Category Archives: Christianity

The Climate and the Cross: US evangelical Christians tussle with climate change

An internal battle is simmering among evangelicals in the US over whether climate change is a call to protect the Earth, the work of God to be welcomed, or does not exist at all.

Evangelicals have traditionally been the bedrock of conservative US politics, including on climate change. But a heated debate is taking place across the country, with some Christians protesting in the name of protecting the Earth, seeing it as a duty to be done in God’s name. One group has even built a chapel in the way of an oil pipeline and a radical pastor has encouraged his congregation to put themselves in the way of the diggers.

But resistance remains – a climate scientist who denies the world is warming and a preacher in Florida who sees the fact his home was flood as a welcome sign of divine presence.

Could a surprising section of Christian Americans offer hope regarding the country’s attitude to climate change?

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Source: gad

Altar rock – is doing a ‘Christian record’ no longer a career killer?

Justin Bieber’s next record is rumoured to have a Christian theme – and other stars, from Chance the Rapper to Stormzy, aren’t afraid to wear their faith on their sleeves

Justin Bieber has been a high profile member of Hillsong, the evangelical megachurch, and reports suggest his reconnection with his Christian faith will be a strong theme on his comeback album. He is, according to an anonymous source in the Sun, “reshaping his sound so it is more in line with the church’s values and beliefs”. It could be a risky move, but perhaps not as risky as it might once have been.

“We’re reaching a point where, especially with North American artists, less so with UK ones, it’s fine to talk about your faith, especially from a Christian perspective,” says Tshepo Mokoena, UK editor of Noisey, Vice’s music site. “A good example is Chance the Rapper who is hugely successful, isn’t afraid to put [his faith] in his music or talk about it on social media.

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Source: gad

'Work actively' to oppose abortion reform, Irish Catholics urged

Bishops make forceful intervention as Irish parliament begins to debate referendum bill

The Catholic church in Ireland has called on its followers to vote against liberalising the country’s strict anti-abortion laws in a referendum in May, in its most forceful intervention yet in the debate.

As the Irish parliament began to debate a referendum bill, the bishops called on Catholics to “work actively” to resist change.

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Source: gad

Murdered Salvadoran priest Óscar Romero to be made a saint

Pope Francis approves miracle attributed to former archbishop of San Salvador

Pope Francis has cleared the way for Óscar Romero, the Salvadoran priest who championed the struggles of poor and dispossessed people and was murdered by a rightwing death squad, to be made a saint.

The Vatican announced on Wednesday that Francis had approved a miracle attributed to Romero, meaning the former archbishop of San Salvador could be canonised early next year.

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Source: gad

Exorcists are back – and people are getting hurt | Deborah Hyde

The rise of exorcism in Catholic and evangelical churches is like a new Inquisition. But there are ways to stop the witch-hunt

Exorcism is intrinsic to Christianity. From driving possessed swine into a lake to expelling a spirit from a boy who foamed at the mouth, Jesus could reasonably be considered a therapeutic exorcist. So it’s hard to tell some churches to get real and rational – although, regrettably, that message is as relevant as ever.

To claim that so many Italians have been contaminated by Satan, like some paranormal STD, is a significant aspersion

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Source: gad

Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre church closes in tax protest

Religious leaders say Israeli legislation is attempt to weaken Christian presence in area

The heads of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, considered the holiest site in Christianity, have shuttered its doors to protest against a new tax and a piece of Israeli legislation that will allow the government to confiscate church land.

In the rare step not seen for close to three decades, church leaders accused Israel of a “systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land”.

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Source: gad

Who in Scotland will now defend the virtues of religious observance? | Kevin McKenna

The denigration of the late Billy Graham is typical of the treatment Christians face in the country

The death of Billy Graham last week drew a curious response from BBC Scotland, which seemed keen to disparage the legacy of the great Christian evangelist.

The national broadcaster turned to its former head of religious broadcasting, the Rev Johnston McKay, to provide some analysis and perspective on the life and times of Graham. Sadly, there was neither. Instead, McKay gave vent to what seemed to me a long-held resentment at Graham based on personal animosity seasoned with just a bat squeak of envy.

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Source: gad

Five sermons from Billy Graham, the father of showman evangelicalism – video

Billy Graham, the renowned evangelist preacher, has died aged 99. Graham was famous for his impassioned sermons  delivered to millions of people across the United States and around the world.
He visited at least 185 countries to spread his message and
was a confidant of several US presidents. Photograph: Everett/Rex/Shutterstock

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Source: gad

Billy Graham was on the wrong side of history | Matthew Avery Sutton

Racial tensions are rising, the earth is warming, and evangelicals are doing little to help. That may be Graham’s most significant, and saddest, legacy

When Billy Graham stands before the judgment seat of God, he may finally realize how badly he failed his country, and perhaps his God. On civil rights and the environmental crisis, the most important issues of his lifetime, he championed the wrong policies.

Graham was on the wrong side of history.

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Source: gad