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Everything in April 2021 issue

1,500 call on Stormont to end Down’s syndrome abortions

News

April 2021
Articles > News

1,500 call on Stormont to end Down’s syndrome abortions

Pic: Stock image. Caption: For illustrative purposes only More than 1,500 people have signed an open letter calling on Northern Ireland’s politicians to protect those with Down’s syndrome from being aborted. Signatories are either those who have Down’s syndrome or are related to someone who does. They believe the law on abortion in the…

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Belarus church given support

Article

April 2021
Articles > International

Belarus church given support

Evangelical leaders in Belarus have signed a joint letter giving their support to a church that was raided by police during a worship service. In February, 20 police officers entered New Life Church, following orders to evacuate the building. A continued row with authorities had meant that the congregation was not allowed to worship…

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Boko Haram frees pastor

Article

April 2021
Articles > International

Boko Haram frees pastor

A Nigerian pastor kidnapped by Islamist terror group Boko Haram and threatened with execution has been set free. The kidnappers had claimed they would execute Pastor Bulus Yakuru. He had been abducted on Christmas Eve last year in an attack which killed at least six people. After negotiators stepped in, Pastor Yakuru was released.

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RZIM plans a new name

Article

April 2021
Articles > International

RZIM plans a new name

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has said it will be changing its name and removing all Zacharias’s content. The moves comes after it was revealed that Ravi Zacharias had engaged in years of sexual misconduct. The UK branch, The Zacharias Trust, has already announced it will be severing all ties with the global ministry brand.

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Humanist census campaign begins

News

April 2021
Articles > News

Humanist census campaign begins

The Humanists Association launched a concerted social media campaign ahead of the census hitting Britain’s doormats in March this year. The campaign urged people who do not practice a religion not to tick the ‘Christian’ box simply because they believe they live in a Christian country or because they were christened in a church.

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Abuse of trust changes hailed

News

April 2021
Articles > News

Abuse of trust changes hailed

Christian groups have welcomed the news that ‘abuse of trust’ laws are being extended to cover religious leaders and sports coaches. The laws ban adults from having sexual relationships with any young person aged 16 or 17 who may be under their care. Campaigners have said the changes are long overdue.

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Evangelist Luis Palau has died

Article

April 2021
Articles > International

Evangelist Luis Palau has died

The Argentinian Christian evangelist has died at the age of 86 after a three-year battle with lung cancer. He served as an intern with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and would sometimes assist as Billy Graham’s Spanish translator. He is survived by his wife Patricia; his sons Kevin, Keith, Andrew, and Stephen.

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Scottish hate crimes bill passed

News

April 2021
Articles > News

Scottish hate crimes bill passed

The Scottish Parliament has passed a new hate crimes bill which, although improved, still poses a great risk to freedom of expression. SNP veteran Jim Sillars called it ‘one of the most pernicious and dangerous pieces of legislation ever produced’. Although some free speech protections were added to the law, he said the ‘badly…

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Rise in abortion ambulance calls

News

April 2021
Articles > News

Rise in abortion ambulance calls

Do-it-yourself abortions, where termination pills are taken at home, have led to a rise in ambulance calls due to emergency complications. The findings come in response to several Freedom of Information requests made by Kevin Duffy, a former Director of Marie Stopes International who now helps to expose the abortion industry.

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Robertson cancelled by Premier

News

April 2021
Articles > News

Robertson cancelled by Premier

Evangelical writer David Robertson says he has been trashed as a racist and ‘cancelled’ for an article he wrote about the Meghan Markle interview for Premier Christianity magazine. In his article Robertson said Christians shouldn’t watch the interview and he said Meghan Markle played ‘the race card’. A Twitter backlash arose when Premier published…

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Police ‘invent’ hate incidents

News

April 2021
Articles > News

Police ‘invent’ hate incidents

Police forces have been accused of ‘inventing’ non-crime hate incidents in a report by the Free Speech Union. Worryingly, the report quotes one force as saying, ‘the role of British police today goes beyond bringing offenders to justice when they commit crimes’, and includes preventing people “questioning the identity” of various groups.’

