Three siblings in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against several Jehovah's Witnesses organizations in the state after alleging they were sexually abused by a "ministerial servant" from the group.
Sybelle Almodovar, Ferdinand Almodovar and Evelyn Selimaj announced the lawsuit along with their attorneys in New Haven. The siblings intend to sue the East Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses New Haven and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
The three allege that they were sexually abused by a registered sex offender in the organization; Orlando Afandor reportedly abused the siblings over a five-year period beginning in 1988. Afandor was convicted of the sexual assault of a child in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2010 and released from prison in 2013. He did not respond to inquiries by the media. more >>
A Louisiana church barred a local Alcoholics Anonymous group from using its sanctuary for meetings in fear of possibly being forced to perform same-sex marriages by the state.
The lead pastor of Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, Louisiana, recently wrote a letter to the organization informing them about their decision to no longer allow them to use their facility for meetings after five years of working together.
The grandson of televangelist Robert H. Schuller, Bobby Schuller, has been named lead pastor of Shepherd's Grove Church, the new name for Schuller's original congregation, which moved to a new location after selling the Crystal Cathedral building and campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County.
Schuller will also follow in his grandfather's footsteps with an hour-long religious television program called "Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller." The new program will be similar to the "Hour of Power" show made famous by his grandfather but the younger Schuller plans on reaching a different audience.
"When I came to the remaining Crystal Cathedral congregation in March of 2012, my goal was just to help the ministry as things were winding down to a close. Then more people started attending, and the church grew. It soon became clear that God had other things in mind for the ministry, and that he wanted me to pastor the church," Schuller said, according to Christian Newswire. more >>
The 2005 Louisiana church molestation case that inspired the plot for the first season of HBO's "True Detective" series involved a so-called youth pastor sexually abusing his own daughter and the lead pastor dedicating children to satan.
Details of the case, which involved pastor Louis Lamonica Jr., and youth pastor Austin "Trey" Bernard of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, were revealed in a new VICE media documentary, "The Real 'True Detective.'"
Lamonica's initial confession to local police opened up the case in 2005. The detectives who worked the case, captain Stuart Murphy of the Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office and Tom Tedder, a special agent with the FBI, discussed it in greater detail with VICE and revealed some horrifying details. more >>
Churches across the United States and the globe plan to observe the annual World Communion Sunday, and much of the focus will be on persecuted Christians.
The focus for many will be on the sacrament of Holy Communion and the sense of solidarity it gives among Christendom. This includes remembering those in the Christian faith who suffer persecution for their beliefs, be it in the Middle East, East Asia, or elsewhere.
Rev. C.K. Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, told The Christian Post that World Communion Sunday was a way that the Church "recognizes its solidarity with fellow Christians across the globe in our prayers and corporate worship." more >>
The California Catholic Conference filed a complaint Wednesday against the state's mandate that Catholic institutions cover all forms of voluntary direct abortion, including late-term and gender selection, stating that defending the sanctity of life is essential to Catholic beliefs.
"Catholic beliefs about life and human dignity animate and shape our Catholic ministries," said Bishop Robert McElroy, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and chair of the Institutional Concerns Committee of the California Catholic Conference.
"It's why we oppose abortion, but it is also why Catholic schools provide education, Catholic hospitals care for the poor and vulnerable and why Catholic social services provide assistance to people and families in need. It goes to the core of our moral beliefs." more >>