Newsbriefs

Compass Direct News reported a number of arrests of pastors, seminary staff, and lay Christians in the run-up to the Beijing summer Olympics. “Several house churches have been closed before the Olympics,” said Zhang Jing, wife of imprisoned Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan.

—Compass Direct News
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Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, Cal., has created a new dual-degree program combining master of divinity and master of arts in marriage, family, and child counselling. Academic dean Lynn Jost collaborated with Delores Friesen, David Rose, and Mary Shamshoian of the counselling department to create the program. The program is “for the person who wants one foot in both worlds: ministry and counselling,” says Shamshoian, adding that “it is not a lesser version of either of the degrees but a new program in which students are going to get both areas in equal depth.”

—MBBS release
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Goshen (Ind.) College purchased a rare book of Anabaptist martyr accounts and hymns. The 1567 fourth-edition copy of Het Offer des Heeren (A sacrifice unto the Lord) is the second known copy in the world. The other copy of the pocket-sized book – which predates the Martyrs Mirror – is in the Amsterdam Mennonite Library.

—www.themennonite.org
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In August, Faith Today celebrated 25 years of presenting an evangelical Christian perspective on the national news and issues of the day. First rolled off the presses in 1983, the magazine is a voice for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

—christianity.ca
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MCC closed its office in Indonesia’s Aceh province in July after providing nearly $10 million in relief and recovery assistance following the tsunami. MCC’s tsunami response programs in India and Sri Lanka are also nearing completion. More than half of MCC’s funds in Aceh went to reconstruction projects, including 623 houses, 22 small bridges, one junior high school, and numerous drainage canals and levees.

—MCC
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MCC Manitoba’s “Sam’s Place” will be more than just a place to buy books. The used bookstore at 159 Henderson Highway, projected to open in early September, will contain a coffee shop and play host to events ranging from musical entertainment to craft demonstrations. Faith, however, is at the core of what Sam’s Place hopes to be: a place to cultivate community, to bridge differing worldviews, and provide a forum for honest questioning.

—MCC Manitoba
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Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of Soviet-era classic The Gulag Archipelago died Aug. 3, aged 89. Solzhenitsyn reported on the church trials of the early Communist era and championed the church in atheistic USSR.

—EP News
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Some 600 people from Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA gathered for the People’s Summit for Faithful Living July 8–11 at CMU in Winnipeg. Discussions centred on living Christianly in the midst of our culture, on the relationship between the two national conferences, and on engaging young adults in church membership. Across the street at Shaftesbury High School, the Postcard Project displayed dozens of postcards written by MC Canada members in favour of further dialogue on the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the church.

—Mennonite Weekly Review
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The majority of teens and young adults are religious, according to a 21-country study by a German think-tank. Of the 21,000 youth surveyed worldwide, 85 percent described themselves as religious; nearly half deeply religious. Thirteen percent were not interested in God or faith.

—EP News
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The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a ruling June 30 that Floyd Landis used artificial testosterone to fuel his victory in the 2007 Tour de France. However, Landis, who grew up in a conservative Mennonite home continues to claim his innocence, along with a team of doctors, scientists, and lawyers who cite errors and inconsistencies in the French lab that analyzed his drug result.

—Mennonite Weekly Review
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A decades-long U.K. study shows divorce remains damaging to children, despite a greater social acceptance. The National Child Development Study tracks 17,000 people born in Britain during the same week in 1958. Comparing those individuals with those born years later, the study revealed those in both generations with divorced parents were more likely to suffer from depression and do poorer in school and careers than their peers. They also were more likely to go through a divorce of their own.

—EP News
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Massachusetts and California may have decided to legalize gay marriage, but the U.S. Census Bureau will not count same-sex marriages in its 2010 census report. For the purposes of administering federal programs, federal law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

—EP News

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