April 17, 2014
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NORTHERN JORDAN (BP) -- Muhammad*, two of his sisters and an elderly uncle sit on the floor of a rented house beside a trash-strewn gully in a town near Jordan's northern border with Syria.

The uncle fingers his prayer beads and looks into space as a mosque nearby sounds the Muslim call to prayer. Children of various ages trek in and out of the room, playing games to stave off boredom. A little boy clutches a stuffed teddy bear; a girl admires her reflection in a pink hand mirror. The women hastily cover their faces when a visitor's camera appears -- not for modesty or religious reasons, but for fear of the long arm of the ruling Assad regime in Syria.

Life for this Syrian refugee family now consists of sitting and waiting. But it's better than the hellish existence they endured for months in Homs, the besieged city across the border they fled in March. Much of Homs, one of the centers of the year-old Syrian uprising, has been shelled to rubble by Syrian military forces bent on crushing the widening rebellion.

"Homs is a city of ghosts now," Muhammad says, sipping tea with his visitors. "There is no value to a human life there."

He should know. The 41-year-old Sunni Muslim refugee has lost three family members to the violence. His wife's brother was arrested, tortured and killed before his abused body was released to the family more than a month later. Another brother joined the rebel forces and died in a bombing. Read More
Syrian refugee relief hindered by low funds
ATHENS (BP) -- Southern Baptists are reaching out to the growing numbers of Syrians fleeing violence in their country, but financial reserves are inadequate to meet the needs. Read More
NC gay 'marriage' backers try to change subject
RALEIGH, N.C. (BP) -- Less than two weeks before voters in North Carolina go to the polls to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, the main group opposing it essentially has acknowledged it will win only by changing the subject from marriage -- a tactic that has been tried before in other states. Read More
SBTC pres.: Pray for Obama, 'take high road'
IRVING, Texas (BP) -- Southern Baptists of Texas Convention President Terry Turner rallied executive board members April 24 to pray faithfully for President Barack Obama and members of Congress, seeking a change in the spiritual climate of the nation. Read More
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Melissa Meredith
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Columnist Melissa Meredith gives biblical and practical advice for wives and moms who are protecting themselves and their families from poor entertainment choices, such as on TV and in the movies.

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