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Survey reveals increasing support for defying church coronavirus restrictions

(Photo: Unsplash/Carolina Jacomin)Americans are more likely to support the defiance of restrictions on public worship now than they were at the start of the pandemic. Researchers found that just over a third of Americans (34%) were supportive of church congregations defying government orders to stop gathering in person for worship.  This is a sizeable jump... Read more

US Supreme Court blocks New York restrictions on places of worship

A file photo shows a nurse wearing personal protective equipment watching an ambulance driving away outside of Elmhurst Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Queens borough of New York, U.S.A.ReutersNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling favoring religious organizations in a dispute over Covid-19 restrictions, "irrelevant" and not... Read more

Nativity plays and outdoor carolling can go ahead, Church rep confirms

A nativity play at Worcester Cathedral, which in normal times welcomes large numbers through its doors at Christmas.(Photo: Worcester Cathedral)Andrew Selous, the Church of England's representative in the Commons, has told MPs that Nativity plays and outdoor carolling can go ahead. The Tory MP and Second Church Estates Commissioner said that "churches and cathedrals can now... Read more

Pastor facing charges for launching balloons with Bibles into North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army.ReutersA US pastor is facing prosecution after launching balloons carrying Bibles into North Korea.  Eric Foley, CEO of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, has been launching the balloons into the hermit communist country for the... Read more

Government launches consultation on extending DIY abortions

(Photo: Unsplash/)The Government has launched a consultation on whether to make DIY abortion services permament.  Abortion regulations were relaxed at the start of the pandemic so that pregnant women could have abortions at home up to the tenth week of their pregnancy.  Controversial 'pills by post' services dispatch abortion pills to pregnant women after an... Read more

Sharing outside our Christmas Bubbles to encourage the most vulnerable

Residents at Pilgrims' Friend Society Dorothea Court, a Christian independent living housing scheme in Bedford.(Photo: Pilgrims' Friend Society)When my granddaughter came home for the weekend from university with masses of laundry, we expected her to return, all washed and ironed, on Monday. Instead, she said she had signed herself out until the start of the... Read more

Christian Institute warns over Scottish hate legislation: ‘Innocent people are going to be convicted of a hate crime’

(Photo: Unsplash/Sherry Xu)Scotland's hate crime Bill will leave "innocent people" at risk of hate crime convictions unless more changes are made, the Christian Institute has warned. Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has made some concessions after coming under pressure from a wide range of critics, including Christians, secularists, lawyers, police, comedians and the BBC.  The... Read more

First century house may have been childhood home of Jesus, says archaeologist

The dwelling that Prof Dark believes was the childhood home of Jesus.(Photo: Ken Dark)An archaeologist at the University of Reading believes he may have stumbled upon the house where Jesus lived as a boy with his parents, Mary and Joseph. The ruins of the house date back to the first century, according to Professor Ken... Read more

LGBT leaders threaten to quit Church of England dialogue unless bishops support gay marriage

ReutersLGBT leaders and supporters in the Church of England are threatening a mass walkout from a recently-launched discussion process about sexual issues unless bishops give an urgent guarantee to support the marriage of same-sex partners in church. The warning was issued in a joint letter sent to 34 bishops "known to be supporters of LGBTIQ+... Read more

Christian Concern defends Living in Love and Faith video

Christian Concern has defended a video released in response to the launch of the Church of England's Living in Love and Faith (LLF) resources. The video features Ben John, Development Officer at the Wilberforce Academy, presenting an analysis of the introductory video to the LLF resources.  In it, John challenges aspects of the LLF video,... Read more

A lamentation at Advent after a year of coronavirus

A nationwide prayer movement launches today to unite Christians in a cry of lament for the UK's towns and cities after a year marked by Covid-19 and lockdowns. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a joint initiative of Movement Day and the Bible Society, with support from the Evangelical Alliance, Share Jesus International, the GATHER movement... Read more

Bethlehem Bible College hopes to raise funds in December – Mission Network News

Palestine (MNN) Educational institutions are among organizations hit hard by the pandemic. Bethlehem Bible College hopes to raise necessary funds through Giving Tuesday. Universities across the U.S. have faced financial trouble as a result of COVID-19, and many colleges around the world are no different. Marianne Smith of Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine explains that... Read more

USCIRF condemns religious mob violence in Pakistan

Pakistan (MNN) — Last week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemnedthe surge of Islamic mob violence in Pakistan. Their target — other Muslims. Because of Pakistans blasphemy law, Sunni Muslims are accusing minority Shia Muslims of blasphemy — even when there is no evidence. Ahmadis, a particular Muslim sect, also fall... Read more

Horizons International brings hope and aid in wake of Beirut explosion – Mission Network News

Lebanon (MNN) Lebanon has been hit by not only the pandemic but also political corruption and the explosion in the capital this year. Horizons International sees this as an opportunity to spread Christs hope. 2020 has really affected Lebanon in a unique way, Pierre Houssney, Executive Director at Horizons International, says. Not only did we... Read more

Theatre critic and theologian cannot be used as expert evidence in Christian actress’s discrimination case

A judge's decision to exclude expert evidence in the case of a Christian actress sacked over her views on homosexuality has been upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London.  Witness statements from respected theologian Dr Martin Parsons and Spectator theatre critic Lloyd Evans were now allowed to be admitted as evidence in the case of... Read more

Why the Church must be on the frontlines of the fight to stop violence against women

