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A Christian Satirist Talks The Babylon Bee

8/22/2019
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Last month, Snopes fact-checked an article from the satire site The Babylon Bee. On its website, Snopes explained its rationale: The Babylon Bee has managed to confuse readers with its brand of satire in the past. This particular story was especially puzzling for some readers, however, as it closely mirrored the events of a genuine news story, with the big exception of the website’s changing the location. We found dozens of instances of social media users who were puzzled by this...

Duration:00:52:35

The Limits of Pentecostal Women Leaders

8/14/2019
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Two weeks ago, the Assemblies of God General Council elected a woman to its executive leadership. After more than 100 years in existence, Ohio minister Donna Barrett now holds the role of Assemblies of God general secretary, the third-highest position in the denomination. In May, the Foursquare Church’s Tammy Dunahoo ran unsuccessfully for the denomination’s presidency. If Dunahoo would have been elected, she would have been the first female president since the denomination’s founder, Aimee...

Duration:00:49:21

What Mass Shootings Mean for Loners and Youth Ministry

8/7/2019
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Last week, three more high-profile mass shootings rocked the US, once again sparking intense debate about gun control, white supremacy, and the president’s role in inspiring the shootings. In the wake of these attacks, the media also profiled the alleged gunmen, who were dubbed “loners” by those who knew them. They were also all young—the three alleged gunmen’s ages fell between 19 and 24. An LA Times op-ed by researchers who have analyzed data about the profile of mass shooters since 1966...

Duration:01:00:39

Responding to Josh Harris's Announcement: When Loved Ones and Public Figures Leave the Faith

7/31/2019
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Two weeks ago, Josh Harris, the author of the controversial Christian bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced that he and his wife, Shannon, were ending their marriage. Last week, Harris published another Instagram post, this time about the state of his faith: I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is “deconstruction,” the biblical phrase is “falling away.” By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a...

Duration:00:53:47

They Tried to Kill Me for My Christian Faith. So I Fled.

7/25/2019
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Last week, the US hosted its second religious freedom ministerial, an event which calls attention to the plight of those suffering persecution for their faith (or lack thereof), around the world. The same week, Politico reported that some in the Trump administration were advocating to slash the refugee program to zero next year. In light of the significant cuts to the program that the administration has already made, CT asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was organizing the...

Duration:00:51:32

Should You Pass Your Church to Your Son (or Daughter)?

7/17/2019
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It claims 100,000 members. It owns and operates an evangelical television channel, two schools, the first and only private prison in Korea, and hospitals in Korea and Ethiopia. Forty years ago, Myungsung Presbyterian Church in Korea was founded by Kim Sam-whan, its now pastor emeritus. But the church is currently involved in a crisis over who will be its next pastor. Kim Sam-whan gave his senior pastor position to his son in 2017. But the Presbyterian denomination to which it belongs says...

Duration:00:45:55

Are Our Ordination Controversies Unique?

7/10/2019
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What this sometimes contentious rite looks like in global Christianity.

Duration:00:48:11

Here’s What Makes the ‘First-Century Mark’ Saga Complicated

7/4/2019
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Last week, CT published a piece about the “First Century Mark Saga.” It’s a complicated, nearly decade-old situation that reveals much about the world of ancient biblical manuscripts. Many Christians may be inclined to primarily connect biblical manuscripts with apologetics or Bible translations, but the ecosystem they inhabit is far more complex, says Christian Askeland, a former Museum of the Bible employee and professor of Christian origins. “With the Gospel of Mark controversy, there's a...

Duration:01:06:20

How a US-China Trade War Threatens Christian Publishing

6/26/2019
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China is home to some of the worst religious repression in the world. But it also prints more Bibles than any country, thanks to the Nanjing-based Amity Press, which has printed almost 200 million Bibles since 1988 in partnership with the United Bible Societies. So when the Trump administration recently announced that the latest round of tariffs would include books, Christian publishers were alarmed. Last week, several leaders in the industry made their case before trade representatives to...

Duration:00:59:58

African and West Indian Christians Are Changing the UK Church

6/19/2019
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How God is working through the Windrush generation and beyond. The number of churches continues to drop in the UK. As CT reported last month, there are only 39,000 congregations left in the country, a quarter drop from 20 years ago. But despite churches increasingly closing their doors and the number of people attending church falling, this bad news isn’t across the board. For Black Majority Churches, the numbers actually look a lot healthier. These congregations began in the wake of World...

