Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- More Than 4,300 Christians Fled Mosul Last Month
- Saddleback Church Celebrates 30th Anniversary
- Judge Says 'Million Dollar Bill' Tracts Aren't Illegal
- Christian Publisher Ready for iPad Launch
More Than 4,300 Christians Fled Mosul Last Month
ASSIST News Service reports that 4,320 Iraqi Christians have been displaced following recent unrest in the northern city of Mosul in Iraq. According to the United Nations' humanitarian arm, the latest figure represents an increase of about 200 people. At present, the influx of displaced Christian families from Mosul city to nearby districts has slowed down over the past few days. Many families remaining in Mosul are allegedly confined to their homes out of fear of their safety. Christian university students are reportedly not attending classes and workers are not attending their places of work. In October 2008, more than 12,000 Christians fled Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, following an upsurge in attacks, threats and intimidation, with some returning later after hearing that the security situation had improved.
Saddleback Church Celebrates 30th Anniversary
The Christian Post reports that influential pastor Rick Warren's megachurch celebrated 30 years of ministry over the weekend, gathering as a crowd of almost 50,000 people at Anaheim's Angel Stadium. The church's first public service began with just 205 people. The Saturday evening and Sunday morning celebrations launched what Warren called the next "Decade of Destiny," which will continue to extend the church's influence. Warren said that when the church began, he made a commitment to stay with it for 40 years. "And I wondered, ‘How do you stay in a church 40 years without getting bored - so that there's always something to do?'" he said, speaking to two other satellite campuses by video feed as well as the stadium congregation, "Well, little did I know it would never, ever one second be boring."
Judge Says 'Million Dollar Bill' Tracts Aren't Illegal
Religion News Service reports that a federal judge has ruled that Secret Service agents violated the constitutional rights of a Texas-based evangelical ministry when they seized thousands of "Million Dollar Bill" gospel tracts without a warrant. Judge Jorge Solis also ruled that the ministry, the Great News Network, did not violate federal law by distributing the dollar-sized tracts that the U.S. Treasury Department viewed as counterfeit currency. "The Million Dollar Bill, taken as a whole, poses no reasonable risk of deceiving an honest, sensible and unsuspecting person," Solis wrote in his decision on Tuesday (March 30). Secret Service agents arrived unannounced at the ministry's headquarters in Denton, Texas, on June 1, 2006 and demanded that officials hand over the tracts, which are printed to look like a $1 million dollar bill, with an image of President Grover Cleveland on the front.
Christian Publisher Ready for iPad Launch
Christian Newswire reports that Christian publishing companies are quickly jumping on the iPad bandwagon. Publishing giant Zondervan has announced that more than 1,000 Zondervan titles will be available in the iBookstore for download, and the company plans to release all future ebooks with an iPad version. Apple reportedly sold 300,000 of the new devices when they went on sale Saturday. Users will be able to purchase the books from Apple's iBookstore, as well as read excerpts, reviews and additional details about Zondervan books and its authors. Unlike other ebook versions, the iPad compatible ebooks feature full color artwork. The released titles include three translations of the Bible, including the NIV.