Night after night, 14-year-old Sadhna was sold for sex from a private brothel in Kolkata. With your support, IJM was able to work with local police, find the brothel, and mobilise a rescue operation to free Sadhna (pictured left with her IJM social worker). Today, Sadhna says, "My dream is to complete my education and... Read more

Millions of Christians living at risk of abduction and imprisonment – report

Pakistani Christians who have received aid from ACN during Covid-19.(Photo: Aid to the Church in Need)The unjust detention of Christians, including wrongful arrest and kidnapping, is "one of the most prevalent, enduring and serious forms of persecution today", research by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has found.  In 'Set Your Captives Free', its... Read more

The Church of England’s pick-and-mix approach to biblical truth only confirms my decision to leave

The pick-and-mix approach to biblical truth in the Church of England's latest report on human sexuality, Living in Love and Faith, certainly confirms my decision to leave the denomination, which I did last year after serving for 23 years as an ordained minister. In a recent article, the executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream, Andrew Symes, has... Read more

Bishops deplore ‘personal insults and attacks’ in Church of England sexuality war

Two leading Church of England bishops have urged Anglicans to show "grace, kindness and compassion" to one another after a bitter war of words erupted following the publication of new resources on sex and gender. Bishops Christopher Cocksworth and Sarah Mullally declared: "Specific and harmful targeting of some of the individuals who have courageously shared... Read more

Churches are ‘one of the safest places’ to be, says Welby

Canterbury Cathedral at Christmas(Photo: Canterbury Cathedral)The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he will be at church on Christmas Day and is encouraging others to do the same, whether online or in person. Speaking to BBC's Newsnight, Archbishop Justin Welby said that churches were "one of the safest places going at the moment" given the social... Read more

HBO’s new transgender documentary is ‘exploitative’

Phoenix, a four-year-old subject of the HBO documentary 'Transhood,' sits on his bed wearing a dress as his mother reads him a story called 'Jacob's New Dress.'(Photo: HBO Max)A new HBO Max documentary raises new questions about the transgender debate and how parents play a role in shaping their children's gender identity, and it has... Read more

Church leaders and Christian charities condemn cuts to aid budgets

A Christian Aid worker hands a bag of essential items to a Rohingya refugee in the Cox's Bazar camp, Bangladesh.(Photo: Christian Aid)The Archbishop of Canterbury and Christian development agencies have lashed out at the Government's decision to slash the overseas aid budget. Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday announced a temporary cut to UK aid from 0.7%... Read more

LSESD helps schools damaged by Beirut explosion – Mission Network News

Lebanon (MNN) Over three months after the August 4th Beirut Port explosion, individuals and schools struggle to rebuild. Wissam Nasrallah with the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) says, People are still reeling from the aftermath of the explosion. People are still rebuilding. There are still many homes that are unrepaired and so... Read more

Thanksgiving: a time to remember forgotten people – Mission Network News

USA (MNN) — If youre reading this in the U.S., you probably have big plans tonight for Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States, one particularly rich in legend and symbolism. Thanksgiving Day commemorates a 1621 feast shared by early colonists and the Native Americans who helped them survive.... Read more

COVID-19 drives global food scarcity spike – Mission Network News

International (MNN) — Famine: a noun defined by Merriam-Webster as an extreme scarcity of food or a great shortage. According to the latest UN estimates, more than one in ten people worldwide will face food insecurity or starvation by the end of the year. More people requested emergency food aid in the first nine months... Read more

Christian Bookstore Ordered to Close for Violating Lockdown Orders in England

Christian Bookstore Ordered to Close for Violating Lockdown Orders in England Police in England arrested two men at a Christian bookstore for being inside the business despite orders that businesses stay closed until December.Officers arrested the two men on Nov. 14 at the Mustard Seed bookstore and tearoom in Gedling, Nottinghamshire. The men refused to give... Read more

Barna Group President Takes Bereavement Leave after Wife Passes Away from Brain Cancer

Barna Group President Takes Bereavement Leave after Wife Passes Away from Brain Cancer David Kinnaman, president of the Christian research organization Barna Group, announced that he will be taking a leave of absence after his wife Jill passed away from brain cancer last month. She was 46.On October 28, my wife, Jill, passed away from... Read more

Bethel Church Senior Pastors Eric and Candace Johnson Resign

Bethel Church Senior Pastors Eric and Candace Johnson Resign Senior Pastors Eric and Candace Johnson resigned from Bethel Church in Redding, California after 18 years of ministry."We are family, and we will always be a part of this movement. While this decision may feel odd and unexpected, there is a deep sense of peace. We... Read more

Hallmark Channel Releases Its First LGBTQ Holiday Movie, The Christmas House

Hallmark Channel Releases Its First LGBTQ Holiday Movie, The Christmas House On Sunday, the Hallmark Channel released The Christmas House, its first holiday film featuring a same-sex couple as its main characters. The film stars real-life gay actor Jonathan Bennett.Bennet, 39, who is best known for his role in the 2004 hit film, Mean Girls,... Read more

Gospel Quartet Reaches Millions with the Gospel

Gospel Quartet Reaches Millions with the Gospel The Redeemed Quartet, an Indiana-based musical group made up of four 20-somethings who sing Christian songs in 4-part harmony, has been reaching millions with the gospel as they travel singing to anyone who is willing to hear them.A sermon certainly can reach people, but weve found that a... Read more