Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 13, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 13, 2006

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

  • Southern Baptists, Jewish Christians: God Gave Israel to the Jews
  • Pope Delivers Lessons on Religion, Reason, Church Beliefs
  • Doctor ‘Steals’ Dalit’s Kidney In India
  • Christian Faces Trial Over Bible-Based Pamphlets

Southern Baptists, Jewish Christians: God Gave Israel to the Jews

Both the spokesperson for the Southern Baptist Convention and Jews for Jesus ministry point to the Bible as the reason why a recent national poll found that the majority of the South believes God gave Israel to the Jews, The Christian Post reports. “The reason that 7 out of 10 evangelicals believe that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people is simply because it is stated as such in the Bible, and evangelicals believe the Bible to be God’s Word,” wrote SBC vice president for convention relations, Dr. Kenyn Cureton. Cureton expects the number to be higher among Southern Baptists. Late last month, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a survey that found 56 percent of those in the South believe that God gave Israel to the Jews. An even higher number (69 percent) of white evangelical Protestants subscribed to this belief. Jews for Jesus spokesperson Susan Perlman referenced Romans 11:29 which says “the gifts and his call are irrevocable” and concluded, “therefore so must our support for the survival of Israel be irrevocable.”

Pope Delivers Lessons on Religion, Reason, Church Beliefs

Returning to the city where he once taught theology, Pope Benedict XVI offered a fundamental lesson in what the church believes and why it should proclaim the faith clearly in today's anxious and violent world. In a sermon before an estimated 300,000 people in Regensburg Sept. 12, Catholic News Service reports the pope said it was necessary to recognize the modern "pathologies" associated with reason and religion and the ways that "God's image can be destroyed by hatred and fanaticism." In light of these distortions, Christians need to "state clearly the God in whom we believe and proclaim confidently that this God has a human face. Only this can free us from being afraid of God, which is ultimately at the root of modern atheism. Only this God saves us from being afraid of the world and from anxiety before the emptiness of life," he said.

Doctor ‘Steals’ Dalit’s Kidney In India

While undergoing surgery for pain in her uterus, a Dalit woman was robbed of her kidney by her doctor, says a Gospel for Asia release on ASSIST News Service's site. So far, according to news reports, her efforts at justice have been met with resistance and scorn because of her “untouchable” caste. Dr. K.P. Yohannan, president and founder of Gospel for Asia, says the case is another sad example of how India’s Dalits are denied even the most basic rights. “Not only are they denied their rights, they are openly abused with no consequences for those who oppress them,” he added. Maya was diagnosed in December 2003 with stones in her uterus. Her husband, Phool Singh, knew the impoverished couple did not have the money for her surgery. However, a friend referred Maya to a Dr. Richharia, who was able to get her in for surgery on December 20, 2003. But after she returned home, the pain continued. Her husband took her back for a checkup, but the doctor assured her that the pain would disappear after a few months. For almost two years, Maya continued to suffer. Finally, in January of this year, the couple went to another doctor for a second opinion. He suggested that she have an ultrasound. Those results showed that Maya’s left kidney was missing! The next day, the couple went back to Dr. Richharia’s clinic to inform him of their problem. He refused to see them, and the staff physically assaulted them for criticizing his reputation.

Christian Faces Trial Over Bible-Based Pamphlets

Evangelical Christians in Britain are concerned about the prosecution of a protester who was arrested at a homosexuality rally while disseminating leaflets quoting the biblical view about homosexuality, reports. Stephen Green, who heads a small but active lobby group called Christian Voice, is scheduled to appear before a Cardiff court on September 28, after pleading not guilty to a charge of "threatening, abusive or insulting behavior." Although some Christian Voice campaigns and tactics have caused  unease among some Christians, Green on this occasion won support. The Evangelical Alliance, a 160-year-old group representing more than a million British evangelicals, said it was worried that the case may "erode" Christians' freedom to proclaim their faith, as well as freedom of speech and religious liberties.