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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week. 

Trump… Holy president?  

The Guardian reports that the new film by Mark Taylor establishes that Donald Trump’s election was an act of God. It was really surprising when the billionaire and polemic reality TV star became the US president back in 2016, and some even considered it as a miracle. Now, different religion experts claim Trump’s victory as the result of divine intervention with the purpose of restoring the moral values of America. This idea can be reflected in the words of Jayne Gillikan, “Trump is God’s will, there’s no other way to explain it. I know in my heart that God raised him up for this time in our country.”

The Trump Prophecy was released this week across 1,200 US cinemas. The movie cost £2m and it was a collaboration between ReelWorks Studios and the film school at Liberty University. This Christian institution has been ranked as the most conservative college in America, so it was no shock when several students refused to work on the movie and started an online petition to cancel the project.

Fame vs. Religion

Fox News reports about Spanish actor, Willy Toledo, who has been accused for insulting God and Virgin Mary in a Facebook post. Toledo, a recognised film and television celebrity from Madrid was denounced by the Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers for a post shared on social media on July 2017, arguing he has ridicule God and the Virgin Mary.

In 2018, Toledo has been call to court two times but refuses to assist, claiming that he had not “committed any offence and so there is no need to appear before a judge”. For that reason, he was arrested at the end of September for questioning. The judge says there is enough evidence to prosecute the actor for his publications, “they contain potentially offensive phrases for the catholic religion and its practitioners”.

Long lasting life for believers

The Independent examines the results of the last study conducted by Ohio University regarding the features that affect people’s longevity. The research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science concluded that religious people live four or five years longer than atheists and agnostics. There are certain factors that differentiate the two groups such as social support, stress-relieving practices and abstention from unhealthy habits. 

Baldwin Way, co-author of the investigation claims that “the study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives”. This can be explained as religious groups include participation in social gatherings and activities, which at the end help manage loneliness and sedentary lifestyles.

Can a court decide who would you marry?

The New York Post publishes the case of a Saudi women who was forbidden for marrying her partner as he was “unsuitable”. The main reason is because he is a musician and she is a bank manager. However, he played once an instrument called an oud, which is perceived as not religious. “In some parts of the conservative Muslim kingdom, music is forbidden, and musicians are looked down upon as having bad reputation”.

The legal complications started two years ago when the Saudi women demanded her two brothers for negating the permission to marry the man she loves. Now, the judge states that “because the suitor plays a musical instrument he is unsuitable for the woman from a religious point of view”.  She lost the court battle to marry him over her family’s objections.

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