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Religion Today Summaries, October 29, 2002

Religion Today Summaries, October 29, 2002

In Today's Edition:

  • Faith Changes Churchgoers' Lives -- Slightly
  • Nigerian Citizens Speak Out Against Islamic Law
  • When Talking About Jesus, Kentucky Librarian Told Shhhhhhh!
  • Hungarian Church Experiences Reverse Generational Growth

Faith Changes Churchgoers' Lives -- Slightly

(Charisma News Service)  Faith changes people's lives, but only so far, according to the latest study from the Barna Research Group (BRG).  The Christian research organization found only 12 of 25 listed behaviors - covering areas such as economics, lifestyle and morality -- to be different among churchgoers than among non-churchgoers, and only seven differences between those identified as being born again and others.   Churchgoers were less likely to have watched a movie with objectionable material, more likely to discuss a moral issue with someone, and less likely to have smoked in the previous week - 28 percent compared to 39 percent of non-churchgoers.  Born-again interviewees were more likely to have volunteered to help a group serving the needy.  The results of the nationwide survey showed "people need more help in determining how their faith speaks to life issues beyond the obvious connections," BRG president George Barna said.  The impact of people's Christian faith seemed to be "largely limited to those dimensions of thought and behavior that are obviously religious in nature."

Nigerian Citizens Speak Out Against Islamic Law

(Compass) — Political and religious leaders in Nigeria continue an intense debate over the implementation of Sharia, or Islamic law, by 12 of the country’s 36 states. Some Muslim politicians appear to agree with Christian leaders that the imposition of Sharia is undemocratic. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, governor of the state of Lagos, where 6 of 10 residents are Christians, told a gathering of journalists and religious leaders that members of the Muslim community have been pressuring him to introduce the Islamic legal code. He rebuffed the attempt. Tinubu, a Muslim, expressed sadness that some politicians are deliberately dismantling the Nigerian state. “The nation’s crisis can be traced to the desperation of people who want to gain power,” he said. In the three years since states introduced Sharia, over 100,000 Nigerians have suffered displacement and more than 3,000 have died in riots.

When Talking About Jesus, Kentucky Librarian Told Shhhhhhh!

(Agape Press)  A Kentucky librarian says her free speech and religious rights were violated when her supervisor suspended her for talking about Jesus. Mable Dotson, a long-time librarian at the Phelps branch of the Pike County Public Library, says she was suspended after a co-worker objected to her talking about Jesus at the library.  Dotson said she was careful from then on not to talk about religion with that person -- adding that, "If she heard me talk about the Lord after that, she was listening to my conversations with other people."  Pike County Library director Lou Ella Allen would not comment on Dotson's suspension, other than to deny that it was because of religious conversations.  Allen says the library's board of directors will decide whether to take further action against Dotson at a meeting on November 5.

Hungarian Church Experiences Reverse Generational Growth
(Missions Insider)  An 11-year-old evangelical church in Budapest is reporting the coming to Christ of three generations--only in reverse order.  "About 50 young people came to Christ in the last seven years," the pastor told Christian Aid last week.  "None of them had Christian parents. So the church was composed predominantly of young adults.”  Then, during the last year, through the life and witness of these young people, their parents began to come to the Lord. First one couple, then several mothers, and then more and more parents until they formed a second generation of believers. "We can now see some signs that a third generation is coming to the Lord," the pastor said.  The pastor said that this reverse progression toward faith in Christ is one of the consequences of 40 years of Communism. It is not common in Hungary yet, since many youth have left the traditional faith, but that those planting new churches see this process more and more.