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Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 3, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 3, 2007

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

  • Survey: Top Issues of Concern for American Evangelicals
  • Death Toll from Violence in Nigeria Higher than Estimated
  • U.S. Priest Sees Hopeful Signs for Eventual Reunification of Korea
  • Oprah's Promotion of Porn and Adultery Shameful, Says Christian Attorney

Survey: Top Issues of Concern for American Evangelicals

The Christian Post reports that leaders of the country's largest evangelical organization say dealing with changes in American culture is of utmost concern. The National Association of Evangelicals recently surveyed its leadership and found little concern centered on national politics or the war in Iraq. Culture concerns including consumerism, materialism, family finances and the preservation of traditional families were listed as top issues of concern to the evangelical leaders representing about 30 million members. Highest in culture concerns was reduction of abortions and defense of the sanctity of human life, according to NAE president Leith Anderson,  The next likely issue of concern identified by evangelical leaders was helping the hurting, which included HIV/AIDS, poverty reduction and immigration reform.

Death Toll from Violence in Nigeria Higher than Estimated

ASSIST News Service reports that indications suggest the death toll following the weekend’s violence in northern Nigeria may be higher than initially estimated. Reports are beginning to emerge about the causes of the violence. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says official figures suggest around nine Christians were killed, several churches were burnt and businesses and homes belonging to non-Muslims were destroyed during religious violence. Even Christian policemen are reported to have lost their homes and property. "The violence appears to have begun on the morning of 28 September 2007, when a group of Muslim students invaded a room shared by two Christian students at the Government Secondary School in Tudun Wada Na Kande, and began to assault them severely," says a CSW report. "When the Christian students asked what they had done wrong, their assailants initially told them to 'mind their own business.' However, once the school Principal arrived at the scene, the Christians were accused of drawing a picture of Mohammed on a mosque wall and of planning an assault on Muslim students."

U.S. Priest Sees Hopeful Signs for Eventual Reunification of Korea

Catholic News Service reports a U.S. Priest who has often visited North Korea believes that subtle changes in attitude are more important than signed documents when it comes to measuring progress in relationships with the North Koreans. Maryknoll Father Gerard Hammond, a missioner in South Korea since 1960, is the director of the Seoul archdiocesan National Reconciliation Center. Father Hammond first visited North Korea in 1995 to bring aid after devastating floods. Since then, he said, there has been an improvement in "dialogue, attitude and trust on both sides. I speak Korean and I'm accepted. If I wasn't, I couldn't go there." Hammond, 74, notes a subtle shift in attitude that has allowed him more access to the projects that are funded by the groups he represents, most of which are related to treating tuberculosis patients at 41 hospitals throughout the country.

Oprah's Promotion of Porn and Adultery Shameful, Says Christian Attorney

OneNewsNow.com reports that a special counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is upset that Oprah Winfrey, in a recent show titled "237 Reasons to Have Sex," featured among her 'experts' a woman who traveled worldwide experiencing one night stands, and another who advocated the use of pornography for couples to enhance their marriage. ADF special counsel Pat Trueman says it is shameful that Winfrey would advocate destructive behavior on her national talk show. "Shame on Oprah!" says Truman. "There are lots of children who watch the show. Many adults; many, many Christians; she's got a loyal following because she does have good things on her show." He argues that because of Winfrey's status, giving a forum to "anti-Christian" and "sinful" values only serves to popularize such behavior, even though adultery and pornography can only harm marriages.