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Christianity and TV

Reza Aslan’s recent column on how to communicate Islam (“Watching TV helped me see America. Can it help America see Muslims?,” Sept. 12)brought several thoughts to mind. The first is to congratulate Reza on understanding the best way to influence people is through storytelling. His idea of a network sitcom featuring an Islamic central character is brilliant. The second thought is that an even rarer network show would be one featuring an actual believing Christian. While Reza found television helped him see America, it…

Pope Francis: It is a sin to use Christianity to judge and exclude

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must be on guard and avoid the temptation of thinking themselves better than others, an attitude that risks turning the church into a place of “separation and not communion,” Pope Francis said. “Let us ask for the grace to overcome the temptation to judge and to categorize,” the pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square Sept. 26 during his Sunday Angelus address. “And may God preserve us from the ‘nest’ mentality, that of jealously guarding ourselves in the…

The Devout Beauty and Horror of Midnight Mass’ Christianity – Paste Magazine

The best place to find engrossing religious stories on television right now is in horror. It might be easy or even fashionable to suggest that’s because organized religion is a horror show itself, preying upon vulnerable people and enacting atrocities for centuries. But that’s not what’s going on here—at least, not entirely. Series like Midnight Mass (Netflix) and Evil (Paramount+) are more interested in investigating the quandary of what it really looks like, practically, when the mundane meets the divine; those thin places in…

Man charged with murdering mother because she converted to Christianity

A 27-year-old man from northern Israel was charged on Monday with murdering his mother and hiding her body last month, after she converted from Islam to Orthodox Christianity. According to the charge sheet, Rasha Muklasha, 46, left her husband and severed ties with her five children — including the suspect, Muad Hib — in 2006. She then moved from the town of Zarzir to Nof HaGalil and converted to Christianity. Recently, she resumed contact with her children following the death of her ex-husband. Prosecutors allege that her…

COLUMN: Evangelical Christianity, Freewill Individualism and Medicaid

Robert P. Jones is CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute. Jones’s family moved to Jackson in 1975 as he entered the third grade. He grew up in Woodville Heights Baptist church, graduated from Forrest Hill High School, and majored in Computing Science and Mathematics at Mississippi College. Jones then went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree, then on to Emory University for a Ph.D. in religion. Jones’s personal experience and education combine to give him…

Christians, religious minorities in Afghanistan now face greater danger under Taliban rule

The highly criticized United States withdrawal from Afghanistan leaves local Christians and many other religious minority groups fearful following the Taliban takeover of the country. Before the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, the country ranked second on an annual report of countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution released by Open Doors. NIKKI HALEY SLAMS BIDEN FOR NOT PUBLICLY DEMANDING UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ‘NOT RECOGNIZE’ THE TALIBAN The international NGO advocating on behalf of persecuted Christians, also found that there was a 60%…

Moroccan Christians Welcome End of a Decade of Islamist Government | News & Reporting

For the first time in his life, Rachid Imounan cast a vote—and overturned Morocco’s Islamist-oriented government. He is not alone. Turnout surged to 50 percent as liberals routed the Justice and Development Party (PJD), which led the North African nation’s parliament the past 10 years. Its share of the 395-seat legislature dropped from 125 to 13. The PJD finished eighth overall. “We thank Jesus, the Islamists are gone,” said Imounan, a church planter who lives in the southern city of Agadir. “God answered our…

The Trump prophets regroup

This spring, media mogul Stephen E. Strang made an unusual apology to readers in the pages of his glossy magazine. Strang presides over a multimillion-dollar Pentecostal publishing empire, Charisma Media, which includes a daily news site, podcasts, a mobile app and blockbuster books. At 70, he is a CEO, publisher and seasoned author in his own right. Despite all that, Strang worried something had gone awry. “I’ve never been a prophet,” he wrote in a pleading March editor’s note. “But there were a number…

What’s True About Christian Fiction

Danyell didn’t like This Present Darkness. In fact, she hated it. The 1986 novel by Frank Peretti tells the story of demons invading a classic American small town until the local Christians are roused to prayer. The book was wildly popular when it came out, and after more than 30 years, it still sells about 8,000 new copies annually. There are a lot of readers who really love This Present Darkness. For some, it’s changed the way they pray. It has shaped their understanding…

Christianity without the cross is ‘sterile,’ pope says in Slovakia

PREŠOV, Slovakia (CNS) — Falling into the temptation of rejecting the cross and choosing a triumphalist form of Christianity leads to a faith that is superficial and sterile, Pope Francis said. Presiding over a Divine Liturgy Sept. 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Pope Francis said that although God saved humanity by “allowing the evil of our world to be unleashed upon himself,” the world views the cross as a “failure.” Christians too, he warned, can also fall into the…

Pope criticizes politicization of Christianity

ROME — Pope Francis rejected in stark terms Tuesday the use of the cross as a political tool, an apparent swipe at nationalist forces in Europe and beyond that have used the imagery of Christianity for personal gain. “Let us not reduce the cross to an object of devotion, much less to a political symbol, to a sign of religious and social status,” Francis said in eastern Slovakia during a four-day visit to that country and to Hungary, his first trip since undergoing intestinal…

Judaism, Christianity and Islam can play a key role together: Aram I addresses international forum ahead of G20 Summit

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia was a keynote speaker at a forum in Italy, which took place from September 10 to 14, ahead of the G20 Summit of world leaders. Speaking to more than 300 high-ranking political, diplomatic, academic and religious leaders from around the world at what is known as the G20 Interfaith Summit, Aram I discussed the role of religion resolving conflicts in the Arab World. Saying dialogue among various religions can contribute to the establishment…

Can God be found outside Christianity? – Baptist News Global

A few weeks ago, I attended my very first “energy workshop.” It’s taken years of deconstruction and healing from religious trauma for me to open up and allow myself to explore the energy work of more Buddhist traditions. My former beliefs taught me that, at best, it was too “woo-woo,” too “new age” or too “out there,” and at worst, that you were opening yourself up to demonic powers and/or participating in “devil worship.” The reality was, I knew nothing about Buddhist teachings. Everything…

