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June 2014

Displaying 1–15 of 18 Articles for June 2014
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Mystery Shoppers Rate Church Size

Over six years, more than 4,000 unchurched mystery guests visited churches of all sizes across the U.S. Here’s what they thought.
Mystery Shoppers Rate Church Size
*Kicki*/Flickr

Small churches are friendlier, while large churches have better publicity and higher sermon quality, according to the results of a church marketing project that uses unchurched mystery guests to rate church programs and atmospheres.

Local community members who don't ...

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Bahrain Welcomes First Catholic Cathedral

The Persian Gulf island has had a Christian presence for over a century.
Bahrain Welcomes First Catholic Cathedral
Jason Rosenberg/Flickr

[Editor's note: CT incorrectly referred to Our Lady of Arabia as the "first official church" in Bahrain in its June print issue. Our Lady of Arabia is instead the first Catholic cathedral in the country.]

Bahrain, the small island country nestled between Qatar ...

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An Appeals Court Just Struck Down Utah's Same-Sex Marriage Ban. What Else is Happening?

As states overturn gay marriage bans, the "blue state thing" is turning less partisan.
An Appeals Court Just Struck Down Utah's Same-Sex Marriage Ban. What Else is Happening?
Courtesy of Pew Research Center

In a closely watched court case, a divided three-judge panel ruled yesterday that Utah's ban of gay marriage is unconstitutional, paving the way to a possible Supreme Court battle that may end America's same-sex marriage debate.

Since CT identified evangelicals' ...

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PC(USA) Divests From Some Israeli Holdings. Does It Matter?

(UPDATED) The divestment of the 1.8 million-member denomination may have symbolic power, but how much?
PC(USA) Divests From Some Israeli Holdings. Does It Matter?
Danny Bolin and PC(USA)

Update (July 7): The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has removed the study guide Zionism Unsettled from its website.

The New York Times reports that church leaders decided the publication's availability on the church website was confusing. "As we were getting letters, email, ...

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The Good News for Churches as Malaysia Says Christian Paper Can't Call God 'Allah'

As a divided high court hands down its decision, Christians focus on the government's response.
The Good News for Churches as Malaysia Says Christian Paper Can't Call God 'Allah'
Wikimedia

While a Catholic newspaper cannot use Allah in its pages, Christians may use the Arabic word for God in other contexts, Malaysia's highest court affirmed on Monday.

The federal court's 4–3 ruling apparently concludes a long-standingtussle between the Malaysian ...

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Three Controversial Christian Colleges Learn Their Accreditation Fate

Southern Baptist schools recently made headlines for finances, presidential changes, and teacher turnover.
Three Controversial Christian Colleges Learn Their Accreditation Fate
Wikimedia Commons

Three schools that drew negative attention for recent financial, administrative, and ideological decisions had accreditation decisions handed down by a regional board.

Board members of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted on the ...

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Eastern Mennonite University Delays Decision on Same-Sex Relationships

Meanwhile, current policy against same-sex relationships among faculty will not be enforced.
Eastern Mennonite University Delays Decision on Same-Sex Relationships
Wikimedia Commons

Trustees at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Virginia voted to delay a formal decision on a policy against same-sex relationships, effectively allowing faculty to violate the current policy indefinitely.

The university is one of 120 members of the Council for Christian ...

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Meriam Ibrahim, Sudanese Woman Sentenced for Apostasy, Released

(UPDATED) May face another lawsuit from family.
Meriam Ibrahim, Sudanese Woman Sentenced for Apostasy, Released
FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT - GABRIEL WANI

Update (July 22): Ibrahim's family has filed another lawsuit against her, this time attempting to annul her marriage. Reuters reports the lawsuit is yet another attempt to keep Ibrahim from leaving Sudan.

If the lawsuit is successful, Wani would no longer be considered ...

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PC(USA) Permits Pastors To Perform Same-Sex Marriages, Thanks to Conservative Exodus

Now 172 regional bodies must ratify 'two people' redefinition of marriage, passed by 3 to 1 margin.
PC(USA) Permits Pastors To Perform Same-Sex Marriages, Thanks to Conservative Exodus
Courtesy of Danny Bolin and PC(USA)

America's largest Presbyterian body voted yesterday to change its definition of Christian marriage and permit individual churches to perform same-sex marriages.

The new "authoritative interpretation" of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Book of Order ...

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Egypt's Most Infamous Christian Convert Faces 5 Years in Prison for 'False' TV Broadcast

Hegazy, the first Muslim-background believer to sue Egypt to recognize his conversion, charged with disturbing the peace.
Egypt's Most Infamous Christian Convert Faces 5 Years in Prison for 'False' TV Broadcast
Wikimedia Commons

(MSN) The first Egyptian convert to try to legally change his religious identity from Islam to Christianity on his government ID was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.

Bishoy Armia Boulous, formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, received the prison term and a fine ...

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Results of Bill Gothard Harassment Investigation Released

IBLP board decides seminar speaker acted inappropriately but not criminally.
Results of Bill Gothard Harassment Investigation Released
Twitter screenshot

A board investigation into allegations that Bill Gothard sexually harassed teen girls has concluded that the popular seminar speaker acted inappropriately but not criminally.

CT reported in March how Gothard resigned as president of his Institute in Basic Life Principles ...

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After Teaching Churches How To Store Up Treasures on Earth, Speaker Faces Fraud Indictment

Wealth coach accused of swindling church members out of $5 million.
After Teaching Churches How To Store Up Treasures on Earth, Speaker Faces Fraud Indictment
The Potter's House

A self-styled "socially conscious investor" who took his "Building Wealth Tour" to churches across America has been indicted on charges of defrauding investors of more than $5 million.

Ephren Taylor II is accused of participating in a conspiracy to defraud ...

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Supreme Court Maintains Ban on Megachurch Graduations

(UPDATED) Seventh Circuit previously decided that large cross in Wisconsin sanctuary created an unconstitutional environment.
Supreme Court Maintains Ban on Megachurch Graduations
Courtesy of Becket Fund

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed a court ban on churches renting their facilities for public school graduations to remain standing, despite the implications of the high court's recent divided ruling in favor of Jesus prayers at government meetings. [Correction noted ...

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Pew: How Many Americans Would Be Happy If Their Child Married a 'Born-Again' Christian

New survey finds even liberals largely favor Christians over other types of marriage partners.
Pew: How Many Americans Would Be Happy If Their Child Married a 'Born-Again' Christian
John Hope/Flickr

Most Americans would rather have their children marry "born-again Christians" than atheists or other types of marriage partners, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

Across ideological lines, 1 out of 3 Americans (32 percent) say they would be ...

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Ex-Muslim Sues His Church for Celebrating His Baptism

Oklahoma man claims he was tortured, nearly beheaded in Syria because of Presbyterian church’s online announcement.
Ex-Muslim Sues His Church for Celebrating His Baptism
Screenshot of First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa website

A Muslim convert to Christianity has sued his Oklahoma church and its pastor for negligence after the church announced his baptism online. He alleges that the announcement caused disastrous consequences on his trip back home to Syria, where he was tortured and almost executed ...

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Displaying 1–15 of 18 Articles for  2014
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