"Jesus Not Only Way" Says ECUSA Head

She says she doesn't consider Jesus Christ to be the only way to God. She says she believes God makes some people "gay." And she is  the new leader of a mainline Protestant denomination in America. In an interview with Associated Press, Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori - who has been installed as the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA - stated that Christians should not say that Jesus is the only way to God. "If we insist we know the one way to God," she said, "we've put God in a very small box." Jefferts-Schori says she disagrees with the idea that salvation comes only through trusting in Jesus Christ, but instead salvation comes as the healing of all Creation through holy living. On the issue of homosexuality, the Episcopal Church has been embroiled for years in a debate over the ordination of homosexual clergy and "blessing" ceremonies for same-sex couples. Jefferts-Schori supports both, and told AP that she does not believe the Bible condemns "committed" homosexual relationships. God, she says, made some people "gay."

Religion Today Summaries

"Gospel Is the Best Hope to Stop Islam"

W. L. Cati, a former Muslim woman who has dedicated her life to winning Muslims to Christ, recently traveled to an area of northeastern India dominated by the country's Muslim minority. Cati, president and founder of the Florida-based White Horse Ministry, is planning to speak two to three times a day. She says the gospel message is the best hope for stopping radical Islam. "That's the bottom line. Our salvation is their salvation," said Cati. "We need to stop playing patty cake' with them and start giving them the truth and praying that they find Jesus-because if they don't, we're all going to be wearing the veil soon." The group Cati is traveling with plans to distribute 7,000 copies of the JESUS video in three of the languages that are spoken in India. "[The area is] full of Muslims. I'm really expecting signs, wonders, and miracles, whatever it takes to bring them into the kingdom," she said. "So I'm going there, laying my life down for their salvation." (Religion Today)

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Hindu Party Calls for Missionary Deportation

Hindu nationalists in charge of India's southern state of Andhra Pradesh have accused U.S. and Canadian missionaries of organizing conversions to Christianity among local outcasts through fraud. The leaders then urged the government to "arrest and deport the missionaries instead of remaining indifferent to the problem." S. V. Seshagiri Rao, vice-president of the Bharatia Janata Party (BJP), said at a press conference that: "Teams of Christian missionaries have fanned out in various tribal areas of Nalgonda District and are forcibly converting tribals to Christianity." Another politician who addressed the press conference with Rao said the missionaries "promised those who converted free medical treatment, homes, education and 100 rupees per day." The leaders then claimed that about 6,000 people had converted around the state. Rao continued: "The matter was reported to the Nalgonda police but no action was initiated." Experts warn this final phrase signals danger because fanatical Hindus will then "feel duty-bound to intervene personally, given the indifference of the armed forces."

WorldWide Religious News
via MissionNet

Arab Vision to Launch Iraqi-Produced Programs

Despite increasing violence toward Christians in Iraq, Arab Vision is drawing up plans to produce Iraqi Christian TV programs by early next year. These programs are to be made by Iraqi Christians in their own particular dialect while focusing on sharing the gospel message with their nation and encouraging Christians who deal with extreme dangers. The international director of Arab Vision said, "Iraq has had enough of bombs and wars. For many Iraqis, Islam has brought mostly violence and war, and more than ever before, they are turning to Christ. Now is the time to spread the gospel through TV in that land." Although Arab Vision's programs already generate good response in Iraq, experience shows that locally made programs attract more viewers. Arab Vision will begin production with Iraqis living in neighboring countries with hopes to eventually move production work into Iraq itself. Despite the security risks, a number of Iraqi Christians are ready to face those challenges.

Arab Vision via MissionNet

Adult Stem Cell Research Helps Parkinson's Patient Like Michael J. Fox

A hospital in China has announced that it has successfully treated a patient like Michael J. Fox with Parkinson's disease using adult stem cells. Fox has drawn international attention for misleading campaign commercials criticizing pro-life candidates who oppose embryonic stem cell research. Despite Fox's ads, embryonic stem cells have yet to help any patients. But adult stem cells helped 52 year old Penny Thomas of Hawaii, who says she has seen tremendous improvement in her condition since recent therapy. In early November, Tiantan Puhua Neurosurgical Hospital announced the first known successful stem cell therapy treatment in China, and one of the first in the world. Tiantan Puhua applied the unique procedure, specifically designed for Parkinson's patients. Hospital staff completed the initial stage of careful monitoring of Penny's progress during and after the treatment to ensure that the procedure was a success. "I was on the verge of dying" says Penny in a statement obtained. "Now, I feel that I have my life back after this new stem cell treatment. My body has calmed down, I can walk fluidly, I can hold a knife and a fork and cut my food by myself, I can get out of bed on my own, brush my hair, and even do Yoga. I feel like a kid again," she said.

