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Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 4, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Oct. 4, 2007

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

  • Outgoing Assemblies of God Head Admonishes Churches Not to Lose Pentecostal Experience
  • Pastors Beaten and Arrested on Charges of Conversion
  • Despite Rabbis' Warning, Israelis Applaud Christian Pilgrims
  • Medical Teams International Explores Partnership with North Korea

Outgoing Assemblies of God Head Admonishes Churches Not to Lose Pentecostal Experience

The Christian Post reports that as new leaders for the Assemblies of God prepare to officially take office Oct. 8, the outgoing head is advising the Pentecostal group to continue embracing their Pentecostal practice. Mainly, relying on the Holy Spirit, according to General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask. "In the American culture, it's easy to think we can build the Church apart from the work of the Spirit," Trask said. "But history shows us where that leads. Churches that once had the touch of God have lost it because they did not rely on the Holy Spirit. We too can lose the touch of God." When he came into office 14 years ago, Trask felt the Lord give him a mandate to emphasize prayer and fasting and the work of the Spirit, he said. "We must not let go of our Pentecostal experience," the Pentecostal head highlighted.

Pastors Beaten and Arrested on Charges of Conversion

A dozen RSS Hindu activists caught hold of a pastor at the bus stand of Kendrapara, Orissa. According to ASSIST News Service, the pastor was distributing some gospel tracts and literature. The activists handed him over to the police on Oct. 2, demanding his arrest. A story on the website www.persecution.in said the incident took place at about 3:30 p.m., as Pradip Hialo, a missionary, was distributing the Christian materials. Suddenly, a group of RSS activists caught hold of him and abused him with vulgar words and profaned the name of Jesus Christ. The thugs then beat up the pastor leaving him faint before taking him to the nearest Police station. The tormentors accused him with the false charge of converting Hindus into Christianity.

Despite Rabbis' Warning, Israelis Applaud Christian Pilgrims

Israeli politicians and others applauded Christian Zionists who are visiting Jerusalem for the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration on Tuesday. Earlier, CNSNews.com had reported that top rabbis warned Jews to shun the event for fear of missionary activity. For 28 years the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been bringing Christians from around the world to Jerusalem to celebrate the Biblical feast of Succoth. This year organizers said it would be the largest such event ever, with some 7,000 pilgrims participating in the weeklong conference. It has become the largest single tourism event in Israel, infusing millions of dollars into Israeli economy annually. Thousands of Jews, both Orthodox and secular, lined the streets of Jerusalem Tuesday for an annual parade involving some 70,000 participants, police said, including the 7,000 Christians from more than 90 nations, many in national dress and waving national flags. In an incident that both police and Christian organizers deemed a provocation, three American men were detained by police on Tuesday after they disrupted the parade by displaying a large cross, shouting, and lying down in the road along the parade route.

Medical Teams International Explores Partnership with North Korea

A senior relief worker with Medical Teams International leaves today for North Korea-—the first visit in nearly 10 years by the Portland-based relief agency. Bill Essig, vice president of international programs, will travel with representatives from Christian Friends of Korea, a group working in North Korea since 1995, to confirm the arrival of an emergency shipment of medicines. The team also plans to meet with North Korean officials to begin discussions about a potential partnership between the Portland-based relief agency and the North Korean Ministry of Health. Essig expects to tour North Korean hospitals and clinics which received more than $1 million in critically needed medicines from Medical Teams International and its partner relief agencies last month. The supplies—-antibiotics, malaria and cholera medicines—-are helping 20,000 people affected by this year’s flooding. “We hope this visit will break new ground for Medical Teams International and North Korea,” says Essig.  “Our goal is to explore how we can help the people rebuild after the floods.”