Abuse surfaces at West African mission school
SENEGAL More than 50 children were allegedly abused at a New Tribes Mission (NTM) boarding school in Senegal in the 1980s. The report, released by Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.), says NTM "emphasized the saving of souls at the expense of children." Recommendations include establishing a $1 million fund for damages to missionary kids and attempting to apologize to each child. NTM, which commissioned the report, said leaders are "deeply saddened" and have begun making recommended changes.
Violence prompts revision of worship law
INDONESIA Authorities in Indonesia will revise a decree that gives districts the power to authorize places of worship. The law has created difficulty for Christians, whose applications for church locations rarely make it through the process. The announcement follows the stabbings of two Protestant leaders in Bekasi and a torch-lit protest in Jakarta, the nation's capital. In early September, a state court in West Java overturned a December 2009 decree that closed the Bekasi church's doors; members continued to meet outside, where escalating conflicts with local radical Muslims made international head-lines.
SBC election spotlights missions debate
The election of the North American Mission Board's (NAMB) new president illustratedtensions in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over whether missions should be funded cooperatively or directly. Leaders of Arkansas' and Louisiana's state conventions publicly opposed the nomination of Kentucky pastor Kevin Ezell, noting that his 4,740-member church has budgeted more than $1.3 million for missions this year, but that only 2 percent will go through the SBC's Cooperative Program (which ...