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All articles in category News

August 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: USA – Facebook ban for professor

An American professor and author was banned from posting or commenting on Facebook for 24 hours, after he responded to a post by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The post, which showed a group of primary-aged children being taught to celebrate Gay Pride, also explained how Hollywood A-lister Jodie Foster had helped the presenter, Jessi Cruickshank, question her sexuality as a child. However, in June, Robert A. J. Gagnon, author of The Bible and homosexual practice: texts and hermeneutics, gave a strongly worded opinion as to the underlying motives of the CBC, and expressed his dismay at young children being talked to about sexuality. This led...

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August 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: USA – US artists forced to make gay invites

Two Christian business owners have been told by a US court they must use their artistic talents to create invitations for a gay wedding. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against graphic designers Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who run a stationery company that makes invitations for weddings and other events. The two owners of Brush & Nib Studio have been accused of violating city non-discrimination laws in Phoenix, because they refuse to create invitations for same-sex weddings. In 2017, the graphic designers launched a pre-enforcement challenge against the laws last year, after being threatened with a $2,500 (£1,890) fine and possible imprisonment. Their challenge...

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August 2018
International

International: Burundi – Burundi in need

Charity Tearfund has launched an emergency appeal for Burundi, as over half the population face chronic malnutrition. Burundi has faced decades of violence and political turmoil, alongside a changing climate causing droughts and flooding, which has left families across the country with severe food shortages and lack of medical care. According to Tearfund, recent elections and a referendum in May have given little hope to those facing daily struggles, with the existing administration under President Pierre Nkurunziza now able to extend the length of time they can remain in power. Tearfund, which has worked in Burundi for more than 30 years, has set up around 36 temporary...

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August 2018
News > Media

Media – Data breach hits Bible Society

The British and Foreign Bible Society (Bible Society) has been fined £100,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), after the society’s computer network was compromised as the result of a cyber-attack in 2016. In a statement issued by the ICO, between November and December 2016 the intruders exploited a weakness in the Society’s network to access the personal data of 417,000 of the Society’s supporters. For a subset of these supporters, some payment card and bank account details were placed at risk. The Society, which translates and distributes the Bible in the UK and around the world, relies on card donations from its UK supporters....

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August 2018
News > Church news

Church – Christian Concern welcomes GAFCON letter

Delegates at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem have agreed to a ‘Letter to the Churches’ that calls on the Anglican communion to hold fast to biblical teaching. The conference, which was attended by 1,950 representatives, agreed to call on the Archbishop of Canterbury, as leader of the Anglican communion, to reaffirm the clear teaching of the Bible in line with historical Anglican orthodoxy. The letter stated the uniqueness of Christ and the need for repentance from sins, and pointed out the attacks on the gospel from other religions and on secularism. It also criticised the softening approach by other denominations over matters...

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August 2018
News

Centenary – SASRA and the World War 1 centenary

Over the next four months during this centenary year, the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers Association (SASRA) will help us reflect on the closing months of World War One and November 1918’s Armistice. Using its historical records, SASRA takes us back to August 1918 and reminds us that, even in war, Christians face an age-old temptation: conform with the world or stand for the Saviour. Please pray that today’s disciples of Christ in the British military would faithfully stand for the Lord. Dramatic year 1918 was a dramatic year for the British Army. On 21 March, the Germans attacked between Arras and La Fère. They...

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August 2018
News > Conferences

Conference – Family Education Trust

Speaking at this year’s Family Education Trust conference, Dr Patrick Fagan, from the Marriage and Religion Research Institute in Washington DC, argued that it is a massive strategic mistake for the government to try to operate behaviour-changing programmes. Real change comes about through the relational spheres of family, church and school, he said. During his time as deputy assistant secretary for the family and social policy at the US Department of Health and Human Services, he had access to the largest depository of evaluation data on government social problems. Here, Dr Fagan had observed first-hand that there is not a single government social behaviour-changing programme...

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August 2018
News > International

International: USA – Pro-life decisions

Pro-life groups have welcomed the ‘life-saving’ decisions made by the current US government, despite pro-choice protests. During the past 18 months of Republican government in the US, the Mexico City Policy has been reinstated, to prevent US taxpayers from funding abortion clinics overseas. The government has also overturned the rule that forced states to fund abortion providers with taxpayers’ dollars, and has pledged to push through a 20-week abortion ban bill, to prevent abortions being carried out at 24 weeks, when life outside the womb is medically viable. In June, the US Supreme Court ruled against government-compelled speech in ‘National Institute of Family and Life Advocates...

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August 2018
News > International

International: Canada – Canadian law school denied accreditation

A British Columbia university has had its appeal for accreditation of its proposed law school denied by the Supreme Court of Canada. Following several legal battles, the law school was refused accreditation because of a row over the school’s religious requirements. According to advocacy group ADF International, Trinity Western University’s proposed law school asks students and faculty to follow its ‘community covenant’, based on biblical views of appropriate sexual behaviour on campus. Some law societies deemed the covenant discriminatory, based on national equality laws, and this led to a denial of accreditation. The Canadian Supreme Court heard two appeals out of Ontario and British Columbia....

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August 2018
News > Society

Society – Sparkle lost from royal sermon

US Bishop Rt Rev. Michael Curry’s wedding sermon for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has lost its sparkle among UK Christians, research has found. A poll by Christian thinktank Theos explored what people thought about the bishop’s lively sermon, once the media bandwagon had rolled on. The survey found most people were disappointed in the long-term effects, claiming the sermon has failed to leave a lasting impression on Brits, despite the initial praise it received. The 14-minute sermon was the most tweeted about moment of the ceremony, receiving 40,000 tweets per minute. However, only 16 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely...

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August 2018
News > People > Obituaries

OBITUARY: Ray Wilkie (1930–2018)

Leslie Raymond Wilkie, went to be with the Lord on 6 June 2018, after a short period of illness from cancer. He died peacefully at home, with his immediate family around him, who sang some of his favourite hymns as he was taken into his greater home. Ray, as he was called, was born in Bradford, in West Yorkshire, on 1 October 1930. He attended Sunbridge Road Mission with his parents and was a committed member of the Boys’ Brigade, swinging the mace in the Bradford battalion band. He was later apprenticed at English Electric and qualified as a draughtsman. In 1954, after completing two...

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August 2018
News > Education

Education – Training course for women

Church Society and Union School of Theology have launched the Priscilla Programme, a new training course for women, which will start from September 2018. The Priscilla Programme is intended to encourage and equip women to serve local churches in voluntary ministries, such as teaching Sunday school and leading Bible study groups. According to a newsletter from Church Society, the content will include in-depth biblical, theological and pastoral modules, delivered by experienced and trained women. There will be regular interactive seminars and individual tutorials, as well as video lectures and other downloadable content. It is designed to be accessible and affordable, with all the teaching delivered online. The...

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