Weekly News Round Up, July 20, 2012

On Fridays, I post some of the more interesting articles I've come across throughout the week to help you keep current on what's happening in the the church, both in America and abroad. I also post up some fun things that I come across. I post these up to inform and get you thinking, not because I endorse the content.

Rick Warren to Hold 'Presidential Forum' With Obama, Romney

Rick Warren, best-selling author, head pastor of Saddleback Church, and speaker at the 2012 Resurgence Conference , will hold another "presidential forum" with President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. His 2008 forum with Obama and John McCain was well regarded for its civility and for offering insights into the candidates' character and issue positions.

The purpose of the upcoming forum is "to promote social civility so that people with major disagreements [can] talk without beating each other up," Warren told Fox News.

Warren has been in touch with both campaigns to finalize a date and is currently looking at the week of Aug. 20-24, which would be just a week before the Republican National Committee's convention and two weeks before the Democratic National Committee's convention.

Father and son join Catholic priesthood – together

(CNN) – The Revs. Chuck Hough IV and Chuck Hough III have more in common than just their names. The two have become a rarity in the Catholic Church – a father and son who became ordained Catholic priests at the same time.

Both men are both former Episcopal priests, each with a wife and children.

The younger Hough grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his father as a leader in the Episcopal Church and ended up following in his footsteps, joining the church when he was 25.

Confidence in U.S. Churches Hits All-Time Low

A fresh update to Gallup's annual "Confidence in Institutions" survey reveals that only 44 percent of Americans today have "a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in 'the church or organized religion.'" Americans ranked organized religion at the top of their confidence list almost every year from 1973 to 1985. Now it is tied with the medical system.

However, such a low vote of confidence is relative in this survey. Trust in organized religion still ranks fourth out of the 16 institutions tested, including public schools, banks, and television news -- which also hit all-time lows in June's poll.

Kenyan Christians pray targetted attacks by militant Islamists end

Kenyan Christians fear they are being targetted by militant Islamists, perhaps to avenge the country’s military incursion inside Somalia, but vowed on Sunday to respond through prayers, not violence.

In the port city of Mombasa security guards body-searched worshippers, while in the eastern town of Garissa, where attacks on two churches last week killed 17 people, military police patrolled the streets and Muslims came out in a show of solidarity.

Ratio of evangelicals in Brazil jumps 44% in 10 years

Sao Paulo (CNN) – The number of evangelical Christians s in Brazil, the world’s largest Catholic country, has soared over the last decade, from 15% of the population in 2000 to to 22% of the population in 2010, according to a report issued on Friday.

Over the same period, the proportion of Catholic Brazilians fell from 74% of the population to to 65%, Brazil’s National Statistics Institute reported.

In overall terms, the percentage of evangelicals rose 44%, as evangelical churches won over the faithful, especially women and people in poorer communities. The rise of evangelical Christianity is a growing trend across Latin America.