> LEADERS of the world's main religions kicked off an annual interfaith peace summit in Naples today with calls for a global organisation uniting their faiths.Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Israel's chief rabbi Yona Metzger and the imam of the United Arab Emirates, Ibrahim Ezzeddin, were among those attending the gathering. Hey, do you know what’s going on around you, even right now? What alliances YOUR church are entering into on your behalf?
> On November 6th, 2007, in an unprecedented event, Pope Benedict XVI received the Islamic King of Saudi Arabia at the Vatican for an undisclosed agenda. At the meeting King Abdullah presented the Pope with a golden sword studded with jewels. (Associated Press, Nov. 6, 2007).
> On November 13th, 2007, a gathering of leaders from the Eastern Orthodox churches met with Pope Benedict who declared the following: 1. The Pope is the first and highest over all Orthodox patriarchs. 2. Rome is the first “Bench” or headquarters. 3. The Church of Rome will prevail and govern with love. (ERT News, Nov. 15, 2007, ERT Radio, Athens, Greece.)
But ‘intolerant’ Pentecostals can’t be tolerated!
Apparently the only religious group whose views cannot be accommodate by the Pope in the unfolding new religion, is the Bible-believing “Jesus is the only way to the Father” (Jhn 14:6) Pentecostal movement. Earlier in May, on a trip to Brazil, Pope Benedict XVI had described Pentecostal churches as “sects” which use aggressive tactics to win souls. The Pope’s grouse is not unconnected with the drastic drop in number of catholics (from 90% of the population in the 1960s to only 67% in 2005 as noted by the Associated Press. This, the Vatican ascribed to the “increasing rise of Protestant evangelical communities in Latin America, Africa and elsewhere” (www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312650,00.html)
In the UK, daughter of Imam under police guard for converting to Christianity
Meanwhile, while the debate about the “Common Word” rages, the daughter of a British imam has been taken into police protection after she received death threats from her family for converting to Christianity.
The woman, aged 32, whose father is a Muslim imam in Lancashire, has moved house 45 times to escape detection by her family since she became a Christian 15 years ago. Hanna, as her pseudoname is, told The Times that she became a Christian after she ran away from home at 16 to escape an arranged marriage. The threats against her became more serious a month ago with a text message from one of her brothers, warning that he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam. This has now prompted the police to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life. According to the Times, a Policy Exchange study earlier in the year had reported that 36 per cent of British Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believed those who converted to another religion should be punished by death. See the full story at www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article3007677.ece
In a similar vein, an Indonesian court has sentenced 41 Christian leaders to five years imprisonment on charges of blasphemy because they openly prayed that Muslims "come to know Christ," www.persecution.org/suffering/newsdetail.php?newscode=6359