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Churches gain public support

Article

April 2021
Articles > Church news

Churches gain public support

A poll has revealed increased appreciation among non-Christians for the role of UK churches since the Covid-19 pandemic. 2,170 adults were surveyed in February by Savanta ComRes. 25% of those identifying as non-Christians agreed that churches ‘make a positive difference’ compared to just 19% of the same demographic agreeing with the statement three years…

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Tim Adams to lead IFES

Article

April 2021
Articles > Church news

Tim Adams to lead IFES

Tim Adams has become General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Adams has worked for IFES for 22 years. The organisation is a global network of locally-led Christian student movements, including InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and UCCF. It aims to help students ‘impact the university, the church and society for the glory of…

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New editor at church paper

Article

April 2021
Articles > Church news

New editor at church paper

Revd Christopher Pierce has been appointed full-time editor of English Churchman. Revd Pierce is American by birth but is an ordained minister in the Church of Ireland. The fortnightly newspaper, founded in 1843, adheres to the 39 Articles but is not an organ of the Church of England.

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A walk with Mr O: My pastor’s preaching is so dull

Mr. O, thank you for agreeing to meet up with me for a socially-distanced walk. I’ve got a few things on my mind and I’m hoping you might be able to help me. It’s a pleasure. Besides, the exercise will do me good. So let’s get down to business straightaway. What would you like…

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Review

April 2021
Reviews > Book

Biblical Marriage: Two sinners and a gracious God

The author’s thoroughgoing commitment to the Word of God is transparent throughout this book. The starting point is the biblical truth about the creation of humanity as male and female, and God’s original design for marriage articulated in the opening chapters of Genesis. This is followed by a careful exposition of the relevant section…

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Review

April 2021
Reviews > Book

The Christian’s True Identity: What it means to be in Christ

Identity is a current buzz word. People are preoccupied with trying to figure out who they really are and who they connect with. ‘Who am I?’ is the question of the moment. Trading on this, Jonathan Cruse exhorts new believers to come to grips with who they are in their salvation. Taking up a…

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Review

April 2021
Reviews > Book

In the Presence of my Enemies – Psalms 25-37

This is the third in a series of books on the Psalms. Those who have read the previous two volumes will realise that Professor Davies is not a dry and dusty academic writing for fellow academics. His aim is not just to inform the mind, but to challenge and warm the hearts of his…

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Review

April 2021
Reviews > Book

The History and Theology of Calvinism

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges from Augustine through to the 20th century. It explores many of the tributaries thrown…

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Review

April 2021
Reviews > Book

The Madness of Crowds

In God’s common grace, some non-Christians can better discern and explain the trends of our current age than many believers can. The British journalist Douglas Murray is one such person. ‘All our grand narratives have collapsed’, he observes (p.1); and the vacuum has been filled by the new religion of identity politics. His book…

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Article

April 2021
Articles

Cry Freedom! – Part 1

Revolutionaries in America and France proclaimed it; ‘freedom fighters’ like Che Guevara became iconic pin-ups; George Michael and Freddie Mercury sang about it; and the 1987 Richard Attenborough film Cry Freedom, following the life of Steve Biko in apartheid-era South Africa, won many prestigious awards. Is ‘freedom’ a good thing? You bet! Like the…

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Historical

April 2021
Articles > Historical

‘The Best Friend in the Worst Time’: pandemics in church history

As historians look at history, they seek to discern the forces or people that have shaped the past. My own historical convictions have led me to focus on people as the main actors on the stage of history, not economic forces or ideologies per se. Yet there is definitely a place to evaluate the…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Gender confusion spreading – what can parents do?

