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Ghost in concert at The Warfield in San Francisco, CA. Photo: agwilson / Shutterstock.com

Friday’s religion wrap

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

Texans pray: Send Ghost away

Arty metal band Ghost are set to tour Texas and not everyone is that thrilled, according to Consequence of Sound. Numerous members of the Midland, Texas community are gathering for prayers to seek God’s protection against what they see as devilish spiritual forces accompanying the band.

“We’re not here to protest. We’re just simply here to pray, to pray his protection, to plead the blood of Christ over our community,” said local pastor Larry Long. “This kind of band will bring spiritual influences into this area. We’re concerned about it, because we believe the devil is real, just as we believe God is real.

“The fact that they describe themselves as a worship band for Satan, is, I think quite shocking … they cover their faces with masks that look like devils in their concerts, and they are all about worshipping or bringing glory to Satan.”

Ghost frontman Tobias Forge is also known as Cardinal Copia but previously would portray the band’s mascot Papa Emeritus, a Satanic priest.

Abbott argues greater share for Christian prayer

News.com.au reports on former PM Tony Abbott’s latest comments on Christianity during a book launch for Dr Kevin Donnelly’s How Political Correctness is Destroying Education and Your Child’s Future. Speaking at the event, Abbott claimed that Australia is showing respect for Indigenous culture at the “expense of acknowledging Australia’s Christian roots” and wanted more gospel stories taught in schools.

“I’m not against acknowledging country; there are many circumstances where it’s entirely right and proper,” said Abbott. “This [the gospel] is essential to our culture, we should never forget that. I certainly would welcome more prayer; I’m not saying it should be compulsory.

“There needs to be an essential cultural literacy that everyone coming through Australian culture should have—and that needs to be a familiarity with gospel stories.”

Constitutional fail over “God pods” in Jail?

The Detroit News reports on a pending legal battle between a Muslim civil rights group and a regional jail in Virginia regarding the alleged establishment of a Christian-only area within the jail known as the “God Pod”. The Riverside Regional Jail has allegedly created an area within the jail for Christian inmates “who promise to live in accordance with the Bible”.

The lawsuit claims this is discrimination against Muslim inmates and others by excluding them from the “God Pod” and they are being prevented from “participating in programs that teach their faith”.

Lena Masri, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ national litigation director, said, “You have a state entity that is endorsing and promoting Christianity over other religions, so Riverside has unlawfully sent a message of favouring Christianity over other religions, while at the same time actively preventing other faith groups—including Muslims—from practising their own faith.”

Closure of White after advertisers take flight

ABC News reports on the closure of wedding magazine White after its Christian founders refused to feature LGBT diversity in their publication and faced a backlash from advertisers. White founders—Luke and Carla Burrell—have stated that they are “not about sides” but rather are “about love”.

White Magazine is no longer economically viable,” they said in their statement. “As much as we love what we do and are inspired by the positive impact it’s had, we need to draw the curtain on this part of our lives.”

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