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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:20:02 EST

EBOLA-US MISSIONARIES

Christians pray for US missionaries battling Ebola

WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina congressman is asking for prayer for Charlotte missionary Nancy Writebol, one of two Americans who have come down with Ebola while helping West Africans affected by the deadly virus.

In a House floor speech, Republican Robert Pittenger noted that Writebol could have left Liberia when Ebola began to spread, but instead volunteered to help sanitize medical personnel and their equipment. He said she "chose a higher calling of sacrificial love and service."

Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, a medical missionary with the Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse, remained in isolation Wednesday, receiving treatment for the virus that has no known cure and kills 60 percent of the people who contract it.

Prayer services for the afflicted missionaries were held Wednesday at Writebol's home church in Charlotte and Brantly's home church in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sound:

155-a-11-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who has fallen ill with Ebola, in interview)-"healthy right now"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who's contracted Ebola, says so far his father doesn't have it. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *155 (07/30/14)££ 00:11 "healthy right now"

152-a-09-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who has fallen ill with Ebola, in interview)-"times a day"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who's contracted Ebola, says he's staying on top of her condition. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *152 (07/30/14)££ 00:09 "times a day"

154-a-10-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who has fallen ill with Ebola, in interview)-"case and situation"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who's contracted Ebola, says he's worried that his dad might get it too. COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *154 (07/30/14)££ 00:10 "case and situation"

153-a-15-(Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who has fallen ill with Ebola, in interview)-"get through this"-Jeremy Writebol, son of Nancy Writebol, an American medical missionary in Liberia who's contracted Ebola, calls his mom's condition "stable." COURTESY: NBC's "Today" show ((mandatory on-air credit)) (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *153 (07/30/14)££ 00:15 "get through this"

US-IRAQ-CHRISTIANS

Obama administration is urged to help Christians in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — In daily appeals on the House floor, Congressman Frank Wolf continues to urge the Obama administration to help the tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians who fled for their lives after Islamic State militants seized the city of Mosul last month.

On Wednesday, Wolf said the administration "has to make protecting this ancient community a priority."

This month, virtually all of Mosul's Christians have fled to the Kurdish region of northern Iraq after being ordered to convert to Islam or die. In their hurried flight, thousands of Christians were robbed of the few possessions they carried.

Wolf said the Obama administration needs to ensure that some of the aid now being rushed to Iraq goes to help the Christian community.

Sound:

326-a-03-(U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., in House floor speech)-"Islam, or die"-Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf says Iraqi Christians in Mosul were given a stark choice by Islamic State militants. (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *326 (07/30/14)££ 00:03 "Islam, or die"

327-a-05-(U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., in House floor speech)-"community a priority"-Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf says Mosul's Christians are becoming victims of genocide. (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *327 (07/30/14)££ 00:05 "community a priority"

328-a-06-(U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., in House floor speech)-"the Christian community"-Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf says Christians who have fled to Iraq's Kurdish region need help from the Obama administration. (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *328 (07/30/14)££ 00:06 "the Christian community"

329-a-08-(U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., in House floor speech)-"minorities in Iraq"-Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf says President Obama should denounce the Islamic State militants' extermination of religious minorities. (30 Jul 2014)

<<CUT *329 (07/30/14)££ 00:08 "minorities in Iraq"

UNITED NATIONS-YOM KIPPUR-HOLIDAY

32 nations back Judaism's Yom Kippur as UN holiday

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Thirty-two countries have written to a U.N. General Assembly committee asking the United Nations to recognize Judaism's holiest day, Yom Kippur, as an official holiday.

The letter to the assembly's Committee on Conferences, circulated on Wednesday, says the U.N. "recognizes the major festivals of many of the world's main religions, yet Judaism is not represented."

The letter to the committee was dated June 30, before the current Israeli-Hamas war began. But it was circulated on a particularly tense day between Israel and the U.N.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned an attack on a U.N. school in Gaza that killed at least 17 people early Wednesday, adding that "all available evidence points to Israeli artillery as the cause." Ban, the U.S., and many other nations are demanding an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

IMMIGRANT OVERLOAD-MARYLAND

Md. religious leaders pray for immigrant children

BALTIMORE (AP) — Scores of Baltimore-area religious leaders have held an interfaith prayer vigil for unaccompanied children who arrived in Maryland after fleeing violence in their home countries.

Dozens of religious leaders marched along Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Wednesday to draw attention to the influx of immigrant children into the United States, and specifically into Maryland and Baltimore. In the first seven months of 2014, more than 2,200 unaccompanied immigrant children have been reunited with family members or placed in the homes of sponsors in Maryland.

Linda Hartke, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and one of the rally's organizers, said the march and prayer vigil were designed to show support from the residents of Baltimore, and send a message that the city is welcoming of refugees and immigrants.

CHURCH ABUSE-MINNESOTA

Minnesota archbishop won't resign amid criticism

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he won't resign despite criticism over the archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.

Archbishop John Nienstedt made his comments in a column that will appear in Thursday's archdiocese newspaper, The Catholic Spirit. He says he's bound to stay in office as long as Pope Francis wants.

Nienstedt says he'll continue to apply the hard lessons he's learned over the past months. He says he's never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse. He says he's created a new leadership team that puts victims first. And he maintains he's always been honest with Catholics of the archdiocese.

Nienstedt says he hopes to win back trust.

MILWAUKEE ARCHDIOCESE-BANKRUPTCY

Wis. archdiocese bankruptcy case sent to mediation

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge is sending the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy case to mediation.

Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley said Wednesday that she considers mediation the best bet for resolving the hard-fought, three-year-long case.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it would not have the money to pay if it lost lawsuits filed on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse. More than 500 abuse victims have since filed claims in bankruptcy court.

The mediation will involve attorneys for the archdiocese, sexual abuse victims and others owed money by the archdiocese.

A previous attempt at mediation in 2012 failed.

CHURCH THEFT

Catholic Diocese secretary arrested in thefts

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Police say a former secretary for the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has been arrested after an audit alleged she used a credit card to buy several prepaid debit cards to pay her bills and make other purchases.

Baton Rouge police Cpl. Don Coppola tells The Advocate that 57-year-old Alice Faucheux (FOH'-shay) , the secretary to the superintendent of Catholic Schools, is accused of unauthorized purchases totaling more than $41,000 during a three-year period from 2011 until last month.

Faucheux was booked Tuesday on counts of felony theft and unauthorized use of an access device card.

Donna Carville, spokeswoman for the diocese, said the diocese would not comment on Tuesday's arrest other than to say that Faucheux's employment has been terminated.

MINISTER DEFROCKED

Minister loses ordination amid larceny charges

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A minister who faces larceny charges has been defrocked by the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut.

Rev. Dr. Judy Albeen, the executive minister of the organization, tells The Connecticut Post that the ordination of Robert Genevicz has been removed and the church group no longer recognizes him as a minister.

Genevicz has led the Stratford Baptist church for 16 years. That church said Tuesday it stands behind a previous statement that it fully supports Genevicz and desires that he remains pastor of the church.

The 67-year-old is charged with first-degree larceny in the theft of more than $173,000 from a 71-year old member of the church.

He also is being sued by a Trumbull woman who claims he defrauded her 88-year-old mother out of about $200,000.

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