Arkansas Governor Signs Law To Keep Churches Open
Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, signed an act preventing state officials from enacting restrictions on houses of worship and religious groups during a public health crisis. Jerry Cox of the Arkansas Family Council said the new law will “help protect churches and religious groups from discrimination without hampering the government’s ability to respond to an emergency.” Read more about the new act here.
Religious Publisher Dr. Melvin E. Banks Passes Away
Dr. Melvin E. Banks Sr., founder and chairman of Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), has died. Banks, who led UMI to become the largest independent African American-owned and operated religious publisher, was 86. Banks started Urban Ministries Inc. in the basement of his home in Chicago in 1970, focusing on Sunday school curriculum and Bible study materials for African American Christians. Banks is survived by his wife Olive and his three children. Read more about his inspirational life here.
Missionary Forced To Leave Turkey
David Byle, a Canadian-American Christian who was forced to leave Turkey after 19 years because of his evangelistic work, has filed a deportation complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. Though missionary activity is legal in Turkey, authorities alleged Byle was a threat to public order and security and imposed a permanent re-entry ban on the Christian, something he only discovered upon trying to return to his family. Currently, Byle is living with his family in Germany. Read more about Christian persecution in Turkey here.
Utah City Accepting Food Donations To Pay Fines
People aren’t allowed to park on the street in Heber City, Utah, during a snowstorm or after when officials are trying to clear the roads. The city’s Mayor, Kelleen Potter, recently said Heber City police have given out more than 300 tickets in the last few weeks for violations. The good news is they are accepting food donations in exchange for forgiveness of the violation; a donation of five non-expired non-perishable food items. Officers say all the food will be donated to local food banks to help support struggling families. Read more about the donation project here.