Russian Orthodox Church opens its arms and hands to the deaf
"Ministry for the deaf is well established in Western Christian denominations," explains The Moscow Times. "But in Russian Orthodoxy, a small group of devoted activists at the Church of Our Lady of Tikhvin are blazing a new trail. They have developed, almost from scratch, an Orthodox liturgical sign language. And according to [Priest Pyotr] Kolomeitsev, they measure their success against the depth of involvement of their churchgoers, rather than the sheer number of them." The paper also notes that while Orthodox liturgy "appeals strongly to senses other than hearing" with its icons, incense, and other practices, some changes to the liturgy have become necessary. For example, Kolomeitsev faces his congregation rather than the altar.

Jesus film showing canceled in Chekhov
Elsewhere in Russia, evangelicals hoping to show the Jesus film on Christmas (the January 6 one, not the December 25 one) in Chekov were denied by the government after initial approval. Days before the showing, a leading government official in the area said the license to show the film was being revoked because "the movie film about Jesus Christ is propaganda of a foreign, non-Orthodox faith." The churches are appealing the decision and hope to show the evangelistic film in February.

Nigerian Christian caned for alcohol won't press charges
Livinus Obi, a Christian who was caned 80 times by two Muslim youths after they saw him with a half-empty bottle of gin (a violation of the state's Shariah law), won't press charges against them. "I have been living peacefully with the parents of the accused as such," Obi explains. "It will be unwise for me to drag their sons to court." Still, the incident is problematic for all Nigerian states that have adopted Shariah law, as they regularly promise that the law will apply only to Muslims.

Alaskan pastor experiences an apparent resurrection
Reverend John Loper was sure the deer was dead when he found it on a rural Alaskan road and put it on the roof of his car. But a couple of miles down the road, people started honking. The deer, apparently, wasn't so dead after all. "It stood up there like a golden retriever on a joy ride," says Loper. Other pastors around the country are no doubt jealous for the sermon illustration …

Other articles of interest:

  1. Bush Religion Proposals Questioned (Associated Press)
  2. New ServiceMaster CEO says he has no problem with company's evangelical foundation (Chicago Tribune)
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  1. CeCe Winans Reflects on Gospel (Associated Press)
  2. U.S. Catholics, Too, May Face St. Lucia Hell (Rod Dreher, New York Post)
  3. Ashcroft Invites God on Decisions (Associated Press)
  4. Sheriff scraps inmate labor for churches (Northwest Florida Daily News)
  5. Pastor wants church members on the streets | Trained teams would connect with troubled youths and try to bring them into churches. (The [Syracuse, New York] Post-Standard)
  6. Bible in the classroom combats cultural illiteracy (Cincinnati Post)
  7. Jailed Norwegian missionary a possible prisoner of conscience (The Norway Post)
  8. Amnesty International studies jailed missionary case (Aftenposten, Norway)
  9. Pakistani Christians protest discrminatory law (UPI)
  10. Karachi police break up blasphemy law protest rally (BBC)
  11. Zambia Pulls AIDS Campaign After Church Opposition (Reuters)
  12. Zambia axes safe sex ads (BBC)
  13. Sue Makers Of Condoms, Zambia's Education Minister Advises (Times of Zambia)
  14. Vicarage family hospitalised, as clerics report a rise in assaults (Church Times, U.K.)
  15. For the first time in more than 1,000 years, the Lindisfarne gospels have returned to Holy Island - albeit via computer screen. (The Guardian, U.K.)
  16. 'I owe my life to' local priest who prevented abortion, Celine Dion says (National Post)

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