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In Brief

The 1959 MGM blockbuster Ben-Hur has been released in a new four-disc DVD set, complete with a study guide for using the movie with church groups. The Bible study packaged with the new release was written by Rev. Robert H. Schuller and his son, Rev. Robert A. Schuller, both of the Garden Grove, Calif.-based Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Ben-Hur focuses on the life of Jewish nobleman Judah Ben-Hur, played by Charlton Heston, set in the time of Christ. The epic story takes Ben-Hur to Rome and eventually back home, his life marked by tragedy and the search for revenge but changed by his encounters with Jesus.  (RNS)  

Do couples who pray together really stay together? Researchers at the University of Georgia will examine the effects of prayer on marital relationships in a $1.1 million three-year study of 500 African American couples from rural northeast Georgia. The couples, between the ages of 21 and 45, are either married or have set a wedding date. Steven Beach, director of the Institute for Behavioral Research at the Athens university, hypothesizes that prayer could help keep relationships healthy because it requires couples to use relationship skills and demonstrate good intentions for each other. Researchers will investigate whether couples who pray for each other find their relationships improved in a way that doesn’t happen for those not using prayer. (RNS)

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