Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Ministers of Hope Offer Comfort to Virginia Tech
- Three U.S. Presidents to Help Dedicate Billy Graham Library
- India: Police Arrest 4,000 Christians at Protest Rally
- Christian Group Split in Alabama Intensifies
Ministers of Hope Offer Comfort to Virginia Tech
As news of the deadly violence at Virginia Tech began to spread across the country, Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), recognized that many students and families on the campus would find themselves lost and without hope, dealing with grief beyond comprehension. He quickly offered the services of BGEA’s Rapid Response Team, a group of trained chaplains who specialize in offering comfort in times of crisis. Several volunteer chaplains spent the following weeks spreading hope in a place where there was none. A news release from the BGEA said, “In a first-of-its-kind program, the next Billy Graham Television Special, airing in cities across the country June 2-10, delves into the work of the Rapid Response Team at Virginia Tech, as well as the horror and hope resulting from that day.” The special shares the story of Maria Gillian, whose best friend Rachael Hill was killed at Virginia Tech. The June Billy Graham Television Special also features comforting music from Selah, Casting Crowns and the Tommy Coomes Band, along with a sermon on the love of Christ amidst tragedy preached by Billy Graham just one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For more information on where to watch this special in your area, please visit www.billygraham.org/tv.
Three U.S. Presidents to Help Dedicate Billy Graham Library
According to a DeMoss News Pond release, family, friends, and three former presidents will be among the guests joining Billy Graham in Charlotte May 31 for a private ceremony to help dedicate the new Billy Graham Library. President George H.W. Bush will deliver the keynote address. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will also take part in the ceremony. The Billy Graham Library honors and depicts the life of evangelist Billy Graham. The purpose of the Library is to serve as an extension of the evangelistic ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and continue the legacy it has had for 60 years of delivering the simple Gospel message around the world. The Library will allow visitors to walk through “One Man’s Journey” — that of Billy Graham. The Library is 40,000 square feet and the entrance is designed to resemble a barn, harkening back to Graham’s childhood on the family dairy farm in Charlotte, N.C. It will house six exhibits, four galleries, and two theaters covering the span of Graham’s lifetime work reaching more than 210 million people on six continents.
India: Police Arrest 4,000 Christians at Protest Rally
Police in India have arrested about 4,000 people taking part in a New Delhi rally protesting violence against Christians, according to an AsiaNews service report cited by Catholic World News. Police arrested nearly all the participants in the rally, which was staged near the parliament building in New Delhi. Organizers had hoped to assemble 2,000 people for a march, which was designed to highlight the concerns of Christians about the violent attacks by Hindu zealots, and the failure of law-enforcement officials to provide adequate protection for the Christian minority. Participation in the event exceeded the organizers' hopes, with closer to 5,000 people assembling in the nation's capital to rally unti police intervened. Participants were held in the Parliament Street police station for about an hour before being released.
Christian Group Split in Alabama Intensifies
According to an Associated Press story, the split between two faith-based political groups has intensified, with the new leader of the Christian Coalition of Alabama suing the organization's old leader. Randy Brinson, the new president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, claims in a lawsuit that John Giles took the assets of the Christian Coalition of Alabama when he left to start Christian Action Alabama and won't return them. In Brinson's view, Giles is setting a bad example for Christians interested in Alabama politics. "This is not the way to engage people of faith in the political process," Brinson said. Giles calls Brinson's suit "frivolous and baseless" and said a close examination of the suit will show that the new Christian Coalition of Alabama is in the "palm of gamblers." Montgomery Circuit Judge Gene Reese, who's handling the suit, has not yet scheduled any hearings.