Briefly noted

August 3, 2010

Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill allowing people to carry concealed handguns to church, his office announced on July 6. The law does away with earlier provisions that banned concealed weapons inside churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. It allows churches to choose whether to permit handguns inside their facilities, and it requires those who hold permits for concealed weapons to take eight additional hours of tactical training. The training must be renewed annually. The law also requires pastors or other heads of religious communities that allow concealed weapons to announce to worshipers that there might be gun-toters in their midst. The state’s ban on guns on school grounds, including inside churches that share campuses with schools, remains in force.

South African Methodist minister Paul Verryn, whose Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg has been serving as a haven for more than 3,000 homeless refugees daily, has been cleared of undisclosed charges brought to a church arbitrator. Verryn and his congregation were featured in a Century cover story published April 20. “The arbitrator ruled in May that Verryn had done nothing wrong, and all charges against him were dropped and his suspension ended,” according to Paul Jeffrey, writer of the story.