An alleged Ponzi schemer who was once endorsed by Bishop Eddie Long has been arrested by federal authorities in Missouri.
Ephren Taylor, formerly a financial advisor to megachurch congregations like Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, surrendered to authorities in Kansas City on Tuesday.
More than 550 Coptic Christian schoolgirls in Egypt have been kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to convert and marry their abductors during the last three years, according to the Association of Victims of Abduction and Forced Disappearance (AVAFD).
"The world reacted in horror and revulsion at the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls in April," writes Mark Ellis of Godreports. "But twice as many Coptic Christian schoolgirls in Egypt have vanished slowly, one-by-one, in kidnappings that remain unsolved."
The kidnappings and captivity, occuring since January 2011 through March 2014, often include violence against the girls. For example, the traditional cross the Coptic minority tattoos on their wrists is erased with acid before these forced marriages, according to Terrasanta, a Catholic news service. more >>
A panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments on lawsuits pertaining to four states' marriage amendments.
Justices decided Monday to combine the four cases into one appeal, whose arguments will be brought before a three-judge panel on Aug. 6.
Marriage amendments from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee will be on the agenda for the panel, as each one has been declared unconstitutional by lower court judges. more >>
Some Christian groups are worried that President Barack Obama's forthcoming executive order guaranteeing the protection of LGBT individuals from employment discrimination with businesses that have federal contracts may not have sufficient religious liberty protections.
While the order has not yet been written up, concerns have been leveled by various individuals that the order might not include a religious exemption and would force faith-based groups to engage in hiring practices that are in opposition to the teachings of their faith.
"The big question is: will the Executive Order drive out faith-based organizations out of federal contracting?" Stanley Carlson-Thies, founder and president of Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, wrote in an email to supporters. "The federal government doesn't contract only for aircraft carriers, janitorial services, and IT expertise. It also contracts for research, consulting, and technical assistance, and, increasingly, for social services-particularly USAID and the Bureau of Prisons contract for social services." more >>
An online petition calling for the White House to act to save a Christian woman in Sudan sentenced to be executed has gotten more than 50,000 signatories, but it needs to garner 100,000 signatures by June 27 to be guaranteed an official response by the Obama administration.
Posted on the "We the People" site, the petition calls for action to save Meriam Ibrahim, the mother of two young children awaiting a punishment of 100 lashes and execution for allegedly leaving Islam for Christianity.
"We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens), is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum," reads the petition in part. more >>
Benny Hinn, Christian faith-healing evangelist, has asked supporters to step up to "higher seed-level giving" by donating $1,000 to his ministry, with the suggestion that they would enter a "new dimension of favor and increase" like he did after trying out financial teacher Todd Coontz's "thousand-dollar principle."
Hinn, whose followers number more than 1.7 million on Facebook and Twitter, credited Coontz as inspiration for the higher seed-level giving principle in a newsletter emailed to supporters over the weekend.
"I've believed in seed-faith giving for decades, and I've seen it work time after time, but where do you get this $1,000 teaching?" Hinn says he asked Coontz during a conference in Dallas. "He showed me from the Bible how Solomon offered a thousand animals to God. He told me there's something very special about the number 1,000 and the miracles he has seen when people cross that line in giving." more >>