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Passing out flyers

USPS Violates Man's Free Speech Rights


AP Images

A Tennessee man was peacefully distributing Christian literature in front of an Oakland, Tenn., post office when he was arrested for trespassing. At the request of the postmaster, Michael Choate was arrested for handing out tracts on a public sidewalk 40 feet from the entrance of the building.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a lawsuit Friday against the United States Postal Service for the unconstitutional treatment of Choate. The ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.

“Christians shouldn’t be arrested and silenced for peacefully sharing their beliefs on public property,” says Nate Kellum, ADF senior counsel. “The post office isn’t above the law and cannot take away citizens’ constitutionally protected rights just because it or its customers might not agree with the content of someone’s speech or literature. Our client isn’t harassing anyone; he’s simply desiring to quietly share his faith in a completely public forum.”

Q&A: 'Courageous' Executive Producer Discusses Rite of Passage

The concept of the rite of passage became so important to COURAGEOUS executive producer Jim McBride that he penned a new book that encourages fathers to be intentional about passing on a blessing to their sons and daughters.

When Jim McBride, executive producer of the new movie COURAGEOUS, walked his oldest daughter, Victoria, down the aisle on Father’s Day weekend, his eyes brimmed with tears and his heart overflowed.

But it wasn’t just the significance of her marriage that stirred his emotion. McBride found the experience especially profound in light of a rite of passage he conducted years earlier with his daughter.

phil_cooke

OpEd: Why Dropping 'Christ' Is Not Sign of Retreat for Campus Crusade

“It’s not a Christian organization if Christ isn’t in the name.”

I hear that one a lot. In fact, I’ve heard it in relation to Campus Crusade for Christ changing their name recently. Some people are upset that they seem to have dropped the “Christ” part, when in fact it was the “Crusade” word that caused them trouble with certain international outreaches.

But everyone’s a critic, and they had to get upset about something. Campus Crusade announced its name change two weeks ago to “CRU." For those outside the organization, “Cru” is an informal nickname that their campus staff have called themselves for years. It has enormous equity among what’s probably the largest outreach in the organization—not to mention their next generation of leaders—and among the five final name choices, they made that selection.

closed door

Evangelists Sucessfully Share Christ Door-to-Door in Haiti


Photo by Nathaniel Watson

The phrase "door-to-door" could make a lot of people think of an annoying salesman. But in Haiti, more and more hear that phrase as "freedom."

The unemployment rate in Haiti has been horrific for ages, but since the deadly earthquake that hit the country January 2010, even fewer Haitians have been able to hold a job. Some estimates list the rate of unemployment at nearly 70 percent.

Add on top of this devastating economy a terrifying cholera scare, and many are in desperate need of hope.

GFA church extremists

Anti-Christian Extremists Attack Churches in South Asia

Two church buildings in one area of South Asia were recently targeted by anti-Christian extremists. Both churches have GFA-supported missionaries serving as their pastors.

The first, a brand-new church building, was vandalized, and construction was halted on the second.

Ayukta Reddy's new church building was finally complete and the congregation was preparing for the building dedication when vandals broke the windows and the glass in the door. They also painted the name of a local god on the door. The vandalism occurred on Wednesday.

My Hope Haiti Helps Rebuild Broken Nation

With the full impact of My Hope Haiti not known for months, over 15,000 decisions for Christ have already been registered—with about 10 percent of the churches reporting—after last weekend's My Hope broadcast reached the nation through TV, radio and projectors.

Standing in front of a mirror, Francois primped her flowing red dress. She applied her mascara and blush, then combed her short black hair. She took one more look at her reflection and turned to head out the door to meet her friends for the evening.

Abruptly, she stopped dead in her tracks. The invitation to attend a My Hope Haiti program at a nearby church pierced her thoughts.

I haven't been to church since I was little, so why should I suddenly go now? Francois thought. But I know I must.

Zanzibar Island

Muslims Steal Christians' Land in Zanzibar Island


Women voters on the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania,
on Oct. 31. (
AP Images/Ali Sultan)

Authorities of predominantly Islamic Zanzibar island chain decline to act. Influential Muslims on this East African island have begun building what appears to be a hotel on a 100-year-old burial site owned by an Anglican church, Christian leaders said.