Increasing numbers of young girls have been questioning their gender or seeking to change it. Once, those accessing NHS Gender Identity Development Service were mostly boys; now almost 75% are girls. Since 2017, 10,000 children have been referred to the clinic. A whistleblowing teacher reported that in one school 17 children were in the…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Evangelistic

God’s global work

Around the world, the number of professing Christians is on the rise. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity now estimates that the number of evangelicals and Protestants will grow by 50 percent from nearly one billion to more than 1.5 billion by 2050. Meanwhile, the United Nations anticipates the growth of the…

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Historical

April 2021
Articles > Historical

How Christianity transformed the world

The searing image of five screaming children fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam in June 1972 was one of the iconic photographs of the twentieth century. Kim Phuc, the central child in the photo, suffered life-changing burns. She was left with physical and psychological scars, and a burden of anger and bitterness. When Kim…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Decisions, decisions

Life is full of decisions. Every day we all make many of them. Most are trivial and made without consultation with others: Alpen or cornflakes? Trousers or skirt? Cycle or car to work? But other decisions are more important, and for such decisions we should seek advice. This is the way of wisdom, according…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

Longing to depart?

I’m checking my email. The usual assortment of junk mail, appointment reminders, freecycle offers, and invitations to share the hoarded fortunes of African presidents… Delete without opening. Delete without opening. Delete without opening. But then an email I know I have to read. And re-read. And read again. It’s from a friend whom I…

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News

April 2021
News > Ethics

Book positively reviewed by ET is banned by Amazon

A book which questions the prevailing narrative of the transgender agenda has been banned by online retail giant Amazon. When Harry Became Sally, by Ryan Anderson, was published in 2018 and gained a positive review in the pages of ET. The book ‘exposes the contrast between the media’s sunny depiction of gender fluidity and…

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News

April 2021
News > International

Canada: Jordan Peterson says ‘I am amazed by my own belief’

Canadian professor of psychology Jordan Peterson has spoken about his religious views in a recent interview with an Orthodox Christian friend. Peterson has a huge following online, receiving widespread attention for his conservative views on cultural and political issues. In an interview with Jonathan Pageau (which is available to watch online) Peterson says there…

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News

April 2021
News > International

Venezuela: Christians knifed and forced to eat Bible pages

A church group in Venezuela that was helping drug addicts to recover has been viciously attacked by thugs who are ‘violently opposed to the drugs rehabilitation work of the church’. The victims, who were from a church in Libertador, Mérida State, were attacked with knives and had crosses etched into their skin. The Christians…

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News

April 2021
News > Church news > People > Obituaries

Obituary: Colonel Robbie Hall QGM (1956–2020)

Baptist minister and bomb disposal expert Colonel Robbie Hall has died aged 63. He diffused a World War 2 bomb at a London gasworks in 1986. Following retirement from the Army, he pastored Hope Baptist Church in Bridgend, South Wales. Robert George Russel Hall was born in Spinningdale in the Scottish Highlands. He joined…

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News

April 2021
News > Conferences

Conference explores Baptist Confession of Faith

It was a pleasure to gather with brothers and sisters from different parts of the world for an online conference studying the historical and contemporary significance of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith. The conference was organised by the directors of the new publishing house, Parrēsia. It was designed as a ‘thank you’…

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News

April 2021
News > Conferences

Truth in Science holds its first ever Winter School

In January, Truth in Science (TiS) held their first Winter School for Christian STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students at college or university. Prof. Andy McIntosh, leading the conference, said, ‘The whole reason for the TiS Student Initiative is to … grow future Christian Union leaders in our universities who understand the issues…

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News

April 2021
News > International

Chile: Landmark case goes to court

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is set to hear a case that will have sweeping religious liberty implications for 35 countries in the Americas. The landmark case of Pavez v. Chile involves a teacher from a Roman Catholic school who was revealed to be in a same-sex relationship. The school said Sandra Pavez…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

God & ‘La République’ – are evangelicals a ‘problem’?

A controversial anti-separatist bill officially named ‘the Law to Uphold Republican Principles’ was adopted by the French National Assembly on 16 February (347-151 with 65 abstentions). It will pass to the Senate from 30 March. The 459-page bill has been the subject of fierce debate, receiving over 1,700 proposed amendments. But this bill is…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Cultural and Ethical

What Ravi taught me: nine thoughts from recent revelations

On 19 May last year, I wrote: ‘Thankful for the life of Ravi Zacharias, and for the thousands who first heard the good news of Christ through him. Thankful that the resurrection he preached in Christ is now sight for him, and faith no longer.’ What now? Should I take it down? What should…

