Religion News for the week of Oct. 26, 2012:
Non-stop worship continues outside White House
WASHINGTON (AP) - A non-stop 40-day worship service continues on the Ellipse, the park just south of the White House.
A large tent is erected over folding chairs and a stage where musicians have been leading hymns and prayers around the clock since late last month. They don't plan to stop until election day.
The director of David's Tent DC, Jason Hershey, says it's modeled after the worship King David established when he reigned in Jerusalem.
Hershey read Psalm 47 from the stage Sunday on the eve of the final presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy. The Scripture reminded the assembled worshippers that ``God reigns over the nations,'' and ``God is the king of all the Earth.''
Akin appeals to Christians, draws prayer support
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin is drawing strength from prayer as he reaches out to Christian voters in an attempt to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Akin stood with his eyes closed and head bowed in the center of Missouri's Capitol on Saturday - surrounded by a group of Christians who placed their hands on his shoulders while lifting up prayers for him to God.
Later Saturday, Akin campaigned in Springfield with former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a Baptist pastor who has a strong following among Christians.
Akin, a Presbyterian who has a Master of Divinity degree, also has appeared at large meetings of pastors in Kansas City and St. Louis this year and has participated in various events that have included prayer.
US official: Some nations wary of Christian missionaries
WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. official says many foreign nations are concerned that Christian missionaries are seeking converts as well as providing humanitarian aid.
Susan Hayward, a program director at the U.S. Institute of Peace, moderated a State Department panel discussion Monday on ``Religion, Violence and Coexistence.''
She said that when the institute and the State Department promote international religious freedom, Muslim nations and others object that some Christian missionaries are using their relief work to proselytize.
That can be illegal in nations that define religious freedom as the right to practice one's faith, but not change it or try to convert others.
Hayward said Christian groups are often accused of ``tying conversion to development and humanitarian assistance.''
The panel discussion was held to coincide with this week's International Religious Freedom Day on Oct. 27.
Jets' Tebow trademarking `Tebowing'
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP)- Dropping to a knee like Tim Tebow now has a trademarked name.
The New York Jets backup quarterback has legally trademarked the word ``Tebowing'' for the move in which he goes down on one knee and holds a clenched fist against his forehead while praying during games.
After Tebow led the Denver Broncos to a handful of fourth-quarter comeback victories last season, ``Tebowing'' swept the country _ with actor Robert Downey Jr. even doing it at the Oscars.
Newsday first reported that the trademark was approved Oct. 9. Tebow says Friday he wasn't aware the trademark was official yet.
The devout Christian says his representatives filed on his behalf not for financial gain, but ``to just control how it's used, make sure it's used in the right way.''
Parents considering legal action over school yoga
ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) - Some Southern California parents are protesting yoga classes at their children's public schools, fearing they're indoctrinating youngsters in eastern religion.
The parents' attorney, Dean Broyles, told the North County Times they're concerned that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote yoga and Hinduism. In an Oct. 12 email to district Superintendent Tim Baird, Broyles called the yoga program unconstitutional and said he may take legal action unless the classes stop.
The classes involve traditional eastern breathing techniques and poses. The district chooses teachers and sets the curriculum while the foundation trains the teachers. Baird says the district has removed any religious content from the classes.
Vatican court: butler's theft harmed pope, church
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican tribunal that convicted the pope's ex-butler of stealing private papal correspondence has sharply condemned the theft as harming the pope, the Holy See and the entire Catholic Church.
The three-judge tribunal issued its written explanation Tuesday of how it reached its Oct. 6 ruling against Paolo Gabriele, who was convicted of aggravated theft and sentenced to 18 months, currently being served under house arrest.
Gabriele confessed to photocopying papal documents and giving them to an Italian journalist to expose what he considered the ``evil and corruption'' around him. It was the biggest Vatican security breach in modern times.
The judges said Gabriele's actions ``not only violated the fundamental right to the good name and reserve owed all involved, but also the secrecy of actions owed to a sovereign.''
Ind. GOP Senate candidate stands by rape comment
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is standing by his statement that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, the new life is ``something God intended.'' He says some people have twisted the meaning of his comment.
Mourdock stressed in a news conference Wednesday that he abhors any sexual violence and regrets if his comment during a debate Tuesday night left a different impression. He said he deeply believes that life is a precious gift from God and that he ``did not intend to suggest that God wants rape, that God pushes people to rape, that God wants to support or condone evil in any way.''
In the debate, Mourdock was explaining why he opposes abortion unless it's to save the life of the mother.
Mourdock's Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Donnelly, believes abortion also should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.
Ryan: Poverty winning in `war on poverty'
CLEVELAND (AP) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says religious charities are being hindered in helping the poor by government mandates like the requirement that they provide insurance coverage that violates their faith.
Speaking in Cleveland, Ryan said, ``When Mitt Romney is president, this mandate will be gone.''
Ryan said their administration will work to help poor people climb out of poverty and help middle-class workers feel they are on stronger financial ground.
He said Romney cared for the poor in his private life, by serving as ``a lay pastor for his church for 14 years, counseling people in Boston's inner city neighborhoods, especially when they lost a job.''
Ryan said many government anti-poverty programs waste money, but religious charities display ``the spirit of the Lord, and there is no end to the good that it can inspire.''
Pope names 6 cardinals, including one American
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict has named six new cardinals, adding prelates from Lebanon, the Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia, India and the United States to the ranks of senior churchmen who will elect his successor.
Among them is Archbishop James Harvey, the American prefect of the papal household. Harvey was the direct superior of the pope's former butler, who was convicted Oct. 6 of stealing the pope's private papers and leaking them to a reporter.
In announcing the new cardinals, Benedict said he was naming Harvey archpriest of St. Paul's Outside the Walls, one of the Vatican's basilicas in southern Rome. But the Vatican spokesman denied Harvey was being removed from the Vatican because of the scandal.
Evangelist urges Americans to vote on issues
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Rev. Billy Graham's spokesman says the evangelist is advising Christians how to vote, but not who they should vote for in this year's election.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has taken out newspaper ads in which he urges Americans to vote for candidates who will ``support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms.''
Graham's spokesman, Larry Ross, notes that the ads don't endorse candidates, but say the Bible speaks clearly on those issues and the need to support Israel and that Christians should vote accordingly.
In one of the ads, titled ``Legacy,'' Graham says, ``I realize this election could be my last.'' He'll be 94 on Nov.7, the day after the election.
He urges Americans to join him in praying ``that we will turn our hearts back toward God.''
Religion in the News is sponsored by Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home. It airs each Sunday morning during the Steve Fast Show from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on WJBC 1230 AM, 93.7 FM and here on WJBC.com.