Saeed Abedini and family

Imprisoned Iranian-American pastor gets push from State Department

Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for the release of an Iranian-American minister from a Tehran prison, a welcome step for advocates who accused the State Department of being AWOL on the case.

New Pope Francis I

Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio elected as Pope Francis I

Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis I, March 13, after only two days of voting in the conclave tasked with choosing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

Papal conclave

Picking the pope: Holy Spirit or groupthink?

Since 1903, papal conclaves have averaged a mere three days in duration, and some—including the last one, in 2005—lasted a mere 24 hours.

Star Academy

TV talent-show performers face the wrath of religious traditionalists

The biggest worry for most American Idol contestants is whether the judges will let them continue to the next round. But some singers on Idol-like programs abroad have a bigger worry—that religious extremists will kill them.

Feeding Gypsies in Romania

Romanian Gypsies depend on God for daily bread

With help from the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, Baptist churches in five Romanian villages stand between Gypsies and starvation. 

Latvian Baptists

Latvian Baptists seek to plant churches, nurture young leaders

The United States doesn’t have a monopoly on people who claim to be spiritual but not religious, a group of Baptist ministers in North Texas learned from a Latvian Baptist leader.

Faith Digest


Article on papyrus delayed. The Harvard Theological Review is postponing publication of a major article on the papyrus fragment in which Jesus seems to refer to his wife, raising further doubts about a discovery that captured headlines when it was announced last September.

Texas Baptist delivers 60 tons of corn to North Korean orphans.

DALLAS—A Korean Texas Baptist recently delivered 60 tons of corn to North Korea, where he visited three schools for orphans and a hospital that will benefit from the shipment.

Dark Christmas legend regaining popularity in Austria

According to legend, St. Nicholas travels throughout Europe each year on Dec. 6, bringing good children candy and other treats. But first the naughty children must be punished. This is the job of Krampus — the hell-bound companion of St. Nicholas. It's the dark side of Christmas tradition.

Nigerian Baptist pastors killed in bombing

The head of the Baptist World Alliance protested continuing violence in Nigeria that recently claimed the lives of two Baptist pastors.

Stress-induced heart attack claims life of Baptist in Gaza conflict

Casualties during eight days of fighting between Israel and the militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip included at least one Baptist: Salem Boulos Sweilem, who attended the Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City.

Assistance sought for displaced people in Congo

Baptists in Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, appealed to the Baptist World Alliance to help people displaced by the conflict in their country.

Obama emphasizes religious liberty in Burma

President Obama stressed religious freedom in a historic speech in Burma, a country long beset by military conflict and regarded as one of the world’s worst oppressors of minority faiths.

Home of former jailed pastor raided in Azerbaijan

Zaur BalaevPolice in Azerbaijan raided the home of a Baptist pastor who served 10 months in prison before winning a pardon following appeals on his behalf from Baptist leaders worldwide.

Obama at the U.N.: A new religion doctrine

President ObamaPresident Obama’s speech at the United Nations Sept. 25 challenged much of the world's assumptions about free speech and religion.

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