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News

April 2021
News > International

France: ‘Republican principles’ bill could harm evangelicals

Evangelical Christians in France have called for prayer as a controversial ‘republican principles’ bill has reached the Senate. The bill, called The Law to Uphold Republican Principles, was adopted by the French National Assembly on 16 February, by 347 votes to 151. The proposals, which are due to be considered by the French Senate…

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News

April 2021
News > International

US: Oregon’s assisted suicide stats a ‘slippery slope’

A report from the US State of Oregon on assisted dying could give impetus to America’s pro-euthanasia lobby, campaigners have warned. In March, Oregon’s health authority published its latest report under the Death with Dignity Act. It revealed a 25 percent rise in people requesting termination during 2020. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (DWDA)…

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News

April 2021
News > International

China: Database of church leaders to start in May

China looks set to implement a database of church leaders, together with the introduction of other stringent controls, beginning in May. The move is part of China’s increasingly harsh clamp down against Christian ministry in the Communist country. The State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) has confirmed that the ‘Measures for the Administration of…

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News

April 2021
News

Court hears case against the forced lockdown of Scottish churches

A legal action brought by a group of 27 church leaders arguing against the forced closure of places of worship has been heard by the Court of Session. The group claims that Scottish government ministers acted outwith their powers when ordering the closure of churches under emergency legislation. Gathered church worship has been banned…

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News

April 2021
News > Ethics

Improved but still dangerous, Scottish hate crimes bill passed by Holyrood

Scotland’s controversial new hate crimes bill has been passed by a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament. Free speech campaigners say although the bill has been improved, it still presents a real danger to freedom of expression. When the bill was first introduced, atheists said they would use the new laws to ban…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Church news

Obituary: Peter Anderson (1931–2021)

On 21 January, the British evangelist Peter Anderson died in a care home in Leicester. He was born in Glasgow, and after his parents had moved their family six times in ten years, he joined the British Army aged 18. After intensive training, he was posted to Singapore where he came to faith in…

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News

April 2021
News > Church news

Christian educators’ conference looks at consumerism and neo-Marxism

In February, Christian Concern worked alongside The Christian School’s Trust to provide hundreds of educators across the UK and abroad with an inspiring weekend. Over 300 Christian educators signed up for the event, and there were over 40 speakers and contributors. The conference was entitled ‘Further Up, Further In!’ – a reference to C.…

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News

April 2021
News > Church news

St Peter’s Free Church announces new minister

Revd Andy Pearson is set to become the new minister of St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee. Originally from Inverness, Andy completed a degree in Religious Studies & Scottish History at Edinburgh University before being employed by Kirkcaldy Free Church as a community worker. It was during this period in Fife that he felt called…

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News

April 2021
News > Church news

Welsh revival film in production

Production is underway of a new documentary film surveying the history of revival in Wales. Welsh Awakenings will be a two-hour feature presented by Pastor Jonathan Thomas of Cornerstone Evangelical Church, Abergavenny. Filming is scheduled for various locations around Wales as Jonathan surveys the spiritual highs and lows of Welsh evangelicalism between the 18th…

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News

April 2021
News

Boris pledges to ban ‘conversion therapy’ but says it’s complex

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said a ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ will be complex, but has pledged to introduce new laws soon. Evangelicals have said there is a danger that aspects of Christian prayer, preaching, and pastoral counselling may be made illegal. ‘Conversion therapy’ is a catch-all term coined by LGBT campaigners…

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Article

April 2021
Articles > Church news

Iain Thomson inducted on Isle of Lewis

There was a real sense of anticipation among the congregation of Garrabost Free Church in January as the Western Isles Presbytery met to induct Revd Iain Thomson to the pastoral charge of the congregation. Due to lockdown restrictions, only 50 people were physically present in the church building, but a further two hundred people…

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News

April 2021
News > Society

David Robertson ‘cancelled’ by Premier over Meghan Markle article

Pastor and blogger David Robertson says he has been ‘cancelled’ by Premier Christianity magazine over an article he wrote about the Meghan Markle interview. Robertson says he was asked by Premier to write an article arguing that Christians shouldn’t watch the interview with Prince Harry and his actress wife. He duly did so, at…

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