This is our archive of news items tagged Christianity.

 memo You'll find articles about that subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.

Upcoming book by Rob Bell ignites debate over Universalism

Thee crosses Mars Hill pastor Rob Bell — one of the leaders in the supposedly leaderless Emerging Church movement — has become the subject of a heated online debate regarding his forthcoming book “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.”

The discussion erupted on Twitter and many Christian blogs after Justin Taylor, vice president of editorial at Crossway, published a blog post titled “Rob Bell: Universalist?” [Read more...]

Detained Afghanistan Christians Facing Death Penalty

Afghanistan Two Afghan Christians who were arrested for their conversion to Christianity remain behind bars despite diplomatic efforts by the United States to secure their release, a Christian rights group said Wednesday, February 23.

International Christian Concern (ICC) said it had obtained a letter smuggled out of Qasre Shahi prison in Mazar-e-Sharif, in which one Christian wrote that he may receive the death penalty for apostasy. [Read more...]

Threat of Prosecution Remains for Some Christians Freed in Iran

Islam In December and January authorities arrested up to 120 believers after Iranian religious and political figures acknowledged the existence of home fellowships and condemned them as a threat to the state. Sources estimate at least 62 of those arrested during late December and January have been released, some on bail. A typical bail amount in Iran can range between a few thousand dollars and the deed on a house.

Some of the Christians who were released reported they were subjected to solitary confinement and harsh interrogation, according to a statement by Elam Ministries on Feb. 4. The statement said some Christians held at Section 209 of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison suffered up to 34 days in solitary confinement. [Read more...]

Mainline church membership decline continues – but more slowly

Church Growing churches continue to grow and declining churches continue to decline, according to the National Council of Ch urches’ 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches.

“The direction of membership (growth or decline) remains very stable,” writes the Yearbook’s editor, the Rev. Dr. Eileen Lindner, in the newest edition released this week. “That is, churches which have been increasing in membership in recent years continue to grow and likewise, those churches which have been declining in recent years continue to decline.” [Read more...]

Why Iraqi Christians Are Running Scared — in Sweden

With numerous attacks by Muslims against Iraq’s Christians in recent weeks — including a Halloween day massacre in a Baghdad church, which left 52 dead — the country’s religious minority fears for its survival within the boundaries of the Middle Eastern nation. Yet, a long way from their native land, many Iraqi Christians are also living in terror in a far more serene place: Stockholm.

Swedish immigration officials have been deporting Iraqi refugees to Baghdad on flights about every three weeks, declaring that some of them have no legitimate claim to political asylum in Sweden. That includes Iraqi Christians — a category that does not automatically imply a risk of persecution, according to Swedish guidelines.• See also: Iraq’s Christians Vow to Survive, With Muslim Help [Read more...]

Legal Status Foreseen for Christianity in Buddhist Bhutan

Bhutan The authority that regulates religious organizations will discuss in its next meeting – to be held by the end of December – how a Christian organization can be registered to represent its community.

Thus far only Buddhist and Hindu organizations have been registered by the authority, locally known as Chhoedey Lhentshog. As a result, only these two communities have the right to openly practice their religion and build places of worship. [Read more...]