Thursday, February 12, 2009Download All Stories
USCIRF urges Obama to appoint special Sudan envoy
WASHINGTON (BP)--The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended Feb. 11 the federal government make achieving peace in Sudan a priority, beginning with the appointment of a special envoy as soon as possible.
The special envoy would be an advocate for the Obama administration in the effort to bring about full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan. That January 2005 treaty ended a civil war of more than 20 years marked by what has been described as agenocidal campaign by the militant Islamic Arab regime in Khartoum against Christians and animists in southern Sudan and moderate African Muslims.
In a Capitol Hill news conference, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stressed the need for the Sudanese government to enact its CPA obligations. The danger of the CPA unraveling may create increasing belligerence between Khartoum, in the north, and the south and disadvantage chances of achieving peace in Darfur, where another genocidal effort has occurred during the last six years.
In that western region of Sudan, Khartoum military forces and Arab militias backed by the government have instituted ethnic cleansing against African Muslims, resulting in the killing of about 400,000 people, as well as rampant torture, rape and kidnapping, USCIRF has reported. More than two million people have been left homeless, according to estimates.
Members of Congress at the news conference suggested the Obama administration issue a clear policy to frame what it will do and what the expected work of the special envoy will be. It is important the special envoy is someone who demonstrates credibility when speaking for the president, said Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Va.
Among USCIRF recommendations presented at the news conference were:
-- Focusing on and advancing implementation of the CPA by building support for peace; Read More
DARWIN AT 200: Just 39% believe evolutionNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Supporters of Darwinian evolution celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth Feb. 12, but a new poll shows that Americans aren't buying the naturalist's controversial theory. Read More
DARWIN AT 200: Costly, questionable biasLYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)--Biologist Nathaniel Abraham, who now is an associate professor at Liberty University in Virginia, was fired from his postdoctoral position at a prestigious research institute because he would not accept Darwinian evolution ... Read More
DARWIN AT 200: Academic fascism
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--Charles Darwin's general theory of evolution, articulated in his 1859 book, "On the Origin of Species," asserts that all life descended from a common ancestor. Read More
ATHEISM: Penn Jillette urges evangelism
LAS VEGAS (BP)--Penn Jillette, the verbal half of the magician duo Penn and Teller, and an outspoken atheist, has posted a YouTube video exhorting Christians to share their faith.
Penn and Teller are headliners in Las Vegas, and their shows generally are marked by foul language and shock appeal. Penn Jillette, though, used no coarse language in telling about an audience member who gave him a New Testament.
Jillette was signing autographs after a show last fall when he noticed the man s... Read More
ATHEISM: Both agree, Africa needs God
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--A mission board leader in the United States and an atheist in London have some common ground.
Gordon Fort, the mission board leader, noted, "Matthew Parris is right -- Africa needs God." Parris, a columnist for The Times of London, had written a piece titled, "As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God" in December.
Fort, who grew up in Africa in a missionary family and now serves as vice president of overseas operations for Southern Baptists' International Mis... Read More
ATHEISM: Ray Comfort warns of its results
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Ray Comfort, co-host of the television program "The Way of the Master" and author of the new book "You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think," discusses the challenge of atheism today with Baptist Press.
BP: Who are the atheists exercising the most influence in popular culture today?
COMFORT: There is a comparatively small minority of atheists in the United States (and Europe) who have learned they can strip us of our God-given liberties t... Read More
Gospel 'comes to life' on seminary campus
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--The campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary sprang to life Feb. 6-7 as 1,400 college students and young adults swarmed the grounds to hear well-known speakers address the power of the Gospel to radically transform their lives and the culture in which they live.
The conference, which sold out days in advance, drew students from around the country to listen to pastors Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney, Southeastern president Daniel Akin and Bill Brown, preside... Read More
Disaster vols rush to aid 911 dispatcher
LONE GROVE, Okla. (BP)--As a 911 dispatcher for the Carter County Sheriff's Department, Linda Shepard is used to helping others in distress. On Feb. 11, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers from Oklahoma's Enon Baptist Association did their best to return the favor.
Shepard and her husband Phil, who is a detective with the Lone Grove Police Department, were at their son's home in the northwest part of the city, helping him install a new water heater, when an EF-4 tornado struck aroun... Read More
LINCOLN AT 200: Spiritual blueprint for a presidency
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The Lincoln Memorial has long been my favorite monument in our nation's capital. Read More