Card. Koch: Pope seeks to deepen bonds of friendship between Christianity and Judaism

By Vatican News staff writer Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has written to two Jewish leaders, addressing concerns about the Pope’s catechesis during a recent General Audience. The Cardinal’s letter, written at the direction of Pope Francis, comes in response to Rabbi Rasson Arussi’s letter, dated 12 August, and Rabbi David Fox Sandmel’s letter, dated 24 August, in which they both referred to Pope Francis’ catechesis at the General Audience of 11 August, during which the…

The afterlife is having a moment. ‘Beyond’ will help Christians and nonbelievers alike discuss what lies beyond the grave

The afterlife is having a moment. In the past two years, no fewer than three well-publicized books by prominent intellectuals have explored the history and ethics of heaven and hell. While David Bentley Hart sought to challenge the justice of eternal damnation in That All Shall Be Saved and Bart Ehrman argued in Heaven and Hell that Christianity invented its afterlife with scant help from Jesus, Catherine Wolff’s new book Beyond is a gentler and more personal journey. In it, she mixes well-written impressionistic…

A consideration of Christianity that allows for little disagreement

RELIGION Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World Greg Sheridan Allen & Unwin, $32.99 There is so much beauty and warmth in this heartfelt book that its shortcomings become all the more painful. Greg Sheridan is an intelligent Christian with deep concerns for the wellbeing of the human family. He believes that Christianity is second to none as a resource for healing a broken world. Christians goes over many of the issues and arguments to be found in God is Good For…

He Is the Way: A Convert’s Journey to Christianity

The following is an excerpt from Jeff King’s upcoming devotional book focused on spiritual lessons from the persecuted. For information about pre-orders, please contact moreinfo@persecution.org. 09/09/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29 (NLT) The simple meaning of the above verse is often lost on Western…

Billy Boyd Lavender’s newly released “The Father’s Secret: A Modern Perspective on Ancient Prophecy” is a thought-provoking discussion of Biblical prophecy

MEADVILLE, Pa., Sept. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — “The Father’s Secret: A Modern Perspective on Ancient Prophecy”: a gripping examination of prophetic writings and personal study. “The Father’s Secret: A Modern Perspective on Ancient Prophecy” is the creation of published author Billy Boyd Lavender. Lavender shares, “Like sands through an hourglass, there will come a time when our Father in heaven will reveal the secret that only he holds—not the Son, nor the angels but the Father only. That moment in this day and the hour…

Opinion | Christian Exemptions to Vaccine Mandates Lack Sound Basis

Vaccine hesitancy has never been a core religious belief of evangelical Christians. The vast majority of evangelicals have historically chosen to be immunized against polio, measles, tetanus and other diseases. As a child, I attended evangelical summer camps that required vaccinations, and as an adult, I worked for ministries with similar mandates. Some conservative evangelicals just don’t like the political taste of this particular vaccine on the menu. Even if we grant that individual Christians sincerely (though mistakenly) believe that their religious faith prohibits…

New book discusses all about the end times and the exclusiveness of Israel in the Bible – Yahoo Finance

‘Biblical Eschatology: A Study on the End Times and The Exclusiveness of Israel in the Bible.’ released PYEONGTAEK, South Korea ” have spent most of my life studying the ‘doctrines of men’ in one form or fashion. However, it was not until I had finished my doctorate, that a Bible verse had gotten stuck in my head and just did not go away. For about two weeks, I let that verse roll around in my head, and then I decided to find out just…

John Patrick Grace: Theological seminars discuss trends in Christianity

WASHINGTON — Ecumenical dialog among the churches, ways of identifying and combating racism and the question of prayer and its power: What could possibly be the connection among these three issues? Answer: My brief “summer residency” for the online master’s of catechesis curriculum at the Catholic University of America (CUA) here. The blending of the three themes made for a compelling two and a half days in the nation’s capital, which is still recovering from the ravages of the Jan. 6 riot aimed at…

Principles of Christianity built this nation

On July 4th we are celebrating the birth of our nation, a nation that was founded more than 200 years ago. The United States of America has been the brightest beacon of hope and freedom in the world. Our founding fathers built our nation on the principles of life, freedom of speech and religion, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Many of our countrymen have given their lives for these principles in the name of freedom. Without them our nation would not be the…

Christianity and patriotism

As the 4th of July approaches my mind is drawn to our country and how to best help it. Like many of you, I am an American by birth and a Christian by grace. How does a Christian, a citizen of a heavenly, eternal kingdom bless the temporal kingdom or nation where he has earthly citizenship? I think of a man in my church named Rod. He is a citizen of Peru by birth and a citizen of the U.S. by choice. At 28…

Why the Chinese Communist Party Fears Religion

In 2018, the Vatican signed a deal with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), attempting to regularize the status of the underground church. The details of the arrangement were kept secret from the laity. Three years later, however, the repression of Christians, whatever their denomination, is at its highest point since the Cultural Revolution. As the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its centenary, Christianity—and other faiths—remain among the challengers it fears most. Religious controls have been part of communist practice since the foundation of the People’s…

Christians, let’s stop fighting each other and serve our neighbors in need instead

A few weeks ago, I invited an influential evangelical pastor in Northern California to tour a local Bethany Christian Services location and meet with our social workers. We talked about a variety of things, including care for parents facing an unintended pregnancy, children waiting for adoptive homes, the foster care crisis in America, and welcoming our neighbors who are refugees or unaccompanied children. We discussed another interesting topic as well. I asked, “How can we help Christians move forward in unity for the sake of…

Orbán: “Christianity has created the free man, the family and the nation”

