Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 27, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 27, 2006

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

  • Controversial Archbishop Gets Excommunicated
  • Post-9/11: Back to the Way We Were, Says NYC Radio Personality
  • Investigation into Violence and Destroyed Churches in Nigerian Town Continues
  • Ministry Calls for Prayer, Fasting on Behalf of Human Trafficking

Controversial Archbishop Gets Excommunicated

The Christian Post reports that Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the Zambian prelate who already had angered the Vatican by getting married in 2001, has been excommunicated for again defying the Holy See by installing four married men as bishops, the Vatican said Tuesday. The Vatican said Milingo, 76, was "automatically excommunicated" under church law for the ordination of the men a few days earlier. The Archdiocese of Washington said Sunday that the installations were not valid. Even before his marriage, Catholic officials accused Milingo of promoting African indigenous beliefs by performing mass exorcisms and healing ceremonies.

Post-9/11: Back to the Way We Were, Says NYC Radio Personality

A long-time Christian radio personality in New York City says in many cases the city has reverted to its post-9/11 spiritual climate, AgapePress reports. In the months immediately following the terrorist attacks in 2001, churches throughout the greater New York City area reported overflow crowds. Now, according to George Flores of WMCA 570 and 970 AM, many people in the area are indifferent to spiritual matters. "A lot of people are escaping. They don't want to contend with the fact that we are at war, they don't want to contend with the bad memory of the pain that they might have felt back on [September 11, 2001]," Flores shares. Flores, who has worked in Christian radio in the New York area for more than two decades, detects a complacency regarding Christianity. "There is a strong, strong spine to America," he says, "but still part of me thinks there's a lot of America that's attempting to just [think] 'maybe this will go away.'" But that is not realistic, he adds. "I don't see the same level of faith nor the same level of patriotism that I saw immediately after the attack."

Investigation into Violence and Destroyed Churches in Nigerian Town Continues

Investigations are still ongoing for arson fires set by Muslim mobs last week in the northern Nigerian town of Dutse, ASSIST News Service reports. The rioting and fires damaged up to 70 structures, including churches, homes, and Christian businesses, said a Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) leader. The attacks came when already tense relations between Muslims and Christians in the capital of Jigawa were stressed further by comments made by Pope Benedict XVI during his Regensburg address earlier in the month. Benedict quoted criticism of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus. The Pope has since issued a statement to say that he had never meant to offend Islam. However, demonstrations and violence by some Muslims have been ongoing worldwide. Nigerian authorities believe the trouble in Dutse was started as the result of a Christian market trader insulting the Prophet Muhammad in the presence of a Muslim customer, according to a BBC news service report. However, the cause for the rioting and fires may be a combination of the two events.

Ministry Calls for Prayer, Fasting on Behalf of Human Trafficking

A Family News in Focus story says it’s been estimated that there are about 27 million people suffering in slavery around the world, including forced labor and the sex trade. Now, the Salvation Army has suggested a course of action beyond establishing tighter laws - a weekend of prayer and fasting. Lisa Thompson with the Army says the problem is too large to depend on human solutions alone. Human trafficking is now the second largest criminal enterprise in the world just behind the drug trade. “We’re asking people to organize themselves and to pray and to fast," Thompson said. "We have produced a prayer guide that people can request from us.” Additionally, Dr. Jeff Barrows with the Christian Medical and Dental Association says some U.S. companies are selling products produced by slaves. “It is an issue that I think we, as Christians, need to be careful about to be sure that we’re following up on these news reports to see if they’re valid and if so, to change our buying habits.”