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All news in February 2021

News

February 2021
News > Politics

Christian MP appointed as new religious liberty envoy

Christian MP Fiona Bruce, the member for Congleton and vice-chair of the all-party group for international freedom of religion or belief, has become the UK’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief. The appointment, made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the end of last year, is an important one for the UK…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Allegations against Ravi Zacharias prove true

An investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct committed by the late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias suggests the accusations are true. The organisation he founded, Ravi Zacharias Ministries International (RZIM), took the unusual step of issuing a statement after receiving an interim report from the independent investigators. The statement said, ‘In August 2020, allegations of…

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News

February 2021
News > Education

Parents fight Welsh government over compulsory sex education in schools

Welsh parents and supporters have lost the first step of their fight against the Welsh government’s proposals to prohibit them from taking their children out of state-school sex education classes. In a heated debate in the Welsh Parliament, during which Christian Senedd Member Darren Millar put up a robust defence of parents’ rights, members…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Scottish church leaders tell Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Lift the ban on worship’

Hundreds of Scottish church leaders have written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urging her to lift the ban on public Sunday worship, warning the ban ‘may be unlawful’. At the time this edition of ET went to press, Scotland was the only country in the UK to criminalise church attendance under Covid-19 restrictions. Some…

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News

February 2021
News > Religious liberty

Local councils in England accused of ‘pressuring’ churches to close

Several local councils in England wrote to churches last month urging them to close during the lockdown, even though the law allows them to remain open. When the lockdown in England was announced, the Prime Minister made it clear that people could leave their homes for ‘communal worship’ at a church. But a letter…

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News

February 2021
News > Society

Poll suggests young people are increasingly likely to seek God

An opinion poll has found that those in their late teens and early twenties, known as ‘Generation Z’, are more likely to believe in God than millennials in their late twenties and thirties. The ease at which young people can access information about faith online is seen as a key reason for the trend.…

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News

February 2021
News > Society

Church in Wales considers introducing same-sex marriages

The Church in Wales is considering introducing same-sex marriage blessings in its services, after Bishops proposed radical changes to the Book of Common Prayer. At the end of last year, the Bench of Bishops made a presentation to its governing body, claiming, ‘We believe same-sex relationships can be understood in a radically different way,…

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News

February 2021
News > Society

Teenager speaks out against police and prosecutors over free speech

A teenage girl who is challenging guidance on ‘hate incidents’ has spoken out on the need to protect freedom of speech. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the 14-year-old, known as ‘Miss B’, said the current rules were too stringent. According to College of Policing rules, when someone alleges a hate crime…

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News

February 2021
News > Ethics > Society

BBC criticised for suicide messaging on puberty blockers

Concerns have been raised about an article on the BBC News website which suggested teenagers may take their own lives if they can’t get access to transgender treatments. A recent ruling in the High Court decided that younger teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to choose for themselves to take life-altering puberty blockers. But the BBC…

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News

February 2021
News > International > Persecution

India: Christians celebrate return to their homes

Christian villagers in Chhattisgarh, India, have celebrated being able to go home after months of enforced exile. In September 2020, the group of 16 families had to flee their homes after a series of physical attacks, with local women reporting that a violent mob of 500 turned up at their doors, beating them and…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Austria: Court calls for legalisation of assisted dying

Austria has become the latest country where lawmakers have called for assisted suicide to become legal. In December, the Vienna Constitutional Court ruled that the country was violating fundamental rights in keeping assisted suicide illegal and ordered the government to lift the ban in 2021. The decision came as a result of a class…

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News

February 2021
News > International > Persecution

US: Chinese exiled pastor hounded out of his home

Bob Fu, a renowned campaigner for Christian freedom in China, has received death threats and been hounded out of his home in Texas, USA. According to China Aid, Mr Fu and his family had been ‘traumatised’ by bomb threats and protests, which continued for weeks outside his home. He has promised to continue with…