(This article is a translation of an original interview by Branimir Stanić and Ivan Tašev) Earlier this month Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán—long maligned by the Brussels machine as an authoritarian reactionary inside the ever-so-progressive European Union—gave an interview to the Croatian Catholic weekly Glas Koncila (The Voice of the Council, 20 June 2021). Orbán made several important points in the course of this interview: on the civilizational challenges currently facing Europe (including immigration), on national sovereignty challenged by Brussels, and on the nature of politics…

For some evangelical Christians, climate action is a God-given mandate

The first time I interviewed Matt Humphrey,we were driving in his pickup truck through southern British Columbia, passing fields and forests, only three miles from the U.S. border. Humphrey, then 31 years old, is a father of three and an evangelical Christian with a keen appreciation for the Bible. He is also an environmentalist, one who believes fighting climate change is a moral duty.  On the 18-acre property we were heading to, Humphrey and others from an evangelical Christian group called A Rocha (pronounced…

Christian Nonprofit Challenges City’s ‘Obvious And Unconstitutional Discrimination’ Against Christians

A Christian nonprofit reportedly challenged Boston’s “obvious and unconstitutional discrimination” against a Christian organization at the Supreme Court. The Christian Post said the Florida-based legal organization Liberty Counsel has filed a petition at the United States Supreme Court against the city of Boston for denying the Christian organization Camp Constitution from flying their flag during the group’s 2017 Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Per the report, Camp Constitution requested Boston’s City Hall’s permission to do so but was denied it, even though the city approved other…

Christianity’s Most Famous Beer Enthusiasts

Christians and beer have a complicated relationship. In recent decades, many conservative evangelical camps have deemed alcohol consumption to be a cultural no-no, relegating it somewhere between church taboo and sinful behavior. However, craft beer in Christianity is making a comeback as a new generation (many of whom were raised by teetotalers) is now setting their own rules for church. However, abstinence from alcohol wasn’t always the norm in Christian communities (after all, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine). For centuries, alcohol—especially…

Mohler: Religious liberty vital to Christianity

By ERIN ROACH, Baptist Press NASHVILLE (BP) – A theology of conversion, such as Christianity, necessitates religious liberty because regeneration of the heart cannot be achieved by coercion, Albert Mohler said Tuesday (June 15) during “Baptists Thinking Biblically: A Conversation on Religious Liberty.” The late-night event, hosted by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at the Music City Center in Nashville, featured Mohler, Southern’s president, and Andrew Walker, associate professor of Christian ethics and apologetics and associate dean of the school of theology at Southern. “In…

Colorado Springs apocalypse symposium reflects on end of world

Signs of the apocalypse are everywhere. Or, at least, the signs of people’s interest in the end of the world are everywhere. No matter if you’re religious, you’ve likely contemplated the idea of the end times. Will there be such a thing? And if so, what exactly will plunge us into the final dark night of our souls? When? Will there be an after party? The apocalyptic worldview is easy to spot in pop culture. Think of the vast number of dystopian novels, such…

Christians and Israel – Council on Foreign Relations

How will Christian supporters of Israel react to the replacement of former prime minister Netanyahu with a new and very different Israeli coalition? A new letter from a broad and potent group of Christian leaders appears to give the answer. Led by the Philos Project, which is “dedicated to promoting positive Christian engagement in the Near East,” the letter is signed by dozens of Christian leaders from very mixed ethnic and denominational backgrounds. Certainly their followers are in the tens of million, many times…

Uncovering the Mystery Behind Election Prophecy Failure of 2020

Rev. Victor Vidal’s new book, “How Are the Mighty Fallen?” discusses the reasons behind the prophetic failure of election results by some Evangelical pastors. He explains the reason that led to the false prophecy and offers solutions. The book outlines different challenges within the church regarding apostasy, false doctrines, worshipping of idols, conspiracy theories, and the danger of preaching the gospel of politicians instead of the gospel of Christ. In view of the challenges facing the church today, the author is concerned about Christians…

Chinese Communist Party-linked newspaper highlights political cartoon mocking Christianity, West after G-7

A Chinese Communist Party-linked newspaper is highlighting an anti-Christian, anti-West political cartoon deriding the U.S. as “feeble” and destined for death. “The Last G-7” shows the U.S. and other G-7 nations depicted as animals bustling over a table where toxic wine and a China-shaped cake are being served. India and Australia, regional rivals of China, are also present, as an elephant and kangaroo. “Through this, we can still rule the world,” the caption reads. The Global Times, an English-language newspaper with ties to China’s…

White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity

Robert P. Jones Simon & Schuster, 320 pages Reviewed by L. Ted Smith Robert Jones, the founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, writes from the perspective of history, theology and current public opinion survey to illumine the unsettling truth of American Christianity’s relationship with white supremacy. Jones, a son of the American South who was raised in the Evangelical tradition, also writes this book as part-memoir, sharing his journey and his own coming to grips with the legacy of racism that…

Do Christians fuel political conflict? This Bush admin alum says yes

In America today, people’s worst impulses seem to be winning out. Democrats and Republicans don’t just disagree, they despise each other. The COVID-19 pandemic has become part of the culture wars, instead of a shared foe. Americans, in general, are suffering from a breakdown in relationships. There’s growing racial, economic and social unrest. In the past, the country could have relied on people of faith to help tone down incivility and mend partisan rifts. But in 2021, Christians are instead embracing the destructive behavior…

How White Nationalists Weaponize Christianity To Galvanize The Far-Right

Self-proclaimed “Christian Nationalists” in the America First movement are exploiting religious beliefs to garner broader support within the GOP. President Donald J. Trump stages a photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church after violently clearing protestors in nearby Lafayette Square Sunday evening, June 1, 2020. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead) Alexander Reid Ross holds a PhD from the Earth, Environment, Society program at Portland State University where he teaches in the Geography Department. He is a Graduate Fellow at the…

Suzi Q. Smith Ponders the End Times in Her New Poetry Collection

Illustration by Peter Strain Suzi Q. Smith’s new book, Poems for the End of the World, may seem like a macabre manifesto born from the pandemic. But the Denverite wrote many of the verses in 2019, responding to earlier global and personal upheaval: The Amazon rainforest was on fire, her daughter was headed to college, and Smith had recently left her position as executive director of nonprofit Poetry Slam Inc., which shuttered soon after. “I was spending time in gardens and thinking about how…

