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Pennsylvania pastor and church charged in mock raid, kidnapping

(RNS) It was supposed to be a realistic lesson on the dangers missionaries face overseas. Now a church faces kidnapping and assault charges after a mock raid terrorized a youth group participant. By Monica Von Dobeneck. 
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Mormons and Baptists compete for converts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) Every year, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend tens of millions of dollars to spread their takes on Christianity. They rely heavily on thousands of faithful volunteers willing to spread out across the country to share their faith. By Bob Smietana.
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Missionary fellowship put big emphasis on the littlest converts

WARRENTON, Mo. (RNS) "Ask at what age a Christian formed a relationship with Jesus Christ, and 85 percent will say before their 15th birthday," says Reese Kauffman, president of Child Evangelism Fellowship. The Missouri-based group spends $5 million on its international missions, focusing especially on children. By Tim Townsend.
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For Mitt Romney and other Mormons, missions are a ‘refiner’s fire’

(RNS) Mitt Romney was a lukewarm Mormon before leaving for a 30-month missionary stint in France at age 19. He came back on fire for his faith and a budding leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney's experience is common among Mormons, where the most ardent converts are often the missionaries themselves. By Daniel Burke.
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Church’s mock raid leaves teen traumatized

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (RNS) A fake terrorist raid staged to show Christian teenagers the perils faced by Christian missionaries left one 14-year-old girl so traumatized that her mother filed a report with the police, claiming her daughter suffered a busted lip and bruised knees. By Ed Komenda.
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