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Billy Graham association laying off nearly 50

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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) - The Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is laying off nearly 50 workers, or about 10 percent of its staff, as it shifts focus to its online ministry and other initiatives.

The Charlotte Observer reports this is the second time in three years that the 62-year-old organization has cut jobs.

Spokesman Brent Rhinehart says some of the affected employees will work through mid-March, while others will stay on into June. Fewer than 20 of the layoffs will affect the association's Charlotte operations.

The organization currently has roughly 500 employees spread across dozens of programs, ranging from the Billy Graham Library to online evangelism.

Rhinehart says the workers losing their jobs are getting severance packages and career assistance.

About 55 workers were let go in 2009.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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