HOUSTON (AP) - Southern Baptist pastors from around the nation are meeting in Houston in advance of their denomination's annual conference starting Tuesday.
The Southern Baptist Convention, with nearly 16 million members, remains the nation's largest Protestant denomination, but membership declined slightly last year and baptisms fell by 5.5 percent.
At the pastors conference Sunday evening, Pastor Gregg Matte of Houston's First Baptist Church said, "Our country is in trouble, our churches are in trouble, our pastors are in trouble." He said, "We need more Jesus."
Southern Baptists are expected to pass a resolution urging congregations to end their sponsorship of Boy Scout troops now that gay youths will be allowed to join. Church leaders also are worried about growing acceptance of gay marriage and government requiring some religious institutions to provide contraception coverage.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan authorities say a battle with insurgents near Kabul's international airport has ended and all the attackers have been killed. A Ministry of Interior spokesman says two civilians were wounded in Monday's attack that was apparently targeting NATO's airport headquarters. The attackers had rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles and at least one large bomb.
A deputy Kabul police chief says there were seven attackers. Two blew themselves up with suicide vests and five were shot and killed by police.
It was unclear if the attack had damaged facilities inside the airport. The attackers had taken over a four- to five- story building under construction nearby.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
It was the latest in a series of attacks against the capital this year.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants lawmakers to return to Springfield later this month, but some legislators aren't sure why.
Quinn released a statement Thursday criticizing lawmakers for failing to address the state's nearly 100-billion dollar pension shortfall and calling a special session which begins June 19th. The announcement follows news that Moody's Investors Service is lowering Illinois' credit rating. But a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says he believes the special session is to deal with guns, not pensions.
Quinn is currently considering conceal-carry legislation that was passed last week. Quinn hasn't said if he'll sign the plan. If he vetoes it, lawmakers could override the veto.