Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the top religion newsmaker of 2010, say USA Today readers.
In a poll featured in USA Today’s Religion and Reason blog, readers selected the Tea Party leader as the top religious newsmaker out of six other choices. Palin, who spent most of the year campaigning for GOP candidates such as Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, received 26 percent of the vote. The poll’s results upset Religion Newswriters Association’s pick for newsmaker of the year – Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf.
Rauf, who is the force behind the effort to build an Islamic center blocks from New York City’s Ground Zero, tied for second place with Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict spent most of the year trying to dissolve troubles stemming from molestation charges against Catholic priests. Both religious leaders took 23 percent of the vote. more >>
Franklin Graham expressed alarm over the rapid spread of cholera in Haiti Saturday and called on the international community to increase its response.
More than 1,110 people have died in Haiti from cholera as of Friday, since it first broke out in October. Another 18,000 people have become sick because of the intestinal disease that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Cholera is easily treated but can be fatal if not detected early.
“I am alarmed at the rapid spread of cholera in Haiti and the lack of capacity and supplies to properly prevent and treat this life-threatening disease,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the relief and development organization Samaritan’s Purse. more >>
Many prominent ministry leaders came out Tuesday in a webcast to endorse the new edition of Operation World and to call on Christians to pray for the nations.
Operation World, a prayer encyclopedia listed in Christianity Today’s "The Top 50 Books That Have Shaped Evangelicals," was endorsed by Joni Eareckson Tada, Max Lucado, Anne Graham Lotz, and megachurch pastor David Platt, among other well-known leaders.
Through individual videos, the leaders shared how the up-to-date, country-focused book has impacted their prayer life. more >>
Over 3,000 people made commitments to Christ during the Festival of Hope event led by Franklin Graham this past weekend in the Northern European country of Latvia.
Graham preached about the story of Zacchaeus from the book of Luke and the story of the rich young ruler in the book of Mark during the Nov. 5-7 event, in the capital city Riga. He told the daily crowd of about 12,000 – with 14,000 on Saturday – that everyone faces problems, but only God can solve the problem of sin.
“Only Jesus Christ can solve the problems of the human heart,” said Graham Sunday night, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. more >>
Rick Warren will speak at the Desiring God national conference – connected to Pastor John Piper – Friday amid some criticism of his theology.
Some supporters of the Desiring God ministry had complained that Warren relies more on pragmatism than biblical doctrine – in other words, that he relies more on methods than on God to achieve results.
But Piper defended his decision to invite Warren to the annual conference. In a video, Piper listed Warren’s shared beliefs, including that the Bible is totally inerrant, God is sovereign over everything and that people who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their savior will go to hell. more >>
A Christian event tied to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will take place Saturday at an army post in North Carolina despite protests from church-state separation groups.
Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, assured protesters that the “Rock the Fort” event does not violate anybody’s rights.
“I have taken steps to ensure that no soldier in my command is pressured in any way to attend this event,” wrote Helmick in a letter to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist-agnostic group that opposed the event. more >>