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Friday’s religion wrap

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

Less bread for Gen-Z

The Christian Post reports on data suggesting that today’s American teenagers are the most non-Christian generation in American history with only four out of 100 holding a true biblical worldview.

The Barna Group’s research project into Generation Z’s (born between 1999 and 2015) beliefs and culture found that 35 per cent of Gen Z teens identify as atheist, agnostic or not affiliated with religion in comparison to 30 per cent of millennials, 30 per cent of Generation X’ers and 26 per cent of Baby Boomers.

Barna’s senior vice president of research Brooke Hempell said, “Gen Z is different because they have grown up in a post-Christian, post-modern environment where many of them have not even been exposed to Christianity or to church.”

Christian sells grog, gets the flog

Daily Mail Australia reports on a Christian man in Indonesia who has been whipped per Sharia law for selling alcohol. Jono Simbolon received 36 lashings in a public whipping for selling alcohol in Aceh.

Children were reportedly cheering at the public lashing where Banda Aceh mayor Aminullah Usman told the onlookers, “This is our government’s commitment to enforcing Islamic law … If there is a violation of the law, immediately report it to the sharia police and we will carry out a punishment like today’s caning.”

Life sentence for suffocating faith

Relevant Magazine’s David Norling writes about his faith journey and how one sentence by Simone Weil saved him from “suffocating certainty”. After reading Weil’s Gravity and Grace Norling found the book’s line, “The mysteries of the faith are degraded when made into objects of affirmation or negation, when they ought to be the object of contemplation,” to be a profound catalyst for contemplating mysteries in the Bible.

“When the mysteries of the faith are summarized or given a facile explanation, they lose their symbolic power. Myths, poems and even semi-historical narratives, for example, tell truths that can only be expressed in story and metaphor,” says Norling.

Don trumps others for faith defence

My Christian Daily reports on Franklin Graham’s claims that President Donald Trump has done more to defend Christianity than any other president in his lifetime. Appearing on Fox News Graham stated, “President Trump has been defending Christians and I find this refreshing; to have a president who’s not afraid to say ‘Jesus’ … He’s not afraid to have prayers where people pray in the name of Jesus; we’ve never had this, not in my lifetime.”

Graham’s claims come in the wake of Trump’s announcement of a new government division who will ensure hospitals and clinics are “respecting the religious beliefs of doctors and nurses”.

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