Duration:00:45:16

Beth Moore Is Speaking Up

6/12/2019
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In August 2010, CT published a cover story on Beth Moore, “Why Women Want Moore: Homespun, savvy, and with a relentless focus on Jesus, Beth Moore has become the most popular Bible teacher in America.” Intensely popular among evangelical women when the story was published nearly a decade ago, Moore, a Southern Baptist, has increasingly drawn the attention of American Christians at large. More recently, Moore has also begun speaking out on politics, sexual abuse, and the misogyny that she has...

Duration:00:46:53

This Pastor Criticized Trump When Pence Visited His Church

6/5/2019
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Popular Southern Baptist pastor David Platt learned that President Donald Trump was on the way to his church in the middle of the service, as he prepared to take communion. When the president arrived, Platt put his arm around Trump and prayed: “We pray that he would look to you; that he would trust in you; that he would lean on you; that he would govern and make decisions in ways that are good for justice, good for righteousness, good for equity, every good path. Lord, we pray that you would...

Duration:00:41:50

The Christian Backstory of Hong Kong’s Anti-Government Protests

5/30/2019
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In April, nine Hong Kong activists were convicted for participating in the pro-democracy Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement protests. One of those was a Baptist pastor, Chu Yiu-Ming. In the courtroom, he painted a vivid picture of the faith that had transformed his life and inspired his activism: “We have no regrets. We hold no grudges, no anger, no grievances. We do not give up,” he said, speaking on behalf of fellow activists striving to bring universal voting rights to Hong Kong. “In...

Duration:00:56:22

India Is Not Protecting Its Christians

5/22/2019
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On Thursday, Indians will learn the results of their country’s massive national elections. For the past five years, the country has been governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Despite Modi’s popularity among much of the country’s Hindu population, his tenure in office has proved difficult for India’s religious minorities. The Hindutva movement—which is made up of extremists who believe that all Indians must be Hindu—have gone after Christians, Muslims,...

Duration:01:02:01

Jean Vanier’s Faith Convicts All of Us

5/15/2019
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Last week, the Canadian Catholic leader Jean Vanier died at the age of 90. Born into a privileged family, Vanier’s life took an unexpected turn when he founded L’Arche, an international network of communities for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. As Bethany McKinney Fox, the founding pastor of a church inspired by L’Arche wrote for CT: “While many ministries involving people with intellectual disabilities began with a clear separation between those being...

Duration:00:59:56

How Christians Can Reach Muslims During Ramadan

5/8/2019
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This week marked the start of Ramadan, a 30-day season of fasting and celebrating observed by millions of Muslims around the world. Some Christian communities, especially in the Middle East, have for generations learned how to respect and connect with their Muslim neighbors during this time. As more Americans convert to Islam and Muslims from other countries migrate to Europe and North America, the Western church has been slowly learning the history of this holiday and how to reach the...

Duration:00:55:31

France Loves Notre Dame. Do They Still Believe the Faith That Inspired It?

5/1/2019
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Two weeks ago, the Notre Dame caught fire and burned. In the aftermath of the blaze, fundraising efforts to repair and reopen the church have raised millions of dollars. But they’ve also highlighted disparities in the ability of other religious traditions—primarily Protestants and Muslims—to open new places of worship and maintain their existing ones. Currently, a new church opens every 10 days in France, says Raphaël Anzenberger, the director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries for...

Duration:01:12:27

The Easter Attacks Are a Turning Point for Sri Lanka's Christians

4/24/2019
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Nearly 300 people are dead after suicide bombers attacked three churches and three high-end hotels on Easter Sunday this week. Christians—the majority of whom are Catholics—make up less than 10 percent of the population of the majority-Buddhist nation, and have reported escalating concerns about their religious freedom. Christian persecution has largely come at the hands of Buddhist radicals, so the church has largely responded to the attacks with shock, says Ivor Poobalan, the Prinicipal of...

Duration:00:37:19

Valuing Women of Color at Christian Conferences

4/17/2019
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everal weeks ago, theologian Ekemini Uwan was interviewed on stage at the Sparrow Conference for Women. But when Uwan, a Nigerian American who frequently speaks out against racism and white supremacy, began doing so at the conference, people in the audience began walking out, according to a report from The Witness. Uwan later tweeted that she had to hire an attorney to force the conference to send her photos and video of her interview. YouTube also removed a video of her remarks at the...

Duration:01:17:31

When the Government Bans Chaplains from Execution Chambers

4/10/2019
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Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Texas could not execute inmate Patrick Murphy if they did not allow his Buddhist chaplain into the death chamber with him. In response, last Thursday, the state of Texas decided to ban all chaplains from entering the death chamber with inmates. Patrick Murphy’s situation echoes the story of Alabama inmate Domineque Ray. Ray, who was executed in February, requested to have his imam be present with him in the execution chamber. Ultimately, his request...

Duration:00:55:06