Religion Today Summaries, October 24, 2003

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, October 24, 2003

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

  • Christian Activists Gather This Weekend for 'Reclaiming America for Christ' Conference
  • 'Amplification of Prayer' Urged for President Bush
  • Christian School Faces Lawsuit Brought by Homosexual Student
  • Sri Lanka: Violent Attacks During Worship

Christian Activists Gather This Weekend for 'Reclaiming America for Christ' Conference
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A two-day gathering in Florida, featuring speakers on the frontlines of the culture war, is bringing the salt and light of God's Word to bear on moral issues in America. Thousands of Christians are expected to attend the annual "Reclaiming America for Christ Conference," which kicks off Friday at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale. There speakers will encourage believers to stay their course in the culture war, and workshop presenters will help Christian activists learn techniques to implement grassroots action. Dr. D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, is the founder of the Center for Reclaiming America.  According to the pastor and ministry leader, those attending the conference will be equipped to make a difference for Christ. "I think that people will be inspired by what they hear in a whole lot of different areas pertaining to our country," Kennedy says, "and I'm sure many of them will learn things they didn't even know were going on. They'll be encouraged in many different ways." Kennedy says America's moral freefall can be traced to the steps of churches nationwide that have stopped being salt and light for a lost world. Now, the ministry leader says, Christians must take the offensive. He points out a number of egregious problems in modern America that the Church must fight.

'Amplification of Prayer' Urged for President Bush
Charisma News Service

Intercessory groups and prayer leaders are again calling on Christians for "an amplification of prayer" for the protection of President Bush, his family and members of his administration. They say intercessors have sensed "a renewed burden to pray" for Bush's safety for the past six weeks. "One reason for added concern over the past months is the Islamic 'cursing' and death calls being made against President Bush and other leaders by militant Muslim mullahs during Friday mosque services," Intercessors for America President Gary Bergel wrote in a message published Monday. "Many of us have now also sensed a heightened burden to pray against assassination, attack and calamity during the president's current visit and participation at [the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit]," he added. Bergel noted that the ancestral folk religions and cultures of the Asian nations Bush was visiting "are laced with the conjuring and casting of various kinds of spells and curses, including 'death curses.'" Bergel cited a recent story which reported that a photograph of Bush was sealed inside a clay pot amid black magic mantra chants and curses, then tossed into a river last Friday by hundreds of farmers protesting U.S. agriculture policy. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill Prayer Partners have issued a multi-point "plan of prayer" on behalf of Bush, who is set to depart Australia for Hawaii this afternoon to complete his Asian tour. 

Christian School Faces Lawsuit Brought by Homosexual Student
Fred Jackson, Agape Press

In Florida, a private Christian school is facing a lawsuit for expelling a student who admits he's a homosexual. Eighteen-year-old Jeffrey Woodward claims the Jupiter Christian School in West Palm Beach expelled him three days after he admitted to a teacher that he was a homosexual.  Woodward says the teacher pulled him out of Bible class and asked him if he was homosexual. He says when he answered "Yes," a school official called his mother and told her that Woodward could not attend an upcoming school retreat unless she and her son met with the school to talk about his homosexuality. His mother says the interdenominational school told them that Woodward could get counseling for his problem, voluntarily withdraw from the school, or be expelled.  Now Woodward and his mother have filed a "breach of contract" claim against Jupiter Christian. School official Richard Grimm says he cannot talk about the issue because it involves private information about a former student.  But Grimm says the school policies are based on biblical values -- and the school website claims that the school disputes many of the "facts" reported in the media. Even homosexual activists admit the school has done nothing illegal because Florida discrimination laws do not apply to private schools.

Sri Lanka: Violent Attacks During Worship
ASSIST News Service

 Thanks to the tireless work of indigenous evangelist and church planters, the Sri Lankan church is growing. However, the evangelical church is still a tiny minority in a land of escalating Buddhist nationalism. The frequency and severity of attacks against the Church has risen dramatically this year. There has been a string of serious attacks upon Sri Lankan Christians and Sri Lankan churches in recent weeks. The perpetrators act with impunity. As such, there is little motivation to cease violent acts of religious hatred against Christians, and the violence is escalating. Four women from the Assembly of God church in Kotadeniyawa; sisters Ayesha (a pastor), Shyama, Indika and Sharmila, were abused and harassed by the Buddhist monk from the local temple, as they erected fence posts on the church property. That night some 30 men came and smashed the fence. When the men saw the four women they attacked them violently but were unable to manage to rape them. In their frustration they took the women to the police station and accused them of being prostitutes. The police charged the women with prostitution and forced them to face court. Medical tests had to be done to prove they were not prostitutes. Sister Ayesha had to be hospitalised as a result of her injuries.