Religion

SURVEY: 52% Of Brits Claim No Religious Affiliation

The Christian Post reports: The proportion of Brits who identify as Christian has reached its lowest point in over three decades of polling, as more than half of respondents said they no longer affiliate with a religion, a new study suggests. The National Centre for Social Research, which claims to be Britain’s largest independent social research agency, released its 36th …

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Country Star: Jesus Christ Walked Onto My Front Porch

Faithwire reports: Right before she hit “rock bottom” Billboard-topping country singer Jo Dee Messina said that Jesus visited her on her front porch. In 2017, Messina was diagnosed with cancer. She found herself uncertain of her future as medical bills mounted, and her career crumbled in front of her. The artist, who has six No. 1 country singles, not only …

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Publishers Warn Of “Bible Shortage” Due To Tariffs

Last month it was just higher prices. Now it’s a shortage. Publishers of religious books are warning that President Donald Trump’s latest proposed tariffs on Chinese imports could result in a Bible shortage in the U.S. Tens of millions of bibles are printed in China each year, with some estimates as high as 150 million. Publishers large and small testified …

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ISRAEL: Netanyahu’s Education Minister Says American Jews Marrying Non-Jews Is “Like A Second Holocaust”

Axios reports: Israel’s newly appointed minister of education, Rafi Peretz, said at a cabinet meeting on July 1 that the rate of intermarriage among U.S. Jews is “like a second Holocaust,” according to three people who were in the room. Peretz, a former chief rabbi of the Israeli army, is the leader of a bloc of ultra right-wing religious parties. …

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Anti-Gay Baptist Pastor Charged With Molesting Boys

Huntsville’s CBS News affiliate reports: The lead pastor of a Florence church has been arrested, accused of sexually abusing young boys in his congregation. John Martin was taken into custody Friday evening and booked into the Lauderdale County Detention Center on four counts of Sexual Abuse. Martin has been a pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church on Sweetwater Avenue for nine …

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UTAH: GOP Gov Orders Regulation Of Ex-Gay Torture Practices After GOP Reps Thwart “Conversion” Ban Bill

Ben Winslow reports at Salt Lake City’s Fox affiliate: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has issued a directive calling on a state agency to craft rules governing conversion therapy. In response to a question by FOX 13 on the status of legislation at his monthly news conference, the governor confirmed his directive. In a letter to Department of Commerce Director Francine …

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OOPS: Trump’s China Tariffs To Hit Christian Booksellers

Quartz reports: Fear is rippling through the Christian bookseller industry in the US. Publishers say that if Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs of 25% or “much higher” on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods kicks into effect. Printed materials are included in the extensive list of Chinese goods that would be hit with the latest duties. Particularly hard hit …

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Pastor Busted For Child Porn Had Superimposed His Face Onto S/M Images Of Young Girls, Authorities Say

Penn Live reports: A Chambersburg-area pastor was jailed last week, accused of possessing sexually explicit images of bondage scenarios involving children that also had his face superimposed into them. The Office of the Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force did the investigation into Stephen L. Dunn, 68, and filed charges on Thursday, according to court documents. During a …

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FLORIDA: Chick-Fil-A Franchise Owner Charged With Molesting Teen While Leader Of Church Youth Group

ABC News reports: A former youth leader was arrested Wednesday for lewd and lascivious molestation, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Matuszek is the owner/operator of Chick-fil-A at Westfield Countryside mall in Clearwater. Detectives say between August 2014 and April 2015 Heather Matuszek, 32, inappropriately touched an underage girl who was in her youth group at the Clearwater Community …

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Southern Baptist Convention Votes To Expel Member Churches Accused Of Covering Up Sexual Abuse Cases

The Christian Post reports: The Southern Baptist Convention overwhelmingly voted on Tuesday to expel churches accused of racial discrimination and mishandling cases of sexual abuse. On the opening day of the largest protestant denomination’s annual meeting, held June 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama, messengers — the delegates selected from SBC member churches to attend the meeting — cast their votes in …

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Poll: Most Catholics Say Clergy Sexual Abuse Continues

