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The number of displaced persons increased by 300,000 in 2016, bringing the global total to 65.6 million, according to the United Nation’s annual “Global Trends” report. This record level of displacement results from persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations, with 22.5 million being refugees, 40.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 2.8 million asylum […] Read More

Hannah McMahan is executive director of the New Baptist Covenant. 1. Where did you grow up? North Carolina. 2. What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why? Barnabas is an interesting character to me. Without need for the limelight, he faithfully pushed forward the cause of Christ. 3. What is your […] Read More

A significant number of children in high-income nations are impoverished and experiencing food insecurity. The U.N. analyzed 41 nations it identified as “high income” that are part of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In this group, 21 percent of children currently live in poverty, while 12.5 percent are […] Read More

Seventy-three percent of U.S. adults believe euthanasia should be legal for terminally ill patients, according to a Gallup survey, and 67 percent said doctor-assisted suicide should be legal for terminally ill patients. Both are near record highs and demonstrate a significant increase in support for these views since Gallup’s polling on these issues began. Euthanasia […] Read More

Missions work. Millennials’ spiritual hunger. Diversity of congregations. These are some of the denomination’s bright lights for Lee B. Spitzer, the new general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA. Spitzer, former executive minister for American Baptist Churches in New Jersey, took office June 1. He spoke with in a new online video interview about […] Read More

Leta Tillman is a retired Hardin-Simmons University professor and librarian. 1. Where did you grow up? McAllen, Texas. 2. What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why? Romans 8:28. This verse gives me a chance to look in the rearview mirror of my life and see God’s presence so as to […] Read More

Half of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances, a Gallup survey found. Affirmation of this view was at 57 percent in 2009, before declining to 50 percent in 2012. It has remained stable since then. Other perspectives remained largely unchanged. Those saying abortion should be legal under any circumstances remained […] Read More

The Southern Baptist Convention saw its membership grow by 479 churches in 2016. While that represents a 1.02 percent increase, most other categories tracked by the convention saw a decrease. Weekly average worship attendance declined by 6.75 percent, baptisms by 4.89 percent, total denominational membership by 0.51 percent and associations by 0.26 percent. Other areas […] Read More

Doyle Sager is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Missouri. 1. Where did you grow up? On a farm in northwest Missouri, near Albany (about an hour north of Kansas City). 2. What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why? Galatians 5:22-23. This is my life text […] Read More

The number of U.S. adults affirming religion’s efficacy in addressing societal problems seems to have stabilized in recent years, according to a recent Gallup survey. Despite an overall downward trend since the survey’s inception, a slim majority (55 percent) still believes “religion can answer some or all of society’s problems” – up slightly from an […] Read More