U.S. missionary gets 15 years in prison
NORTH KOREA The highest court in North Korea has sentenced a China-based American missionary to 15 years of hard labor for "crimes aimed to topple" the Communist nation. State-controlled media claimed that Kenneth Bae, detained since November 2012, was working for Youth With A Mission but avoided the death penalty because he confessed. Friends said Bae guided groups into North Korea to feed orphans.
No more NYC church evictions?
Churches in New York City gained an unexpected ally in a long-running standoff over whether they can use public schools as worship spaces on Sundays. The City Council passed a resolution 38–11 calling on state lawmakers to protect churches' equal right to rent schools. (Last June, a judge blocked the city from enforcing its ban.) A poll by A Journey Through NYC Religions found that 70 percent of school neighbors do not see church rentals as a problem.
Good news in India's most persecuting state
INDIA Christians celebrated the results of recent elections in Karnataka. The Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist party known for supporting extremists, lost power after nine years of unchallenged rule. Karnataka had more anti-Christian attacks in 2012 than any other Indian state—including notorious Orissa, where authorities recently arrested two Hindu extremists connected to the 1999 martyrdom of missionary Graham Staines and his two sons.
Sovereign Grace Ministries abuse lawsuit dismissed by judge
Days after the high-profile lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) added a second round of names and allegations, a judge dismissed it. The amended civil suit claimed that 10 sgm leaders "conspired" ...