From a new survey by Pew Research: More than 15 years after U.S. bishops pledged “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, reports of previously unpublicized misconduct continue to receive wide media coverage. A Pennsylvania grand jury last year uncovered decades of sexual abuse and coverup by Catholic leaders, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – formerly the archbishop …

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Vatican: Transgender Identity Destabilizes The Family

USA Today reports: In its first statement on gender identity, the Vatican on Monday rejected the idea that transgender people can change their gender identity in a document meant to instruct Catholic teachers and students on sexuality and gender. The document, titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” suggests only men and women are sexually complementary, and that changing norms …

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ISRAEL: 2500 Police Protect Jerusalem Pride Parade, Dozens Of Ultra-Orthodox Protesters Arrested [VIDEO]

The Voice Of America reports: Thousands of people marched through the streets of Jerusalem on Thursday in the city’s annual gay pride parade, a festival that exposes deep divisions between Israel’s secular and Jewish ultra-Orthodox camps. Some 10,000 revelers waving rainbow flags joined the carnival-like procession, as over 2,500 police officers in plain clothes, in uniform and on horseback patrolled …

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Evangelical Polling Outfit Ranks “Post-Christian” Cities

The Christian Post reports: The Northeastern part of the United States, once known as a bulwark of Puritans and other strict Christian sects, now dominates the top 10 list of the most “post-Christian” cities, according to a report by the Barna Group. To fit Barna’s label of “post-Christian,” a respondent had to meet at least 13 of 16 listed criteria, …

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NEW JERSEY: Presbyterian Minister Accused Of Using Oral Sex To Suck Out Men’s Evil During Ritual Exorcisms

The Bridgewater Courier News reports: A Presbyterian minister, who said he was following the Bible, used Native American exorcism rituals, gemstones and even oral sex to extract “evil spirits” from men undergoing crises in their lives, the church and men claim. The so-called healing acts, which date to 1999, were allegedly performed by the Rev. Dr. William Weaver, a prominent …

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IRELAND: Catholic Priest Guarantees Trump’s Sons “Special Place In Heaven” After US-Paid Pub Crawl

Irish Central reports: An Irish priest has said he is saving ‘a special place in heaven’ for Donald Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Junior after the two brothers visited a multitude of local pubs in Doonbeg on Wednesday night. Doonbeg parish priest Joe Haugh had previously pledged a place in heaven for President Trump but has now extended that pledge …

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Megachurch Blasts “Slanderous” Child Rape Charges Against Leader: God Made Him An Apostle Of Jesus

ABC News reports: The Mexico-based La Luz del Mundo church said Wednesday that its leader and “apostle” Naasón Joaquín García, who was arrested in California on charges of human trafficking and child rape, remains the spiritual leader of the group, which claims 5 million followers in 58 countries. It also strongly denied the charges. “We believe these accusations are defamation …

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Catholic Bishop Ousted For Sexual Abuse Spent Millions On Luxury Travel, Lavished Cash Gifts On Young Priests

The Washington Post reports: In the years before he was ousted for alleged sexual harassment and financial abuses, the leader of the Catholic Church in West Virginia gave cash gifts totaling $350,000 to fellow clergymen, including young priests he is accused of mistreating and more than a dozen cardinals in the United States and at the Vatican, according to church …

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CALIFORNIA: Mexican Christian Leader Charged With Sex Trafficking, Allegedly Forced Oral Sex On Children

The New York Times reports: The leader of La Luz del Mundo, a church headquartered in Mexico that claims to have more than one million followers worldwide, was charged Tuesday in Los Angeles with more than a dozen sex crimes, including allegations that he forced children to have sex and made them pose naked for photos, the authorities in California …

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Catholic Church Spent $10 Million Across Eight States Lobbying To Prevent Sexual Abuse Victims From Suing

CBS News reports: The U.S. Catholic Church spent $10.6 million on lobbyists to prevent victims of clerical sex abuse from suing for damages. According to a new report, the money was doled out from 2011 through 2018 in eight northeastern states where bills to reform statute of limitations laws were either in the works or being considered. “This report lays …

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