Remember a few months ago when members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago told Southern Baptists to stay out of their city because they feared the Baptists might"disrupt the pattern of peaceful interfaith relations" or even"abet the designs of those who seek to provoke hate crimes by fomenting faith-based prejudice"? Well, never mind. Only about 1,200 Baptists from outside the Windy City have registered to show up. But, as Chicago Tribune religion writer Steve Kloehn reports,"The highly publicized spat may have contributed to one of the few bright spots in the July 8 turnout: unaffiliated Chicago-area evangelical churches that are participating in … activities in support of the Baptists." Meanwhile, Southern Baptists are planning major evangelistic efforts in other cities, including Philadelphia.
"Evangelical Christian churches are sprouting across Trinidad-and Hindu leaders are starting to fight back," reports the Associated Press. The report quotes Hindu activist and newspaper columnist Kamla Persad:"It is, in fact, a religious war, not in the sense of Muslims and Christians fighting a bloody war, but it is a war. No Hindu organization over the years had a program to match the Christians. Now we are going out and trying to reconvert our people. The Hindus are waking up to that."
A revival at Pearl River Central High School in Carriere, Mississippi, gained the attention of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and other Christian organizations (ChrisitianityToday.com ran a story on it last month). Now Time takes notice."The year since Columbine has been one of ferment among youthful Evangelicals. Shaken yet inspired by what they see as the martyrdom of Christian students-and encouraged by a decade-old Supreme Court decision affirming student-led, after-school Christian clubs-they have shown a new assertiveness. The movement's political arm, meanwhile, insists that reinstatement of adult-led class prayer is the best way to prevent new carnage." The article also quotes Charles Haynes of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, who has been quoted in almost every article ChristianityToday.com Weblog has noted this week. It seems that Haynes has replaced Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in journalists' Rolodexes (or is it Rolodicies?) as the go-to guy for church-state commentary.
Meanwhile, U.S. News & World Report goes over another past Christianity Today topic: the exodus of conservative Christians from the public schools."The schools are pagan and anti-Christian and unbiblical," says Exodus 2000 founder E. Ray Moore Jr."Public schooling is no longer about educating children; it's about destroying their minds," says Nancy McFarland. Over-the-top rhetoric, anyone?
You can exhale now.
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