Local/national faith briefs

Catholic Daughters to meet Monday

Catholic Daughters will meet at 7 p.m. Monday. There will be an installation of new officers at the 5:30 p.m. Mass. A priest appreciation and potluck lunch will follow Mass in Carlin Hall.

Potluck picnic June 17 for disabled residents

Jesus Cares Ministry of Christ Lutheran Church in Marshall will once again host a summer potluck picnic from 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, outside at the courtyard of 1005 North 4th St. The theme this year is “Standing on the Rock.” Music, crafts and games, including bingo, are some of the activities planned for the late afternoon. This mini camp is especially for community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities and family. Hot dogs will be grilled, so feel free to bring a salad or dessert to pass. In case of rain, the picnic will be in the basement at Christ Lutheran Church in Marshall on the corner of Marshall and 3rd streets.

Christianity growing in China 25 years after Tiananmen massacre

WASHINGTON (AP) – A China expert says the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre caused many Chinese intellectuals to lose faith in communism and become Christians.

Loyola University of Maryland Professor Carsten Vala said Christianity has become influential among Chinese scholars and other elites 25 years after the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that left hundreds and perhaps thousands dead.

At a Brookings Institution forum on Christianity in China, Vala and University of California-San Diego Professor Richard Madsen said Chinese officials are now frightened that the faith’s explosive growth threatens their hold on power.

The Rev. Zhang Boli, a former student leader in Tiananmen Square who now pastors a church in Virginia, said Christianity in China has “grown in the midst of persecutions.” And he said, “The stronger the persecution, the purer the church will become.”

Religion in schools bill passes N.C. House panel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation designed to make clear how North Carolina students can participate in religious activities in the public schools has cleared a House panel, even as a lawmaker warned that a phrase could lead to lawsuits.

The House Education Committee recommended legislation Tuesday passed by the state Senate last year making clear that students have the right to pray, share religious viewpoints and distribute religious literature in schools, with reasonable restrictions.

The bill said school coaches involved in extracurricular activities can be present for voluntary student prayers and may adopt “a respectful posture” during it. The bill doesn’t define the phrase.

The panel rejected an amendment by Rep. Rick Glazier to remove the “posture” language.

Ministry to remove billboard with Hitler quote

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – The founder of a children’s ministry in Alabama says a billboard featuring a quote from Adolf Hitler has been covered and will be removed.

The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Georgia, reported that the billboard at the Village Mall in Auburn, Alabama, features five smiling children beneath a quote from Hitler in a 1935 speech on the Nazi youth movement: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

It was displayed on the sign with a Bible verse from Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The billboard was installed Friday and immediately sparked comments on social media. It was covered by midday Tuesday.

Lamar Advertising officials say the billboard was rented by Opelika, Alabama-based Life Savers Ministries.

Live Savers Ministries founder James Anderegg told the newspaper, “We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion.”

U.S. says condemned Sudanese Christian’s husband is American

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. State Department is confirming for the first time that the husband of a Sudanese Christian woman facing execution for refusing to renounce her faith is an American citizen.

Meriam Ibrahim is jailed in Sudan with her toddler son and a daughter who was born last week.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Monday that Ibrahim’s Christian husband, Daniel Wani, is an American. But she said U.S. officials don’t have enough information to say if the children can be considered Americans. Psaki said that might be established through genetic testing, but she wouldn’t confirm reports that Wani had been asked to provide DNA proof that he’s the father.