Church leaders with ownership papers for the land told Compass they are disturbed that authorities have taken no action since they filed a police complaint in December about the seizure of the burial site three kilometers (nearly two miles) from Zanzibar city’s airport. Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago, including the largest island of Zanzibar (officially known as Unguja), is 99.9 percent Muslim.

“We see that the government is partisan and would not like to see the church grow in Zanzibar,” the Rev. Canon Emmanuel John Masoud told Compass. “The retired Chief Justice Augustino Ramadani, who is a member of the Anglican church, was appointed to be a link between the church and the government to facilitate the negotiation process, but it seems that nothing is bearing fruits. Hence the church is not supported in any way.”

Crystal Cathedral Coleman

Crystal Cathedral Not For Sale


Sheila Schuller Coleman in front of the Crystal
Cathedral campus. (AP Images/Chris Carlson)

The International Board of Directors for the Crystal Cathedral Ministries announced Sunday that it has voted to forgo choosing a buyer of its Crystal Cathedral property as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

“The Crystal Cathedral is not for sale,” said Walt Kallestad, founder and senior pastor for the Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz., and Crystal Cathedral Ministries board member, from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral at its Sunday morning services.

In this vote, the board chose to step forward in faith believing that God, in his perfect timing, will provide all the funds necessary to pay every creditor in full and keep the ministry campus in the hands of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries.

Michael Youssef

OpEd: The Beleaguered Christians:Campus Crusade Drops Christ

Many faithful Christians feel that Campus Crusade for Christ’s announcement to drop Christ from their name is one more confirmation that there is a wholesale departure from the bedrock foundation of their faith. A woman recently asked me, “Where will this end?” Certainly, she is not alone in feeling overwhelmed and confused at the changes taking place today. 

While I am not one who questions the motives of CCCI’s current leadership’s decision to drop “Christ” out of their name, I do question the wisdom of their timing. In a time when political correctness has run amuck and the name of Christ has been eliminated from many Christian organizations (like The Christian Children’s Fund which is now ChildFund International), the faithful feel that Campus Crusade’s decision is yet another rug pulled out from under them.

Some Christians are rightly skeptical of CCCI Vice President Steve Sellers’ words assuring them that, “the ministry will still be committed to proclaiming Christ around the world.”

F-Yoars-RadicalRevivalists2

Countdown On for Jesus Culture Awakening

Four days, six hours and counting...

The countdown is on the official website and on the profiles of Facebook users everywhere. Beginning Aug. 3, Jesus Culture will take stage at Allstate Arena in Chicago to mobilize a new generation for Christ and to pray for thousands of hearts to be set aflame.

Jesus Culture believes God will use the three-day event, Jesus Culture Awakening 2011, to fulfill a vision of raising healing revivalists. Founder Banning Liebscher shares the desire of the worship team. “The Lord's given us a mandate to raise up emerging leaders who will be in every part of society—media, education, politics, business—to find them now and to walk with them for the next 30 years.”

Haiti children

High School Students Bring Hope to Orphans in Haiti

This past month, high schoolers from Wheaton Bible Church broke a sweat under the hot Haitian sun doing construction work for Kids Alive International.

Kids Alive International (KAI) encourages church youth groups to join them on mission trips to some of the most impoverished countries where the message of God's love is desperately needed.

The youth group with Wheaton Bible Church did just that. They went down to Haiti and started building KAI's very first residential children's home in that area.

Iran map

Pastor Faces Execution in Iran

A pastor in Iran found guilty of leaving Islam awaits the outcome of a judicial investigation into his spiritual background to see if he will be executed or, if possible, forced to become a Muslim, according to Christian groups with ties in Iran.

The court-ordered investigation will take place this fall to determine whether Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, 34, was a Muslim as a teenager before he became a Christian at 19.

On Sept. 22, a regional court sentenced Nadarkhani, who leads a 400-strong house church movement in Rasht, to death by hanging for “convert(ing) to Christianity” and “encourag(ing) other Muslims to convert to Christianity.” Nadarkhani’s lawyer appealed the verdict to the Iranian Supreme Court, in part because the pastor said he had never actually been a Muslim and therefore could not be found guilty of abandoning the religion.

