CENSORSHIP IN CHINA The Christian Post reports that internet censorship targeting Christians in China has become so severe that even official government-sanctioned Christian groups are now using the Chinese pinyin initials “JD” to replace Chinese characters for “Christ,” according to U.S.-based China Aid. In one official WeChat store, not only ‘Christ’ becomes ‘JD,’ ‘Jesus’ also becomes ‘YS,’ and ‘Bible’ becomes SJ’.
TITHE-THE-TITHE Alfred Street Baptist Church, a predominantly Black church in Alexandria, Virginia, has donated more than $1,000,000 to various organizations to help those affected by the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. According to Christian Headlines, the money came from excess tithes that the church didn’t need to run. It was part of an initiative called “Tithe-The-Tithe.”
FESTIVAL HALL SOLD Melbourne’s iconic Festival Hall has been purchased by Hillsong Church. Reports in various media suggest that the property was sold for more than $23 million.
TIKTOK AND THE GOSPEL Eternity News reports that TikTok, the short video app that boasts about 800 million active users worldwide, has something even more powerful than humorous dance videos on it: the gospel. Operation 513, a collection of young street evangelists, have produced material on the TikTok platform and their gospel videos have racked up hundreds of thousands of views. One of the videos has over 700 thousand views. Their channel may be seen at needgod.net
AUDIO BIBLE IN ‘3D SOUND’ According to Christian Headlines, a Polish filmmaker is working on an Audio Bible to provide listeners with a cinematic audio experience of the Scriptures. Casting for the project will feature hundreds of voice actors, ranging from A-list Hollywood actors to everyday people. The production is through a binaural recording, an audio technique that is meant to provide a ‘3D sound’, especially when using headphones.
PRAYERS FOR THE MEDIA Christians and churches of all denominations are being urged to pray for the media on Sunday 1st November. The appeal comes from Christians in Media, a network working across all forms of global media.
THE BIBLE IN SIGN LANGUAGE Christianity Today reports that after 39 years’ work, a sign language (American) translation of The Bible Is Now Complete. Work on translating the Bible into American Sign Language started in 1981 with Duane King, a minister in the Independent Christian Church. Pastor King had learned to sign after meeting a deaf Christian couple who told him they avoided going to church because they did not understand what was going on. Pastor King and his wife, Peggy, then started a church for the deaf and started work on the sign language Bible.
CHRISTIANS IN EGYPT According to The Christian Post, the situation for Christians in Egypt is ‘better now than it has been for a long time.’ Darrell Bock, a Christian professor recently visited the nation where he met with a group of 70 Protestant Egyptian leaders who told him that improvement in conditions for the Christian minority was ‘huge’. However, he says there are still areas in the country, where there is violence against the Christian Church About 10% of Egypt is Christian. Barely 1% are evangelical Protestant. Since 2017 more than 1,600 churches have been given legal recognition.
A HILLSONG BOOK Grammy Award-winning group Hillsong Worship has released a children’s book named after their popular song What A Beautiful Name. The book, written by Hillsong’s Brooke Ligertwood and Ben Fielding and their spouses, presents the themes mentioned in the worship song to young readers in a fun enjoyable way.
WALL OF ANSWERED PRAYER The UK’s Eternal Wall Of Answered Prayer has been granted permission for construction. It will take the form of a giant arch constructed out of a million bricks, each representing a prayer that has been answered by God. It is the brainchild of Richard Gamble, former chaplain of Leicester City Football Club. He says the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, standing more than 51 metres tall would ‘make hope visible to the UK’. Mr Gamble told Christian Today that it’s been 16 years since the idea was floated. It is expected to attract 300,000 visitors a year and contribute £9.3 million to the local economy. Due to open in 2022, the site will include a visitor centre, café, bookstore and 24-hour onsite chaplaincy support service.
SOLAR-POWERED BIBLES New Life reports that people who can’t read can hear God’s Word with MegaVoice as solar-powered audio Bibles are reaching Kimberley Aboriginal people with the Gospel. Thanks to donations and grants, Rev Chris Webb at Broome People’s Church is able to sell MegaVoice Bibles at a subsidised price that is affordable for locals. He’s had so many requests that he’s run out of supplies.
BIBLE APP FOR KIDS According to Premier News, The Bible App for Kids has been downloaded to more than 14 million devices this year, a 193% increase compared to the same time last year. The recent surge in growth has helped the app reach a new milestone of 50 million installs since its launch in 2013.
INNOVATIVE CHURCH SERVICES Religion News Service reports that American churches that have continued to meet in person in their buildings have done so with smaller gatherings, social distancing, mask wearing and other measures meant to protect worshippers from COVID-19. Others have hosted drive-in services. At least one held a kayak service. And, with many sports cancelled for the season, some churches — like South Bend City Church — have filled the stands at the empty stadiums and ballparks in their neighbourhoods. First Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas, encouraged members to wear their favourite jerseys to its “Stadium Service” at the local school district’s football stadium.
MR ETERNITY ON STAGE In 1932 when Arthur Stace heard evangelist John G. Ridley preach about Eternity, he was inspired to write the word ‘Eternity’ in chalk on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne over 500,000 times. According to Eternity News, the theatre company Clock and Spiel Productions are planning to develop Mr Eternity—The Story of Arthur Stace for the stage.
SEQUEL TO “THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST” Eternity News reports that Jim Caviezel, the actor who played the part of Jesus in the film The Passion of the Christ, has confirmed that a sequel is underway. Caviezel told Breitbart News Daily that director Mel Gibson had recently sent him the third draft of the sequel’s script. The actor stated: “It’s coming. It’s called The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection. It’s going to be the biggest film in world history.”