Trial under way for former Baptist preacher charged with murder

Jury selection got under way Jan. 12 in a murder trial of a former Texas Baptist minister accused of killing his wife.

New statement ‘first-ever consensus’ on religious expression and the law

A diverse group of leaders who often find themselves on opposite sides of the contentious battles at the intersection of church and state joined forces Jan. 12 to unveil an unprecedented consensus statement aimed at advancing public understanding of -- and preventing needless controversy over -- the legal issues around religious expression in the public square.

Persecution of Christians in North Korea likely to worsen in 2010

Persecution of Christians is set to worsen in North Korea, the world's worst trouble spot for Christians, in 2010, according to a group that tracks the status of Christians globally.

'The Book of Eli' casts Bible as a major theme

The Bible plays a starring role in "The Book of Eli," a post-apocalyptic action film starring Denzel Washington.

Study says larger churches hit harder by economy

The economic recession has hit larger churches harder than it has smaller ones, according to a new survey by the Barna Group.

SBC president undergoes surgery

Southern Baptist Convention president Johnny Hunt underwent successful cancer surgery Jan. 7 at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. An update on the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga., website said Hunt rested well after the operation and was expected to be released from the hospital Jan. 8.

Scholar says faith-based initiative failed to increase churches' role

Eight years of President George W. Bush's faith-based agenda to increase religion's role in providing social services had little impact on day-to-day ministries of local congregations, according to scholar at Duke Divinity School.

Tajikistan quake relief assessment under way

A Jan. 2 earthquake that struck a mountainous region of Tajikistan has left hundreds, perhaps thousands, of villagers homeless in bitter winter weather, Southern Baptist humanitarian workers in Central Asia report.

Report says use of death penalty on decline in United States

Fewer death sentences were imposed in 2009 than in any year since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, according to year-end statistics compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center.

More than 1,200 crimes against churches reported

Nationally, more than 1,200 crimes were committed against Christian churches and ministries in 2009, according to an unofficial tally by a firm that specializes in church security.

Former IMB administrator, MasterLife creator, diagnosed with leukemia

Avery Willis, a former Southern Baptist missionary and administrator best known as developer of the MasterLife discipleship materials used around the world, has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.
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