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News

February 2021
News > International > Persecution

Release International reports on persecution trends for the next year

Release International has published a report looking ahead to persecution trends in 2021. The report highlights the countries where Christians are likely to face the most hostility. In Africa, the organisation highlights the nations of Nigeria, Kenya, and Eritrea. The report says, ‘Some 300 evangelical Christians remain detained without trial inside repressive Eritrea where…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Australia: Churches could be banned from teaching biblical sexual ethics

The Australian state of Victoria is seeking to ban churches from teaching worshippers to follow the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics. Under the proposals, a religious leader could be sent to prison for encouraging someone with feelings of same-sex attraction to ‘live a celibate life’. Neil Foster, an Australian Associate Professor of Law, has…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Nigeria: Urgent need for prayer as persecution escalates

Nigerian Christians are living in constant fear as attacks have escalated against them since 2009. According to a 13-page dossier compiled by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, headquartered in eastern Nigeria, more than 2,200 Nigerian Christians were killed because of their religion in 2020, making the total death count…

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News

February 2021
News > International

Norway: Parents lose European Court appeal over children’s removal

Christian parents who had their five children removed by the Child Welfare Services in Norway have had their case dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights. Ruth and Marius Bodnariu claimed that the Norwegian state had infringed their rights and discriminated against them because of their Pentecostal beliefs. But judges at the European…

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News

February 2021
News > Conferences

Young believers told, ‘don’t fear the world’

In September around 60 socially-distanced people gathered at Welcome Hall Evangelical Church (WHEC) in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, for the induction of Gordon Robbins as Associate Pastor. Pastor Jeremy Brooks led the service, which was also broadcast online. He preached from Mark 10, emphasising how ministry is all about Christ rather than us. Gordon is married…

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News

February 2021
News > Mission

Soldiering on: SASRA Scripture Readers and Covid-19

Despite pandemic restrictions, SASRA’s Scripture Readers are at their posts, pointing the young men and women of our Armed Forces to the Lord Jesus Christ. They have had to adapt to minister effectively while still complying with social distancing. Both smartphone apps and social media channels have allowed them to provide Bible studies, online…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Dr David Landrum leaves Evangelical Alliance

After 10 years as director of advocacy, Dr David Landrum has left the Evangelical Alliance to take up a similar role at Open Doors UK & Ireland. During his time at the EA, Dr Landrum was instrumental in establishing the charity’s Public Leadership programme across the UK and equipping Christians with knowledge of the…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

North East conference addresses depression and dementia issues

Last December a series of talks were delivered at All Saints Presbyterian Church, Newcastle – part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales. The event was part of the School of Theology, a monthly event open to the public. Alan Thomas, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Newcastle University and elder at…

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News

February 2021
News > Church news

Andy Pitt inducted in Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Newport

The members of Emmanuel Evangelical Church, Newport, give thanks and praise to God for calling Revd Andy Pitt to the pastorate of the church. Andy had both preached and led prayer meetings on several occasions both before and during recent lockdowns. These occurred in the church building and via Zoom and YouTube. A special…

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News

February 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Paul Cook (1932–2020)

Paul Cook, who died on 9 November 2020, belonged to the generation of ministers who fought hard for biblical truth at a time when there were few solidly evangelical churches in England and liberal theology dominated the mainline denominations. For many years Paul attended the Westminster Fraternal as well as the annual Westminster Conference,…

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News

February 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Dr Jay E. Adams (1929–2020)

Paul Dr Jay E. Adams, the ‘father of Christian counselling’ has died aged 91. Adams came to prominence after publication of his ground-breaking book Competent to Counsel in 1970. He championed the cause of biblical sufficiency and spoke out against the encroachment of secular psychology into the counselling rooms of Christian leaders. Born in…

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News

February 2021
News > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Dr Alan Cairns (1940–2020)

Free Presbyterian minister and seminary professor Dr Alan Cairns has died aged 80 after contracting coronavirus last October. The fifth of six children, Alan was raised by Christian parents in a working-class home in Belfast. An interest in music led the young Ulsterman to get involved in local Salvation Army meetings, where at the…

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