Israel halts Nazareth mosque
The Israeli government yesterday ordered a stop to construction of a mosque next to Nazareth's Church of the Annunciation. Christian leaders have been opposing the mosque for years, and stepped up their criticism around the holidays as construction began. Pope John Paul II and President George Bush were among those criticizing Israel for agreeing to the construction. Some Christiansincluding Vatican leaderseven wondered if Israel approved the mosque work to foment division between the country's Christians and Muslims. Now Israel's Construction and Housing Minister Natan Sharansky says the construction is illegal, and promised, "We will examine everything that has happened within the past year and a half." Muslim leaders say they will continue with construction anyway. "The pope won't dictate to us, Bush won't dictate to us, and Sharon won't dictate to us," Islamic Movement leader Salman Abu Ahmad tells The New York Times. "We will not give up our holy places." He also called the order to stop construction a "declaration of war" on Muslims.
Into and out of the shadowlands
- Lisa Beamer, widow of United Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer, gave birth to Morgan Kay Beamer yesterday morning. "My sons will be told their whole lives that their father was a hero, that he saved lives," she said earlier. "It's a great legacy for a father to leave his children." (The Beamer Foundation Web site will have more information, but it's very busy right now.)
- W.A. Criswell, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church of Dallas, died this morning at age 92. He was one of the most famous preachers of the last century (Billy Graham said he's "the best preacher I ever heard anywhere"), and probably the best-known pastor of the last 50 years. He had said he wanted to die in the pulpit, but he has been declining in health over the last year or so. The Dallas Morning News already has a lengthy obituary.
- Forrest Boyd, former communications director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and founder of what is now United News and Information, died Saturday at age 80 after a heart attack. He was still active in radio.
Politics and religion:
- Bush offers a look into spirituality | President says he felt America pray in wake of Sept. 11 (Chicago Tribune)
- A revival of public religionon Capitol Hill | For decades, the religious life of the U.S. Congress has been one of the better-kept secrets in Washington. But Sept. 11 brought issues of faith to the surface (The Christian Science Monitor)
- Congress, on bended knee | Public prayer is not new to Congress. (Editorial, The Christian Science Monitor)
- Religious wrong | Democrats vs. the "American Taliban." (Ramesh Ponnuru & John J. Miller, National Review Online)
- A loyal constituency is restless | The Democratic Party has a growing problem with Catholic voters. (Los Angeles Times)
- Stockwell Day condemns 'religious right' label | Former Alliance leader kicks off his fundraising campaign in Ontario (The Toronto Star)
- Plus: Day launches bid to regain Alliance leadership | But pollster says he is permanently wounded after caucus revolt (Vancouver Sun)
- Earlier: Evangelical Bungles Party Leadership, Resigns | Stockwell Day's Canadian Alliance party woes seen as leadership issue, not religious. (Christianity Today, Sept. 3 ,2001)
- Thumbs down to united church | Grassroots efforts derail plans to merge the Church of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, Methodists and the United Reformed Church. (The Scotsman)
- Six vie for D.C. Episcopal bishop | Homosexual priest among contenders (The Washington Times)
- Bleeding-heart hypocrites | The phoniness of bleeding-heart liberalism is on display once again with a judge's decision letting the "homeless" sleep on church steps in Midtown (Arnold Ahlert, New York Post)
- South Florida churches, temples struggle with sweeping change | Buffeted by sweeping demographic and cultural changes, South Florida's houses of worship have struggled to reinvent themselves (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
- Tourist uses holy water to save burning church | Austrian chapel would have otherwise been destroyed (Ananova)
- Biblical signposts to answer the moral ambiguity of money | Apart from its possible effect on the church's income, is there a Christian view of the euro? (Stewart Lamont, The Scotsman)
- Banking on God | At places of worship, faith-based credit unions are bringing financial services to underserved communities. (Kiplinger's Personal Finance)
Missions & Evangelism:
- Missionary is defeated by British weather | African priest from Ghana says Britain is just too cold (The Daily Telegraph)
- Religious leaders use census numbers | Figures suggest where to build churches, whether they need bilingual pastors, if they should offer day care. (Associated Press)
- Adventures of a black missionary | Black Livingstone restores a forgotten life, crafting an enticing portrait of a man whose accomplishments defied the narrow and racist limitations of his times. (The Boston Globe)
- Special delivery: Jesus, the video | Eighty local churches have banded together to mail 42,000 unsolicited copies of Jesus to every household in four ZIP codes (The Seattle Times)
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