Religion Roundup - Warren: Churches Key in Fighting AIDS - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

August 14, 2006

Religion Roundup - Warren: Churches Key in Fighting AIDS

RICK WARREN SAYS CHURCHES HAVE KEY ROLE IN FIGHTING AIDS

TORONTO (AP) _ The Reverend Rick Warren says that in the fight
against AIDS, ``the church should be leading the way, with the
compassion of Jesus Christ.''

The author of ``The Purpose Driven Life'' spoke at a faith-based
conference in advance of this week's global AIDS summit in Toronto.

Warren said churches have the local presence and trust, the
tradition of caring and the moral authority to reduce the spread of
AIDS and help its victims. An important component of that, he
noted, is changing people's behavior, since AIDS ``is primarily a
behavior-based disease.''

His wife, Kay Warren, says she and her husband are directing
their own money to African churches that help care for AIDS orphans
-- children whose parents have died of the disease.

NAVY CHAPLAIN FACES COURT MARTIAL HEARING TODAY

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ The U-S Navy chaplain who's been fasting and
lobbying for the right to pray in Jesus' name faces a court martial
pre-hearing today in Norfolk, Virginia.

Lieutenant Gordon Klingenschmitt requested a court martial
rather than accept a reprimand for appearing in uniform at a press
conference in front of the White House on March 30th.

The press conference, which featured former Alabama Chief
Justice Roy Moore, called on President Bush to issue an executive
order declaring that chaplains could pray as they see fit.

Klingenschmitt insists that the only thing he did while he was
in uniform was say a prayer for the armed forces from the Book of
Common Prayer, which ends with the words: ``through Jesus Christ
our Lord, Amen.'' Later, he says, he removed his uniform for media
interviews.

If found guilty, he could be fined up to 35-thousand dollars --
two-thirds of his annual salary.

EUROPE INCREASINGLY THREATENED BY RADICAL YOUNG MUSLIMS

VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Britain's struggle to contain Muslim
extremism points up a chilling trend across Europe: the rise of
radical Islam, and with it, a willingness among a dangerous
minority of young people to answer the call to jihad.

From the squalid suburbs north of Paris to the gritty streets of
Sarajevo, young disaffected Muslims are increasingly receptive to
hard-liners looking to recruit foot soldiers for holy war.

European counterterrorism officials and religious leaders warn
that the continent remains vulnerable to attacks by homegrown
militants despite the heightened security and attempts at
inter-religious dialogue that followed the deadly 2004 train
bombings in Madrid and last year's suicide attacks in London.

EVANGELICAL GROUP TAKES NO POSITION IN MIDEAST CONFLICT

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ The president of the National
Association of Evangelicals says his organization has refused to
officially support Israel in its conflict with Hezbollah.

The Reverend Ted Haggard says Israeli embassy officials called
him several times a day during the first two weeks of the conflict,
asking for a public expression of support.

He declined, he says, because ``there's a rapidly growing
evangelical population in virtually every Islamic country.''
Haggard explains that in some Muslim countries, ``many of the
Christians survive based on their neighbors just ignoring the fact
that they don't go to mosque.''

Haggard insists the inaction of the National Association of
Evangelicals is not a criticism of Israel, but reflects caution
about the risks for Christians living in Islamic countries.

POPE TALKS ABOUT HOLY LAND TRIP, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope Benedict says he does not feel strong
enough to take many long trips, but he would like to visit the Holy
Land, hopefully ``in a time of peace.''

The 79-year-old Benedict has made three foreign trips, all
within Europe, since becoming pope in April of last year. He told
German television that he plans to visit his native Bavaria next
month followed by trips to Turkey in November and Brazil next May.

In response to a question about marriage and the family, the
pope emphasized that ``Christianity, Catholicism, isn't a
collection of prohibitions.'' Instead, he said, ``We have a
positive idea to offer, that man and woman are made for each
other.''

INDONESIA STAYS EXECUTION OF CHRISTIAN MILITIAMEN

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Indonesia has stayed the execution for
three Christian militiamen, but stresses that the punishments will
still be carried out after next weekend.

The last-minute stay came after an appeal by Pope Benedict to
Indonesia's president to spare the lives of the men, who were
convicted of killing Muslims in religious clashes in 2000.

The National police chief says officials were too busy preparing
for Indonesia's independence day celebrations to put the men to
death this past Saturday as scheduled.

In a Christian-dominated town in eastern Indonesia, dozens of
people had occupied the local prosecutor's office, refusing to move
unless the executions were delayed. Scores of others prayed in the
town's cathedral in the hours before the scheduled execution.

The three men insist they're innocent, but their final appeal
was turned down last year.

NORTH KOREA OPENS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ North Korea's first Russian Orthodox
church has held its inaugural Mass, but there's no sign the
communist regime has eased its tight controls on religion.

North Korea's official news agency says the nation's vice
premier and other officials attended the Sunday service at the
Trinity Church in Pyongyang.

The news agency quotes the chairman of the Korean Orthodox
Church Committee as saying the North Korean government will
``manage and operate the church.''

In theory, North Koreans enjoy the freedom of religion,
according to their constitution.

But North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong
Il, are revered as demigods and enjoy a massive personality cult.

Christians who have escaped North Korea say they face
imprisonment, torture and even execution.

OFFICIALS SAY SCAM ARTISTS TARGET CHURCHES

UNDATED (AP) _ State officials who work to protect investors say
(b) billions of dollars has been stolen from church members in
religion-related fraud in recent years.

Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission, says
a con artist typically will target the pastor first by making a
generous donation and appealing to the minister's desire to expand
the church or its programs.

If the pastor invests, churchgoers view it as a tacit
endorsement. Borg says the con man, often promising double-digit
returns, then chips away at resistance among church members by
suggesting they can donate part of their profits to the
congregation.

Often, perpetrators are so successful building an image as good
Christians that churchgoers won't cooperate with law enforcement
authorities even after the crime is revealed.

MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING POPULAR PASTOR

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) _ A California jury has found a
24-year-old man guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the killing of
a popular pastor, but acquitted him of murder charges.

Aaron Deon Seymour was convicted in the shooting death of
70-year-old Pastor Charlie Williams, whose body was found in an
alley near the Los Angeles-area church he helped found.

Williams had stepped outside his church after leaving a Bible
study in April 2005. His wife, who was inside the church at the
time, said she heard gunshots, followed by her husband's voice
shouting ``Man, what are you trying to do?''

Prosecutors said Seymour had been trying to rob Williams.

MINISTER ARRESTED AFTER TAPING MORMON PAGEANT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ An evangelical Christian minister says he
was unlawfully arrested while trying to tape part of a Mormon
pageant in the Clarkston Cemetery near Logan, Utah, Friday night.

The Reverend Joel Kramer was arrested and booked for disorderly
conduct after he told a sheriff's deputy he was not violating any
laws by videotaping the pageant. The pageant depicts the life of an
early disciple of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith.

Kramer says, ``These are free pageants, so there's no copyright
violation and I'm within my rights to be on public land.''

The 39-year-old Kramer is director of Living Hope Ministries,
which says its mission is to bring Bible truths to Mormons. He says
he uses clips from the Mormon pageants in his evangelizing videos.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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