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In the Press

  • As the most important festival in the Christian calendar, Easter provides an occasion for the Church of England to celebrate with its congregation but for head of digital communications Adrian Harris it was also an opportunity to reconnect with a wider community.

    Harris has been tasked with using digital and social media to engage with the 97 per cent of people who, while they may identify as Church of England Christian on a Census, rarely, if ever, attend a church service.

    'We have a real opportunity at both Christmas and Lent and Easter to engage with really simple campaigns,' he explains. 'We took people on a discipleship journey throughout Lent using digital and particularly social – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It was about us sharing, across 40 days and 40 nights, a set of discipleness materials, such as bible readings and simple actions that could be done each day. People could engage on their way to work, on their way home or throughout the day.'

    Read more.

  • The Christian Institute has issued a fresh warning over plans for an Equality Oath, as it appears the Government is pressing forward on the issue.

    Cabinet minister Sajid Javid has expressed support for an oath which teachers, doctors and other public office holders would be forced to swear.

    Now The Sun newspaper has reported that the minister's officials have held meetings with concerned parties in recent weeks.

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  • A number of Christian Conservative MP's have backed their leader after she called for a snap election on June 8.

    Theresa May insists it's the only way to secure stability before the UK leaves the European Union.

    The Prime Minister says she came to the decision both "recently" and "reluctantly".

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  • Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been granted official UN accreditation by the 54 membered United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) after eight years of deferrals by the NGO Committee was followed by a denial earlier this year.

    On 19 April, 28 ECOSOC member nations voted in favour of granting Consultative Status to CSW, with 9 voting against and 12 abstaining, giving the organisation independent access to key UN human rights advocacy platforms, and the ability to organise side-events independently at fora such as the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and UN General Assembly. The vote was requested by the Permanent Missions of China and Pakistan.

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  • The great effort of the present-day censors on campuses across the West is to make speech synonymous with action. Campaigners against free expression claim that words not only "wound" people but actually "kill". They claim that people associated with any group being criticised are not only suffering a verbal "assault" but an actual "physical" assault. Those who campaign against any and all criticism of Islamists, for instance, not only claim that the attacks are "Islamophobic" and target "all Muslims". They also claim that such words cause violence -- including violence against any and all Muslims.

    One of the notable things about their objection is that the people who make such claims rarely if ever exercise the same civic hygiene they demand of everybody else. It is interesting to consider what would happen were anyone to demand the same standards of these campaigners as they demand of others.

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  • Scottish churches look set to become the first in the UK to allow clergy to conduct same-sex weddings in church.

    The Church of Scotland has confirmed it will debate a report next month that could pave the way for nominated ministers and deacons to carry out gay marriage ceremonies.

    The document, which will come before the Kirk's General Assembly, proposes allowing ministers who are opposed to same sex unions to use a "contentious refusal" clause.

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  • Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has come under fire this evening after he again refused to say if he thinks homosexuality is a 'sin'.

    The 46-year-old is campaigning to try and win seats for his party after Prime Minister Theresa May announced the UK would have a general election on June 8.

    But his hesitation around homosexuality was spotted by viewers, with former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins writing he has 'failed to clarify his views'.

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  • In a world of instant hot takes and online takedowns, it's never been easier for pastors to get engaged in polemics.

    Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Faithful shepherds not only feed the flock, they also fend off wolves. If a pastor is never willing to enter the fray on anything—never willing to get his hands dirty, never willing to risk his reputation, never willing to make a few enemies—I doubt he's fulfilling his calling to guard the good deposit (2 Tim. 1:14)

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  • The independent pharmacists' regulator has approved new standards governing the role of religion in pharmacy services, in a move welcomed by the National Secular Society.

    The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) launched a consultation on "religion, personal values and beliefs" late last year with new guidance that placed more emphasis on the rights of patients, rather than the religious beliefs of pharmacy workers.

    The NSS responded to the consultation, calling the proposals "forward-thinking and robust".

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  • The Church of Scotland is set to issue a formal apology to gay people for its 'history of discrimination' in a landmark report that also opens the door for ministers to conduct same-sex weddings.

    Proposals to be put to the Kirk's General Assembly when it meets next month include addressing the legal implications of gay marriage while allowing for 'conscientious refusal' from conservatives.

    If passed a legal panel would then examine the issue of permitting ministers to marry gay couples while protecting those who refused before reporting back in 2018.

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