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Weekly briefing: Boy Scouts bankruptcy, Florida cross stays, locusts and famine

Weekly briefing: Boy Scouts bankruptcy, Florida cross stays, locusts and famine

The statue of a scout stands in the entrance to Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas, February 5, 2013. | (Photo: REUTERS/Tim Sharp)

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Boy Scouts files for bankruptcy, plans to compensate abuse victims

The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy and created a Victims Compensation Trust to compensate thousands of sexual abuse victims.

The organization said the Chapter 11 process would “provide equitable compensation” to victims while ensuring that it continues its mission — which is “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.”

More than 12,000 Boy Scout members have been victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of 7,819 allegedly sexually abusive troop leaders and volunteers.

The organization has been experiencing loss in membership in recent years amid controversy over its allowance of openly gay scouts and leaders and admittance of girls.

Judge lets cross stay at Florida public park

A panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that a 34-foot tall cross can remain at Bayview Park in Pensacola, saying they find no “discriminatory intent” behind it.

The panel reversed an earlier decision and cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last summer to allow a cross in Maryland to stay on public land.

Locusts could cause next famine in Africa

A growing spread of city-sized swarms of locusts has reached seven East African countries in recent months — an invasion that has been described as something similar to the account of one of the 10 plagues of Egypt in the Bible.

The locusts have been consuming “anything green,” including crops and grass for livestock.

“[I]f we haven't controlled them, then the region is facing famine, not just a food crisis, but a potential famine.” — Joseph Kamara, World Vision’s regional director for humanitarian and emergency affairs in East Africa

Holy Land Experience laying off most staff

The Holy Land Experience, a Christian-themed amusement park in Orlando, Florida, will be laying off most of its employees after Easter.

The 19-year-old park is also shutting down its elaborate stage productions beginning mid-April.

Mike Everett, general manager, said the park will still be open despite an end to most of its attractions. At the same time, he said they will be assessing other economic opportunities.

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Pray for:

Families of some 24 people who were killed in an attack on a church and neighboring community in Burkina Faso

Over 100,000 who have been displaced and some 700 who have been killed in Mozambique since 2017 as radical Islamic extremism spreads

New releases

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Just Jesus by Newsong (Feb. 21)

BRKNHRT by Hulvey (Feb. 21)

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Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy by Lauren Casper (Feb. 18)

Approaching the Atonement: The Reconciling Work of Christ by Oliver D. Crisp (Feb. 11)

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