Blue Flower

AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER

This is an abridged version of International News due to editorial staff having been absent overseas during the past week.  International News will return to normal next week.

HALF OF BRITISH CHRISTIAN TEENAGERS DON'T READ THE BIBLE MORE THAN ONCE A MONTH

Fifty per cent of young British Christians don't read their Bible more than once a month. New research has found just one in three read it more than once a week. Teenagers also pray far more regularly than they read the Bible. London youth worker Mark Walley said young people overwhelmingly see having a regular experience of God an important part of their faith. However they don’t always equate the two things together. He wrote: "There is a link between the discipline of Bible reading and the experience of God. One of the main day to day ways you experience God is through reading the Bible." He suggests youth workers need to encourage their young people to read the Bible. It's like brushing your teeth you should do it if you like it or not'. The Christian message we need to get across is 'Isn't it a glorious thing that every day we need to we can pick up our Bible and hear God speaking to us."

Source: Premier News Service

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VAST MAJORITY OF CHRISTIAN TEENAGERS IN BRITAIN THINK SEX IS FOR MARRIAGE

The vast majority of British churchgoing young people hold onto the traditional Christian value that sex should be saved for marriage. This is despite general attitudes suggesting teenagers are becoming more sexualised. The research however found a much more liberal stance on homosexuality, with only 36% believing it to be a sin. Rachel Gardner, founder of the Romance Academy, expressed her surprise in the findings on pre-marital sex. She said: "Let's not pass over how radical this is. We're hearing how peer-on-peer sexual violence is more widespread than we think and being a teen virgin denotes that something is profoundly wrong with you. "So to say that you think sex is best understood and expressed in marriage, and then to try to live that out, is to go against the tsunami of peer opinion and affirmation; it just doesn't easily happen, unless young people involved have grabbed a greater vision than the one on offer."

Source: Premier News Service

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STATUE OF SATAN UNVEILED IN DETROIT

Detroit is grabbing headlines as a 9-foot, 2,000-pound statue of Satan was unveiled by a group known as the Satanic Temple. Attendees for the big reveal numbered around 700, as some protesters gathered but soon dispersed. The group's original venue for the statue's unveiling was cancelled after the outcry of local religious groups, and the dark event was finally held in an undisclosed location, attended by ticket holders only. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the goat-headed statue is its depiction of two children looking up adoringly at the goat.

According to Fox News, "The statue will now be stored out of public view until the Temple can find it a permanent home. The group hopes to display it at the Arkansas State Capitol, next to a monument of the Ten Commandments."

Source: Breaking Christian News

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GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING - WILL THE CHURCH BE PART OF IT

After decades of comfort and complacency, the church is now being pushed to the margins of American life, says the Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, senior minister of The Riverside Church in New York. But that’s not necessarily a bad place to be, she said. For years, the church has failed to speak prophetically to the issues of the day, but now everything is changing. “The church is being pushed to the margins of society, which to me is one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in a long time,” she said. “Finally, we may have the courage to stand up and say the things that need to be said.” Life on the margins brings with it an amount of freedom, Butler said. “I don’t need to perpetuate the church, anymore,” Butler said. “If we hold it loosely, and we have the courage to live how the gospel is calling us to, who knows what could happen?  “God’s up to something, and the choice that the church has is, ‘Do you want to be part of it?’” 

Source: Baptist Global News

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HALF OF ALL AMERICAN CHURCH FIRES IN THE LAST 20 YEARS DELIBERATELY LIT

More than half of all American church fires in the last 20 years were deliberate acts of arson. The Pew Research Centre analysed more than 4700 church fires which had happened in the U.S. over the last twenty years, finding 51% were intentionally started. This is considerably more than fires started at other buildings, with only 10% of non-residential fires and 5% of residential fires in 2013 classified as arson. Analysts also found the number of church arson attacks was dropping slightly. The Centre's report comes after a recent spate of arson attacks at Black-majority churches, all of which happened in the southern United States - an area historically known for racial tension. The fires happened after the Charleston massacre, where a white gunman killed nine Black worshippers who allowed him to participate in their Bible study. 

Source: Premier News Service

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