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Friday’s religion wrap

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

Rise in dough for Christian bakers

The Belfast Telegraph reports on the profit rise for a Northern Irish Christian bakery that was involved in a legal stoush over their refusal to bake a cake promoting gay marriage. Ashers Bakery was found guilty of discrimination after it refused service to a gay activist who wanted a cake feature Sesame Street characters and the slogan “Support gay marriage”.  

The bakery insisted that the cake’s message was incompatible with their Christian beliefs but a county court and Court of Appeal found them guilty of illegal discrimination. The legal controversy doesn’t seem to have harmed their business with the company recording an increase in profit from last year.

Suspected church hater is organist traitor

WTHR News reports on a church vandalism case in Brown County, Indiana which many suspected was the work of the Ku Klux Klan or other hate groups until the real culprit was found—the church organist. A Swastika, homophobic language and “Heil Trump” were spray-painted on St Davids church in late 2016 and it was thought that the graffiti may be connected to the church’s position on welcoming gay couples.

But after detectives studied cell phone records and speculated it may have been an inside job, they eventually confronted the 26-year-old gay church organist who confessed to the crime. His reasoning behind the hate crime? He wanted to create a false flag attack to mobilise people to fight for good.

Nuns seeding hope with farm full of dope

Refinery 29 profiles a group of American outlaw nuns who are farming medicinal marijuana and growing a healthy business operation which they describe as a “holy trinity of non-denominational spirituality, servitude and activism”.  

Dubbed “weed nuns”, the marijuana farmers grow non-psychoactive cannabis which is rich in cannabidiol, a chemical compound which offers numerous medicinal benefits. They export their product around the world but still face potential legal nightmares given the federal government’s ban on the activity, plus ongoing security problems to protect their crop.

From scorn to porn, now reborn

CBN News profiles ex-porn star Crissy Outlaw and her journey from adult filmmaking to outspoken Christian activist. A sexual abuse survivor, Outlaw entered the adult film industry seeking validation from being a fantasy object for men and was soon earning up to $15 000 per month. But a chance encounter with a man who asked her if she accepted Jesus convinced her to rededicate her life to Christ and she soon quit the industry.

With therapy, Bible study, church attendance and mentorship, she has now got “her life back on track” and speaks out against the dangers of the porn industry.  

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