Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Boy Scouts Proposing to Lift Youth Gay Ban
- No New Church Buildings Allowed in Sudan
- Boston Marathon Bombings: One Suspect Dead, Manhunt Underway for Second
Boy Scouts Proposing to Lift Youth Gay Ban
Under increasing pressure over its longstanding ban on gays, the Boy Scouts of America is proposing to lift its ban for youth members, Fox News reports. The Scouts plan to continue to exclude gays as adult leaders, and announced Friday they would submit this proposal to the approximate 1,400 voting members of its National Council at a May 20th meeting in Texas. Earlier, the BSA indicated it might give local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders, or continuing to exclude them. However, they changed course on Friday due in part to surveys sent out this year to members of the scouting community. Gay –rights groups oppose the ban, some churches and conservative groups want it maintained.
No New Church Buildings Allowed in Sudan
Citing stagnate church attendance and an increasing number of abandoned buildings, the Sudanese government announced that it will no longer issue licenses to Christian churches, the ICC reports. Many of the Christians who attended the now abandoned buildings fled Sudan because of intense persecution. Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, churches in Khartoum and northern cities have seen attendance drop, as many have migrated south (not all by choice). As a result, Sudan’s minister of Guidance and Endowments, Al-Fatih Taj El-sir, says “there will be no need for new churches as the existing ones can accommodate worshipers.” 55 licenses were denied in 2012 alone.
Boston Marathon Bombings: One Suspect Dead, Manhunt Underway for Second
Boston and surrounding neighborhoods are on lockdown Friday morning as authorities hunt for the remaining Boston Marathon bomber, Fox News reports in this developing story. The two suspects, now known to be brothers, engaged in a shootout with police last night, after a chaotic confrontation that also left one MIT police officer dead. The first brother, labeled by the FBI as “suspect one,” was killed in the crossfire. The other brother, now known to be 19-year-old Dzhokhar A Tsarnaev, fled the scene. The search for him was still underway as of 8:00 a.m. EDT. The suspects, who sources say were possibly from Chechnya or Turkey, surfaced just hours after the FBI released their images late Thursday evening. The pair shot and killed one police officer, robbed a convenience store, carjacked a man who later escaped and engaged in a shootout with authorities, in which they hurled explosives from their car.
Boston police labeled Tsarnaev as “suspect two” and said he was “armed and dangerous.” Authorities are urging residents in Watertown and other surrounding neighborhoods to stay indoors. All mass transit have been shut down, as well as schools.
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.