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NEWS DIGEST: Nigerian Baptists abducted; Hall disqualified from ministry

Worshippers at Baptist church in Nigeria abducted

by Ken Camp, Baptist Standard

Three dozen worshippers at a Baptist church in Nigeria’s southern Kaduna state were abducted by gunmen on June 19 after the attackers first killed three people at a Catholic church.

Fulani militia attacked Bege Baptist Church, kidnapping five men and 31 women and children, Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported on June 21.

The ward head for the village later was released, along with one elderly woman, so he could communicate the kidnappers’ ransom demands for the remaining 34 captives.

CSW—a United Kingdom-based human rights organization focused on religious persecution—reported the kidnapping at Bege Baptist Church followed an earlier assault the same day on St. Moses Catholic Church in Roboh.

Militia carrying AK-47 assault rifles attacked the church as Sunday services were underway. They killed three people, and another seriously injured victim was hospitalized.

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J.D. Hall, Pulpit & Pen founder, ‘disqualified’ from ministry by Montana church

by Bob Smietana, Religion News Service

SIDNEY, Mont. (RNS) — The founder of a controversial Christian website known for its criticism of evangelical leaders for being too liberal has resigned from his church for “serious sin.”

Montana pastor Jordan Daniel “J.D.” Hall is no longer listed as pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Sydney, Montana, and has been removed from the staff of Protestia, a website originally known as Pulpit & Pen.

While the church has not yet publicly acknowledged Hall’s departure, as of Sunday (June 26) the church’s leadership page can no longer be found. Also on Sunday, Protestia issued a statement saying Hall had resigned as pastor of Fellowship Baptist and is “disqualified from pastoral ministry.”

“Earlier this week, the team at Protestia received allegations of serious sin committed by our brother JD Hall,” the statement reads. “After correspondence with leadership at Fellowship Baptist Church, we learned that JD was determined by the church to have disqualified himself from pastoral ministry, had resigned from the pastorate, and submitted himself to a process of church discipline. Due to JD’s removal from pastoral ministry, we likewise have removed him from ministry with Protestia.”

Hall’s resignation is the latest bad news for the Montana pastor and blogger. 

In February, Hall filed for bankruptcy after being sued for libel for a story the Montana Gazette, another of Hall’s publications, had run about Adrian Jawort, a Native American activist. Then in mid-May, he was arrested for driving under the influence and carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated.  

Hall later settled with Jawort, retracting the story that prompted the lawsuit and issuing an apology, saying he had fabricated the story. As part of the settlement, Jawort can make a $250,000 claim against Hall in bankruptcy court. Hall currently faces an additional lawsuit, filed by the WhiteFish Credit Union, for stories published in the Montana Daily Gazette, according to the Sydney Herald.

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