Associated Press reports drop in American missions since 9/11
While saying they're not forsaking [Jesus Christ's command to "go and make disciples of all nations,"] some Christian universities and churches are canceling international mission trips out of concern that Americans could become targets," a widely circulating Associated Press report says.

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board has reported a drop of more than 20 percent in volunteers for overseas mission trips, the AP says, but Bill Cashion, the IMB's director of volunteers in missions, says the economy may be as much to blame as fears of terror. "Many of our volunteers are telling us they just do not have the funds," he said.

Still, most of the AP's examples are apparently reductions in short-term missions trips. It's hard to tell to what extent long-term/career missionaries are coming off the field. All the service reports is that "Some have come back to the United States, while others have moved to countries in their regions where they would be less at risk. Still other have said they will not leave, whatever the danger." Statistics would have been very difficult to come by, but it's still unclear if there really is a notable drop in missions. If there's a more detailed study, we'll let you know.

Dutch woman will marry herself
Opponents of same-sex marriage say that once you remove the traditional definition of marriage, any union is up for grabs. They'll love the story of Jennifer Hoes, a Dutch student who will marry herself on May 28. "We live in a 'Me' society. Hence it is logical that one promises to be faithful to oneself," she told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

She told the Dagblad newspaper of the Dutch city of Haarlem, "I want to celebrate with others how much I'm in love with myself."

"Seen from the monotheistic perspective, Jennifer's 'marriage' is the quintessence of idolatry," lamented UPI religion editor Uwe Siemon-Netto.

One note: her wedding dress will be studded with 200 latex copies of her own nipples. Ah, holy matrimony.

More articles

War with Iraq:

  • Warring with church, too? | The president has reached out to Catholic voters in America and presumably has reason to worry about the political effects of a breach with the Vatican. (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Direst of predictions for war in Iraq | End-time interpreters see biblical prophecies being fulfilled (The Washington Post)

  • Onward Bush's soldiers | War with Iraq is 'dress rehearsal for Armageddon' says head of Evangelical Israel Broadcasting Network (Bill Berkowitz,

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  • Ideals & facts | Weighing morality and the facts of the pending war (Joseph Loconte & Nile Gardiner, National Review Online)

  • Religious leaders take over peace campaign | Leaders of Indonesia's five officially recognized religions have taken over the country's peace campaigns after the administration of President Megawati Sukarnoputri appeared reluctant to condemn the planned attack on Iraq by the United States and its allies. (Asia Times)

  • Churches offer plan against Iraqi war | Four mainline Protestant churches released a six-point plan for neutralizing the Iraqi dictator Friday. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • There is a third way | This is the moral dilemma: a decision between the terrible nature of that threat and the terrible nature of war as a solution (Jim Wallis and John Bryson Chane, The Washington Post)

  • The Pope's legions | John Paul was wrong about the Gulf War too (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)

  • Babylon revisisted | Much biblical history, not all of it good, came from the lands of present-day Iraq (The Wall Street Journal)

  • TV debate delineates Christian divide on war | Mainline churches against; evangelicals for (The Washington Post)

  • Activists planning Iraq war protests | When asked about America's 45 million evangelical Christians, 5 million Mormons, 16 million Southern Baptists and various conservative Lutheran, Presbyterian, charismatic and Pentecostal groups that do not belong to the NCC, Bob Edgar responded by saying: "there are fundamentalists who are blindly supporting the president." (The Washington Times)

  • Religious leaders' reactions on Iraq mixed | Christian and Jewish leaders are on both sides of the issue (Palm Beach [Fla.] Daily News)

  • Christianity split over war | Denominations are pushing for peace, but poll shows most followers back battle (The Indianapolis Star)

  • Finding light as shadows of war loom | In Kuwait, about 40 Marines readying for combat were baptized yesterday (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • War is a matter of faith | From the pulpit to the pews, talk of war with Iraq has captured houses of worship in the Hudson Valley (Times Herald-Record, Middletown, NY)

Military life:

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Interfaith relations:

  • We savor some interfaith harmony | Thirty-seven years have gone by, and every year I still offer a few friends a brief dispensation from Lent on the occasion of Purim. (The Christian Science Monitor)

  • Truth or CAIR | The Muslim public-relations group CAIR—Council on American Islamic Relations—has a tough sell in post-9/11 America. But if its goal is simply to promote Islam as a "religion of peace" and to distance American Muslims from terrorism, why can't CAIR begin with a simple acknowledgment that the terrorist threat to America is real? (World)

  • Will the real God please give us a sign | Phillip Jensen set off a major controversy with his first sermon as Dean of Sydney. Critics have found it strangely out of tune with a multicultural city (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Politics and law:

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Money and business:

Christian radio station's reach spans metro, nation and world | Christian broadcaster KTIS is—by at least one broad measure—the third most popular station in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

World view: Profits ahead | Christian publication group expands to six newspapers (Charlotte Business Journal)

Clergy balk at Easter baskets with toy armaments | Easter baskets filled with toy guns, tanks and briefcase bombs are on sale at two local stores, Kmart and Wal-Mart (Lewiston [Maine] Sun Journal)

Life ethics:

Sex and marriage:

  • Minorities favor marriage amendment | Strong religious convictions among minorities have produced a curious contradiction in their attitudes to married life, or so it seems (UPI)

  • Unmarried-couple households increase | The number of unmarried couples living together grew 72 percent between 1990 and 2000, reflecting a significant change in lifestyle, the Census Bureau says in a report today that uses data from the last census. (The Washington Times)

  • Heather has 3 parents | On the brink of the abolition of marriage and the family (Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online)

  • Virgin of Guadalupe symbol for protesters | Christie's Cabaret, a strip club that protesters in Guadalupe tried to keep out of their town for almost two years, opened for business Wednesday. (The Arizona Republic)

  • Teen access to porn on Web angers Hill | The availability of pornography, including child pornography, has been increased by file-sharing programs, according to testimony yesterday at a House committee hearing. (The Washington Times)

Sexual ethics:

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Clergy sex abuse:


Church life:

May your lips be spared evil of cup-borne nasties | Church goers may be getting more than the symbolic body and blood of Christ when they line up for Holy Communion on Sunday, says a new report (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Poor Christians are deluded by 'grab it' gospel | An authoritative report by the Evangelical Alliance, an umbrella organization for Britain's evangelical Churches, raises concerns about teachings that if the believer gives a sum of money to the preacher, God will multiply it by a hundred times or more in favor of the giver (The Times, London)

  • Cleric condemns rising claims of miraculous healings | A cleric of the Anglican Church, Reverend Olu Odejimi has condemned the act of the so called miraculous healings now fast gaining ground among the new churches. (This Day, Lagos)
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Missions and ministry:


  • Agents of change | Once a novelty, religion agents are now established and expanding services (Publishers Weekly)

  • Rare Bible catches eyes of antiques appraisers | Werner Schultz of Newtown values the intellectual worth of a rare German Bible more than the millions he could probably get by selling it. (Associated Press)

  • Author illuminates early abolitionist | Little-known in America, Wilberforce was the Abraham Lincoln of England, working decades to abolish slavery, a goal realized three days before his death in 1833 (The Boston Globe)

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