Sad news from Alaska
Monday night, 19-year-old James Cunning attended an Assembly of God revival meeting. By midnight, he was still thinking about what he'd heard, and decided to go for a walk down a bike trail in his Anchorage neighborhood. Then he came across two other men, about his age, and started telling them about God. "Jesus loves you and he has a plan for all ya'll," he said.

The two men seemed interested at first, Cunning said, until one of them punched him in the face.

The other one then pulled a gun, asked "Where's your God now?" and shot him in the arm.

Cunning says he understands his attackers. When he moved out of his parents' house at age 14, he says, "I got into the gang-banging, the drug-dealing and all that other stuff." But six months ago, he returned home to reunite with his family, and earlier this month he found Jesus. And ever since, he says, he's had to talk about it.

"It's like this feeling you get inside," he told the Anchorage Daily News. "It comes from the heart. I feel like I've got to let people know there's hope."

Sadly, it was only the first story of religion-related violence in the area this week. Yesterday in Big Lake (about 44 miles from Anchorage), pastor Phillip Mielke shot and killed two men he caught robbing his church, Big Lake Community Chapel. The area has been plagued by break-ins this winter, but this was apparently the first to target a church.

Local residents say the burglary wasn't only immoral and illegal, it was stupid. "That's got to be the smallest church in the Valley," Helme Blank told the Daily News. "There's maybe 50 of them. That's why they call 'em poor as church mice."

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