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All articles in category News

News

May 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – Girl Guides trans row

Girl Guide leaders have protested against new rules that allow boys self-identifying as female to share changing rooms, showers and tents with biological girls. Last year, Evangelical Times reported that the Girlguiding UK association had published guidance stating biological males could use the facilities of the gender with which they self-identify. Parents were not necessarily to be informed if their daughters were sharing facilities with biological males — even though this might mean girls as young as 12 or 13 sharing showers with biological males of 18-25 years old. However, 20 Girl Guide leaders have written to Girlguiding UK’s headquarters to challenge the rules, stating...

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News

May 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – CofE same-sex decision upheld

A gay clergyman, disciplined for violating Church of England (CofE) teaching on marriage, has lost his case at the Court of Appeal. Canon Jeremy Pemberton entered into a same-sex marriage in 2014, despite CofE rules not allowing clergy to do so. He had his licence as a priest revoked for this action, whereupon he began a legal case. In 2015, he gave evidence, stating ‘no one has the right to tell you who you can or cannot marry’. But the tribunal rejected his legal arguments, and in 2016 an employment appeals tribunal agreed. The Court of Appeal heard his case in January this year, before giving...

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News

May 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – Gambling stakes

Government recommendations to reduce the maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) have not gone far enough to tackle problem gambling, a charity has warned. In March, the Gambling Commission recommended the maximum stake on FOBTs should be set at £30 or less. But campaigners believe it should be reduced to £2 — the same as slot machines — a move supported by many peers in the House of Lords, who called on the government during a recent debate to do more to tackle gambling addiction. Currently, it is possible to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on these machines, which has contributed significantly...

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News

May 2018
News > Ethics

Ethics – Medical conscience rights

Members of the House of Lords have heard arguments for and against allowing medical practitioners to have conscience rights enshrined into UK law. In March, Baroness O’Loan’s Conscientious Objection (Medical Activities) Bill went to the Committee Stage in the House of Lords. The bill will clarify the law to ensure conscience protections are in place for medical practitioners to protect them from discrimination, enabling them to fully participate in their chosen professions and care for patients to the best of their ability. It will also allow practitioners to withdraw from end-of-life treatment, activities under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, and abortion. Under the existing...

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News

May 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Trafficking shows sharp rise

Human trafficking in the UK has seen a shocking rise in 2017, figures from the National Crime Agency (NCA) has revealed. According to the NCA, 5,145 potential victims of human trafficking were submitted to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2017. This marked a 35 per cent increase on 2016’s figures, making it a record number in the UK. According to the reports, potential victims of trafficking were from 116 different nationalities during 2017. However, British, Albanian and Vietnamese nationals remain the most commonly reported victims. The most common type of exploitation recorded was labour exploitation. In one-third of cases (1,744), it was suspected the...

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News

May 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Scottish smacking ban

Parents will have their rights to bring up their children handed over to the state if the Scottish parliament criminalises smacking. This was the warning from lawyer Gordon Lindhurst, a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), who claimed the Scottish government’s arguments in favour of a ban on smacking were underhand. Writing for Scottish Legal News, he said that, rather than banning assault on children (which is already illegal), the proposal aims to rebrand loving parental discipline as ‘assault’. As quoted on the Christian Institute website, he pointed out that, despite John Finnie MSP’s claims that a ban would not criminalise parents, removing the current...

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News

May 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Free speech under threat

Freedom of speech is being curtailed at universities and colleges across the UK, a report from Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has found. In March, the JCHR published a report in which it warned excessive measures have been implemented at some universities. These measures, such as the banning of speakers or the carrying out of fierce protests during talks and outside meetings, have effectively prevented freedom of thought, debate and speech. There was evidence that some groups at universities have abused the need for ‘safe spaces’ and carried out ‘no platforming’ contrary to freedoms enshrined in UK law. The report states: ‘Where speech...

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News

May 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: Sudan – Sudanese pastor murdered

Masked attackers in Western Sudan murdered a church pastor in Darfur, along with his wife and two daughters in March. According to reports from Barnabas Fund, the attackers broke into his house early in the morning, gathered the family in the living room and asked Pastor Stephen to explain why he had not responded to their warnings to stop preaching. In response, Pastor Stephen started telling them about Jesus. Barnabas Fund’s contact writes, ‘They became furious and started to kick him and beat him up seriously’. According to the reports, the attackers then tried to force the pastor to violate his daughters, Rachel and Priscilla....

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News

May 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: China – Chinese church crackdown

China has increased its pressure on Christians in China, especially in the central Henan province, where public security bureaus and religious affairs commissions have been targeting house churches. According to reports from US organisation China Aid, a new initiative in Nanyang, Henan, explicitly forbids any kind of religious gatherings in people’s homes. Anyone caught attending or hosting meetings outside of a registered religious venue will be subject to a fine of 30,000 yuan (£3,378). All Christians in the area are ordered to join an officially registered church. Under China’s current religious policy, only Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, state-recognised Protestant Christianity and Catholicism are legal for citizens...

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News

May 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Another wrongful arrest

Canadian preacher Pastor David Lynn has been released by the police without charge after being falsely accused of hate speech. Mr Lynn, a leader of a church in Toronto, had been arrested and held for more than 20 hours at Fresh Wharf Custody Base in Barking, London, after preaching the gospel outside Barking tube station. He had been questioned under caution after being falsely accused of calling a homosexual lady in the crowd ‘perverse’ and ‘sinful’. He denied this, and video footage captured of the preaching does not substantiate her complaint. Instead, it shows groups of supporters cheering, chanting ‘Jesus’ and supporting David throughout his...

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Article

May 2018
Conferences

Grace Conference for West Africa

Once again, we held the Grace Conference in a nice and functional hotel just outside the market town of Glazoué in central Benin. This year, we topped the 100 participants mark, coming from 4 countries in West Africa. Numbers may not be the whole story, but it is encouraging to see so many come to hear about the Gospel of Free Grace. This year again, I had been given 3 sessions (“The Gospel in 3 words”), plus the sermon on Sunday morning with the Grace church in Glazoué, Paul NGoran (Ivory Coast) and Julien Naka (Benin) each gave one message, and Vincent Dua (Ivory Coast)...

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News

May 2018
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Western Europe > France > News > Events > Persecution

Carcassonne terrorist attack: a Christian response

Terrorism has hit again! Since Friday 23rd March, France has been in shock. The attack in Carcassonne and Trèbes left four people dead and many injured physically and psychologically. The French are sad, angry and indignant. As Christians, how should we react? What thoughts should guide us?  Today we want to weep with those who weep (Rom 12.15). We want to pray for those who suffer the loss of a loved one. We want to pray for them to find their consolation in God.  “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all”(Romans 12:17). While...

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