Missionary parents teach ‘active Christianity’ and sacrifice to kids

By MYRIAH SNYDER, IMB Wesley and Emily Smyth* are raising their four children to understand that the Christian life is supposed to be active, self-giving and about glorifying God and serving others. “The children have an idea of purpose,” Emily said. “We’re not saved to just absorb, be fed and have programs that cater to our needs. Being a Christian means serving the body of Christ and those without Him.” The Smyths have taught their kids this truth by example. Now associate area directors…

Prophetic prayer leaders backing awakening prayer movement

Awakening Prayer Hubs storming the nations with intercessor prayer against coronavirus, racism and more. With the world’s spiritual crisis worsening, Awakening Prayer Hubs, a prayer movement contending for awakening and transforming revival in the nations, is transforming prayer warriors into prayer heroes in their cities. And intercessory prayer generals are supporting the efforts. Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City says: “Awakening Prayer Hubs is a strong expression of bringing prayer to the local level so that intercessors can…

COVID lockdown for Victoria – no church services, no weddings, and strict measures for funerals

A counterfeit form of Christianity is more popular than the real thing, according to respected researcher Dr George Barna. “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” is a worldview that is defined and driven by current culture, more than by historic religious truths or a comprehensive and coherent doctrine, according to Barna. In other words, it is the sort of Christianity that lots of people want. George Barna was the founder of The Barna Group, a well-regarded market research firm specialising in studying the religious beliefs and behavior…

Billy Graham’s Granddaughter Cissie Lynch Talks About Dangers Of Progressive Christianity

Cissie Graham Lynch discusses the hidden danger of progressive Christianity in her most recent “Fearless” podcast. Noting that some Christians, particularly younger ones, are enamored in a spiritual movement that offers a “feel-good appeal and freedom based on relative truth,” Lynch sought the opinion of someone who had firsthand experience of it. Alisa Childers, a former member of ZOEgirl, was invited to her pastor’s Bible study. She was puzzled when he urged the group to reject Biblical truth. Her most recent book, “Another Gospel?” chronicles…

Homelessness Is Vexing American Cities. Do Christians Have a Solution?

Across the country, American cities are unsuccessfully grappling with how best to address homelessness. This month, Austin criminalized sitting, lying, or camping in public. Sausalito, an upscale community in the Bay Area canceled its annual art festival when its location conflicted with the proposed place to relocate the homeless population that is currently living on the city’s waterfront. Los Angeles is considering moving forward with establishing a government-funded tent encampment. Nationally, here’s how The New York Times summed it up in March of this…

When Americans tried – and failed – to reunite Christianity

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther, a German monk, initiated a split in Christianity that came to be known as the Protestant Reformation. After the Reformation, deep divisions between Protestants and Catholics contributed to wars, hostility and violence in Europe and America. For centuries, each side denounced the other and sought to convert its followers. Then, in the early 1900s, ambitious Protestants in the U.S. attempted the unthinkable. Building on ideas circulating in Europe, they took charge of an effort to negotiate the reunion…

Evangelicals give Christianity a bad name | Opinion

For a president of the United States, Joe Biden did something highly unusual this week: something I’d bet you never even heard of — till now. On Tuesday evening, around 6 p.m., he skipped out of the White House, hopped on Marine One, helicoptered up to his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, for what the White House only described as a “local stop,” spent less than an hour, and was back in the White House by 9 p.m. Mystery solved. With no publicity, Biden had…

I Am Sophia: A ‘visionary’ new novel about Christianity’s future

A 2021 Gallup survey found that less than half of Americans now claim membership in a religious congregation for the first time in history. I Am Sophia, a new novel by Episcopalian author J. F. Alexander, imagines a not-so-distant future in which organized religion is gasping its last breath. When a mysterious and charismatic woman insinuates herself into a fringe religious group, its dozen members wonder whether she is a lunatic, a con artist, or a messiah. Sophia quickly upends the routines and expectations…

Why Christians Should be Troubled by the New “God Bless the USA Bible”

A newly-licensed “God Bless the USA Bible”—billed as “the ultimate American Bible”—includes between its covers, in addition to holy Scripture: the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as the handwritten chorus to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” Elite Source Pro, along with other producers of custom Bibles, is allowed to license the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible from Zondervan for private use. (Zondervan owns the rights to the NIV, a…

For Cosmopolitan Christians, Secular Approval Is a Common Temptation

A few years ago, I was asked to speak about the gospel’s justice imperative at a local Christian high school. Upon arrival, I was escorted through campus by a young administrator, who thanked me for coming to engage a topic the school’s elders had ignored for too long. With Dietrich Bonhoeffer–like resolve, he and another young teacher confided that they were subversively trying to change the culture at the school. I immediately, and perhaps hastily, commended their efforts. The truth is, too many Christian…

Thom McCombs: Christianity by love or by law?

Christianity has fallen far in America. Even after Christian missionaries blessed The Conquest … Even after Christian preachers hanged witches and defended slavery … Even after Christian leaders blessed our unjust wars against “godless commies” … Christianity in America had further to fall. Rather than setting any high moral tone for America through advancing peace, forgiveness and non-violence (you know, Christian virtues) locally and nationally, American Christianity instead chose power, greed, lust, hatred, violence, misogyny and spite through supporting the presidency of Donald Trump.…

The decline of Christianity in Pakistan

Christians make up 1.27 percent of Pakistan’s population of 207.68 million. In 1998, the official estimate of the figure was 1.59 percent. In 1947, when modern Pakistan was formed, non-Muslims made up 23 percent with 27 million people. While the analysts worry about the country’s exploding population, church leaders should worry about the fleeing faithful. Without going into the rhetoric of discrimination and misuse of blasphemy laws, let us read another story from the May 18 edition of Daily Samaa, an Urdu periodical published…

Why is the left so fearful of Christians?

