Religion Today Summaries - October 20, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 20, 2005

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

  • Christians Are Here For ‘Such A Time As This’

  • Christians' Lawsuit Alleges Philadelphia Officials Conspired Against Them

  • Earthquake Survivors' Needs Differ From Tsunami, But Sharing Jesus Is Key To Both Relief Efforts

  • Paws & Tales Offers Kids 'A Closer Look' at Biblical Truth

Christians Are Here For ‘Such A Time As This’
Michael Ireland, Assist News Service

In the wake of several natural disasters around the world, Christians across America are being called upon to pray continuously, to be vigilant about daily Bible study, to be prepared for disaster themselves, and to boldly share the hope of Jesus. Christian Emergency Network (CEN) CEO and Founder Mary Marr is calling upon Christians everywhere to recognize that the number of natural disasters occurring around the world are causing people to ask questions about God. Hence, she said, "This generation of Christians is here, now, 'for such a time as this.' The Apostle Paul taught young Timothy, 'Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season…' (2 Timothy 4:2a). Well, if ever there was a season when this generation of the Body of Christ can share the Hope found only in Jesus Christ, this is it." Marr also said there are many ministries through which Christians can share their faith at this time. She noted that  needs volunteers to share their faith with callers. And, in addition to the Salvation Army and Operation Blessing, other organizations can be contacted directly for those wanting to volunteer. Among those serving the victims are United Methodist Relief, Christian World Reform, Church World Service, Nazarene Disaster Services, Mennonite Disaster Services, Brethren Church U.S.A. and Southern Baptist Men. Christian Emergency Network leads Christians to intelligently pray for, sensitively care for, and strategically share the gospel with victims involved in a national emergency.

Christians' Lawsuit Alleges Philadelphia Officials Conspired Against Them
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A lawsuit has been filed against the city of Philadelphia on behalf of 11 Christians who were arrested when they tried to preach on a public street during a homosexual pride event. Last October, 11 members of the group Repent America took to the streets during "Outfest," a homosexual event held on the streets of Philadelphia. Shortly after they arrived at the event, police arrested all of them, charging them with three felonies and five misdemeanors. Eventually all charges were dropped after a judge reviewed videotape of the event and said members of Repent America did nothing wrong. Before the charges against the Repent America members were dropped, they each faced up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 in fines. Ted Hoppe is an attorney for the Christians who were arrested, who are also known as the "Philadelphia 11." Hoppe says police officials and organizers of the pro-homosexual gala were engaged in a conspiracy. The attorney is hopeful that the lawsuit, if successful, will make it clear that those who do not agree with Repent America's message do not have the right to interfere with the group's constitutionally protected rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. 

Earthquake Survivors' Needs Differ From Tsunami, But Sharing Jesus Is Key To Both Relief Efforts
Goldie Frances, Baptist Press

The Oct. 8 earthquake that shook northern Pakistan and India has the region scrambling once again to meet enormous needs as recovery continues from the Dec. 26 tsunami that ravaged the countries of Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives. Southern Baptist disaster relief response to the earthquake will be similar to its response to the tsunami: meeting medical needs, providing food, building temporary shelter and helping individuals generate income. However, the differences between the two disasters are vast. "In the tsunami, most of the casualties were instant, within hours," Southern Baptist disaster relief specialist Philip Monroe* said. "I think with the earthquake, you're going to see a significant amount of secondary injuries. Secondary injuries will be much greater from lack of shelter and exposure to the elements. The tsunami occurred in a tropical zone, so you didn't have to worry about the change of the season." While the tsunami and the earthquake have not been the only disasters in South Asia in the past year, the two catastrophes affected large numbers of people who do not know Jesus as their Savior. The greatest similarity centers on the spiritual, Monroe said. "Each disaster occurred at the center of lostness," he said. "This earthquake has opened the eyes of the victims and has softened their hearts. People are experiencing a great degree of grief right now. We can see God's hand at work here, just like we did in the tsunami."

Paws & Tales Offers Kids 'A Closer Look' at Biblical Truth
Jenni Parker, Agape Press

The second video in the new Paws & Tales animated series for children, a production of Chuck Swindoll's Insight for Living radio ministry and Providential Pictures, is now available. Paws & Tales The Animated Series is an adaptation of Insight for Living's popular and highly successful Paws & Tales radio show, which airs on more than 450 outlets throughout the United States. "A Closer Look," like the preceding episode "Seeing the Unseen," uses an engaging cast of characters, brought to life with high-quality 3-D animation, to tell a story that will entertain children and teach them biblical principles at the same time. The first installment of the Paws & Tales animated video series, "Seeing the Unseen," won the Best Children's Film award at this year's International Christian Visual Media Association (ICVM) Crown Awards. And now, several Christian and family entertainment reviewers are already greeting the second Paws & Tales video with comparable praise. Both "A Closer Look" and "Seeing the Unseen" are available in DVD and VHS video formats and have a half-hour run time. Young fans of the radio and video series will also enjoy the Paws & Tales website (, which features games and other fun and educational resources. And parents and educators visiting the Internet site can access Q&A sections discussing each episode's biblical lessons. (