Trump’s Israel trip sparks ‘revival of encouragement’

May 24 2017 by David Roach, Baptist Press

President Trump’s visit to Israel this week drew praise from some Southern Baptists and led some of them to renew calls for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. During Trump’s May 22-23 visit to Israel, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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France rejects a third gender category

May 17 2017 by Kiley Crossland, WORLD News Service

France’s highest court has rejected the notion of a “neutral” gender. The ruling upheld a lower court’s decision denying a French citizen with a sex development disorder the right to use “neutral” as an official gender. The plaintiff was assigned male at birth despite having intersex genitalia.

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Two jailed Christians pardoned amid Sudan persecution

May 17 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

A pastor and another Christian unjustly imprisoned in Sudan are free after presidential pardons, but their release came just days after the government destroyed the last Christian place to worship in Soba al Aradi, a suburb of the capital Khartoum.

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Blasphemy spotlighted as Christian jailed in Indonesia

May 17 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

The blasphemy conviction of Jakarta’s ousted Christian governor has rallied international support for the leader and pleas for Indonesia to repeal its laws against blasphemy, a punishable crime in more than 50 countries. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and others are advocating on behalf of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as “Ahok.”

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Christian persecution focus of global summit

May 15 2017 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

Hundreds of church leaders from around the world gathered in solidarity at an inaugural summit in Washington, D.C., to speak up in defense of persecuted Christians. Persecution – including imprisonment, rape, torture and execution – of Christians and other religious adherents continues to mount globally, according to research by various organizations.

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Cooperative Program: Every church can impact the nations

May 11 2017 by Lyle Larsen

I have never been a member of Evansville Baptist Church but that congregation will always hold a special place in my life, having had a significant impact on my understanding of the Cooperative Program.   Evansville Baptist is in a small community in northwest Tennessee near Dyersburg.

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82 Chibok girls released; 113 still missing

May 9 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

A group of 82 Chibok schoolgirls freed after more than three years of Boko Haram captivity met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari May 7 in Abuja, a day after their release in a prisoner swap. Nigeria released five Boko Haram terrorists from prison in exchange for the girls.

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China releases American accused of spying

May 9 2017 by June Cheng, WORLD News Service

After more than two years spent imprisoned in southern China on spying charges, American Sandy Phan-Gillis finally returned to U.S. soil on Friday, reuniting with her husband and family in Los Angeles. In a few days, they will head home to Houston.

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Glimmers of gospel hope for South Asia's 1.6 billion

May 9 2017 by Polly Maclean, IMB

Mosques and temples clamor daily for the souls of 1.6 billion people in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka – the countries of South Asia that make up the world's greatest concentration of people with no access to the gospel.

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Cuban student arrested after trip to Washington

May 8 2017 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Religious liberty leaders are interceding on behalf of a college student interrogated, threatened and charged with public disorder by the Cuban government because of his work to expose Christian persecution there. Cuban state security authorities made him sign a pre-arrest warrant for public disorder, ordered him to appear in court and also interrogated his mother.

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