Many on the left today want to muzzle conservative Christians in America — and they’re being motivated by a dangerous combination of fear and ideological fanaticism reminiscent of oppressive and regressive authoritarian regimes. I remember being in Moscow back in August of 1991 when President Mikhail Gorbachev was put under house arrest. It was a failed coup attempt orchestrated by hardline communists in the Soviet Union’s government and military leadership. At the time, residents were being told that Mr. Gorbachev was ill. In reality,…

‘Christians and Vaccine’ project: Combating ethical qualms of evangelical communities

The thrust of a new campaign to persuade mostly white born-again and evangelical Christians who have been unwilling to get Covid-19 vaccinations is a variation on the Golden Rule — do it for others if you won’t do it for yourself. And the main driver behind the Christians and the Vaccine project backs up his contention that that is what Jesus would do by both citing the Bible and tapping the expertise of secular public health experts like Dr. Francis Collins, who heads the…

Letter: Not my Christianity

To the editor: I was disturbed at Lisa Monet Zarza’s comment in the April 9 article about Northfield revoking Alibi at Froggy Bottom’s liquor license. She said during a public hearing: “I am a Christian, and I believe our country is under attack.” While her two points could be unrelated, readers might conclude that Zarza was citing her religious faith to justify breaking the law. I say, “That’s not my Christianity.” During Jesus Christ’s mortal life, Roman yoke and oppression was greatly hated by…

Letter: Evangelical refusal of vaccine is not in line with Christianity

The lead editorial in the April 10 edition of the Buffalo News was titled “The evangelical resistance.” After reading that editorial, which discussed the refusal of many evangelical Christians to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, I was reminded of something that Gandhi said about Christians. He said, “I like your Christ, but not your Christianity.” The editorial was an excellent commentary on the sad mind set of many so-called Christians in today’s day and age. When I attended Cardinal O’Hara High School back…

Is the Supreme Court biased in favor of conservative Christianity?

The Supreme Court has yet to issue a ruling in its biggest religion case this term, but a new report makes a victory for the Catholic foster care agency involved feel like a foregone conclusion. The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, shows that advocates of religious rights have logged an 81% success rate before the Supreme Court in the 16 years since Chief Justice John Roberts took the helm. “Plainly, the Roberts court has…

Is magic immoral? It played a role in the development of early Christianity

Americans are fascinated by magic. TV shows like “WandaVision” and “The Witcher,” books like the Harry Potter series, plus comics, movies and games about people with powers that can’t be explained by God, science or technology, have all been wildly popular for years. Modern pop culture is a testament to how enchanted people are by the thought of gaining special control over an uncertain world. “Magic” is often defined in the West as evil or separate from “civilized” religions like Christianity and also from…

Israel at 73 is a fulfillment of Bible Prophecy

Listen to Today’s Program JD: One week after Holocaust Remembrance Day, Independence Day the celebration of the 73rd birthday of the Jewish State of Israel. That’s another very special day to Jewish people isn’t it? WM: Yes of course. It is in fact the opposite end of the pole of Holocaust Day. We are free. We are liberated. We’re able to have an army, a government, a judiciary and that’s the way it should be. A family of nations. One nation earning the respect for what…

Christian nationalism not Christianity, church leader says

Following the deadly insurrection at the Capitol in January, some people of faith feel it is time to take action against the philosophy of Christian nationalism. What You Need To Know  An expert says Christian nationalism played a role in the Jan. 6, Capitol riots “Christian nationalism desires a fusion between Christianity and American civic life,” sociologist and author Andrew Whitehead says Some local church leaders are spreading the message of Christians against Christian nationalism Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis,…

Why Christianity put away its dancing shoes – only to find them again centuries later

In the PBS documentary series “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,” scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. shows how African Americans introduced new rhythms, music and dance to Christianity from the days of slavery to the present. African American spirituals and the ring shout, a type of religious dance, provided some enslaved people with hope and perseverance. While the Black Church enlivened Christian worship, there is an even older story of Christian dance that I tell in my 2021 book,…

The Evangelicals’ Trump Obsession Has Tarnished Christianity

The recent death of Christian evangelist Luis Palau, the “Billy Graham of Latin America,” has me thinking about how the Trump era has affected the ability of Christians to share the good news about Jesus’ salvation with a diverse and skeptical world. According to his New York Times obituary, Palau “was especially aware of the common assumption that evangelicals are rabid right-wingers,” so he sought to compensate by holding “festivals” in progressive cities. “In New England, when you say ‘Christian,’ they think ‘those maniacs…

Opinion | Progressive Christians Arise! Hallelujah!

The Rev. William Barber, a leader of the Poor People’s Campaign, told me, “Some folks hijacked Christianity and decided that they were going to put up a lot of money to promote the idea that to be a person of faith was to be anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-gun, pro-tax cut.” Barber calls that “theological malpractice.” Jerushah Duford, a granddaughter of the Rev. Billy Graham, agrees: “We have seen homophobia, hostility toward women’s rights, xenophobia and lack of concern for the poor.” She compares the damage…

Atlanta Shooter’s Church Ties Raise Questions for Pastors

As Christians all across the country are processing this week’s events involving the acts of Robert Aaron Long, our heads are filled with questions. Along with the media and the rest of Americans, we mourn the victims and wonder about this shooter’s motivation, in hopes that understanding what led him to his confusion and violence could help us prevent others from taking harmful action to themselves and others. With the details reported so far, we’re unpacking possible factors around gun culture, perceptions of Asian…

The Equality Act Through the Eyes of a Christian College President

Last month, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Equality Act. If passed, the bill would amend the Civil Rights Act to add sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity to its list of protected classes. The bill has broad implications on the rules for employment, housing, education, nonprofit groups that receive federal funds, and other areas. Many Christian leaders have opposed the bill but say they support expanding federal protections against discrimination. One example is Shirley Hoogstra, the president of the Council of…

