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Religion Today Summaries - October 25, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - October 25, 2005

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

  • Chaplains' Free Speech and Religious Rights Under Attack

  • Quake Survivors Crying Out for Supplies

  • Conservatives Upset Over Miers’ Church Choice

  • Nigeria: The Kano Experience/Life Under Sharia

Chaplains' Free Speech and Religious Rights Under Attack
Bill Fancher, Agape Press

Several dozen members of Congress say they have sought the help of President Bush in restoring freedom of religious speech, asking him to issue an executive order permitting military chaplains to pray however God leads them. North Carolina Congressman Walter Jones says he wrote and circulated the appeal following years of complaints from military chaplains who say they are being banned from praying in Jesus' name. "We have sent a letter to the president, who is the Commander in Chief, asking [him] to please use an executive order to protect the First Amendment rights of our chaplains in the military," Jones explains. The congressman says all faiths have been affected by restraints on what they can say. He asserts there is an effort within the military to make it "politically correct" when it comes to religion. According to Jones, this has been especially tough on Christian chaplains. "In many situations, they are being discouraged from praying in the name of Jesus Christ," he offers. The Republican lawmaker says one chaplain wrote that "religious persecution is taking place in the Army on a daily basis." Jones says he has heard similar complaints from the Navy, Air Force and Marines -- and that he hopes Americans will call the White House and urge President Bush to uphold what he considers chaplains' free speech and religious rights.

Quake Survivors Crying Out for Supplies
World Vision

World Vision continues to rush emergency aid into Pakistan following one of the worst earthquakes in history, which left over 80,000 thousand people dead and millions more in need of food, water and shelter. Aid trucks carrying water, blankets and other supplies arrived in the devastated town of Balakot amid scenes of desperation. World Vision staff have told us that survivors are crying out for supplies with hands outstretched, pleading for anything that could be given. World Vision has organized flights from Australia, Germany, Dubai, Italy, and Korea to bring in more emergency aid, including tents, blankets and medicines, in addition to procuring supplies locally. Your help is urgently needed today. It is bitterly cold in this region, and children and families desperately need food, blankets and tents to survive. Please give through our SAVE Fund to meet urgent needs. It doesn't take much to help save a life. (www.worldvision.org)

Conservatives Upset Over Miers’ Church Choice
Bill Fancher, Agape Press

While reports have noted that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is a member of an evangelical, pro-life church in Texas, some conservatives are upset that she has chosen to attend a pro-homosexual Episcopal church while living in the nation's capital. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council says he is disturbed by the fact that Miss Miers attends St. John's Episcopal Church. "It's very much a part of the sort of mainstream Washington Diocese Episcopal Church," he says. St. John's is known as a support of homosexual rights. "The diocese, of course, approves of same-sex marriages," Schenck continues. "The bishop of the diocese, Bishop John Chane, not only voted for but participated in the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop." Schenck says the extent of homosexual advocacy at St. John's is well known, and attendees must have a comfort level with that fact. Schenck says it is unlikely that not had "some kind of negative, deleterious effect on Miss Miers' spiritual life." Meanwhile, the White House continues to promote the fact that Miers attends a pro-life church in Texas.

Nigeria: The Kano Experience/Life Under Sharia
Compass Direct

From coercion in public schools to church demolitions, the Islamic campaign continues. Christians in rural areas of Kano are afraid to send their children to public schools for fear that they will be forced to convert to Islam. Students are being forced to study Arabic, Islam, and say Islamic prayers. Moreover, Christian leaders say, the government refuses to grant churches permission to establish schools in rural areas. “The strategy is to force Christians to send their children to public schools so that they can be forced to become Muslims,” said Rev. Murtala Marti Dangora, secretary of the Kano district of the Evangelical Church of West Africa. A former Muslim, Rev. Dangora said there are still numerous cases of persecution in the state; in one case, 15 Christians were forced to flee Banda village because of Muslim antagonism. Another Christian leader noted that Christians in Kano state have lost religious liberty and are seen as second-class citizens. (www.compassdirect.org)