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John Evans

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Christians in Syria face mounting horrors

[QUOTE@right@200="As a mother and as a wife I want to leave, but as a Christian I want to stay."
-- Syrian mother in Damascas]DAMASCUS, Syria (BP) -- For Hanna, a Syrian Christian mother living in Damascus, the country's civil war is more than just statistics and news articles.

Kazakh Baptists face raids, fines, deportation

OSLO, Norway (BP) -- Authorities in Kazakhstan have fined a Baptist pastor for leading a congregation without state registration and deported another as part of an onging campaign to stamp out religious communities not under the government's thumb.

Eritrean Christian dies in prison

ERITREA (BP) -- A Christian woman perished from pneumonia in an Eritrean prison after facing harsh conditions and denial of medical treatment -- all because she would not renounce her faith.

Young adults who abandon faith may have ‘lukewarm’ upbringing

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) -- The idea that young adults are abandoning their faith in droves may be widely accepted but isn't fully accurate. So says a Focus on the Family study that casts light on trends among young adults that may contradict doomsday predictions for the Christian faith. [QUOTE@left@180="Parents who provide a home where faith is vibrantly practiced -- even imperfectly -- are remarkably likely to create young adults who remain serious Christians."
-- Focus on the Family study]The study, titled "Millennial Faith Participation and Retention," tracked the religious trends of Millennials (usually those born between 1980 and 2000) and found that only a fraction are leaving their childhood faith -- usually because they may not have had much of one to begin with. The study utilizes data from the Pew research sources and the National Science Foundation's annual General Social Survey. About a fifth (18 percent) of young adults raised in homes with any measure of religious influence are now unaffiliated with a specific faith, according to the Focus on the Family analysis. Sixty (60) percent of Millennials, meanwhile, categorize themselves as "keeping faith." Of those who are unaffiliated, only 11 percent said they had a strong faith as a child and lived in a home where a vibrant faith was practiced and taught. In other words, the vast majority of young adults leaving Christianity never had a strong faith to start with. "This is not a crisis of faith, per se, but of parenting," the Focus on the Family study noted. "Parents who provide a home where faith is vibrantly practiced -- even imperfectly -- are remarkably likely to create young adults who remain serious Christians, even as they sometimes go through bumpy spots in the road," the study said. "[N]ot surprisingly, homes modeling lukewarm faith do not create enduring faith in children." The study also found that 20 percent of young adults are switching faiths, with most of the transition being from one Christian denomination to another. Citing the General Society Survey (GSS), the study noted that the percentage of Americans identifying with mainline Protestant churches declined by 2.2 percent from 1991 to 2012, while those identifying with more conservative evangelical churches gained slightly (0.6 percent). The GSS also indicated a commonly-reported growth in the number of Americans claiming no particular religious affiliation (from 8.1 percent in 1991 to 19.7 percent in 2012). Among Millennials, however, the study says that many of these "nones" have not abandoned faith altogether but rather turned to a more generalized spirituality. The study, which was released in August, cited some leading theories as to why "nones" have risen in number among Millennials: Young adults tend to engage less in community participation (which includes church); ...

‘Hardest days we’ve ever witnessed’ in Egypt

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The wholesale looting and burning of Christian buildings in Egypt is not what grieves one Egyptian Christian leader the most. For him, the murder of a 10-year-old girl, gunned down by a Muslim militant on her way home from a Bible study, is the most grievous kind of wound inflicted by the conflict in his country.

Calif. transgender students to pick restrooms

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Transgender students at California K-12 public schools now can choose which gender's restrooms and locker rooms they want to use.

Gay marriage debate ‘very much alive’

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The battle over gay marriage in the United States continues unabated, with activists on both sides engaging in the courts, media and government.

2nd VIEW: Rick Warren returns to pulpit after son’s April suicide

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP) -- Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., returned to the pulpit July 27 for the first time since his son's suicide.

Rick Warren returns to pulpit after son’s April suicide

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP) -- Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., returned to the pulpit July 27 for the first time since his son's suicide. [QUOTE@left@180="If you struggle with a broken brain, you should be no more ashamed than someone with a broken arm."
-- Rick Warren]Warren, author of the bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life," had taken a 16-week absence after Matthew Warren, 27, took his life in April following a long struggle with mental illness. Matthew Warren's death brought an outpouring of support for the Warren family, including from Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee and a former SBC president, who lost his 32-year-old daughter Melissa to suicide in 2009. "My heart is broken as I've heard the news about Rick Warren's son," Page said via Twitter the day after Matthew Warren's death. "Please pray. Unfortunately, I understand that which they experience now." Rick Warren took the pulpit at the Saturday evening service to a standing ovation, thanking Saddleback staff, members, his family and local pastors who supported him. "In the middle of all that intense pain, Kay and I ... and our entire family, we've all felt the favor of God on our lives because of your prayers," he said. Rick Warren, with comments from his wife Kay, shared the first message in a new sermon series titled, "How to Get Through What You're Going Through." Rick Warren said when he is asked how he and his family are getting through this time, the answer rests on three truths that never change.

Sexual exploitation of girls now TV ‘humor’

NASHVILLE (BP) -- The sexual exploitation of teenage girls is becoming a joke for television shows.      A new study released by the Parents Television Council found that girls are more likely than adult women to be shown in sexually exploitative scenes on television, and when girls are involved, the scene is more likely to be shown as humorous.