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Friday’s religion wrap

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

New coda to Mormon ban on soda

Fox News reports on the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University’s (BYU) decision to end its six-decade ban on caffeinated soda on campus. While drinking caffeinated soda on campus was not banned, sales were out of belief it was against the religion.

The Mormon religion has close to 16 million members worldwide and adherents to the faith are told to avoid alcohol and hot drinks such as coffee and tea in accordance with the 1833 revelation from Mormon founder Joseph Smith.

Christopher Jones, a visiting BYU professor, said, “I drank a lot of caffeinated beverages while I was here but none of them was purchased on campus. I never thought I would see the day so it’s exciting.”

Christian supports No, boss lets her go

ABC covers the latest development as Australia debates whether to legalise same-sex marriage: a Christian worker who revealed on Facebook she was planning to vote no was sacked due to the alleged impact her public view on this issue would have on the business.

While the worker and her boss maintain they acted morally there could be grounds for a legal case involving religious discrimination.

The worker at the centre of the incident said, “I’m not afraid to stand up for my beliefs and being a Christian. Everyone else is putting up these Vote Yes filters, and there’s one filter that says it’s OK to vote No.”

Ukrainians amaze with huge street praise

CBN News reports on a mass gathering of Christians in Kiev, Ukraine who came together to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Approximately 500 000 people flooded the streets of Kiev after the Ukrainian President Pedro Poroshenko signed an order in recognition of the Reformation.

Mission Eurasia’s Sergey Rakhuba said, “Many travelled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness.”

Don’t assume the numbers mean doom

Fox News reports on a Christian numerologist’s claim that the world is due to end on 23 September, 2017 given verses in Luke 21 signal the apocalypse is near. How did he arrive at 23 September as the exact date? It was “pinpointed using codes from the Bible, as well as a ‘date marker’ in the pyramids of Giza in Egypt”.

Before everyone panics too much, the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches have all dismissed the apocalyptic claims.

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