Officials say Crystal Cathedral not for sale
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) - Leaders of the financially
struggling Crystal Cathedral say the Southern California
mega-church is not for sale.
The board of directors announced in a press release Sunday that
Crystal Cathedral Ministries will raise the money to help pay the
church's $36 million mortgage and nearly $10 million in unsecured
Among those that had offered to buy the church are the Roman
Catholic Diocese, another local church, Chapman University and a
real estate investment firm.
A hearing to discuss the status of the offers is scheduled
Monday in bankruptcy court. The board said it will ask the court
for permission to collect donations to get out of bankruptcy.
Texas governor says prayer rally won't be political
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry says this coming
Saturday's prayer rally in Houston is "about lifting up the name
of Jesus" and asking God to give America hope and direction.
Perry told FRC Radio's Washington Watch Weekly that he and a
group of friends were talking about how to solve America's problems
and said, "Let's be biblical. Let's follow the instructions."
The event at Reliant Stadium, called "The Response," is billed
as a day of prayer and fasting.
Perry, who is considering a presidential bid, says "The
Response" won't be a political event.
Last week, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit challenging its
In an Associated Press interview, Perry said he supports
amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of a
man and a woman, and said he believes God created life and the
universe. But he added that he expects the presidential race to
focus on jobs -- not evolution or gay marriage.
NY pastor's ashes displayed in Havana mausoleum
HAVANA (AP) - The ashes of a New York pastor who defied a U.S.
embargo by leading yearly relief pilgrimages to Cuba have gone on
display in Havana.
An urn containing the remains of the Rev. Lucius Walker is on
view in the Jose Marti mausoleum. Flowers and a photo showing him
with Martin Luther King sit next to it on an altar.
Walker led 21 aid caravans to Cuba before dying of a heart
attack in New York last year. He was 80.
His ashes have been touring the island in recent weeks and are
to be laid to rest in a Havana park in accordance with his wishes.
Cuban officials have not said when.
Walker's daughter Gail and members of his Pastors for Peace
group joined Cuban officials at Saturday's ceremony.
Salvador: Farmer and son hold 30 hostage at church
GUAZAPA, El Salvador (AP) - Police in El Salvador say a farmer
and his son held 30 people hostage for several hours at an
evangelical church north of the Central American country's capital.
National Civil Police Director Carlos Ascencio says 50-year-old
Jose Miranda and his 17-year-old son stormed into the Temple of God
church early Sunday with M16 rifles. The parishioners in Guzapa
were holding a traditional vigil at the church.
Agents persuaded Miranda to free the last hostages around dawn.
His motives remain unclear. But as he was being led away from the
church to police vehicles, Miranda told reporters he had been
motivated by injustices and that one of his daughters had recently
Pope prays for Somalia famine victims
CASTELGANDOLFO, Italy (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI is urging the
world not to forget the victims of famine in the Horn of Africa.
During his weekly blessing to pilgrims on Sunday, Benedict said,
"It is forbidden to be indifferent in the face of the tragedy of
It was his second mention in recent weeks of the drought in
Somalia and neighboring countries.
Two weeks ago, he urged the international community to move
quickly to aid hundreds of thousands of people fleeing drought and
famine in Somalia and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa.
Muslims begin holy month of fasting
UNDATED (AP) - The Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims
fast from sunrise to sunset, starts today and will continue through
the long hot days of August.
During Ramadan, Muslims typically eat a meal before dawn and
break their fast at sunset.
In August, the daylight hours can last up to 16 hours, so it
will be a long wait between meals.
The Islamic calendar follows the lunar cycle, so Ramadan creeps
up 11 days every year.
The fast-breaking meal is seen by many Muslims as an opportunity
to gather with family and friends.
Sayyid Sayeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North
America, says the Ramadan fast is "one of the pillars of Islam,"
and makes Muslims more sensitive to the sufferings of the poor and
Arab unrest, high food prices cast pall on Ramadan
CAIRO (AP) - The uprisings and unrest gripping the Arab world
have cast a pall on the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month
which starts today and continues until almost the end of August.
With momentum strong to drive out authoritarian regimes, there
is no sign that opposition forces will ease up on protests, even
with the difficulties of dawn-to-dusk fasting.
Ramadan falls this year during the scorching summer, when
tempers already running hot could easily boil over. Food prices
typically spike during Ramadan, and the extravagant dinners many
put on to break the daily fast drive a deep hole in household
In much of the Arab world, protesters hope the pressure Ramadan
places on food prices will inspire more people to challenge their
Indonesian Muslims demand Ahmahdiyah be outlawed
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Hundreds of conservative Muslims have
held a rally in Indonesia's capital to demand the government outlaw
an Islamic sect they consider heretical.
The Ahmadiyah sect, which has followers around the world, is
banned in many Islamic countries because of its belief that
Muhammad was not the final prophet.
Nearly 1,500 white-robed protesters marched through the streets
of Jakarta Saturday. Some held placards that said "Disband
Ahmadiyah or Revolution" and "War against Ahmadiyah."
In recent years, Islamic hard-liners in Indonesia have attacked
Ahmadiyah mosques and intimidated some of its 200,000 followers.
Perpetrators are rarely punished or even questioned by police.
Study looks at experiences of gay Mormons
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah State University psychology
professor is conducting an online survey of nearly 1,000 lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender Mormons.
Among the questions: Have respondents experienced negative
teasing or violence within the Latter-day Saint community? And how
do they view God's response to their sexual orientation?
The survey also asks respondents to describe their commitment to
Mormon teachings before and after accepting their sexual
orientation and to describe their current relationship to the
Like many faiths, Mormonism teaches that any sexual relationship
outside traditional marriage is a sin, and a church leader last
year suggested gays could change their sexual orientation through
Professor Renee Galliher says she hopes the survey data will
dispel myths and promote better understanding about the lives of
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)