CRACKDOWN ON INDIAN CHRISTIANS
At least 10 pastors have been arrested with their families as they worshipped in church services across the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a leading persecution watchdog has reported. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a United Nations’ accredited NGO that serves in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, reports that authorities in the Indian state are continuing their crackdowns on Christians.
RELIGIOUS REVISIONISM IN CHINA
The Christian Post reports that the Chinese government is supervising a five-year plan to make Christianity more compatible with socialism in which there will be a “rewrite” of the Bible. Rev. Bob Fu, a prominent religious freedom activist, has told the United States Congress that the revision of China’s religious regulations is to actively guide religion to “adapt to socialist society.”
POP SINGER CRIES OUT TO GOD
Pop singer Avril Lavigne has re-emerged after a five-year hiatus with a powerful song that reveals her cry to God after encountering a near-death experience. Lavigne has been battling Lyme disease since 2014, and her new single, “Head Above Water,” reveals just how difficult that fight has been. In the song’s chorus, she sings “God keep my head above water / Don’t let me drown / It gets harder / I’ll meet you there at the altar / As I fall down to my knees / Don’t let me drown / Don’t let me drown.”
“HILL OF THE BIBLE”
The caretaker of a massive hillside Bible sign in Mexico hopes to break four Guinness World Records while also spreading a positive message about God’s Word. Gabriel Andavazo, a pastor in Ciudad Juárez, is caretaker of a huge hillside sign that can be seen miles away and that says in Spanish: “The Bible is the Truth.” Made of stone, it recently was re-painted with the help of around 2,000 people, according to Evangelical Focus.
BILL HAYDEN BAPTIZED
Various media outlets report that Bill Hayden, a former Governor-General of Australia and lifelong atheist, has found God and been baptized in a Roman Catholic Church at 85 years of age. According to The Australian newspaper, Hayden said “it was witnessing so many selfless acts of compassion by Christians over his lifetime, and deep contemplation while recovering from a stroke, that prompted his decision.” Australia’s The Catholic Leader reported that Hayden, who during his political career identified as a humanist, was baptized on September 9 at St. Mary’s Church in Ipswich, Queensland.
HILLSONG NOW A DENOMINATION
Eternity News reports that Hillsong Church has become an official denomination, withdrawing from the Australian Christian Churches (ACC). In a letter addressed to the ACC network, Hillsong Senior Pastor Brian Houston announced the “global nature” of Hillsong Church had prompted the decision. Hillsong now has the ability to credential its own pastors.