International

7,000 churches, mosques still closed in Rwanda shutdown

August 1 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Nearly 7,000 churches and mosques remain closed in Rwanda months after the government began shutting down houses of worship, the Rwandan government has reported. The government continues to close houses of worship, citing various building code violations and requirements that pastors complete theological education at accredited schools, World Watch Monitor reported July 27.

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Religious liberty: International conference seen as key advance

July 31 2018 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

Religious liberty advocates drew hope from a first-ever international gathering of government officials, civil society representatives and faith leaders to promote the freedom of all people to practice their beliefs. The U.S. State Department convened the inaugural Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom July 24-26 in Washington, hosting delegations from more than 80 governments …

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Imprisoned U.S. pastor in Turkey moves to house arrest

July 26 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

American pastor Andrew Brunson has been granted transfer from a Turkish prison to house arrest awaiting an Oct. 12 hearing, his attorneys said July 25. The move comes a week after a Turkish court denied Brunson’s plea for release after nearly two years’ imprisonment on allegations of terrorism and spying.

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Deaf men stir IMB worker’s heart for their souls

July 25 2018 by IMB Staff

The imam placed his copy of the Quran carefully on the table and called the men at the memorial service to attention. He opened the book, lifted his hands toward heaven and began to chant in honor of the man who had died. The Deaf men in the room copied the stance but remained silent …

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Uzbekistan’s religious liberty violations mount

July 24 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Two new requirements for religious organizations seeking government recognition in Uzbekistan are said to evidence the Central Asian nation’s continued restriction of religious liberty. Comprising five former Soviet republics, Central Asia includes Uzbekistan and two other countries on the U.S. State Department’s list of countries of particular concern (CPCs) for religious liberty violations: Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

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Still jailed in Turkey, Brunson gave ‘bold’ witness

July 20 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

American pastor Andrew Brunson’s continued imprisonment in Turkey following a July 18 court hearing is probably an act of political maneuvering rather than Islamic persecution, two Islamic studies professors say. Resurgent conservative Islam in Turkey is, however, part of the background, the professors say …

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Youth team in Guatemala treks to towns & villages

July 19 2018 by David Dawson, Baptist and Reflector

The concept of “giving the shirt off your back” took on an almost literal sense for 37 students and leaders who traveled to Guatemala for a weeklong mission trip in June. “Many of the kids left for the trip with a suitcase packed full of clothes and came home with a virtually empty suitcase.

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Dripping Springs primed to reach sprawling Austin

July 17 2018 by Erin Roach, Baptist Press

First Baptist Church in Dripping Springs was about 20 miles from Austin when it was founded in 1875 in a community of about 200 people. But Austin’s vast growth has reached Dripping Springs, and the church is positioned to reach the 35,000 living there now.

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African nation’s Baptists stirred to advance gospel

July 16 2018 by IMB Staff

In the country that birthed voodoo, Baptists in Benin are working to pray for and support the spread of the gospel in the Sub-Saharan country. It’s a story IMB missionary Barbara Singerman can’t share without tearing up. “They are investing in missions,” she said. “They are expressing a love and appreciation and oneness – participation in the work.

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IMB toughens cyber security after data breach

July 13 2018 by Seth Brown, BR Content Editor

A data breach occurred at the International Mission Board that may have exposed personal information of current and former employees, volunteers and applicants. The Southern Baptist entity launched a “comprehensive response” immediately upon discovering the cyber security incident and promptly notified law enforcement officials, according to a statement released to the Biblical Recorder on July 12.

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