Raid on World Vision camp leaves one dead, three captive
Unidentified gunmen attacked a World Vision camp in the southeastern Sudanese town of Waat yesterday, killing 46-year-old Kenyan aid worker Charles Kibbe. Three other employees of the Christian aid and relief organization, two Germans and a Kenyan, were apparently taken hostage. "We don't know who did this, or why," World Vision spokeswoman Alison Preston told a United Nations news service today. "We are working with the United Nations to secure their release."
The raid reportedly began on a prison 100 meters or so from the aid workers' camp. "The kidnappers are believed to belong to a group of rebels who have frequently changed sides in the conflict between the Christian and Animist minorities in Southern Sudan and the Islamic central government," reports Idea, an evangelical news service in Germany.
So far, only World Vision Germany has a press release on the attack (here's a bad but readable English translation). World Vision has had to evacuate staff from Waat before, but the press release seems to indicate that this attack came without warning.
After website sale to Salem, Crosswalk will focus on oil and real estate
As Weblog earlier noted, Christian radio giant Salem Communications is in the process of buying Crosswalk.com for $4.1 million. But The Washington Post reports that the company will keep going—albeit offline. "Rather than shutter the company and return the remaining cash to existing shareholders, the company's board decided to use the proceeds from the sale to [Salem's] OnePlace.com and remaining assets to start the oil and real estate venture," the paper reported yesterday.
The company plans to change its name to Amen Properties (its stock ticker symbol is AMEN) and move from Chantilly, Virginia, to Midland, Texas—where one of the company's largest stockholders, Jon M. Morgan, lives.
"The company decided to proceed with a new business model and to acquire assets that, if successful, would keep the company going and would turn a cash-burning company into a cash-generating company," Gary Struzik, Crosswalk's chief financial officer, told the Post. "We have $4.1 million [in cash] and a $29 million net operating loss carry-forward that can be utilized to defray taxes. It would be throwing those $29 million of tax opportunities away."
The company will apparently keep its "Christian Statement of Faith." Hopefully it will fare better in the oil business than Pat Robertson has.
Other investors apparently aren't pleased that they won't see direct profits from the sale to Salem—the price fell 13 cents, and is now at 37 cents a share.
In related Crosswalk news, the company says it lost $489,893 in its second quarter—revenue dropped to $700,003 from $1.4 million in the same period in 2001. And Salem wants this site because … ?
Christian pop culture:
- Rock: Shaking the pews, but also a spirit unto itself | Not only do more congregations incorporate it into their services, it also has its own holy sites and relics (Los Angeles Times)
- Hail Mary Mary | A diet of God, noodles and supercharged R&B made these two sisters the biggest gospel act in the world (The Guardian, London)
- TruthQuest show: It's out there | Reality TV program exposes teens to cutting-edge ministries (The Dallas Morning News)
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