Christianity growing in China
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 says 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 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 says 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. He says similar words have been struck down by federal courts. The bill goes Wednesday to the full House.
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.