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Religion Today Summaries, September 26, 2003

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries, September 26, 2003

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

  • Conservative Leader Says Assault Against Traditional Marriage Has Awakened 'Sleeping Giant'
  • Study Shows Twentysomethings Leaving the Church
  • Muslim Militants Continue Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria
  • Profanity on TV has Increased Across the Board, Study Says

Conservative Leader Says Assault Against Traditional Marriage Has Awakened 'Sleeping Giant'
Bill Fancher, AgapePress

A pro-family leader says the campaign to redefine marriage has galvanized the nation's conservative groups like never before. Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation has been a conservative icon since the Goldwater era. He claims that he has never seen the pro-family movement so unified as it is on the Federal Marriage Amendment issue. "The community of believers recognizes that either they preserve traditional marriage as the backbone of society, or society will become even more perverse," he says. The conservative spokesman says Christians now understand about this issue what they failed to realize about abortion 30 years ago -- that they cannot run and hide. He feels the effort by homosexual activists to redefine marriage has awakened a sleeping giant -- the pro-family movement. Weyrich points out that an interdenominational coalition has formed to address pro-life issues in the church, government, and society. The list of groups supporting the amendment also includes the American Anglican Council, a network of Episcopal bishops, clergy and laity working for the reform and renewal of the Episcopal Church; the Union Of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and many others.

Study Shows Twentysomethings Leaving the Church
Barna Research

A new study from the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California shows that millions of twentysomething Americans – many of whom were active in churches during their teens – pass through their most formative adult decade while putting Christianity on the backburner. The research, conducted with 2,660 twentysomethings, shows that Americans in their twenties are significantly less likely than any other age group to attend church services, to donate to churches, to be absolutely committed to Christianity, to read the Bible, or to serve as a volunteer or lay leader in churches.  Perhaps the most striking reality of twentysomething’s faith is their relative absence from Christian churches. Only 3 out of 10 twentysomethings (31%) attend church in a typical week, compared to 4 out of 10 of those in their 30s (42%) and nearly half of all adults age 40 and older (49%).  The low level of twentysomething church attendance is not just due to the “college years,” when many young adults may not have easy access to a church. The research shows that church attendance bottoms out during the late 20s when the vast majority of students have transitioned from education to the workforce. Just 22% of those ages 25 to 29 attended church in the last week.

Muslim Militants Continue Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria
Compass Direct

Over 100 well-armed Muslim militants swarmed into three Christian villages in northern Nigeria where seven people were reportedly killed, 30 homes burned and 140 families displaced in the 8 p.m. invasion. The attack on Pamadu, Kwale and Janye in Gombe state marks the second violent clash in the area. “This is the most cruel attack on a community I have ever seen in my life,” said Dr. Ishaku Iliya, chairman of the local government council. Gombe is one of 12 states in northern Nigeria that has implemented Islamic law. Since the introduction of the sharia legal code, Muslim militants have often attacked Christian areas where believers resist the enforcement of Islamic law.

Profanity on TV has Increased Across the Board, Study Says
Erin Curry, Baptist Press News

The use of foul language on television shows in the past five years has increased dramatically on nearly every network and in nearly every time slot -- including the so-called "Family Hour" from 8 to 9 p.m. ET -- according to a study by the Parents Television Council. The report examined all prime-time entertainment series on the major broadcast television networks from the first two weeks of the 1998, 2000 and 2002 November sweeps periods, analyzing a total of 400 program hours.  Foul language, including curses or intensives, offensive epithets, scatological language, sexually suggestive or indecent language, and censored language, increased by 94.8 percent during the Family Hour between 1998 and 2002. During the 9 p.m. ET time slot, such language increased by 109.1 percent, though the smallest increase (38.7 percent) occurred during the last hour of prime time -- the hour when young children are least likely to be watching.  www.bpnews.net