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.
KEVIN PROSCH ‘RELEASED FOR PUBLIC MINISTRY’
Worship leader Kevin Prosch has been restored to public ministry three years after admitting to a string of affairs. Prosch is being “released for public ministry without reservations” by the church that oversaw his restoration process. Kit Buschman, president of the Trinity Fellowship Association of Churches based in Amarillo, Texas, said that Prosch, now remarried, served on staff with a member congregation for more than a year, during which time leaders saw his “passion for righteousness [and] godly character.” Buschman said in a statement that he and others believe “God has fully restored Kevin, and the church should also.”
CHURCH GIVING RISES SLIGHTLY
Although the proportion of adults who donated to churches went up only slightly–by one percentage point to 62 percent–their average annual contribution rose 18 percent, from $646 in 2000 to $769 in 2001. The findings were from a survey by the Barna Research Group, which quizzed more than 1,000 adults on their giving habits. Those researchers identified as “evangelicals” contributed four times as much as other church givers. And there was a slight increase in the number of people tithing, rising from 6 percent the previous year to 8 percent.
GOVERNMENT COMPENSATES U.S. MISSIONARIES
The U.S. government is to compensate the missionaries shot down over the Peruvian jungle in a case of mistaken identity. While not admitting responsibility for the April 2001 incident, the Bush administration expressed “regret” for the downing of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism plane. A Peruvian fighter shot the aircraft down after it had been tagged as a drug-runner by a CIA-operated surveillance plane. Veronica Bowers, 35, and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity, died. Jim Bowers and his son, Cory, survived, along with pilot Kevin Donaldson. Details of the settlement have not been disclosed, though the sum is less than the $35 million originally sought, the Associated Press reported.
CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED THE MOST, REPORT SAYS
Christians comprise the largest group in the world to suffer for their beliefs, according to the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). In its annual report to the United Nations, where it is a recognized nongovernmental organization, the WEA said more than 200 million people are denied human rights “simply because they are Christians.” The WEA called on the United Nation to press for reforms. The report said Christians in some countries faced persecution because they were seen to threaten national identity and stood up for the disadvantaged. The report added that some Christian groups lacked wisdom and cultural understanding, using words such as “crusade” and “claiming the territory,” which were interpreted as military terms.
RON KENOLY PRAYS FOR TRINIDAD LEADER
The biblical admonition to pray for kings and those in authority took on literal meaning for worship leader Ron Kenoly April 7 when Trinidad Prime Minister Patrick Manning came backstage asking for prayer before Kenoly’s praise and worship concert in Trinidad’s capital, Port Au Spain. Noting that Manning and his wife are Christians, Kenoly, 57, said he was humbled by the gesture. The prayer came on the heels of Manning’s decision to hold fresh elections–the third in three years, the Associated Press reported.
CHRISTIAN GROUP GIVES ‘ROTTEN’ MOVIE AWARDS
In addition to lauding what it considers to be the best movies of last year, the Christian film review Movieguide has also announced the 20 Most Unbearable Movies of 2001. Disney’s Bubble Boy, about a sick teen kept in a plastic bubble, heads the list as The Most Bigoted, Hedonistic, Anti-Christian Satire. Also listed are: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Others and A.I.
EX-GAY MINISTRY RELOCATES TO FLORIDA
In March, Exodus International-North America relocated from its longtime Seattle base to the Orlando, Fla., suburb of Winter Park, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Some observers claimed that Exodus relocated in order to be more politically involved in gay rights battles brewing in the state. But Exodus executive director Alan Chambers said the ministry won’t play an active role in any of those fights.
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