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Friday’s religion wrap

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

Hit the pews for a better snooze

The Christian Post reports on a University of Texas study which found people attend church and pray frequently “tend to sleep better than their less religious counterparts”. The study surveyed US adults and stated, “religion could decrease psychological distress, substance abuse and stress exposure, which are all associated with sleep outcomes.”

Christopher Ellison from the University of Texas, San Antonio’s Department of Sociology, commented, “This research is relatively unchartered territory that allows us to better understand the way in which religion and spirituality affect a person’s health and overall quality of life.”

Guardian of the galaxy turns attention to God

Hollywood superstar Chris Pratt proclaimed his faith in a bold way at the recent MTV Awards, reports CBN News. Pratt is no stranger to sharing his faith with his fans but his acceptance speech at the awards bash after winning the 2018 Generation Award was a ringing endorsement of Christianity.

“You have a soul and God loves you,” Pratt told the audience. “God is real, God loves you, God wants the best for you. Believe that, I do.” Amongst other advice for young people Pratt also said prayer was good for the soul and that while we are imperfect, “there is a powerful force that designed you that way and if you are willing to accept that, you will have grace.”

AG might need more Bible study Sessions

Fortune examines the latest immigration saga plaguing the Trump administration, in particular the citation of the Bible by Attorney General Jeff Sessions when justifying the immigration policy of separating some children from their family during detention.

Biblical scholar and former Jesuit priest Joseph Holt maintains that Sessions has misunderstood biblical justice and that justice and mercy must work in unison per the original translation of the Hebrew word for justice—tzedek.

“From a biblical perspective, we should be especially concerned about welcoming poor strangers seeking a better life for themselves and their loved ones,” writes Holt. “Loving our poor neighbours as ourselves requires doing for them what we would want done for us if our situations were reversed.”

Christianity’s role in World Cup goals

Christianity Today profiles the footballing superstars hoping to make a big impact at the 2018 World Cup and how their Christian faith has shaped them. While strikers such as Edinson Cavani and Falcao are well known for their Christianity, the spotlight is also on goalkeepers like Brazil’s stopper Allison and Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas who have gone on the record about how God and the Bible has shaped their lives.

“If you believe in God, you know you have to do your best on the pitch and put love into everything you do in life,” said Allison. Navas echoed similar sentiments about the faith: “My faith is the most important thing. I believe that, the moment I had a very personal relationship with God and I really knew what his Word said, it was not about religion. It was about knowing that what the Bible tells us is what He has left us.”

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