Spring break is officially in session at many schools in the United States. But this year, thousands of students will hit Florida’s beach with something else on their mind other than soaking in the sun.
More than 2,500 Christian students from across America are expected to attend one of five week-long outreach events hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ as part of their annual “Big Break” conferences.
Between Feb. 28 and April 3, participating college students will join forces on Panama City Beach to not only help prepare and pack meals for 1 million Haitian earthquake victims, but also to share their faith and recruit other students on the beach to help. more >>
The massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile Saturday morning is not like the one that devastated Haiti in January, said a relief expert at World Vision.
Even though both monstrous quakes have caused or is expected to result in the deaths of many people, the challenges facing relief workers in each country is different, said Steve Matthews of World Vision’s global rapid response team.
“This (Chile) quake will not be like the one in Haiti,” said Matthews on Saturday. more >>
The U.S. government needs to enhance the religious literacy of its foreign service officers and diplomats so that they can better address foreign policy challenges, a report advised.
Task force members of the report “Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy,” sponsored by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said for too long the government has ignored the fact that religion plays a large role in the lives of the people its officers interact with overseas.
It is imperative that representatives of America engage with local religious communities and receive training on how to relate to these religious groups in order to fulfill its foreign interests, the task force said. more >>
Less than a quarter of the 1.3 million Haitians who need shelter have it. And with the rainy season upon the quake-stricken country, aid groups are urgently asking for help.
"It is raining almost every night, forcing thousands of Haitians to seek out shelter by standing under half-destroyed buildings in order to escape the elements," Tim Rickel, vice president of communication for World Gospel Mission, reported Tuesday.
Rickel received a report from a missionary on the ground in Haiti revealing that more than 1 million people affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the island nation last month are either sleeping in tent cities or out in the open. more >>
President Obama's faith advisory council recently voted to require churches that receive federal funds to establish separate non-profit corporations as a "necessary means of achieving church-state separation."
The vote was 13 to 12 in favor of the requirement.
The 25 members, who were appointed last year to advise the revamped White House faith-based office, placed their votes on what Melissa Rogers, chair of the council, says are "non-consensus issues" earlier this month. more >>
A group of leading international human rights specialists urged the United Nations on Thursday to help find one of China’s top Christian human rights lawyers.
Gao Zhisheng, who was once named by the Chinese government as one of the country’s ten best lawyers, has been missing for one year as of Thursday. He was reportedly seized by a dozen police officers and last seen in public on Feb. 4, 2009. The Chinese government has made vague references to Gao’s detainment, but many times it has also denied knowing where he is.
“We urge China to let Gao Zhisheng’s family know where he is being held and why he is being detained, in accordance with Chinese law,” said Jerome Cohen, a professor at New York University Law School and one of the nation’s foremost expert in Chinese law. “He should immediately be granted access to council and either charged with a crime or released.” more >>