and former executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Religious Viewpoints Receive Equal Playing Field in TX Schools

First, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ was banned in some Texas schools. Then at Easter, Jesus took a hit. Following a series of reactive lawsuits, The Religious Viewpoint Antidiscrimination Act has now come into fruition, Family News in Focus reports. The state law simply says that if the school has given a student the right to speak on a subject, they must be allowed to express religious opinions if they wish. Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Legal Institute says the law is court-proof because it is built off of Supreme Court cases. That said, he also believes the law will be given a good workout, given the level of intolerance towards Christians in many schools.

Pope Completes Second Encyclical, a Meditation on Christian Hope

According to Catholic News Service, Pope Benedict XVI has completed his second encyclical, a meditation on Christian hope. The text, tentatively titled "Spe Salvi" ("Saved by Hope"), is about 65 pages. No release date has been set for the document. The working title comes from Paul's letter to the Romans, in which he wrote: "For in hope we have been saved." The encyclical is said to explore the Christian understanding of hope, with reference to modern philosophy and the challenges of disbelief.