Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 26, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 26, 2006

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

  • Assemblies of God Ministers in Times Square

  • Christians Reassured That Their Vote Is Critical

  • Report Notes Improper Favoritism toward Non-Christian Religions

  • Fans Await Winner of Gospel Music Competition


Assemblies of God Ministers in Times Square

Millions of residents and visitors to the America's largest city will soon be exposed to a Christian outreach. AgapePress reports that the Assemblies of God USA is coordinating the "God Gives Hope" Times Square-New York City outreach. From November 13-26 the message "God Gives Hope" will be flashed on the NBC JumboTron and the ABC Super Sign in Times Square. John Maempa, director of the national prayer center for the AOG, says the outreach will involved numerous volunteers and churches. "There will be people from the churches that will be distributing literature, a 'God Gives Hope' booklet that contains powerful testimonials," he explains. "We also have produced thousands of refrigerator magnets that have the 'God Gives Hope' image and websites on that as well." Maempa shares that according to marketing estimates, upwards of 21 million people are expected to pass through Times Square during that two-week period. "And then, of course, during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade ... there will tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people in that area, many of them riveted to the JumboTron, watching the progress of the parade," he adds. The message "God Gives Hope," along with the prayer center's toll-free phone number, will be displayed nearly a thousand times on the two huge message boards.


Christians Reassured That Their Vote Is Critical

Do the vote and voice of one Christian really make a difference? Spokesmen for a pro-family group tells AgapePress that they do Dr. Kenyn Cureton serves as the vice president of church outreach for the Washington, DC-based Family Research Council. The family advocate believes it is time for those who are the Church to accept the challenge of the culture war in America and face up to their responsibility as believers. He advises, however, to do things in the proper sequence. "We need to pray. We need to seek the face of God for our churches, for the government," says Cureton. "And I believe the people of God, like never before, need to get on their knees." And there is more to do after that, he says. "After we're on our knees in prayer, we need to get up on our feet and take a stand," says Cureton. "We need to take a stand for the value of human life. We need to take a stand for the value of traditional marriage. And we need to take a stand for our religious freedom."


Report Notes Improper Favoritism toward Non-Christian Religions

A recent report out of Iraq stated that military personnel were ordered to take "sensitivity training" in connection with the Muslim observance called Ramadan.  Edward L. White III is the trial counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, which recently defended some California seventh-graders who were indoctrinated in class about Islam.  White is convinced that Islam and other religions -- specifically, those that are not the dominant religions in America -- are constantly being allowed to do things that Christianity cannot.  In other words, he says, they are given "a pass." "The courts and the schools, in particular, look at [those other religions] as though this is something different [and] it's okay to do things that we would never allow you to do when it comes to Christianity," the attorney says.  That attitude, he explains, has a snowball effect. "The problem with that is that, all of a sudden, it starts running rampant," White continues.  "It starts running through the public schools, even all the way to the military of sensitivity training with regard to various things that there's really no need for."


Fans Await Winner of Gospel Music Competition

Many of America's 80 million gospel music fans are celebrating the second season of Gospel Dream-a nationwide, American Idol(r)-style search for the next great gospel music superstar. The series will air nationally on Gospel Music Channel-America's first 24-hour music entertainment network devoted to the best of all forms of gospel and Christian music-at 8:00 p.m. each Wednesday night, Nov. 1 - Dec. 6. This large faith-conscious consumer base, which listens to America's 1400 gospel radio stations and buys more than $1 billion in albums each year, will get a sneak-peek at Gospel Dream's grand prize winner in Nashville on Dec. 1, when the grand finale and announcement of the winner is taped. The final episode will be broadcast on Gospel Music Channel on Dec. 6.