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John Ortberg’s Menlo Park Presbyterian votes to leave PCUSA despite $8 million fee

(RNS) Members of one of the largest congregations in the Presbyterian Church (USA) have voted to leave the denomination, despite facing an $8.89 million cost for leaving.

Menlo Park Presbyterian is based in the San Francisco Bay area and led by well-known author and pastor John Ortberg. It is the ninth-largest PCUSA church, with about 4,000 members, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Read more: John Ortberg’s Menlo Park Presbyterian votes to leave PCUSA despite $8 million fee

Legislative Hypocrisy In Arizona

 
 
By Michael Brown, CP Op-Ed Contributor

 

 

What caused three Republican lawmakers in Arizona to sign SB 1062 only to reverse course a few days later and urge Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill?

The controversial religious freedoms bill, which Gov. Brewer ultimately vetoed, was passed along party lines by a vote of 17 (Republicans) to 13 (Democrats), but as the bill received tremendous public opposition, from Apple to the NFL, from Delta Airlines to the NBA, and from Mitt Romney to John McCain, three of those Republicans had a change of heart.

As reported on February 25th, "three state senators, who initially voted in favor of the measure, said in a letter to Republican Governor Jan Brewer that the proposal had been mistakenly approved in haste and had already caused 'immeasurable harm' to Arizona's national image."

Read more: Legislative Hypocrisy In Arizona

'Snake Salvation' Pastor Jamie Coots Dies After Snake Bites Him in Church; He Refused Medical Treatment

 
BY LEONARDO BLAIR , CP REPORTER

Popular snake-handling Pentecostal Pastor Jamie Coots who co-stars on the National Geographic's 'Snake Salvation' TV show died Saturday night after one of his snakes bit him during a church service earlier that evening.

Middlesboro, Ky., Police Chief Jeff Sharpe told The Tennessean that Coots was found dead in his home at about 10 p.m. Saturday after a snake had allegedly bit him during a service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church in Middlesboro.

Read more: 'Snake Salvation' Pastor Jamie Coots Dies After Snake Bites Him in Church; He Refused Medical...

Baptist Pastor, Oleksandr Turchynov, Named Acting President of Ukraine; Christians Thank God for Peace

After watching their country erupt into months of angry anti-government protests, Christians in Ukraine praised a peace deal that ended the protests as well as the appointment of Baptist pastor Dr. Oleksandr Turchynov as their interim president.

The Ukrainian parliament voted to impeach President Viktor Yanukovych after he fled the country during deadly protests. Oleksandr Turchynov, a pastor and right hand man to politician Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from a two-year stint in prison, was elected interim president until May 25 when the country is expected to hold a presidential election.

Read more: Baptist Pastor, Oleksandr Turchynov, Named Acting President of Ukraine; Christians Thank God for...

Gov't Persecution of Christians in China Worsens Significantly

 
 
BY STOYAN ZAIMOV, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

China Aid Association revealed in its annual Persecution report that persecution of Christians in China continues to rise, with house and urban churches being some of the main targets.

According to the statistics, government persecution in the world's most populous country, where Christians make up only 3-4 percent, "worsened significantly" in 2013. Persecution rose by 38.82 percent since 2012.

Read more: Gov't Persecution of Christians in China Worsens Significantly

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