The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has temporarily suspended the death sentence hanging over the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
World Magazine reported that the Senate stopped playing kick the can on funding the government watchdog group Tuesday night. A voice vote led by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) passed H.R. Bill 2867 and ensured USCIRF would appear on the House floor tomorrow for a final vote confirming its existence. The measure appears just in time to meet the organization's shutdown deadline on the same day.
"I felt relief when it passed," said Dr. Richard Land, executive editor of The Christian Post, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of nine USCIRF commissioners, to CP on Thursday. "I wasn't sure they were going to do it. It's very nerve-wracking for our employees as we head into Christmas time." more >>
Zambia is rejoicing after a recent Christian outreach program resulted in thousands embracing and even converting to Christianity.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) coordinated the program known as My Hope.
It involved at least 60,000 believers who were encouraged to unite friends and family for prayer and ultimately to learn the word of God. more >>
In the staring contest between the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Senate blinked first.
USCIRF Commissioner Nina Shea said in an e-mail to The Christian Post that the Committee voted 70-30 last night to keep her organization alive until Dec. 16. The decision comes after two months of scrambling by USCIRF to secure stable funding for its mission of protecting religious freedom overseas. The group's governing mandate originally expired in September, only to be renewed in an overall federal budget resolution that expired today.
Founded in 1998, USCIRF has become the American government's most prominent agency concerning religious freedom abroad. Ryan Morgan, an advocacy officer for International Christian Concern (ICC), said the organization advises the president, Congress and the State Department on how they should stop religious persecution. It's also vital, he said, to the work of similar groups like his own. more >>
The Israeli government has given the green light to build a Bible museum in the country of Jesus' birth.
Israel's Haaretz newspaper reports that the Israel Bible Valley project will combine exhibits depicting Old Testament characters and times alongside displays of biblical artifacts. The Knesset, Israel's main governing body, unanimously approved the initiative yesterday and will soon decide the museum's place on the map.
"It's absurd that in the land of the Bible, there is no center dedicated to it," Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, told Haaretz. more >>
An online witch school recently launched a public relations campaign declaring a shortage of teachers it claims comes as the result of Wicca becoming the fastest growing religion in America.
Witch School International, Inc. said in a press release that “America is on the brink of awakening and discovering its inner magic, and this is changing belief systems around the world as well. How this change occurs depends on what people believe, and more people than ever are looking at Paganism and Wicca.”
The schools co-founder, Ed Hubbard, is quoted as saying, “There is such a rapid spiritual reorientation in America occurring, that the need for thousands of Wiccan teachers over the course of the next decade will be required to meet the demand for basic teachings.” more >>
The Democratic National Committee announced this week that it hired the Rev. Derrick Harkins to serve as director of DNC's Faith Outreach.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz welcomed Harkins, stating, "I look forward to working with Rev. Harkins to build on the successes we've had as a party in reaching out to people of faith from all walks of life and backgrounds."
Harkins is the senior pastor at the historic Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington D.C. The church is one of the District's oldest African-American churches and has hosted many prominent figures including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. more >>