A Ukrainian Catholic bishop has warned that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine between the central government of Kiev and allegedly Moscow-backed rebels is forcing millions of people to flee as refugees to escape starvation, poverty and destitution.
"Huge numbers are now caught between hammer and anvil; the separatists aren't looking after them, and the Ukrainian government won't care for them because they haven't declared which side they're on," Auxiliary Bishop Jan Sobilo of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.
"Not since World War II have we seen such poverty and destitution," he added. more >>
After an independent report released during the winter found that Bob Jones University officials discouraged victims of sexual assault from filing police reports, a months-long local South Carolina police department investigation found that there is insufficient evidence to prove that BJU violated any mandatory reporting laws.
As the Greenville Police Department conducted a seven month investigation into whether teachers, counselors and other officials at the Christian college failed to obey South Carolina law by not reporting knowledge of alleged sexual crimes against juvenile students to authorities, the investigation could not prove that BJU officials were guilty of violating the law.
"After interviewing all available witnesses, reviewing historical documentation, and consulting with the solicitor, it was jointly concluded that there is insufficient evidence to establish probable cause or prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either the faculty or administration of BJU in place at that time violated the mandatory reporting law in the cases we reviewed," a statement recently released by the Greenville Police Department affirms. more >>
Joyce Meyer, popular Bible teacher and preacher, has shared with her supporters the latest financial report detailing her ministry's assets, expenditures, and the results of its charitable and evangelistic undertakings. The ministry's production of publicly-available yearly financial reports was just one change Meyer made after being named years ago in a Senate probe of the finances of six notable Christian televangelists.
Meyer, named in 2005 by Time magazine among the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America, is a prolific author, having written more than 70 books, including the bestselling Battlefield of the Mind (1995). The 72-year-old minister is also a powerhouse on social media (totaling about 13 million followers across Twitter and Facebook), perhaps falling second only to Joel Osteen where evangelical Christian preachers are concerned.
The Fenton, Missouri-based Joyce Meyer Ministries, founded in 1985, claims that Meyer "reaches a potential audience of 3 billion people worldwide" through her "Enjoying Everyday Life" broadcasts. Meyer's 32nd "Love, Life Women's Conference," the only conference for which she charges an entry fee, attracted 14,000 women who paid $69 per ticket for the Missouri event last year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. more >>
Republican Senator from Kentucky, presidential candidate and noted state's rights proponent Rand Paul expressed support for the federal government playing a role in restoring voting rights for former felons.
Senator Paul, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2016 president election, told a bipartisan group of justice system advocates Wednesday morning about a bill he supports to help restore voting rights to ex-felons.
"Now some have objected to this and said 'well states control voting rights.' It's a little bit complicated actually. The [Supreme Court] has looked at this question," said Paul. more >>
Religious and other pro-life charity organizations that aid sex trafficking victims will longer be awarded federal grants if they are unable to offer abortion counseling services due to religious convictions come this fall after the Obama administration passed a new Department of Health and Human Services grant requirement last month.
According to the Washington Examiner, a change to HHS guidelines passed in June explains that the department is now disqualifying aid organizations that do not offer "the full range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care," which also includes abortion counseling and referrals.
The report adds that groups that refuse to offer abortion counseling services to trafficking victims have the option to ensure that abortion counseling is provided through a third-party in order to remain eligible for the grant funding. more >>
A coalition of Christian leaders devoted to helping end poverty has released a series of videos featuring six 2016 presidential candidates. Each candidate explained the approach that he or she would take to solve poverty and hunger issues in the United States and across the globe if they were elected president.
As over 45 million Americans are living below the poverty level, The Circle of Protection, a coalition representing a diverse group of over 65 Christian leaders and organizations headed by Bread For The World, Sojourners and the National Association of Evangelicals, challenged each presidential candidate on the day they announced their candidacy to provide a video explaining their plans to end poverty.
"This is for us a deeply moral issue and first of all, it is a biblical issue," Sojourners founder Jim Wallis said during a Tuesday press call. "What our scripture tells us is that a nation's integrity, its righteousness is most determined by how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable, and leaders in particular are asked by the prophets to treat the needy with highest priority, not the last in line but the first." more >>