Is COVID-19 God’s Punishment? African Christians Debate as Their Presidents Die

The Tanzanian government confirmed today that President John Magufuli has died. “It is sad news. Our beloved president passed on at 6 p.m. this evening,” said Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who per the East African nation’s constitution will now become its first female president. “We have lost our courageous leader. All flags will be flown at half mast for 14 days.” What officials did not confirm was weeks of speculation by opposition leaders and regional media that the 62-year-old had contracted COVID-19. The…

Bible prophecy: Middle East heading towards war with Israel, Christian conspiracists claim

Pastor Paul Begley addresses ‘end of the world’ claims The Bible’s chapters are chock-full of prophecies describing the final days before the promised Second Coming of the Messiah. Passages in the New Testament speak of wars and rumours of wars, natural cataclysms and the persecution of Christians in the End Days. Scripture in the Book of Revelation speaks of catastrophes that will befall the Earth when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are set loose. Related articles But the Bible also speaks of a…

Christian prophets within the 21st century

Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities anointed by God to believers who receive His grace of salvation. Examples include words of wisdom or knowledge, the gifts of healing or miracles, discernment of spirits, speaking or interpretation of tongues and prophecy. Although the theological debate about whether using spiritual gifts continues, these talents are given by God to His creation. Cary Balzer, professor of biblical studies at John Brown University, certainly believes in the existence of spiritual gifts and urges the personal use of everyone’s gifts.…

‘It looks like the end of the world’: China’s worst sandstorm in a decade chokes Beijing

China’s capital city woke up to yellow skies Monday as the biggest sandstorm the country has seen in a decade swept through it, sparking new health fears. The thick brown dust shrouded Beijing‘s iconic landmarks, including the Forbidden City, and downtown skyscrapers at times disappeared from view, enveloped by clouds of sand. The visibility in the capital was reduced to less than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), China’s English-language news agency CGTN reported, forcing residents who dared venture outside to wear improvised headgear to protect…

Black Christians discuss how faith informs their stances on abortion

For Cherilyn Holloway, her support of Black Lives Matter has everything to do with her stance on abortion. When Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, Holloway made a point to discuss the tragedy with her sons. “Here’s a man who was shot in the street, he couldn’t defend himself, the same way a baby can’t defend themselves in the womb,” she said. “Because they both are lives, and both are lives that matter. And the issue…

Clergy Preach Faith in the Covid Vaccine to Doubters

Black churches have formed pandemic-fighting national networks with a single-mindedness that mirrors their embrace of civil rights issues. A Florida task force led by Black churches has linked arms with historically black colleges and universities, offering sanctuaries as vaccination sites. The Black Coalition Against Covid-19 put out guidelines for faith leaders with tips about the pandemic and vaccination. The Rev. Matthew L. Watley of Kingdom Fellowship A.M.E. Church in Silver Spring, Md., which shares vaccine information with congregations nationwide, bluntly confronts the Black community’s…

A look at how Christianity elevated children

Editor’s note: Columns in the Faith section reflect opinions and perspectives of the writer and are not necessarily those of The Republic. Christmas has passed, but Jesus’ birth continues to reverberate through time. What impact has the birth of Jesus had on us, our culture, and our morality? Much of what we take for granted today is the direct or indirect result of the rise of Christianity, including “just war” theory, the equality of men and women before God, the abolition of slavery, the…

After Israel, Will Morocco Normalize with Christians?

President Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords have been singular in focus—build Middle East peace upon Arab states establishing full relations with Israel. And although not officially linked, three of the four nations to normalize with the Jewish state this year received something from the United States in return. The first, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was cleared to purchase American F-35 fighter jets. (The second, Bahrain, which already hosts a US naval base, is understood to be part of a gradual Gulf alignment with Israel.)…

A Christian Insurrection

Updated 1:36 p.m. Eastern on January 8, 2020. The name of God was everywhere during Wednesday’s insurrection against the American government. The mob carried signs and flag declaring Jesus saves! and God, Guns & Guts Made America, Let’s Keep All Three. Some were participants in the Jericho March, a gathering of Christians to “pray, march, fast, and rally for election integrity.” After calling on God to “save the republic” during rallies at state capitols and in D.C. over the past two months, the marchers…

We Worship with the Magi, Not MAGA

Yesterday, January 6, was the Feast of Epiphany, when Christians celebrate how the light of Christ spreads to all nations. The season of Epiphany—also called Theophany in the East—focuses on Jesus’ revelation of his true identity to all the world. In the West, it centers on the stories of the Magi (who represent the nations or the Gentiles) finding Jesus through their mysterious stargazing. In the weeks ahead, the Epiphany season recalls the baptism of Christ and the wedding at Cana, Jesus’ first miracle.…

Trump Is Banned on Facebook ‘at Least’ Until His Term is Over

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook on Thursday said it will block President Trump on its platforms at least until the end of his term on Jan. 20, as much of the mainstream online world moved forcefully to limit the president after years of inaction. But Twitter, which had locked Mr. Trump’s account on Wednesday for posts that violated its rules, lifted the suspension, allowing the president to tweet. Late on Thursday, Mr. Trump marked his return to social media by posting a two minute 41…

Trump-inspired Washington chaos unearths Bible prophecy: ‘God is going to strike you down’

Washington: Donald Trump protests ’embarrassing’ says Coulter Chaotic scenes unfolded in Washington DC as it was confirmed Democrat candidates won both Georgia senate elections, giving the party control of Congress. Mr Trump, who had given a speech earlier in the day claiming the election had been stolen, told supporters “I love you” and described those who stormed the Capitol complex as “patriots”. The violence brought a halt to a congressional debate over President-elect Joe Biden’s election win, but Congress has now formally approved the…