Ministry Adds 11 New Languages to Broadcasts

Christian broadcasts are available to an additional 6 million people as Gospel for Asia (GFA) recently added 11 new languages to its radio broadcasts. "We are now sharing the gospel via broadcasts in 103 languages in 10 countries," said GFA President K. P. Yohannan. "Radio is a powerful tool because it can reach into huts in a remote village as easily as it can reach businessmen working in a city skyscraper." The new languages (spoken in India, Nepal, Tibet and China) are Gurung, Khandesi, Ladakhi, Bantawa, Lungeli Magar, Rongmei, Netakani, Reang, Rengma, Vadari and Varli. "All of the GFA missionaries producing the new programs are native speakers and are excited about the opportunity to use the radio to share the gospel with their own people who have never heard it," Yohannan said. Missionaries are reaching isolated villages and discovering churches that have already been planted because of previous radio broadcasts.

Gospel for Asia via MissionNet

Viewers Rescue Christian  Arabic TV Station in U.S.

The forced shutdown of Alkarma TV, America's first 24/7 Arabic Christian TV channel, was recently averted by donations from its Arabic-speaking viewers. The station, run by an Egyptian-born couple out of their southern California home, was given a 10-day notice ordering them to move out following a complaint. Without the $200,000 needed to relocate and set up a nearby warehouse, the couple feared they would be forced to cease operations. After much prayer, the couple shared with viewers the problem and the costs involved. Donations from viewers flowed in. "People immediately began calling and encouraging us and saying things like, We are with you; we'd like to help you and support you to continue.'"  The husband added, "I felt as if God was saying, It's time to move out of the house. I want a place where the ministry can grow more.'"

Assist News Service via MissionNet

Violence Toward Christians In Iraq Brings Call for Protection of Minorities

Soaring violence against Christians in Iraq-including the alleged crucifixion of a teenage boy in Basra-has prompted the Catholic Church to call for a safe haven to protect minority groups as the country slides toward civil war, according to the Website This is London. The American Catholic bishops have also asked U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to grant asylum to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians who have fled their homes to escape persecution. They told her that they were deeply alarmed by the "rapidly deteriorating situation of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq." John Pontifex of the British branch of Aid to the Church in Need, a charity set up to help persecuted Christians, said he agreed with the US bishops' assessment of the situation in Iraq. "What we are now witnessing in Iraq is a vicious attempt to wipe Christianity from the face of a country," he said. "Beheadings, killings, arrests and torture, it is the stuff of nightmares, an era every bit as cruel as the persecution of Christians in Roman times."

Religion News Summaries

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"Left Behind" Authors Endorse Video Game

Authors of the best-selling books in the "Left Behind" series, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, are endorsing a new video game based on the series. The game, called "LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces," contains both entertainment and inspirational elements. The strategy game is set in an apocalyptic rendition of New York City and allows players to command the Tribulation Forces as they try to save people from the forces of the Antichrist. "When we saw the finished product we were blown away," said the two authors. "They [Left Behind Games Inc.] are using cutting-edge technology to reach a whole new generation that desperately needs the truth about Jesus and His plans for the future. The quality of work is far better than we had ever dreamed. It is superb! Through this game, a seeker has the opportunity to receive Christ. Can you imagine the outreach possibilities?"

Christian Newswire via MissionNet

Many Americans Are Unsure That God Exists

A recent poll published on the Website says nearly half of all Americans are not sure that God exists. The survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 42% of U.S. adults are not "absolutely certain" there is a God. When the same question was posed during a survey taken three years ago, only 34 percent of respondents felt the same way. Among the various religious groups, 76% of Protestants, 64% of Catholics and 30% of Jews said they are "absolutely certain" there is a God while 93% of Christians who describe themselves as "born again" felt certain God exists. The poll also asked about gender perceptions of God. When questioned on whether God is male or female, 36% of respondents said they think God is male, 37% said neither male nor female, and 10% said "both male and female." Only 1% felt God is female.

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