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Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 30, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 30, 2007

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

  • Dissidents Open Talks on New Evangelical Presbyterianism
  • Iraqi Premier Pledges to Protect Country’s Christian Minority
  • Flag Folding Ceremony Nixed because of Reference to God
  • WEA Calls for End to Violent Oppression in Myanmar

Dissidents Open Talks on New Evangelical Presbyterianism

The Christian Post reports that Presbyterians discontent with the liberal direction of the PC(USA) opened discussions on Sunday about a new approach to being the Church of Jesus Christ. The New Wineskins Association of Churches (NWAC), a network of some 200 Presbyterian churches is holding its fourth convocation in Fair Oaks, Calif., to determine the next steps toward remaining faithful Presbyterians. Several congregations have already voted this year to disaffiliate with the PC(USA) – the largest Presbyterian denomination in the country – and more are expected to leave in the coming years. The conflict began in 2001 when the PC(USA) would not affirm the singular saving Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Iraqi Premier Pledges to Protect Country’s Christian Minority

Iraq's prime minister pledged Saturday to protect and support the Christian minority that has been fleeing the chaos and sectarian violence in the country, ASSIST News Service reports. While receiving Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel III Delly, the head of Chadean Church in Iraq and the world, Nouri al-Maliki in a statement affirmed his government's determination to defend the small community and to stop the outflow of Iraqi Christians. Delly has been outspoken about the need to protect minority Christians from Iraq's violence. Pope Benedict XVI named Delly as one of 23 new cardinals as a prince of the Roman Catholic Church on Oct. 17. Iraqi Christians, mostly Chaldeans, have been targeted by Islamic extremists who have labeled them “Crusaders.” The AP recently reported that up to 50 percent of Iraq's Christians may already have left the country.

Flag Folding Ceremony Nixed because of Reference to God

According to Family News in Focus, 125 national cemeteries can no longer honor military veterans families with a flag-folding recitation ceremony because one person complained that the ritual mentions God. Thousands of military families request the recitation ceremony for deceased loved ones. It’s considered an unofficial but meaningful way for families to honor a soldier’s sacrifice. But the recitations were banned by the VA until further notice because, as Rees Lloyd with the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of the American Legion puts it, “One disgruntled narcissist has caused a complete ban affecting 300-million Americans honor our war-dead and our comrades, veterans and we think its an outrage and we intend to fight it.”

WEA Calls for End to Violent Oppression in Myanmar

In an open letter, addressed to all people of conscience worldwide, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), calls on the international community of nations to act soon and decisively on the issue of continuing military violence in Myanmar, ASSIST News Service reports. The WEA, which is made up of 128 national evangelical alliances located in 7 regions and 104 associate member organizations, believes that continued waiting, as the UN did in Darfur and Rwanda, will bring continued immeasurable suffering. The letter says: "The people of Burma have been ruthlessly oppressed and murdered by the SPDC for decades while the world has turned their eyes from this diabolical violence, and in so doing, submerged their conscience. The world is now looking Burma squarely in the eyes, and the time for change is now."