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Bulletin Board

National

Issue: "California's wall of fire," Nov. 8, 2003

Georgia-based publicist Mark DeMoss, who represents a number of major ministries, thinks the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability has gone beyond its original guidelines in monitoring members' finances and "repeatedly breaches confidentiality." If it persists, he warned the ECFA board in an Oct. 27 letter, some large ministries may withdraw their membership and find other ways to demonstrate financial integrity and accountability.

Scottish-born Muslim convert Adel Smith had his day in court in Italy and won. A judge agreed with him that crucifixes have no place adorning the walls of the Italian public school his children attend. Laws drawn up in the 1920s make crucifixes mandatory in classrooms, but have been interpreted loosely.

In a new survey of European social trends, respondents were asked on a scale of 0 to 10 to rate how "religious" they considered themselves. More than 62 percent of Greeks and 40 percent of Poles scored themselves with an 8 or higher. That contrasts with 11 percent of Swedes, 10 percent of Czechs, and 9 percent of Norwegians.

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Sixteen senior citizens in Balch Springs, Texas, are suing the city after it ordered an end to devotionals during Monday-morning senior gatherings at the city-owned Balch Springs Community Center. Three seniors had pressured the city to end the devotionals at the weekly get-together, which includes a performance by a gospel band and a meal. "The city operates a public-funded community center, not a church," said David Berman, an attorney for the Dallas suburb. But plaintiff's attorney Jeff Mateer countered: "Citizens don't lose their First Amendment rights because they are in public or in a public building."

Edward E. Plowman
Edward E. Plowman

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