The Rev. Phyllis Sortor, the American Free Methodist Church missionary who was kidnapped by suspected criminal gang members in Nigeria last month with a demand for a $300,000 ransom, was safely released Friday, according an announcement from the church.
"Early evening Nigeria time, Friday, March 6, Phyllis Sortor, Free Methodist missionary to Nigeria, was safely released into the care of authorities and Free Methodist church leaders," noted David W. Kendall, for the Board of Bishops in a news release to The Christian Post Friday evening.
"It appears she was kidnapped by a criminal gang, and there is no evidence this event is associated with terrorism or religion. Free Methodist leaders express deep appreciation to all who prayed for Sortor's safe return," he added. more >>
A Texas organization that has investigated financial fraud in the American religious community is in the process of expanding their efforts globally.
The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation recently announced their plans to investigate religious fraud on a global scale following the release of research earlier this year indicating that religious fraud globally may total $100 billion in the next decade.
In a recently released statement, the Trinity Foundation noted that for 2015 alone it's estimated that international religious fraud will exceed donations to global missions. more >>
A mammoth hot air balloon featuring the painting of a smiling Jesus will ascend to the skies of western New York during the Easter season.
Named "RISEN!", the hot air balloon will be 80-feet-tall and have a volume of 105,000 cubic feet, being constructed from more than 2,000 square yards of fabric.
Sky Sail Balloons, Inc., an Ashville, New York-based hot air balloon company, will create the RISEN!, with its maiden voyage slated for this Easter season. more >>
LOS ANGELES – Together L.A., a three day conference featuring close to 50 speakers primarily discussing how churches and ministries can effectively collaborate to show the love of Christ to the city, concluded with best-selling author and pastor Tim Keller speaking about individual identity before 2,000 people in attendance last Saturday.
"Christianity doesn't just give you a new identity it gives you a radical way of forming an identity," said Keller, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York. "It gives you a unique, liberating and infinitely better identity than the one the culture is imposing on you right now."
Throughout the conference, Keller and other speakers discussed practical steps and gave examples of how the Christian community is tackling hard social issues. However, Keller's closing message was more about how Christians walking in faith can overcome skewed expectations from society. more >>
National Harbor, Md. — Members of a panel on anti-abortion activism at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday afternoon believe that the current trend of political successes for the pro-life movement may influence the Democrat Party.
"Abortion-centered feminism is dead. I really believe that's true. Now it certainly could crawl back in the crevices of new elections and new conversations and new legislative battles," said Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List.
"If we stay on the track we're on, we will continue into the next election against Hillary Clinton potentially, with a very strong, emboldened pro-life, pro-woman course, only not just Republicans but in the Hispanic community and among Democrats," she predicted. more >>
A church in Washington state is converting a former strip club into an evangelistic facility that's serving the community seven days a week.
Bethany Community Church, a Seattle-based multi-site congregation founded in 1900, acquired the former strip club called "Sugars" and has turned it into a site for missions.
The strip club was located in the city of Shoreline, which is north of Seattle. The facility will serve as part of Bethany Community Church North. more >>