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Religion Wrap

Honouring the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr

In a feature published in the New York Times to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s death, Dr Gregory Stirling, dean of Yale Divinity School reflects on the influence of Dr King.

The title “reverend” — and Dr. King’s prominent vocation as a Baptist preacher — is too often assigned as a footnote of history rather than a preamble to all that he was and is. As the nation prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination that day in Memphis, it is my hope that we can recognize and celebrate the religious underpinnings of his work. To do so, it’s imperative that Christians, in particular, divorce themselves from party purity and find new ways to bring Dr. King’s moral vision and his eloquent intonations of faith to bear on current issues.

UK digs deep to support crumbling churches

UK-based news service Ekklesia reports on a pilot scheme to help save England’s historic places of worship, many under threat due to declining membership and the high cost of maintenance and restoration.

It follows The Taylor Review: Sustainability of English Churches and Cathedrals, which called for greater community use of Church of England buildings to help congregations raise income to pay for their upkeep. The project will provide funds for minor repairs and assist places of worship to increase community engagement.

Bibles pulled from sale in China

According to the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Bibles have reportedly been pulled from sale through online bookstores across China, sparking confusion and outrage from frustrated Chinese-Christians on social media amid a tenuous split between the Vatican and Beijing.

Chinese officials announced Beijing “has always made real efforts towards” establishing Vatican relations during a press conference to release a white paper which coincidently outlined how religious beliefs and freedoms are protected under the country’s socialist systems.

Four religions dominate the world

The Sun reports that 80 per cent of the world’s population follow four main religions, despite there being an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide.

Christianity leads the way with 2.1 billion believers, followed by Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

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