• At its triennial General Convention in July, the Episcopal Church (TEC) passed a resolution designed to reverse a moratorium on the consecration of homosexual bishops. TEC bishops also gave church leaders a green light to develop blessings for same-sex unions. In response, almost 30 conservative bishops signed a dissenting Anaheim Statement expressing support for the broader Anglican Church's call for Episcopalian restraint on sexual ethics.
  • In its first layoffs since 1995, World Vision let go of 50 of its 1,200 employees and closed 25 unfilled positions in July due to slumping donations after a slight rise during the last quarter of 2008. Personal monthly sponsorships of needy children have remained stable.
  • In Iraq, seven churches were bombed within 48 hours in mid-July, killing 4 people and injuring 35 others. Christian observers were concerned that the renewed violence will discourage local Christians from attending church or expatriate believers from returning to Iraq.
  • Exodus International in July announced merger plans with two mainline Protestant ministries to homosexuals—the United Methodist ChurchÐlinked Transforming Congregations and the pc(usa)-linked OneByOne—in order to help evangelical and mainline churches better address biblical sexuality.
  • In July the International Christian Retail Show saw attendance down 20 percent as sales at Christian retail stores dropped by more than 10 percent from 2008. The organization reported that 91 Christian retail stores closed in 2008, while only 54 stores replaced them.
  • Christian relief group International Aid ended operations in July after raising less than $200,000 of the $1.5 million needed within two months to balance its $70 million budget. The Spring Lake, MichiganÐbased ministry hopes to move some of its programs in 10 countries to other aid organizations.
  • The District of Columbia passed a law on July 7 recognizing gay marriages from states where they are legal. The nation's capital does not conduct same-sex weddings, but permits legally married homosexual couples to have the same rights as married heterosexuals. Conservatives believe the next step may be the legalization of gay marriage in the District.
  • In Indiana, former pastor Vaughn Reeves and his three sons were arrested for security fraud after allegedly using their company, Alanar Inc., to operate a $120 million Ponzi scheme. The family convinced 11,000 church members to buy bonds, ostensibly to aid churches with construction projects. Instead, the men took $6 million and bought airplanes, cars, and vacations.
  • In central Pakistan, a mob of Muslim extremists looted and burned 100 Christian homes, killing a family of seven, in August after rumors spread of a Qur'an desecration at a Christian wedding. Christian schools nationwide closed to protest the martyrdoms.

Related Elsewhere:

See Christianity Today's news section and liveblog for more news updates.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.