Two Christian pastors and a deacon have each been given six-year sentences by an Iranian court. A persecution watchdog group has expressed concern over the development, noting that the prisons are isolated and will force the men's families to travel great distances to see them.
"We are deeply concerned by the six-year sentences given to pastors [Benham] Irani and [Matthias] Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani, and the fact that they will serve these sentences so far from their families and home towns," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper.
"We are particularly appalled by the extra six years given to pastor Irani, who has already endured ill-treatment whilst in prison and now faces nearly a decade in prison on trumped-up charges. We urge the Iranian government to release without delay every person who is imprisoned for their faith. Their incarceration contravenes international covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief, to which Iran is party."
A new study from Christian Research company Barna Group reveals that unchurched Americans are the most resistant to outreach efforts by the church and friends than they've been in 20 years.
Data collected from 42,855 interviews show that 47 percent of U.S. adults who do not attend church said they were open to being invited to church by a friend – down from 65 percent in 1993.
However study results indicate that personal invitations from friends are the most effective way to draw church visitors compared to other outreaches.
Pastor Mark Driscoll, who along with his Mars Hill Church was recently removed from the membership of the church planting Acts 29 Network due to complaints over his "divisive" behavior, said Sunday, August 24th, he will take a break for at least six weeks as the lead pastor even as accusations against him are examined.
"I have requested a break for processing, healing, and growth for a minimum of six weeks while the leadership assigned by our bylaws conduct a thorough examination of accusations against me," the Seattle, Washington-based pastor told the congregation Sunday.
"I believe their review can best be performed without me being in the pulpit or the office, and they have agreed to this arrangement," he added, reading from a written statement.
The Acts 29 network, which Driscoll founded more than a decade ago, announced Aug. 8 that it has dismissed the pastor and his church from membership, citing complaints from other network pastors concerning his "divisive" behavior.The pastor was also asked to remove himself from ministry.
By Napp Nazworth , Christian Post Reporter
Pro-abortion and birth control protesters demonstrate
outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 30, 2014.
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down the "Obamacare" birth control mandate for closely held corporations with religious objections led some media organizations to make mythical claims that the decision will cause horrible outcomes. Here are three of those myths.
Renewing Your Mind
Celebrating 20 Years