Religious leaders in St. Louis suspect racism could be to blame for what became the city's seventh church fire to occur in less than two weeks on Thursday, but authorities have not yet pinpointed what motivated the arson attacks.
Since Oct. 8, more than half a dozen churches, which all vary denominationally, have been targeted in what police believe to be deliberate acts of arson. The latest attack occurred on Thursday at the downtown Shrine of St. Joseph Church, which sustained fire damage to its rectory doors.
Police found similarities in the arson attacks in that the fires at all seven churches were similarly set and occurred when the church was empty. The attacks have occurred at predominantly black congregations located near Ferguson, with the exception of St. Josephs although it is located in a predominantly black neighborhood. more >>
Six months after being stripped of his UFC Light Heavyweight Champion belt for a hit-and-run car accident, Jon "Bones" Jones says he feels blessed that the league decided to reinstate him.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to resume my career and I am excited to show how much I've grown as a person outside of the octagon. It took me losing almost everything I had worked for to realize how much I had," the 28-year-old Christian fighter wrote on Facebook after he was reinstated in the UFC on Friday.
He continued, "I am blessed and humbled by the support of the MMA community and I can't thank my fans enough for their unwavering support through my ups and downs. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life and my career and let me assure you, the best is yet to come." more >>
The Institute on Religion & Democracy has accused the National Association of Evangelicals of dumping traditional church teachings in favor of pursuing wider social support due to the recent revision of its historical position on the death penalty.
"Clearly NAE's drift and intent is toward critique of capital punishment," IRD President Mark Tooley said in a statement on Thursday.
"Church bodies should address moral issues through the lens of historic Christian thought, reflecting with the whole church, past and present, and not striving to align with transitory secular trends. But there's little theology in the NAE's new resolution, which instead focuses on differences of opinion in their constituency, while implicitly inclining toward the supposedly 'growing number' on the liberal side," he continued. more >>
Two dozen Christian families, or close to 158 people, have reportedly been left to starve in the remote village of Mariano Matamoros in Mexico, after local government officials raided farmlands in an effort to drive out Protestants from the region.
International Christian Concern said the raids took place last week, and resulted in the theft of close to 15 acres of crops owned by the Protestant Christian community.
"This latest incident in Chiapas is emblematic of a pervasive climate of religious intolerance that is strangling the life out of rural communities across Mexico. Perhaps the worst part is that this is happening in almost complete obscurity. Officials at every level of the Mexican government have either been ignorant of or willfully turned a blind eye toward religiously based attacks that clearly violate Mexico's own Constitution and international human rights norms," said Isaac Six, ICC's advocacy director. more >>
It was an honorable send-off for a good friend and fellow law enforcer of the canine persuasion.
Members of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office bid their final farewells to a beloved narcotics detector K-9, Argo.
Born in 2006 in the Czech Republic, Argo had been battling bone cancer for some time, however the battle was becoming too much for the heroic creature. more >>
Singapore's City Harvest Church founder pastor Kong Hee and five other church leaders on trial were found guilty of having misused close to $35 million in donation funds by Judge See Kee Oon on Wednesday.
The Straits Times reported that Kong, 51; deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 42; former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 55; former CHC finance managers Serina Wee, 38; Sharon Tan, 40, and former CHC finance committee member John Lam, 47, have all been found guilty of funnelling more than $35.5 million in church donations to support the popstar career of Kong' wife, Sun Ho.
"Each of them participated and functioned in their own way as crucial cogs in the machinery," said the judge. more >>