Christian Leaders Pray for Peace and Safety Amid Capitol Mob

Evangelical leaders, both supporters and critics of President Donald Trump, spoke out and offered prayers for protection as rioters in Washington, DC, clashed with police, putting the Capitol under lockdown. The swarming of the Capitol coincided with the congressional session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory, which drew protestors to DC to support the outgoing president and urge Republicans to reject the election results. In the middle of the two-day Jericho March, as participants circled government buildings to pray for a Trump…

We Need to Be Better Losers

Nobody likes to lose. But Americans will need to get better at losing if we want to maintain our system of government in the years ahead. And Christians of all people should model losing well, based in our commitment to Christ’s victory through the cross and what we are told in Scripture about our nature as losers in the eyes of the world. Neither Americans in general nor Christians in particular have demonstrated an ability to be good sports in defeat this week, though.…

Trump news: End of the world fears spike as Bible expert claims Devil ‘stole election’

Washington: Trump supporters march on Capitol Hill to protest Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday in a bid to disrupt Congress from certifying the results of the US election. Scenes of violence unfolded as supporters of the incumbent president clashed with police, with pepper spray being used in the skirmishes. President Trump called on Vice President Trump to nullify the election’s results in a last-ditch attempt to secure another term in office. Mr Pence, however, declined to cave…

African spirituality offers Black believers ‘decolonized’ Christianity

(RNS) — It’s 11:11 on a recent Sunday morning and The Proverbial Experience is just getting underway. “Greetings my loves!” proclaims the Rev. Lyvonne Proverbs Briggs, the founder of this weekly spiritual gathering on Instagram. “Anybody got a hallelujah in your spirit?” As the congregation comes online, Briggs, from her home in New Orleans, greets each person by name as prerecorded gospel music plays. She frames herself in front of a makeshift altar with an assortment of crystals and a sign that reads, “God…

A submerged basilica may hold the secrets to the beginning of Christianity

A basilica submerged under the waters of Iznik Lake in Turkey’s Bursa city is being prepared to be opened to visitors in the near future. TRT World talked to Bursa Uludag University’s Professor Mustafa Sahin about it. Professor Mustafa Sahin,  the head of the Archaeology Department at Bursa Uludag University’s Faculty of Arts & Science, first received photographs taken from a helicopter ride over Iznik Lake in Bursa about 6 years ago from the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality. After analysing the photographs, Sahin saw the…

Some Orthodox Christians ignore COVID warnings on Epiphany

Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers in Bulgaria ignored warnings by health authorities to abstain from mass gatherings and instead kept to their centuries-old Epiphany traditions The Associated Press January 6, 2021, 6:30 PM • 2 min read Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article SOFIA, Bulgaria — Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers in Bulgaria on Wednesday ignored warnings issued by health authorities to abstain from mass gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic and kept instead to their centuries-old Epiphany traditions. Young men plunged into…

Jerusalem man arrested for arson at one of Christianity’s holiest sites

A Jerusalem man was arrested on Friday for spilling flammable liquid and setting it alight at the Church of All Nations in Jerusalem, causing minor damage. According to the police report, the act caused minor damage to one pew and the mosaic floor. A guard at the scene detained the suspect until police arrived, who arrested him. Police said that a preliminary investigation shows that the suspect had criminal motives. The perpetrator, a 49-year-old Jewish resident of Jerusalem, was detained by a security guard until police…

Steve Warren: Support for Trump does not speak well of Christians

Fresh out of college in the mid-1970s, I envisioned a more enlightened world in the not-too-distant future, a world in which political divisiveness would be minimal. Why the optimism? For almost three years, 40 hours a week, I sat in front of a computer that symbolized to me a coming wired world in which vast amounts of knowledge would be readily accessible to everyone, knowledge that would bring widespread consensus on issues and challenges facing humanity. I was right about the knowledge thing, but…

Donald Trump prophecy: Bible preacher claims Trump ‘will remain President’

Donald Trump has spectacularly lost the US election last month, with a record number of 81 million votes cast for his rival Joe Biden. But the US President is yet to conceded defeat and Republicans up and down the country cling on to hopes an ace up Mr Trump’s sleeve could turn the election results in his favour. After a month of failed lawsuits and unsubstantiated cries of electoral fraud, Democrat Mr Biden looks to have his victory certified on December 14 by the…

Why Christians Stopped Talking About Jesus’ Second Coming

This Sunday kicked off the beginning of Advent. While the season is generally seen as a time of preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas, the focus historically was a time to focus on Jesus’ Second Coming. The doctrine of Jesus’ Second Coming has traditionally been a major focus of Christian theology: it has been a driving force for missions, it was a source of hope for suffering Christians, it helped to frame Christian worship. American evangelicals in particular have been shaped by discussion…

Pandemic, economy worsen situation for Syria’s minority Christians

People gather at the site of an explosion in al-Bab, Syria Nov. 24, 202,0 in this picture obtained from social media. Religious workers say worsening coronavirus pandemic and economic conditions in Syria are further deepening poverty and hardship. (Credit: CNS photo/MMC/Sharif Al Halabi.) AMMAN, Jordan — The worsening coronavirus pandemic and economic conditions in Syria are further deepening poverty and hardship for Christians, who find themselves trapped in a political stalemate, religious freedom advocates say. “The situation is becoming worse, people are calling me…

I prophesied Trump would win. I got it wrong. But I am NOT a false prophet

You are a prophet. You were convinced God told you Trump would win. You got it wrong. What do you do next? Looking around, the most likely outcome is that you could just keep on doing whatever you did before. Stay prophesying. Act like it’s no big deal. That is how – perhaps – many of those Americans who assert they are prophets may be thinking. Because we are getting to the point where proclaiming that President Trump will win a second term is…

Suspected militants kill four Christians in remote Indonesian village

Police in Indonesia were on Saturday hunting suspected militants accused of killing four people said by rights groups to be Christians, beheading one and burning down their homes. Ten militants linked to a “terrorist” group beheaded one victim and slit the throats of the others on the island of Sulawesi on Friday, national police spokesman Awi Setiyono quoted a witness as saying. Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, has grappled with intermittent militant attacks recently. “This attack is another serious escalation against the Christian…

