Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


House OKs ban on late abortions

WASHINGTON (BP) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a ban on late abortions May 13 in a vote that was postponed nearly four months to the dismay of pro-life Americans.

The House voted 242-184 for the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which will prohibit abortions on babies 20 weeks or more after fertilization based on scientific evidence that a child in the womb experiences pain by that point in gestation. The House leadership canceled a Jan. 22 roll call on the proposal after about two dozen Republicans, led by female members, expressed concerns about the legislation.

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2015 SBC Annual Meeting schedule announced

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) - The Southern Baptist Convention Committee on Order of Business has released this year's schedule for the annual meeting in Columbus.

This year's annual meeting theme is "Great Awakening: Clear Agreement, Visible Union, Extraordinary Prayer," based on Romans 13:11. In addition to following the schedule, messengers can stay updated on this year's annual meeting with the 2015 SBC mobile app that is now available. The app can be downloaded on your mobile device by accessing the App Store or Google Play or selecting one of the options at sbcannualmeeting.net. This year's preferred Twitter hashtag will be #sbc15.

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Report: Global religious liberty still languishes

WASHINGTON (BP) - Religious liberty conditions failed to improve on the world stage in a year marked by barbarous campaigns of extremist groups in some regions, a United States watchdog panel said April 30 in its annual report.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urged the State Department to add eight more countries to its list of the world's worst violators of religious liberty. That list -- consisting of what is known as "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) -- already has nine members.

In the 16th annual report since its establishment, the bipartisan commission did not have good news for religious liberty advocates.

"Across the world, we see little evidence that religious freedom conditions have improved in any serious or tangible way," USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett told reporters in an April 30 telephone news conference.

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Huckabee, Floyd named to 'Top 100 Christian Leaders in America' list  

Floyd speaks at a meeting of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Board in 2014.FORMER ARKANSAS governor Mike Huckabee and current Southern Baptist Convention President and Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd have been named to the Newsmax "Top 100 Christian Leaders in America" list.

Those named to the list are judged to have "made a real impact on modern lives in 2015."

A article announcing the list reads, "Christianity's challenges in today's world of instantaneous information transmission and new brands of sin are not what they were a century ago, nor are they quite what they were during the socio-sexual revolution of the '60s. And not all the names below are occupants of pulpits – not traditional physical pulpits, anyway."

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Special needs children and their families

NASHVILLE (BP) – In theory, everyone is welcome at church. In practice, that's not always true for some children. And when parents feel their child isn't welcome, the entire family often stays home.

The term "special needs" describes people who have developmental delays, cognitive disabilities, physical challenges, and social or emotional differences. Children with special needs as well as their parents and siblings benefit from being part of a church family for the same reasons all families do.

These families need to know God offers salvation through Jesus Christ, of course. But they also need the hope, support, respite and acceptance that come from being part of a church family. They appreciate the simple joy of showing up to participate in something without making an appointment, filling out paperwork, setting goals and constantly evaluating progress.

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