Against the backdrop of celebrations to mark the countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government has angered religious- freedom activists by attempting to assert greater influence over the choice of a successor to the Dalai Lama.
Foiled by do-gooders: After a man robbed a bank in Marietta, Georgia, one Saturday morning, he attempted to blend into a group of volunteers outside a church who were unloading food for distribution to other churches. When he started losing bills tucked under his shirt, two of the volunteers confronted the robber and held him until police arrived (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 12).
A Texas Baptist family’s spontaneous challenge to jump-start a Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty campaign to buy and renovate a house on Capitol Hill for its own center in Washington netted the organization nearly $1.2 million in just a couple of weeks.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America saw a slight drop in membership in 2006, continuing a trend of decline since the 1990s. The total of baptized members at the end of last year was 4,774,203—a 1.6 percent decrease from the 2005 total of 4,850,776, denominational officials said.