12 Days of Giveaways - Spin & Win! Sign up before Dec. 25th to win daily prizes and a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card. Find out details.

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 19, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 19, 2009

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

  • World Poverty Limits Access to Scripture, Group Says
  • Elderly Priest Kidnapped in Philippines
  • 'Twitter Bible' Converts Scripture into Mini Messages
  • Smithsonian to Open Evolution Hall, Dialogue with Faith

World Poverty Limits Access to Scripture, Group Says

Christian Newswire reports that world poverty is especially troubling because it limits people's access to and ability to read the Scriptures, according to Faith Comes By Hearing. The Population Reference Bureau's (PRB) reports that about half the world lives on $2 a day. "The world's poorest of the poor are cut off from the Bible," said Morgan Jackson, Faith Comes By Hearing's international director. "Half of the world's people are illiterate and too poor to afford a Bible. Five of six African believers will never own a Bible. And when people don't have Scripture in a format they can use and understand the results can be devastating to villages and whole countries." Morgan said some areas with limited access to Scripture will hear and memorize just one Bible story, building whole doctrines (or even denominations) on it," allowing heresy and false teaching to spread.

Elderly Priest Kidnapped in Philippines

Mission News Network reports that a 79-year-old Irish priest working in the Philippines has been abducted. Father Michael Sinnott was abducted by six armed men on Oct. 10, and is reportedly "alive but still at the mercy of his unknown captors," according to Voice of the Martyrs Canada. Sinnott and his captors, who are suspected members of an Islamic rebel group, were last spotted on Oct. 12 more than 40 miles (70 km) from his home. The rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has denied any part in the abduction, but remain the focus in the authorities' investigation. The priest has worked in the Philippines for the past 40 years, working with ill and disabled children, and is reportedly in frail health.

'Twitter Bible' Converts Scripture into Mini Messages

The Christian Post reports that the Bible is now available in a new translation -- Twitter. The German language book, actually titled "And God Decided to Chill," summarizes the 31,000-verse Bible in fewer than 4,000 tweets. Each "verse" of this "Twitter Bible" is under 140 characters long, leading to some paraphrased verses. For instance, the Genesis account of God resting after creation reads, "Thank God! It's Sunday!" Melanie Huber, portal manager of the Protestant Web site www.evangelisch.de, which launched the project, said about the initiative: "We want with this action to encourage a debate about the Bible and to simultaneously show the modern possibilities that exist to receive and make known the Word of God," according to Ecumenical News International.

Smithsonian to Open Evolution Hall, Dialogue with Faith

Religion News Service reports that the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will open a new permanent exhibit on to the "discovery and understanding of human origins" next March. The museum will also convene a panel of experts to bridge the gap between religion and science. With input from more than 50 scientific and educational organizations and 70 distinguished scientists and educators, the museum launched a Broader Social Impacts Committee to address the interaction between religion and science. "There's a long history of very dynamic interaction between religious ideas and the introduction of Darwin in America," said Jim Miller, co-chair of the committee. According to Miller, who is also an official with the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith, the evolution exhibit is "a scientific exhibit so it's not there to make a religious point."