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All articles in category Society

July 2018
News > Society

Royal wedding sermon was lively but empty

The energetic sermon preached at the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan drew praise from many in the secular elite, but strong criticism from others. Bishop Michael Curry spoke on the subject of ‘love’. The style of the American was very lively, more so than one would normally expect at a stiff British royal occasion. Many evangelicals saw through the outward display of passion and noted the lack of any real gospel substance to the message. Alarmingly though, some evangelicals thought it was wonderful. Rev. Curry hails from Chicago and has actively campaigned on a number of liberal issues. He has defended the Episcopalian church’s...

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June 2018
News > Society

Society – Parents likened to Nazis

Parents discussing gender dysphoria online have been compared to Nazis fomenting hatred of Jews. Transsexual journalist India Willoughby, writing for gay news website Pink News, slammed the Mumsnet website, comparing it to a ‘Nuremberg rally’. This came after female users of the Mumsnet forum asked questions about how to deal with transsexualism, spurring trans activists to start targeting and threatening advertisers on the site. As reported in the Daily Mail, the row escalated, with cabinet minister Liz Truss incurring the wrath of the transgender community after she praised the open forum, free speech ethic of the Mumsnet site. In April, when she posted a magazine...

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June 2018
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Society – Explicit apps for children

Sexually explicit and violent apps have been approved by Apple and Google as being suitable for young children, an investigation by The Times has revealed. According to the newspaper, there were many games available featuring adult themes aimed at twelve-year-olds, with some even rated as low as for ages four and above. The investigation involved a reporter signing up for an ‘anonymous chat’ app, which has been certified as suitable for ages 12 and above. However, he was soon accosted by other members with profile pictures of topless teenage boys, asking him for nude photos. According to the report, consumer tech giants Apple and Google...

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May 2018
News > Society

London — killer capital

Britain’s capital has been awash in recent months with reports of violent deaths. It has now outstripped New York as a place of violent homicide. Ten years ago, this writer’s first article for Evangelical Times (September 2008) was a reflection on the terrible knife crimes that rocked London in 2008. At the time, I reflected on the fears that teenagers in my church youth group had expressed to me every time they heard another teenager was stabbed, shot or beaten to death. Soaring crime figures That was in 2008. And now in 2018 it is reported that London has surpassed New York for the number...

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May 2018
News > Society

Society – British values

Government plans to create ‘integrated communities’ could end up marginalising Christian schools, according to reports. Building on the Casey Review in 2016, the 80-page Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper, published in March, aims to promote British values and improve community integration rather than segregation. While the Green Paper rejects a proposal to regulate sharia courts — a move praised by Barnabas Fund, as to have regulated such courts would have been to legitimise sharia law in the UK — Barnabas Fund also slammed proposals to regulate out-of-school educational settings, a proposal that has now been shelved by the government. In the foreword to the Green...

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May 2018
News > Society

Society – EA conference on legal matters

Over 300 church and charity leaders packed into St Mary’s Church London, on 20 February 2018, for a day conference entitled ‘Above and Beyond’. This gave specialist advice and updates on governance, legal matters and charity regulations, and was organised by the Evangelical Alliance. Shirin Aguiar reports on key points made during the day. In her keynote speech Fiona Bruce MP pointed to the one parliamentarian in history more respected than any other: William Wilberforce. She said, ‘Only ever a backbencher, never a minister, but over a period of decades two centuries ago, he led the fight against the slave trade. He was crystal clear...

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April 2018
News > Society

Society – Islamist extremists and UK charities

British taxpayers have handed over more than £6m to charities which are, or which have been, used by extremists to further their radical agenda. This is among the findings of a report from neo-conservative think-tank the Henry Jackson Society. The report is called Wolves in sheep’s clothing: how Islamist extremists exploit the UK charitable sector. The report’s case studies indicated an approximate £6m has been handed over to individuals, some of whose involvement in extremism can be traced back to the Islamist scene in the early 2000s. The UK’s Charity Commission has been particularly ill-equipped to deal with these organisations, the Henry Jackson Society claims....

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April 2018
News > Society

Society – Britain ditching marriage

Marriage is less popular in England and Wales than at any time since records began in 1862, as statistics reflect the sad story of what is happening within our nation. Statistics for opposite-sex marriages in 2015, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 28 February 2018, show that only 2.17 per cent of eligible men (unmarried men over the age of 16), and 1.98 per cent of eligible women, married in 2015. The popularity of marriage was at its peak in 1972, when the equivalent figures were 7.84 per cent for men and 6.05 per cent for women. This means that the proportion...

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April 2018
News > Society

Society – Widespread loneliness

Loneliness is the biggest issue across communities in the UK, research by Church Urban Fund and the Church of England has found. A survey carried out among 1,094 Anglican church leaders, conducted in September and October 2017, revealed that while churches have been instrumental in building communities and doing charitable work, the biggest challenge was how to tackle loneliness. More than 75 per cent of church leaders called this a major or significant problem in their parishes, with little variation between the most and least deprived areas. Moreover, 60 per cent of church leaders reported mental health problems in their parish were becoming an issue...

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April 2018
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Society – Sex education ‘blinds us’

Sex education could be one of the factors behind the increasing levels of childlessness in the UK, Norman Wells has said. The director of the Family Education Trust told the Daily Mail there were many reasons why people might be refraining from having children earlier on in their lives, with economic pressures being high on the list. However, he also warned that so much sex education has placed a ‘strong emphasis on how to avoid pregnancy, that it has frequently presented a negative image of child-bearing and motherhood’. Mr Wells said, ‘The contraceptive culture can all too easily blind us to the joy that the...

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March 2018
News > Society

British pensioners face starvation and loneliness

With approximately one million pensioners isolated from human company, a new government minister might help provide support for later life services. Labour MP Frank Field has revealed as many as one million older people are starving in their homes because of loneliness and isolation. His recent report to Parliament cites a woman in her 80s whose husband went into a care home with dementia. The district nurse who’d been visiting her husband to help with food stopped coming and, with no one else visiting, the woman did not eat a proper meal for nine weeks. She went unnoticed until a neighbour came two months later....

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March 2018
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Society – Church statistics

Church attendance is continuing to fall, according to the latest UK church statistics from the Brierley Consultancy. UK Church Statistics No 3 2018 Edition presents a thorough survey of church membership, churches and congregations from all four UK countries, outlining the years between 2012 and 2017, and giving a forecast for 2022. According to the study, there were 50,500 churches in 2017, although only around 42,000 met in buildings erected for the purpose of church worship. The study found there were 257 denominations in the UK, less than the 290 listed in 2013; the report suggested the main decline in the number of denominations is...

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