Religion news in brief

Most loving intimacy linked to marriage and worship

WASHINGTON — An advocate for traditional marriage says young people need to know that real happiness won’t be found in the hook-up culture.

Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, says surveys have found that married couples who attend church every week have the most fulfilling sex lives.

In a lecture on “Porn in the Dorm” at the Family Research Council, Fagan said that’s information that college students probably weren’t taught in sex education classes.

He said it also suggests that a student’s married parents may be the go-to experts on how to have fulfilling and enjoyable sex lives.

But Fagan warned that pornography pollutes the mind and heart, making real intimacy difficult if not impossible.



SD Lutheran church celebrating 150th anniversary

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota church that bills itself as the first Norwegian Lutheran Church in the Dakota Territory is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

The St. Paul Lutheran Church in Elk Point was founded in 1863. The parish was originally known as the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. The church in southeastern South Dakota church has been served by 20 pastors.

Church spokesman Glenn Olson told KCAU-TV that the celebration is exciting at a time when the changing face of agriculture and population shifts make it difficult for rural churches to survive.


4,500 crosses go missing from Durango ski hill

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — Thousands of small crosses that were planted on a Colorado ski slope to bring attention to childhood poverty have gone missing.

The Durango Herald reports volunteers with the First Baptist Church of Bayfield planted 4,500 crosses in a cross pattern on the city’s ski slope and had a permit from the city to keep them there for a month.

Police say the crosses were removed sometime between the night of July 9 and the morning of July 10. Sgt. Rita Warfield says the crosses might have been stolen to protest religious symbols in a public park.

City Manager Ron LeBlanc says he approved the church’s project, “thinking it more to be freedom of expression than a religious statement.”


Ex-priest seeks $450,000 from Wis. archdiocese

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The list of creditors for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee includes those you might expect to find in a bankruptcy case — a bank, pension funds and a retirees’ health care plan.

It also includes a priest removed from the priesthood amid allegations of child sexual abuse.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it wouldn’t have enough money if lawsuits filed by sexual abuse victims went against it. Hundreds of victims also filed claims.

The claim filed by Marvin Knighton stands out because he was acquitted by a jury. But the church still removed him from the priesthood, saying two of three allegations against him had merit.

Knighton is seeking back pay of $450,000.


Netanyahu thanks Christians for supporting Israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked thousands of Christians meeting in Washington for supporting the Jewish state.

In a live satellite broadcast to Christians United for Israel, Netanyahu said he’s an avid reader of the Bible, and that he and his son read their weekly Torah portion together every Saturday.

Israel’s prime minister said rabbis and their students also hold Bible classes in his official residence.

Netanyahu said that in addition to containing lessons for people everywhere, the Bible tells the story of the Jewish people — a story he insisted “is not over.”

Christians at the conference were urged to help the Jewish state survive amid turmoil in Egypt, civil war in Syria and Iran’s nuclear threat.

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