Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 7, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 7, 2006

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

  • Arab Church Leaders Reject Christian Zionism As 'False Teaching'
  • European Evangelicals to Launch Religious Intolerance, Discrimination Platform
  • New Website Proclaims Democrats' Religious Values
  • Judge Orders Homeowners Assoc. to Allow Bible Meetings in Common Area

Arab Church Leaders Reject Christian Zionism As 'False Teaching'

Following the recent Israeli-Hizballah war in Lebanon, reports four Arab church leaders based in Jerusalem have issued a scathing attack on Christians who actively support the Jewish state, indirectly including President George W. Bush. In a statement published just one week after a United Nations ceasefire went into effect on August 14, Nazareth-born Roman Catholic Patriarch Michel Sabbah was joined by two Arab Protestant bishops and one Arab Orthodox archbishop, in charging that "the Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism." "We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation," the statement said. Signed by Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad, along with Sabah and the Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran bishops of Jerusalem, the joint statement indirectly denounced President Bush for declaring his support last May for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan to hold onto some Jewish settlements in the disputed West Bank after unilaterally withdrawing from many others.

European Evangelicals to Launch Religious Intolerance, Discrimination Platform

The European Evangelical Alliance, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, and Open Doors are joining forces to launch the European Platform on Religious Intolerance and Discrimination, The Christian Post reports. Several religious groups - including Catholics, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Jewish, and Muslim - were sent a letter of invitation to become a member of EPRID on Saturday. The Platform will be officially launched during a reception at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on Sept. 26. The organizers hope that the new platform will help raise the issue of Religious Intolerance and Discrimination higher on the agenda of European institutions. EPRID aims to conduct a “structured dialogue” between the Platform and European Institutions to discuss ways to improve European policy and practice. The Platform will not be involved in ecumenical activities.

New Website Proclaims Democrats' Religious Values

The Democratic Party is unveiling a new website in hopes of convincing voters that their party attracts people with religious values too. AgapePress reports that a recent poll showed only one in four Americans views the Democratic Party as friendly to religion. Some believe that is probably because the Democratic Party has fought so hard for such things as abortion on demand and same-sex "marriage." However, AP reports that a broad-based group of "Christian Democrats" is hoping a new website will change some minds about equating anti-Christian values with the Democrats. The website,, will showcase theologians, party strategists, political leaders, and bloggers.

Judge Orders Homeowners Assoc. to Allow Bible Meetings in Common Area

Residents of one California neighborhood have been told by a judge that they can still hold Bible studies in a community center, despite a ban instituted by the homeowners association, AgapePress reports. For more than 30 years, residents of a mobile home park in Warner Springs, California regularly held Bible studies. But two years ago, the homeowners association barred Bible and prayer meetings in the community center after receiving a complaint. Since that time the group had met in homes, but found it difficult to accommodate the gathering, which sometimes numbered as many as 40. But San Diego Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Stern has now ruled in favor of the Bible-studying residents in a lawsuit that was filed on their behalf by the U.S. Justice Foundation. In addition to allowing the Bible and prayer meeting to convene in the community center, the homeowners association was also ordered to pay $12,000 in attorney's fees.