African apologetics event asks if Christianity is the faith for Africa

By Jackson Elliott, Contributor Follow | Friday, November 27, 2020 Left to right: Felix Sumba, Kevin Muriithi and Bill Dindi of Apologetics Kenya | Apologetics Kenya The first Annual African Apologetics Conference is engaging with postmodern and traditional African worldviews by asking if Christianity is Africa’s faith. Hosted by Christian group Apologetics Kenya, the Nov. 27 to Nov. 29 event is featuring over 26 lectures, public apologetics debates, panels and workshops online. The speakers include prominent African theologians, church leaders and Christian activists, according to…

Missionary renewal to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines

A pastoral letter from the bishops. We ask “our two canonized ‘foreign’ missionary saints, Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, to intercede for us so that our loving God will always abundantly bless our Church in the Philippines and all her many missionary endeavors!”. Nov 27, 2020 MANILA: The “missionary renewal” of the Philippine Church is what the country’s Bishops’ Conference (CBCP) auger 500 years after the arrival of Christianity, carried by ” thousands of men and women missionaries”. This is the hope contained in…

At one Houston church, prophecy replaces turkey for Thanksgiving

LaCricia Hlavinka hasn’t had a Thanksgiving meal in a quarter-century. Nor does she plan to this year, again opting to spend the holiday with an empty stomach and, maybe, bellowing into a microphone the latest prophecy revealed to her by God. While millions of Americans nestle into couches for their post-dinner naps on Thursday, Hlavinka and other members of Reigning Glory Church will begin a three-day fast. They believe their faithfulness to God will spare them the worst of COVID-19. “It’s the hardest to…

Opinion: Progressives, not Christians, bolster anti-Semitism

The investigative journalists over at the Daily Beast report that Madison Cawthorn, the North Carolina Republican who will soon become the youngest member of Congress in American history, “has admitted he tried to convert Jews and Muslims to Christianity.” So what? As a Jew, I’ve had several Christian friends try to turn me toward Jesus — Lutherans, Catholics and Evangelicals. Though denominations seem to adopt different philosophies on how best to proselytize in a secular world, they have all been exceptionally polite about it.…

The 2020 election and untethered prophets (pt 1)

By Wallace B. Henley, Exclusive Columnist Follow | Wednesday, November 25, 2020 Fake news and false prophecies boiled around the 2020 presidential race like tempests stoking a hurricane. Wallace Henley, former Senior Associate Pastor of 2nd Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. | Photo by Scott Belin From the perspective of Donald Trump and his associates, establishment media pumped hefty currents of disinformation and misinformation into the political cyclone through fake news. Many observers on both sides noted the “failed prophecies” that Trump would be…

Evangelical Christians once were saved. After Trump, they’re lost.

(RNS) — For reasons that have to do with our reading of the Bible, the both of us moved as adults from our middle-class white worlds to poor Black communities: Michael and his family from all-white small towns of Minnesota to the largest African American area of Minneapolis, and Joel from a white suburb of Houston to that city’s poorest neighborhood. We were then and are now both white Christians. Our faith and our faith communities were and are our lives. Little prepared us…

Letter: Calling on Christians to abate ‘devilish’ ways

About a year ago a senior pastor at a local church told me the biblical passages about the poor were directed at the spiritually deprived, versus the undeniable comprehension of the word to define those of meager means. They lied. Perhaps six years ago I was seeking help for those without a roof from a pastor at a local church. They said they had tried “that” with Black people and it doesn’t work. What followed was a condescending conversation so disturbing: that I changed…

Pro-Trump Christian evangelical ‘prophets’ apologise for getting election result wrong

Californian pastor Kris Vallotton apologised to Mr Biden directly on Instagram, stating that “you’re my president” similar to the way Mr Trump and Barack Obama were “his presidents”. “I want to sincerely apologise for missing the prophecy about Donald Trump. It doesn’t make me a false prophet. I prophesied he would become president four days after he declared his candidacy [in 2015]. And I prophesied Trump would not be impeached [and removed from office]. I’m very sorry to everyone who put their trust in…

Iraqi priest doubles down on Christianity’s survival in the Middle East

Iraqi Christians in Baghdad leave Christmas Mass at St. George Chaldean Church Dec. 25, 2019. (Credit: Khalid al Mousily/Reuters via CNS.) ROSARIO, Argentina – Ever since the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), there’s been rising alarm regarding the future for Christians in the Middle East. A Catholic priest who recently returned to his village in northern Iraq after six years in Rome described what he found as “shocking,” but doubled down on the need for Christians to survive. Father Karam Shamasha left the…

The ‘prophets’ who said that Trump would win blame demons

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. Deuteronomy 18:22 There will be many Christians disappointed with the likely result of the US presidential election, given the high level of support for President Donald Trump from White Evangelicals (76 per cent) and Catholics (46 per cent), according to the National Exit Poll. But one group…

‘The Earth was dying. Killed by the pursuit of money’ — rereading Ben Elton’s Stark as prophecy

In a year that began during one of the worst bushfire seasons in living memory and then saw a global pandemic take hold, rereading Ben Elton’s Stark offers an eerily prescient window into 2020 as the end of the world. First published in 1989, Elton’s debut novel offered a doubly prophetic vision. First, his depiction of environmental destruction. Second, his vision of high-stakes private space exploration. The world of Elton’s Stark is ruled by a shadowy ultra-rich cabal (akin to the Bilderberg Group), known…

QAnon Believes the Trump Prophecies Are Almost Here

This article is part of Election 2020: America Votes, FP’s round-the-clock coverage of the U.S. election results as they come in, with short dispatches from correspondents and analysts around the world. The America Votes page is free for all readers. The QAnon conspiracy theory has a lot on the line today, as followers wait and see whether their trust in “the plan” was well placed. For years, the supposedly anonymous Q has promised that even the most chaotic happenings around U.S. President Donald Trump…