News Briefs

by | Feb 29, 2004 | Charisma Archive


The following reports were released during the last month by Charisma News Service. Go to our Web site at www.charismanews.com to subscribe to the free weekday service or to access full-length versions of each day’s stories. The site also includes a search engine so you can access archived news.


SAUDI ARABIA AMONG TOP RELIGIOUS-LIBERTY OFFENDERS
Saudi Arabia once again topped the U.S. State Department’s list of nations that failed to respect religious liberty. Bluntly stating that “freedom of religion does not exist” in Saudi Arabia, the State Department’s 2003 Report on Religious Freedom listed numerous instances of religious persecution, noting improvement in only two countries–Laos and Kazakhstan–though hostility toward minority religions still exists in both. Also criticized were Egypt, for prosecuting people who hold unorthodox religious beliefs, and Iran, for officially sanctioning discrimination against minorities, Reuters reported. The State Department also listed China, which the report said selectively cracked down on unregistered churches, and North Korea, where the State Department cited reports of executions, torture and imprisonment.


ONLY HALF OF PROTESTANT PASTORS HOLD BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
A recent study by the Barna Research Group revealed that only 51 percent of ministers, representing a random cross-section of Protestant churches, have a biblical view on six core beliefs: the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone and the personal responsibility to evangelize. Released in January, the survey of 601 senior pastors in seven denominational segments discovered that Southern Baptists had the highest percentage of pastors with a biblical worldview (71 percent), while Methodists were lowest (27 percent). Among the other segments examined, 57 percent of the pastors of Baptist churches (other than Southern Baptist) had a biblical worldview, as did 51 percent of nondenominational Protestant pastors, 44 percent of pastors of charismatic or Pentecostal churches, 35 percent of pastors of black churches, and 28 percent of those leading mainline congregations.


CALIFORNIA CASINO ‘REBORN’ AS A CHURCH
A former Fowler, Calif., casino reopened in January to a different crowd–worshipers. Jan. 11 marked the “grand opening rebirth” of the former Vineyard Casino that has been converted to Vineyard Worship Centre, a 700-member Assemblies of God (AG) congregation. The 49,000-square-foot casino, which reportedly cost $15.5 million to build, closed in 1997, less than a year after it opened, The Selma Enterprise reported. It was vacant for seven years before the AG provided the $2 million to buy the property.


MINNESOTA MAN WANTS $126,000 CHURCH DONATION BACK
A 55-year-old man is suing a Cloquet, Minn., church because it won’t give back a $126,000 donation he gave during a deep depression five years ago, the Associated Press reported. Marcel Mager said he made the anonymous donation during a time of emotional distress and thought giving the church money would ease his pain. His wife had left him two weeks before the January 1999 donation. It was nearly their entire life savings. Five months later, Mager asked for the money back, but leaders at the Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle church said no. They had already used the money for a new family ministry space. Mager sued the church in 2002, and the issue has yet to be resolved. The pastor, the Rev. Richard Doebler, said church leaders regret the situation but don’t plan on returning the donation.


Gospel Artists Honored at Annual Stellar Awards


A who’s who of gospel artists were recognized at the 19th Stellar Awards held Jan. 10 in Houston. Among the honorees were Byron Cage, whose awards included Male Vocalist of the Year and CD of the Year; and Kurt Carr, who earned Song of the Year and Producer of the Year awards for “The Presence of the Lord Is Here,” recorded on Cage’s self-titled CD. Among the other recipients were Vickie Winans, for Artist of the Year; and Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC’s, for Group/Duo of the Year.


Pauline Parham Dies


Pauline Elizabeth Holman Parham, daughter-in-law of Charles Parham, who is considered the father of the modern Pentecostal movement, died Dec. 22 at her home in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., The Dallas Morning News reported. She was 93. Widowed after 16 years of marriage to Robert Parham, Pauline Parham went on to pastor four churches and run two Bible colleges. She was also dean of women at Christ for the Nations until 1984. She is survived by her daughter, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Former Baptist Head Returns to Pulpit


Jailed Baptist minister Henry Lyons returned to the pulpit upon his release from a Florida prison Nov. 29. Lyons, former head of the National Baptist Convention, told the congregation at First Baptist Institutional Church in Lakeland, Fla., that he had “truly, truly repented” of his sins, The St. Petersburg Times reported. Convicted of racketeering in 1999 and sentenced to 5-1/2 years in prison, 61-year-old Lyons said he hopes to return to his former church in St. Petersburg.


If you have a news tip for Charisma News Service, e-mail us at charisma@strang.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

RECENT ARTICLES

Bill Johnson: Reformers Are Arising to Transform Our World for Christ

Throughout history, reformers have lived with the conviction of the superiority of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform individual lives, communities, and ultimately, nations. Recently I had the...
37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest