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Friday’s religion wrap

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

Gospel number awakens Atheist’s slumber

CBN News covers one atheist’s journey to Christianity via Edwin Hawkins’ “Oh Happy Day”, a gospel song made popular after it was featured in the hit movie Sister Act 2. Charlie Mackesy, a British artist and former atheist was attending a music festival when he heard the London Community Gospel Choir sing Hawkins’ song and it moved him to start a journey for life’s deeper meaning.

“I didn’t know much about black gospel music but I bought loads of it,” Mackesy said. “This whole idea of grace—and I never heard it [before]—‘washed my sins away’ and this freedom: they had this freedom I had never seen before.”

“Even though it’s difficult and faith is a difficult journey, it’s worth every second.”

Pope is spooked by world getting nuked

Daily Mail Australia reports on Pope Francis’ fears that the world is coming very close to nuclear war and a catastrophe could be close. The news is especially pertinent in the wake of the false missile alert in Hawaii and ongoing nuclear tensions between North Korea and the United States of America.

“I think we are at the very limit. I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things,” Pope Francis said.

The Pope recently stated that countries should not stockpile nuclear weapons, even for deterrence.

Monkey devotion causes violent commotion

Morning Star News covers the story of an Indian pastor who was beaten for not worshipping the monkey god, Bajrang Bali (aka Hanuman) in Hyderabad. Pastor Karma Oraon was worshipping on Christmas eve with a small flock of Christians when over 15 Hindu extremists brandishing wooden sticks interrupted and started abusing and physically attacking Oraon. They told Oraon, “Immediately you should give up Christianity and embrace Sarnaism/Sarna [indigenous religious]—if you don’t, you will be brutally murdered.”

According to Oraon police officers refused to receive his complaint and investigate the assault.

Religious freedom trumps all on Jan 16

The White House announced that January 16, 2018 was Religious Freedom Day to celebrate religious liberty in America with President Trump writing, “No American … should be forced to choose between the tenants of faith or adherence to the law.

“The United States is also the paramount champion for religious freedom around the world, because we do not believe that conscience rights are only for Americans.  We will continue to condemn and combat extremism, terrorism, and violence against people of faith, including genocide waged by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.  We will be undeterred in our commitment to monitor religious persecution and implement policies that promote religious freedom.  Through these efforts, we strive for the day when people of all faiths can follow their hearts and worship according to their consciences.”

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