WASHINGTON (BP) - The United States' watchdog for worldwide religious liberty has taken steps for its closure if Congress does not extend its life by Dec. 16. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will cease to operate if Congress does not pass and President Obama does not sign into law no later than Dec. 16 legislation either reauthorizing it or continuing its funding. USCIRF is currently funded in a spending bill that expires on that date.
Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...
ATLANTA (BP) - The task force appointed to study the possibility of changing the Southern Baptist Convention's name has reached a decision that they believe "will please the Father and greatly strengthen our ability to reach more people with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The 20-member group appointed by SBC President Bryant Wright gathered for its second meeting Dec. 7 in Atlanta.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) - In January, Southern Baptists are again being called to a time of prayer and spiritual awakening. The Southern Baptist Convention Call to Prayer is an opportunity to focus on praying missionally. "I can't think of a better way for our churches to start the New Year than to be in prayer for our families, our churches, our new church plants and our efforts to reach the unreached people groups of the world," said Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board.
HORN OF AFRICA (BP) - The African air is hot and still, stirred only by people brushing silently by as they are invited into the clinic courtyard from the weary line gathered outside. My wife Jeannie and I are taken by the silence. People who are tired, hungry and ill are often very quiet, even the children and babies. They have long ago given up on mere pleading as an effective means for getting help.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) - Evangelist Billy Graham was released from the hospital Tuesday, six days after being admitted with pneumonia. A statement from Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., said Graham had made "good clinical progress" in his response to antibiotics and had "advanced daily" in showing increased strength and mobility. Graham was admitted Wednesday, Nov. 30. He also spent four nights in the hospital in May with pneumonia.