"> WEEKLY REVIEW: Franklin Graham Banned in UK, Feds Fund Security at Churches, Endowments Balloon, Bob Fu Wins Wilberforce Award – Ministry Watch

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WEEKLY REVIEW: Franklin Graham Banned in UK, Feds Fund Security at Churches, Endowments Balloon, Bob Fu Wins Wilberforce Award

Warren Cole Smith

Franklin Graham Banned In UK.  Evangelist Franklin Graham was banned from a second arena in England on his upcoming summer tour of the United Kingdom.  According to the Charlotte Observer, “Julie Dore, the council leader in Sheffield, cited Graham’s repulsive and discriminatory views about the LGBT community for the June cancellation at Sheffield Arena.”  In response, Graham wrote “a letter to the LGBTQ community in the UK” and posted it to Facebook.  He denied that he would “bring hateful speech to your community. This is just not true.”  He added, “God defines homosexuality as sin. But God goes even further than that, to say that we are all sinners — myself included.” 

Fed Funds for Houses of Worship.  President Trump signed into law the Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019 last week.  The new law authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to set up a grant program that would allow non-profits, including churches to apply for $100,000 grants “for target hardening and other security enhancements to protect against terrorist attacks.”  The bill authorized $375-million for the function.  

Non-Profit Endowments Way Up.  The latest 10-year returns reached 8.4 percent for Fiscal Year 2019, while short-term returns were closer to 5 percent, according to the 2019 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments (NTSE) released this week and reported in the Non-Profit Times.  “The average one-year return was 5.3 percent for Fiscal Year 2019, ending in June, following returns of 8.2 percent in 2018 and 12.2 percent in 2017.  These returns, while strong, lag the advances made by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).  The DJIA returned 22 percent for calendar year 2019, after dropping 5.8 percent in 2018, and up 25 percent in 2017.  According to the Non-Profit Times, “the 774 U.S. colleges, university, and affiliated foundations in the NTSE represented $630 billion in total endowment assets as of June 30, 2019. The median endowment was approximately $144.4 million, and 39 percent of study participants had endowments of $101 million or less.”  Kevin O’Leary, chief executive officer of TIAA Endowment and Philanthropic Services, said lagging the DJIA is not a bad thing for endowment fund managers.  To have gotten those returns would have been to take on a level of risk that is unacceptable for most institutions.  H said, “Portfolios are there to balance what we have — global equity, fixed income, alternatives — it’s all a balance to create consistent returns that will help us match what we need to spend in a year, also safeguard future years spending policies, intergenerational equity.” 

Bob Fu Wins Wilberforce Award.  The Colson Center for Christian Worldview announced today that Bob Fu would receive its annual Wilberforce Award.  The Wilberforce Award goes to a Christian leader who personifies the spirit of 18th and 19th century parliamentarian William Wilberforce, whose work helped to abolish the transatlantic slave trade. Pastor Bob Fu is founder and president of ChinaAid, a Christian “human rights organization committed to promoting religious freedom and the rule of law in China.” It does so by exposing the systematic persecution, harassment, torture, and imprisonment of Chinese Christians and human rights lawyers in China.  Past Wilberforce Award winners have included Alliance Defending Freedom founder Alan Sears, Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, and Princeton professor and religious liberty activist Robert George.   

ECFA Membership Changes.  The following ministries have seen changes to their Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) membership.  Removals:  Cedar Ridge Adventures (Williamsport, Md.), NEXT Worldwide (Flower Mount, Tex.), Family Friendly Radio (Carlinville, Ill).  Additions:  Multnomah University Nevada (Reno, Nev.) 

MinistryWatch Database Updates.  The financial information of the following ministries have been updated in the MinistryWatch database.  Click on the name of the ministry to go to the full MinistryWatch profile.  Our rating of the ministry is in parenthesis (1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being our highest rating).  International Aid (5 stars).  International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (2 stars).  International Justice Mission (2 stars).  International Messengers (4 stars).  International Needs (4 stars).  One Collective (4 stars).  Interserve/International Service (3 stars).

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Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren previously served as Vice President of WORLD News Group, publisher of WORLD Magazine and has more than 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, marketing professional, and entrepreneur. Before launching a career in Christian journalism 20 years ago, Smith spent more than seven years as the Marketing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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