Religion Today Summaries - October 17, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 17, 2005

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

  • GFA Responds to Deadly Earthquake
  • Ohio Reform Movement Kicks Off Multifaceted Mission
  • Summer Camp Provides Reconciliation Experience for Israeli and Palestinian Pre-Teens
  • Now a Christian Video Game Option

GFA Responds to Deadly Earthquake
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

After receiving permission to enter the sensitive Kashmir region of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, a team of Gospel for Asia native missionaries has arrived in Srinigar after a precarious 13-hour journey into the mountainous region devastated by Saturday’s earthquake. A relief team of 13 Gospel for Asia native missionaries has just arrived in Srinigar, Kashmir, one of the hardest-hit areas in last week's earthquake. "These men and women are bringing much-needed food, water, clothing and the Good News of Christ's love to those who are suffering," says K.P. Yohannan, Founder & President, Gospel for Asia. Yohannan said more than 50 GFA missionaries have already been ministering in the Jammu area of India's Jammu & Kashmir state. Controlled by the military due to border conflicts with neighboring Pakistan, the region was initially closed to relief work. But with the help of a Christian military couple from a Believers Church, GFA was granted permission to bring emergency relief supplies to minister to thousands of hurting Kashmiris. Yohannan reported that permissions have also been received from the Pakistan Embassy to send a relief team into that country to minister to the victims there. The earthquake that hit Pakistan and North India measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.

Ohio Reform Movement Kicks Off Multifaceted Mission
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A major initiative that seeks to bring moral reformation and spiritual renewal to the State of Ohio was unveiled today. The launch of "Reformation Ohio," a movement founded by Columbus area pastor Rod Parsley to mobilize values voters for political action, evangelism, and outreach, was recently announced during an event on the south lawn of the Ohio Statehouse. According to the Center for Moral Clarity, an organization founded by Parsley to help bring about moral revival in America, website, the organization exists to encourage Christian leadership by educating, equipping, organizing and mobilizing believers, including pastors and lay leaders, to be effective voices for change. The four-year "Reformation Ohio" initiative is based on spiritual principles. "The first goal is to present the gospel to at least a million people," a Center spokeswoman notes. "We believe, statistically, we would see at least 100,000 of those people accept Jesus as their personal savior." The second goal of the project, she explains, involves partnership with other Christian organizations in what are known as Compassion Projects. "We are networking with other nonprofit ministries who are involved in acts of compassion and mercy already to those less fortunate," she says. Also, she notes, another major objective of the Ohio effort is to register at least 400,000 new voters statewide. The coalition driving Reformation Ohio is one that reaches across racial and denominational lines throughout the state, and the Center for Moral Clarity representative believes the statewide initiative will help to mobilize values voters in other states across America as well.

Summer Camp Provides Reconciliation Experience for Israeli and Palestinian Pre-Teens
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

A group of 35 Palestinian and Israeli children, ages 9-12, joined together at Musalaha Reconciliation Ministries' summer camp, taking their first steps towards breaking down the barriers that lie between their peoples. "As the days passed during camp the concept and deeper realization of the true need for reconciliation amongst such a young age group became clearer," say Kim Bulow and Shadia Qubti, project coordinators, in an e-mail report received by ANS. "When we look at our children we are filled with the hope that they will make a difference, that they will not suffer as we have suffered or see what we have seen, and that they will see change in our societies." "Both Israeli and Palestinian children are products of their society and even at early ages they are affected by both the good and bad social norms that surround them. These phenomena led to our vision for the Musalaha summer camp this year. We set out to try and break down the many prejudices that these children most likely had already encountered.
"God has a plan, and we believe that this camp took place because God allowed it to." The ministry's Young Adult Desert Encounter will take place in the Sinai October 21-25.

Now a Christian Video Game Option
AFA Journal/Agape Press

Believers might not intuitively link the words "Christian" and "video games," but for one organization, it's a good fit. The Christian Game Developers Foundation (CGDF) was created to address both the growing appetite within modern culture for video games and the need for games that Christian parents can feel comfortable purchasing for their children. "Unfortunately, as the technology has improved, making video games more and more realistic, the trend has been toward graphically violent and sexually provocative games, often with dark or occult themes," the company's Web site notes. The CGDF raises money to help develop Christian games and promote companies that produce them. "I think the majority of gamers out there just want to play a great game," CGDF spokesman Ralph Bagley says. "They don't really necessarily need intestines hanging on a doorknob" in violent games. For more information on the CGDF or the Christian games available from various companies, visit the foundation's Web site (