AMERICAN CHURCHES POST COVID-19 As many as one in five American churches could permanently close as a result of shutdowns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, according to David Kinnaman, president of the prominent Christian research organization Barna Group. In a public radio interview regarding the status of American churches after months of shutdowns, Kinnaman said although churches were handling things “pretty swimmingly” at first, circumstances have changed for some. He noted that although many churches have opened as US states’ shutdown orders are loosened, their services have had “a lot less people coming.” “They’re recognizing that the relationships that they thought were much deeper with people were actually not as deep as they expected.”
CHRISTIANS FIGHT COVID IN BANGLADESH Christians across Bangladesh are playing a huge part in the country’s response to COVID-19. There are 280 Christian doctors and about 4,000 Christian nurses currently working in Bangladesh, according to Premier News. Churches in Bangladesh currently operate 20 hospitals and run about 70 community clinics in rural areas.
“BLACK PANTHER” ACTOR News services around the world report that tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43. The actor’s family announced he had died surrounded by his loved ones following a four-year battle with colon cancer. Along with tributes, people have been remembering Boseman for his inspiring message to Howard University’s graduating class of 2018. He began that 34-minute message by “first, giving honour to the Creator”. In the middle of the speech he shared the story of his rocky road to success and how he had to have faith in God during the difficult time.
Songs of Hope Christian News Bulletin reported in October last year that John B. Goodenough, the father of the lithium-ion battery, the rechargeable power source inside your mobile phone or laptop, is a Christian. This Professor from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work at Oxford University which made possible the development of lithium-ion batteries. Goodenough joins a long list of Nobel laureates who are Christian; some lists suggest 65 per cent of prize winners are followers of Christ.
CHRISTIAN LEADERS AND CORONAVIRUS
According to Premier Christian News, 2,700 Christian leaders have signed a document supporting the scientific conclusions about coronavirus and the subsequent need for a workable vaccine. The statement was published by the Biologos Foundation – a Christian organisation seeking to promote “the harmony between science and biblical faith” which was established by prominent Christian geneticist Francis Collins.
AMERICAN CHRISTIANS AND COVID-19
A new survey from Pew Research , reported in The Christian Post, reveals how most Americans have been coping with the pandemic and lockdowns, and it isn’t through faith in God or spiritual practice. In fact, more than any other religious or non-religious population surveyed, 90% of Christians report watching the most TV and movies at home to decompress from COVID-19-related stress. Only 55% of participants reported praying weekly and only 29% said Scripture reading was part of their weekly routine.
CHRISTIANITY AND SPORT
Stephen Liggins is an Anglican minister in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, a former first grade cricketer and current ‘Masters’ athlete. Eternity News reports that his new book on Christianity and sport – The Good Sporting Life: Loving and playing sport as a follower of Jesus offers insights for all Christian athletes. Former Australian hockey international, Susie Harris, states that the book balances “athlete experience with practical advice and faithful biblical truth.”
WORLD VISION IN BEIRUT
World Vision is busy assisting people affected by the recent blast in Beirut, Lebanon with primary needs of food, water and shelter. World Vision worker Rami Shamma reports that emotional care is also provided, which is crucial for Lebanese children. He says the trauma is ‘stacked up’ and they are providing psychological first aid.
MEGHAN MARKLE’S FAITH
Meghan Markle’s faith in God has got her through ‘the darkest moments’ in her life, according to a new biography about her marriage to Prince Harry, Finding Freedom. The authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, claim that belief in God plays ‘a central role’ in Meghan’s life. Christian Today reports the book as stating: ‘It’s prayer and conversations with God that have gotten her through the darkest moments.’
STATUE OF BILLY GRAHAM
A life-sized statue of the late Billy Graham will be installed in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall collection. The late evangelist’s statue will replace a statue of a white supremacist, Charles Aycock, that the government wants removed. Franklin Graham told Religion News Service the statue is not something his father would have pushed for.