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Stories tagged with: for the church

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  • Baby-saving ministry ready to extend its reach

    by Grace Thornton, posted Friday, January 18, 2019 (yesterday)

    Submitted photo
    FLINT, Mich. (BP) -- Justin Phillips said it's the best and worst thing he's ever done with his life. Every day, he stands across the strip mall parking lot from a door marked simply G-3422. It's sandwiched between two dollar stores.

    Every week, 20 to 30 babies are aborted there.

    "We're out there pleading with moms and dads to have mercy on their child, and we'll help," said Phillips, a full-time missionary with ONElife for Life, a ministry of ONElife Church in Flint, Mich. Read More

  • Christian women targets for persecution: Open Doors

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, January 17, 2019 (yesterday)

    IMB file photo
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Targeted Christian persecution tailored to hurt women is trending globally, Open Doors reported in its 2019 World Watch List of 50 countries most dangerous for Christians to practice their faith.

    "The data proves conclusively that Christian women are the most exploited group on the face of the earth today," Open Doors President David Curry said in a Jan. 16 press conference in Washington announcing the list. "While not minimizing the incredible violence against men, women are doubly persecuted. They're exploited for their vulnerability as females, and also for their faith.

    "And the shame culture within many of these regions of the world," Curry said, "makes sexual violence victims very cautious of how they rebuild their lives within these shame cultures." Read More

  • 'Trying to be Jesus': 4 testimonies of persecution

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 (2 days ago)

    Screen capture from Facebook
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Hana describes her most distressing experience as a persecuted Christian in Southwest Asia as perhaps her greatest joy.

    She was in the hospital trying to console her closest friend, who lost her unborn baby and suffered severe injuries during a church bombing.

    "Sitting in a dingy room with somebody who needed sunlight and fresh air, and trying to be that sunlight and fresh air for them, trying to console them, trying to be Jesus to them," Hana described the moment to Baptist Press Jan. 15. "Then perhaps I will change my statement and say that that wasn't the worst experience, but perhaps it's been the most rewarding and beautiful experience." Read More

  • Open Doors: Christian persecution up 14% worldwide

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 (2 days ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The number of Christians suffering high to extremely high persecution is 14 percent more in 2019, Open Doors reported, counting 245 million individuals globally.

    Persecution driven by Islamic extremism and Communist authoritarianism in the world's two most populous countries, India and China, marked the increase, Open Doors said today (Jan. 16) in releasing its 2019 World Watch List of the 50 countries with the most extreme Christian persecution.

    "Islamic radicalism continues to dominate and influence all spheres of life for Christians, and we are watching China and India very closely," Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry said in releasing the latest findings. "The distressing impact of billions of people living in an environment in which the government oppresses freedom of religion is unraveling day by day as millions of Christians are being attacked, imprisoned or killed." Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Your forever family

    by Shane Pruitt, posted Monday, January 14, 2019 (5 days ago)

    While it's easy to find criticisms of the church, Shane Pruitt sets forth key reasons why the church is a vital part of God's purpose and empowering for His followers. Read More

  • Churches ramp up background checks to ensure safety

    by Aaron Earls, posted Tuesday, January 08, 2019 (11 days ago)

    iStock
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- As churches become aware of potential safety issues, more are signing up for background check services through LifeWay Christian Resources' OneSource program.

    "The numbers have increased dramatically since we began our relationship with backgroundchecks.com," said LifeWay's Jennie Morris. "On average, we add 160 customers a month."

    Since January 2009, more than 16,000 customers have conducted more than 320,000 screenings with backgroundchecks.com through the LifeWay OneSource program. In 2018, more than 1,800 new churches signed up for the program. Read More

  • 'In Jesus' name': Evangelicals meet Mideast leaders

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, January 07, 2019 (11 days ago)

    Twitter photo
    MIDDLE EAST (BP) -- Southern Baptists are praying in Jesus' name in the offices of Muslim princes and presidents hosting evangelicals on tours promoting religious freedom in the Middle East.

    In the office of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jerry Johnson of the National Religious Broadcasters led a prayer for bin Salman just days after the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, in a visit officially unrelated to Khashoggi's disappearance. Read More

  • 'Lord protected us,' Baptist pastor says of gunman

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 02, 2019 (16 days ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    VIDOR, Texas (BP) -- "The Lord protected us," a Texas pastor proclaimed after police arrested a masked gunman more than 250 miles away who cited the specific church as his destination.

    "There is an overwhelming recognition that the Lord protected us and provided for us," Terry Wright of First Baptist Church in Vidor told Baptist Press today (Jan. 2).

    Police in Seguin, Texas, 254 miles southwest of Vidor, contacted the pastor after arresting 33-year-old Tony Dwayne Albert II, whom police said was dressed in tactical style clothing, had a loaded gun and said he was headed to the church to fulfill an unspecified prophecy.

    "We're very grateful that the man was caught," Wright told BP. "We also know that he needs help. He has some problems, evidently, and we ... pray for his well-being, that through this, somehow or another, there be a spiritual impact in his life. Read More

  • Christmas, nativity spotlight Baptist racial unity

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, December 18, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo submitted by Valerie Hayes
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- One-month-old Luke Molette was the nativity centerpiece, an African American baby portraying Jesus in the arms of his mother as a white "Joseph" sat at their side, flocked by an interracial chorus.

    The 2018 Christmas parade float was the latest collaboration between Nashville First Baptist Church, a majority white congregation led by senior pastor Frank Lewis, and nearby First Baptist Church Capitol Hill, a majority black church led by senior pastor Kelly Miller Smith Jr. The longtime friends point to a shared church history predating the Civil War, when Nashville First established Capitol Hill as a mission congregation.

    At a college dinner announcing two scholarships in honor of their leadership in racial unity, the pastors explained the Christmas float's creation. Molette is Smith's grandson, born in November to Smith's daughter Valerie Hayes. Read More

  • Chinese police disrupt weekend worship

    by June Cheng/WORLD , posted Tuesday, December 18, 2018 (one month ago)

    CHINA (BP) -- Members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, tried to meet together for Sunday worship (Dec. 16) only to reportedly have police detain about 60 people and shut down outdoor services. Several small groups found spaces to meet and worship without incident.

    One week after Chinese authorities cracked down on the prominent unregistered church and arrested more than 100 of its leaders and members, congregants arrived at their building to find the metal gate locked and plainclothes officers and riot police blocking all the entrances, according to a church prayer update. Police arrested some of the congregants who showed up for Sunday worship. See related Baptist Press story. Read More