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Friday’s religion wrap

The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week. Check back in every Friday to see the latest wrap up of religious news that made us think and reflect.   

English man put through one hell of a (bell)wringer

The Guardian reports on the freak accident of a bell-ringer who was left with a painful back injury when a church bell rope hoisted him in the air before sending him crashing to the ground.

The 51-year-old man was visiting the Worcester Cathedral when his foot got caught in a bell rope  and flipped him upside down. Fire crews and a specialist rope team rescued the man who was visiting with a group of 20 campanologists.  

Hillsong to expand its reach into Israel 

Christian Today covers news of Hillsong’s plans to open a church in Tel Aviv, with global senior pastor Brian Houston stating, “Hillsong church is going to add a room to our church family in Israel … From Jerusalem to the ends of the earth and from the ends of the earth back to Israel.”

The popular Christian denomination boasts over 190 Sunday services in countries such as South Africa, the Netherlands, France and Australia.

USA: Political division the norm, but feelings towards religion warm

The Pew Research Center reports their latest findings about American attitudes towards religious groups and despite heavy division due to politics, Americans generally express positive feelings towards various religious groups more so than a few years ago.

While attitudes towards Muslims and atheists still remains largely cool, Jews and Catholics received the warmest ratings; Evangelical Christians were the only group where feelings remain unchanged between 2014 and 2017.

Has pastor gone batty with faith test that’s ratty? 

The Daily Mail reports on a South African pastor who has encouraged his congregation to drink deadly rat poison as a test of faith. Pastor Light Monyeki from the Grace Living Hope Ministries has attracted global attention with his unconventional preaching which included pouring poison-laced water down the throat of a worshipper.

The church wrote on its Facebook page, “The man of God, Prophet Light Monyeki demonstrates the power of faith by causing congregants to drink Rattax; deadly poison to show forth their faith.”

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