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Friday’s religion wrap

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

Bringing the Good Book by hook or by crook

The Christian Post profiles a 33-year-old Vietnamese Christian man who has allegedly distributed over 100,000 children’s bibles to families throughout Vietnam putting him at great risk in a nation which is very hostile towards Christians.

Finding God amidst a suicide crisis, the man only referred to as Bao, has previously been jailed for his work in spreading Christianity and had his bibles and Christian material confiscated but has carried on despite the deterrents.

Legal war over Christians’ law?

CBN News covers the looming legal showdown set to take place at Canada’s Supreme Court over the legitimacy of a Canadian Christian university’s law school accreditation. Trinity Western University in British Columbia is due to open their law school in 2018 but two Canadian law societies have objected citing the university’s “Christian covenant discriminates against the LGBTQ community and therefore the school’s future law school should be denied accreditation”.

University president Bob Khun has pushed back against the claims stating, “The reality is, gay students and lesbian students have been coming to Trinity. So suggesting that we’re precluding people from having this experience who self-identify as same-sex attracted or gay or lesbian is just not accurate.”

“Basically, the fight comes down to this—a community covenant that students are required to sign that states they are committed to the person and work of Jesus Christ and that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

This church is packing so don’t come attacking

The Christian Post reports on a church in Florida that has made it abundantly clear potential attackers will be met with deadly force. The River at Tampa Bay Church pastors have placed signs at every door of the church declaring, “Warning – please know this is not a gun free zone – we are heavily armed – any attempt will be dealt with deadly force – yes we are a church and we will protect our people”, which Associate Pastor Allen Hawes insists is a message to let people “know that this is a safe zone”.

Mass shootings have been an ongoing national tragedy in North America but the recent massacre of 26 people in a Baptist church in Texas has forced churches to reflect on security measures required to protect attendees.

While some have struggled to reconcile a church using deadly weapons on church grounds others have been behind the Florida church’s stance, including one Instagram user who commented, “For those that are shocked by this – God will protect His people, but He expects us to do our part. That’s why we use seatbelts, or wear helmets … just like others. We do our part, let God do his. Even Jesus told his Disciples to ‘get a sword’ – being a Christian isn’t safe in a world that hates Christians. We have the right to protect ourselves like everyone else.”

Joint appeal against Christian slaughter  

Christian Today reports on the joint declaration by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to express pain over Christian persecution in the Middle East and Africa and call for more international help to halt the religious cleansing.

Meeting in Moscow the pair said, “In many countries of the Middle East and Africa there is persecution of Christians, manifested in mass killings, the barbaric destruction of churches, the desecration of holy sites and the expulsion of millions of people from their homes.”

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