Here’s what you need to know in news for Aug. 28:
1. Militants want $6 million to release American woman
Islamic State militants are demanding $6.6 million for the release of an American woman.
The woman’s name hasn’t been released, but officials believe that she was kidnapped in 2013 while on a humanitarian trip in Syria.
Militants have also demanded that Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui be released from a Texas prison. He was convicted of assault and attempted murder of a U.S. official in 2010.
Siddiqui’s family has said they are not connected with al-Qaeda.
Finally, militants have not released and are still holding American journalist Steven Sotloff.
2. David Platt named International Mission Board President
David Platt has been named the president of the International Mission Board.
“There are scores of non-traditional churches that are totally disengaged from the SBC and the Cooperative Program and even from the IMB,” Platt said. “… I don’t think the way to mobilize them is to tell them they ought to give or make them feel guilty for not giving but to show them that this is worth giving to.”
Platt said this week that the Southern Baptist churches in the country will need to work together, saying it is”the wisest, most effective means” … “to see the Gospel spread.”
Platt’s church is the Church as Brook Hill and has a membership of about 4,500. Weekly worship attendance averages about 5,500.
3. Atheist organization standing against school event that featured pastor
An atheist organization has sent a letter to a Mississippi school district about a faculty event that included a Christian pastor.
The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter this week to the Jackson Public School District after a mandatory teacher convocation earlier in August featured a Christian pastor.
“This letter serves as an official notice of the unconstitutional activity and demands that the School District terminate this and any similar illegal activity immediately,” wrote Monica Miller, Esq. of AHA.
4. Muslim Groups Ask State Department to Protect Americans Visiting Mecca
Twenty-seven Muslim-American groups are asking the U.S. State Department to help protect U.S. citizens headed to Mecca.
Last year, a group of Sunni Muslims from Australia threatened to kill and rape a group of Michigan Shiites.
“We urge you to take immediate action to protect American citizens who travel overseas to perform one of the five mandatory acts of their faith and ensure that Saudi Arabia addresses this urgent security matter in preparation for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage,” the letter said.
The pilgrimage to Mecca is required of all Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey. This year the journey is set for the first week of October.
5. Kirk Cameron releasing Christmas film this fall
Actor Kirk Cameron is behind a new movie slated this fall– this time tackling Christmas.
In “Saving Christmas,” the film will deal with some of the controversial issues surrounding the holiday.
The film is set to be released in theaters on Nov. 14.
“I assume (atheists) are going to get frustrated to see some of their best arguments deflated by this movie, because we take on some of the most commonly parroted myths about the origins of Christmas,” Cameron told TheBlaze Tuesday.
The movie is meant to be a comedy/drama.
“It’s a scripted story about a guy named Christian White who represents the typical white Christian male and he’s got a bad case of religious bah humbugs,” Cameron said. “He is just deflating his wife’s entire Christmas party because he has come to believe that everything we’re doing at Christmas to celebrate is wrong.”