Christianity growing in China 25 years after Tiananmen massacre
WASHINGTON (AP) — A China expert says the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre caused many Chinese intellectuals to lose faith in communism and become Christians.
Loyola University of Maryland Professor Carsten Vala says Christianity has become influential among Chinese scholars and other elites 25 years after the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that left hundreds and perhaps thousands dead.
At a Brookings Institution forum on Christianity in China, Vala and University of California-San Diego Professor Richard Madsen said Chinese officials are now frightened that the faith's explosive growth threatens their hold on power.
The Rev. Zhang Boli, a former student leader in Tiananmen Square who now pastors a church in Virginia, said Christianity in China has "grown in the midst of persecutions." And he said, "The stronger the persecution, the purer the church will become."
Religion in schools bill passes NC House panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation designed to make clear how North Carolina students can participate in religious activities in the public schools has cleared a House panel, even as a lawmaker warned that a phrase could lead to lawsuits.
The House Education Committee recommended legislation Tuesday passed by the state Senate last year making clear that students have the right to pray, share religious viewpoints and distribute religious literature in schools, with reasonable restrictions.
The bill says school coaches involved in extracurricular activities can be present for voluntary student prayers and may adopt "a respectful posture" during it. The bill doesn't define the phrase.
The panel rejected an amendment by Rep. Rick Glazier to remove the "posture" language. He says similar words have been struck down by federal courts. The bill goes Wednesday to the full House.
Ministry to remove billboard with Hitler quote
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The founder of a children's ministry in Alabama says a billboard featuring a quote from Adolf Hitler has been covered and will be removed.
The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia, reports that the billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Alabama, features five smiling children beneath a quote from Hitler in a 1935 speech on the Nazi youth movement: "He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future."
It was displayed on the sign with a Bible verse from Proverbs: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
The billboard was installed Friday and immediately sparked comments on social media. It was covered by midday Tuesday.
Lamar Advertising officials say the billboard was rented by Opelika, Alabama-based Life Savers Ministries.
Live Savers Ministries founder James Anderegg told the newspaper, "We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion."
He added that in hindsight, it would have been better to quote Herbert Hoover who said, "Children are our most valuable resource."
US says condemned Sudanese Christian's husband is American
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. State Department is confirming for the first time that the husband of a Sudanese Christian woman facing execution for refusing to renounce her faith is an American citizen.
Meriam Ibrahim is jailed in Sudan with her toddler son and a daughter who was born last week.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (SAH'-kee) confirmed Monday that Ibrahim's Christian husband, Daniel Wani, is an American. But she said U.S. officials don't have enough information to say if the children can be considered Americans. Psaki said that might be established through genetic testing, but she wouldn't confirm reports that Wani had been asked to provide DNA proof that he's the father.
The condemned woman's father is Muslim, so Sudan considers her a Muslim even though she was raised by her Christian mother. The Islamic regime also refuses to recognize her marriage to Wani and has sentenced her to be whipped for adultery.
Her hanging was delayed until the birth of her child, and could remain postponed until the baby is weaned.
Honest track coach costs team state title
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The honesty of a Massachusetts high school's track and field coach has cost his team a state championship.
North Attleborough High was declared the winner of the state Division 2 meet Sunday, edging Central Catholic High of Lawrence by one point.
But when North Attleborough coach Derek Herber combed through the results Monday, he found a scoring error. His team had been awarded eight points in the 110-meter hurdles, when they should have received two points.
Herber told his athletic director, who informed the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and Central Catholic officials.
Minus the six points, North Attleborough finished third. But the school's athletic director told The Sun Chronicle that the community is more proud of the team now than after they were anointed champions.