Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Judge Dismisses Suit against SWBTS
- Presbyterian Church Breaks from National Body on Good Friday
- Christians from India Languish in Bangladeshi Jail
- Mohler Recovering from Surgery
Judge Dismisses Suit against SWBTS
A federal judge has ruled in favor of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and its president, Paige Patterson, in a lawsuit by a former theology professor who claimed she was wrongly dismissed from a tenure-track position because she is a woman, Baptist Press reports. Sheri L. Klouda filed the federal employment lawsuit alleging breach of contract, fraud and related claims on March 8, 2007, and had sought unspecified damages and a jury trial. Instead, in a ruling filed March 20 in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, Judge John McBryde signed a judgment granting "summary judgment" dismissing "all of her alleged actions against defendants" and ordering Klouda to cover the plaintiffs' court costs. Patterson, in a statement following the judge's decision, said: "My response is simply one of gratitude to God and to a host of people. The decision of the court has implications for all of our institutions and churches. Americans everywhere may still rejoice in freedom of faith and the ordering of their churches and institutions accordingly. I am thankful to God for his every kindness. I am thankful to the thousands who prayed for us. I am thankful to the trustees who faithfully stood with the institution, and I am thankful for our superb attorneys. Gratitude is all that I feel in my heart this day."
Presbyterian Church Breaks from National Body on Good Friday
The Christian Post reports that the majority of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers, Fla., a congregation of 1,340 members, was scheduled to officially leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Good Friday. The action followed a decision by the regional presbytery to allow their departure. The church had voted with a 76 percent majority last month to request dismissal from the PC(USA), citing the denomination's liberal direction. Negotiations went smoothly, according to the Rev. Graham Hart, general presbyter of Peace River Presbytery. The breakaway group, which has been holding separate worship services since Feb. 10, had also agreed to begin worshipping at another facility on Easter Sunday. In recent years, a growing number of congregations voted to leave the PC(USA) and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which has welcomed the churches to receive full membership.
Christians from India Languish in Bangladeshi Jail
A group of Christians from India are languishing in a Bangladeshi prison even after finishing a three-month jail term for unknowingly overstepping an unmarked border between the two countries as they proclaimed Christ, authorities said. Bangladeshi authorities say officials from India have failed to respond to requests to undertake the proper protocol for their release. Police and jail officials said joint forces led by the army detained the 14 evangelists five months ago as they unknowingly trekked inside Bangladeshi territory. The Christians, including four women and a 51-year-old man, were sentenced to three months of prison, said Inspector General of Prison Brig. Gen. Zakir Hasan, Compass Direct News reported.
Mohler Recovering from Surgery
Baptist Press reports that R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has undergone successful surgery for the removal of a pre-cancerous tumor from his colon. The surgery was performed in Louisville, Ky., on March 20. Results of pathological testing on the tumor are not yet available, but doctors expect Mohler, 48, to have a full recovery. The tumor was discovered during a routine colonoscopy in February. The Mohler family has expressed appreciation for all concern, prayer and encouragement.