Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 2, 2009

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 2, 2009

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

  • Translators Announce 2011 Update of Popular NIV Bible
  • Former Miss California Sues Over Defamation, Discrimination
  • Zimbabwe Vastly Better than Last Year, U.S. Bishop Says
  • Kazakhstan: 'Such Preaching Is Prohibited By Our Law'

Translators Announce 2011 Update of Popular NIV Bible

USA Today reports that publishers and scholars behind the popular NIV Bible will update the translation's language for a new 2011 release. "And we'll make sure we get it right this time," says Keith Danby, president and CEO of Biblica, once known as the International Bible Society, in an interview Monday. This will be the fourth version of the best-selling translation, which has not been updated since 1984. The controversial T-NIV, which used "inclusive language" to replace male pronouns not referring to God, was published in 2002 instead. The new NIV translation will replace the T-NIV, sparking questions about such issues will be handled in 2011. Scholars and publishers will "review every single gender-related decision we have made and make sure we are putting God's unchanging word into English people are actually using," says Douglas Moo, chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation. 

Former Miss California Sues over Defamation, Discrimination

The Christian Post reports that Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California who allegedly lost her crown over her stance on same-sex marriage, has filed a lawsuit against pageant officials. Prejean was fired almost three months ago for "failure to fulfill obligations outlined in her contract," officials say, but Prejean's lawyer insists she fully upheld her end of the deal. "There were no contract violations," he said after finding no proof that Prejean missed scheduled appearances, as pageant officials had claimed. The lawsuit for libel, slander, and religious discrimination does not ask for a specific monetary amount. Prejean has said, however, the "public ridicule and humiliation" she faced after the pageant caused her to lose modeling work and suffer from anxiety and depression. Prejean won national attention when she answered a question about Proposition 8 with support for traditional marriage.

Zimbabwe Vastly Better than Last Year, U.S. Bishop Says

Catholic News Service reports Zimbabwe is no longer a "desperate" place. "There is food in the shops, people are in the supermarkets buying things," said, Bishop Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla. Ricard says he sees a "level of hope" that was nonexistent last year, when hyperinflation, drought and political corruption still devastated the country. Ricard and Steve Hilbert, Africa policy adviser in the U.S. bishops' Office of International Justice and Peace, visited the country Aug. 26-28 for the first time since 2008. "It was startling to see the number of people on the streets" of the capital, Harare, Hilbert said. "Zimbabwe a lot has changed for the better." The unity government remains fragile, but Zimbabweans are hopeful that upcoming referendums will lead to a new, permanent constitution to safeguard the country's progress.

Kazakhstan: 'Such Preaching Is Prohibited By Our Law'

ASSIST News Service reports that police broke into the house where members of the Pavlodar Grace Church were staying in Upsen, Kazakhstan last month. One visitor was questioned and a local woman the visitors had prayed with was beaten by police until she signed a statement saying she had been forced to submit to a religious ritual. Two of the visitors face administrative trial on August 31. Asked why the police targeted the group, Inspector Nurserik Aytzhanov said, "They were imposing their religion on the residents of the town by saying that ‘Jesus Christ is the only God and you must believe in him'." He continued, "Such preaching is prohibited by our law." He maintained that none of the detained church members were beaten.