USCIRF cites Russia, 3 terrorist groups for violations

April 28 2017 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) made some ground-breaking recommendations in its latest annual report, but the bipartisan watchdog made clear one reality is not new – the ability to exercise one’s faith continues to deteriorate. In its 2017 report, USCIRF set a precedent by calling for Russia to be classified as one of the world’s worst violators of religious liberty.

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Chibok parents praying, ‘groaning’ 3 years later

April 20 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Parents of the nearly 200 missing Chibok schoolgirls continue to pray with hope three years after Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped the girls. Of the 276 girls kidnapped in an overnight raid in the mostly Christian town, an estimated 195 remain missing after the April 14, 2014 attack on the Government Girls Secondary School.

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World’s oldest person: an ‘extra-precious’ Baptist

April 19 2017 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press

What has the world’s oldest person, Violet Mosse-Brown, age 117, done nearly all her life? She has been a faithful, industrious church member, according to the Jamaica Baptist Reporter. Mosse-Brown, baptized at age 13, became the world’s oldest person after the April 15 death of Emma Morano of Italy, also 117.

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German family continues fight to homeschool

April 19 2017 by Kiley Crossland, WORLD News Service

A German family punished for homeschooling their children has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Dirk and Petra Wunderlich submitted a final appeal last week asking the ECHR to protect their right to homeschool their four children. Home education has been banned in Germany since 1918 and carries criminal penalties.

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Five WHO aid workers nabbed in Somalia

April 13 2017 by Onize Ohikere, WORLD News Service

Somali-based extremist group al-Shabaab has abducted five World Health Organization (WHO) employees working in the country, security officials said. The report comes as aid workers responding to the humanitarian crisis in some parts of the continent battle security risks. “We are now pursuing them to free the abducted men,” Deeq Abdi Khaliif said.

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Restrictions, hostilities increase for people of faith

April 12 2017 by Baptist Press staff

The world’s religious adherents experienced greater government restraints and social animosities after two years of declines, according to a newly released study. The share of countries with such levels of government restrictions – including laws, policies and actions – edged up from 24 percent in 2014 to 25 percent in 2015.

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Marriage is still the gold standard of family stability

April 12 2017 by Kiley Crossland, WORLD News Service

Yet another research study published recently showed marriage was superior to cohabitation for providing family stability across the demographic spectrum. Cohabiting parents split up twice as often as married parents, according to the data. Children who experienced their parents’ breakups and then additional family transitions also reported more unhappiness, school disruptions and teen pregnancies.

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Coptic Christians pray, persevere after Egypt church bombings

April 11 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

As Coptic Christians bury an estimated 44 killed in terrorist bombings during Palm Sunday services in Egypt, the oldest Coptic church in the U.S. is praying for both the families of the Christian “martyrs” and the Islamic State that has claimed responsibility for the deaths.

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Strike on Syria called ‘just,’ prayer urged

April 10 2017 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Following a U.S. missile strike against Syria, Southern Baptists pledged prayer and claimed the action was appropriate retribution for deadly chemical attacks allegedly carried out by the Syrian military. American warships fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian government airbase believed to have been used to launch a chemical attack against.

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Muslims outpacing Christians in births, Pew says

April 10 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Muslims are so outpacing Christians in births that the two population groups will be nearly equal by 2060, with Christians holding only a slight majority, according to newly released Pew Research data. An increase in Muslim births compounded by an aging Christian population will put the Muslim share of the global population at 31 percent.

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