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| International; Research

Sorry Again, John 3:16: The World's 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014

YouVersion studies which scriptures 164 million users shared and remembered most this year.
Sorry Again, John 3:16: The World's 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014
Courtesy of YouVersion

Philippians made out well this year. The New Testament letter authored by the Apostle Paul contained 3 of the top 10 Bible verses that were most bookmarked, highlighted, and shared with YouVersion’s Bible app in 2014, according to an end-of-year analysis released today ...

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Does the Gospel Mandate Racial Reconciliation? White Pastors Agree More Than Black Pastors

Recent research informs today's A Time To Speak conference, where Bryan Loritts, John Piper, Matt Chandler, and others will discuss race.
Does the Gospel Mandate Racial Reconciliation? White Pastors Agree More Than Black Pastors
Courtesy of Kainos

African American pastors are less likely than white pastors to believe that the gospel mandates racial reconciliation, but more likely to be actively involved in reconciliation efforts, according to a new LifeWay Research survey of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors.

More ...

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| International

Do They Know It's Christmas in Sierra Leone? Ebola Cancels Celebrations

Deadly disease brings a bit more accuracy to much-maligned Band Aid advocacy song.
Do They Know It's Christmas in Sierra Leone? Ebola Cancels Celebrations
Courtesy of robinelaine/Flickr

The lyrics to a popular yet much maligned Africa advocacy song are now a bit more defensible, given that Ebola has led Sierra Leone to ban Christmas celebrations.

"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?" asks the chorus of Band Aid's 1984 fundraising ...

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Kony 2012's Invisible Children Makes Major Cuts for One Final Year Fighting the LRA

'Heavy-hearted' but 'incredibly proud,' advocacy group plans to shutter most operations by end of 2015.
Kony 2012's Invisible Children Makes Major Cuts for One Final Year Fighting the LRA
Lauren Manning/Flickr

Before the "Ice Bucket Challenge" and "Gangnam Style," there was "Kony 2012." The controversial campaign targeting Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) which has long plagued Uganda, remains an advocacy game-changer ...

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Christian Advocates Approve of First Non-Christian Ambassador of Religious Freedom

US Senate confirms influential rabbi, David N. Saperstein, to fill vacant office.
Christian Advocates Approve of First Non-Christian Ambassador of Religious Freedom
US Department of State/Flickr

Nearly six months after his nomination, America's first non-Christian ambassador of international religious freedom was confirmed by the US Senate 62-35 on Friday. Rabbi David Saperstein, a former law professor and director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, ...

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Ebola Medical Missionaries Named Time's Person of the Year

Samaritan's Purse and SIM staff among physicians honored for 'risking, persisting, sacrificing, and saving.'
Ebola Medical Missionaries Named Time's Person of the Year
Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

For their “tireless acts of courage and mercy,” Time magazine has named the Ebola fighters—including missionary doctor Kent Brantly and staffer Nancy Writebol—its 2014 person of the year.

Brantly, Writebol, and other medical staff—mainly volunteers—stepped ...

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| Family and Sexuality

Bob Jones University Apologizes for Failing Sexual Abuse Victims

(UPDATED) 300-page GRACE report recommends BJU impose 'corrective action' on chancellor Robert Jones III.
Bob Jones University Apologizes for Failing Sexual Abuse Victims
Bob Jones University

[Updated with details from GRACE report and BJU response. First published Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 6:31 p.m.]

A two-year investigation into how Bob Jones University (BJU) responded to dozens of victims of sexual abuse over four decades recommends that the Christian school ...

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Court Stops Execution of Mentally Ill Man Defended by Many Evangelicals

Evangelicals divide over the death penalty, but leaders agree on the unusual case of Scott Panetti.
Court Stops Execution of Mentally Ill Man Defended by Many Evangelicals
Ed Bierman/Flickr

More than 50 evangelical leaders often at odds recently united, asking Texas to commute the death sentence of a mentally ill inmate who believes he is being persecuted for preaching the gospel. Scott Panetti's execution was scheduled for today. This morning, an appeals ...

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| Research

For Giving Tuesday: Where Evangelicals Donate (And No Longer Donate) Their Dollars

Christians are giving away more money than before the recession. But the parachurch, not churches, is getting most of it.
For Giving Tuesday: Where Evangelicals Donate (And No Longer Donate) Their Dollars
Tim Green/Flickr

Giving Tuesday, with its record number of participating organizations this year, is extra frosting on the cake for charities, which saw more money from Americans in 2013 than before the 2007 recession.

But most of that growth is going to parachurch groups, not churches, ...

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A Leading Wesleyan Publisher in Calvinist-Dominated Crowd Averts Closure

After major restructuring, Nazarene Publishing House given another shot to succeed.
A Leading Wesleyan Publisher in Calvinist-Dominated Crowd Averts Closure
Courtesy of NPH

In October, Wesleyans lamented that one of their leading publishers in a Calvinism-dominated field would cease operations come December 1 amid a "financial crisis." However, Nazarene Publishing House (NPH) recently announced that the 102-year-old denominational ...

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