Nigeria violence

Christian Nigerians Anticipate Terrorist Attacks


A man looks at the debris of the destroyed
Zonkwa market in Zonkwa, Nigeria, on April 21.
(AP Images/Sunday Alamba
)

Christians in the northern states of Nigeria are expecting attacks from terror group Boko Haram on Saturday.

"There is an intentional effort by the Islamic extremist group named Boko Haram to unleash more violence against Christians in the northern provinces of Nigeria," says Carl Moeller with Open Doors, USA. "There is a specific attack that is scheduled for July 30, and this is causing a great deal of concern on the parts of Christians throughout the country."

The date holds special meaning to the terror group, Moeller says. "It's the second anniversary of the death of the founder of Boko Haram, sort of an indigenous, al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic group in the northern states of Nigeria."

Ultraouns pregnant woman

North Carolina Requires Ultrasounds Before Abortion


AP Images/Martin Meissner

North Carolina pro-life supporters are celebrating as a new measure will be enforced to discourage women from getting abortions.

On Thursday the North Carolina Senate overrode Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of a mandatory ultrasound bill in a 29 to 19 vote.

Doctors in the state will now be required to give an ultrasound to women seeking an abortion before performing the procedure. They also must describe the fetus in detail. Women will have to wait 24 hours before being allowed to kill their baby.

ap_rick_perry_Virgin_Mary_photog-Richard_Vogel

Court Allows Rick Perry to Participate in Prayer Rally


AP Images/Richard Vogel

After withstanding much persecution, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be allowed to attend his scheduled prayer and fasting event next week. A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a group of atheists' lawsuit filed against Perry. 

Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit this month claiming that the governor's participation in The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis was unconstitutional.

Although the group did not want to block the prayer event—scheduled to take place Aug. 6 at Houston's Reliant Stadium—lawyers sought to stop Perry from taking part. They argued that the participation of the governor, who may still seek a presidential bid, would violate the First Amendment’s requirement of separation of church and state.

GFA Jesus Well

Water Well Provides Opportunities to Share Jesus

Scorching summer temperatures in Chhattisgarh, India, left the majority of one village's water resources depleted.

Villagers struggled to find a well that wasn't already dry. The government also tried to help by supplying as much water as it was able, but there was never enough to go around.

Somalia famine

Somalia Famine Declaration Long Overdue

Famine is a deadly killer. It is declared only when malnutrition in the population shoots over the level of 30 percent and two children per every 10,000 die each day. Declaring a famine draws more attention for aid and relief to the people in crisis.

But when the UN finally declared famine in two areas of Somalia on July 20, malnutrition was at 55 percent and six children per every 10,000 were dying every day.

And this wasn't the only delayed reaction seen.

morris_theresa_cerullo

Morris Cerullo Celebrates 60th Wedding Anniversary

Dr. Morris and Theresa Cerullo are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today.

Since his call to the ministry at the age of 15, God has used Cerullo to reach multitudes of people around the world in over half a century of ministry. He was raised in a Jewish Orthodox Orphanage until the age of 14 when he gave his life to Christ.

stevesix

Pro-Life Groups Successfully Block Obama Nominee

As the Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on President Obama's nomination of Steve Six to the Federal Appeal Court on Thursday, committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) issued a statement that the nomination would not be considered by the committee.

That move essentially scuttled Six's nomination.

Operation Rescue was the first to express opposition to Six's nomination, noting his interference in abortion investigations and his efforts to gag a District Court judge and bury incriminating evidence against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which faces 107 criminal charges. On June 27, Operation Rescue called on Obama to withdraw Six's nomination.

"Six repeatedly allowed his personal and political biases to influence his professional judgment, and that alone makes him unfit for the Federal Appeals Court," says Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Today we are celebrating this victory for the cause of justice."

train_tracks

Finding Hope After Tragedy on the Tracks

When Sophia entered high school in 2008, she expected that some kids might drink too much and some would use drugs. But the Manasquan High School student did not expect that three of her classmates would commit suicide in less than a year.

According to the New Jersey Star Ledger, 18-year-old Timothy was the first Manasquan High School student to die by stepping in front of a train on April 26, 2008. Two months later, Andrew, 18, stepped onto the tracks and died, almost on the same spot as his friend.

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