The Journey team selects stories that got us talking this week.
Number of churches in Korea heading south
Al Jazeera reports on the sharp decline of Christian churches in South Korea where more than half the population say they are non-religious despite Christianity traditionally playing a large part of Korean post-war society and along with North America, South Korea being one of the biggest exporters of missionaries in the world.
Some are placing the blame for Christianity’s decline in the hands of churches who are viewed as “archaic and out of touch”.
Gomez admits God over glitz
Latina covers pop star Selena Gomez’s latest comments about her faith which she delivered at a recent Hillsong Church conference. After a recent health scare where she needed a life-saving kidney transplant, Gomez has gone on the record stating she now feels closer than ever to God.
“I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting on-stage, or right after leaving the stage … eight years later, you will be sitting in a service and everything within you will shift. The Holy Spirit will speak louder than anything that called for your attention.”
Discovered seal proves “Chronicles” is real?
The Times of Israel has the latest on a major archaeological discovery in Jerusalem which backs biblical accounts in Chronicles and Kings. A governor’s rare seal impression found at the Western Wall plaza contains inscriptions of political rank which conform to references in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles also mentioning the “governor” of Jerusalem.
The seal was officially presented to current Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who commented, “It is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem. This show that already 2700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.”
“Jerusalem is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, continually populated by the Jewish people for more than 3000 years. Today we have the privilege to encounter another one of the long chain of person and leaders that built and developed the city.”
Political feuds leave Christianity unglued
The Australian reports that European Christianity is fracturing along political lines as the region faces a resurgence in right-wing political parties tapping into Christian nativism. Interestingly, many of the rightist politicians spouting pro-Christian talking points are being opposed by clergy and bishops who tend to position themselves as centre-left. Drawing upon examples in Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, tension may be growing between clerical leftism and far-right Christian politicians with even some centre-right politicians clashing with what is perceived as socialist leanings of the faith.
“It’s probably a fair generalisation that most European churchgoers are a lot more moderate and sensible than the far-rightists who are trying to woo them, but also stand a bit to the right of their own clergy and bishops,” writes The Australian.