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In the Press

  • "This Easter season is a time of great celebration. Jesus is risen! Let's take a few moments to think again about the amazing events which happened on that first Easter day".

    Chris the vicar had spent a lot of time preparing for this sermon with prayer and study. Taking a deep breath he continued:

    "Towards the end of the story of the road to Emmaus, as Jesus taught his disciples, like all great communicators he summarized his mission and his message in one sentence. Now before we look at it, just think for a moment: if you were to ask your neighbour or friend who doesn't come to church, what was the most important thing Jesus did, and what was his message, how do you think they would respond? Perhaps 'he healed people?' or 'He said people should be kind to each other?'"

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  • A network apparently using WhatsApp to distribute images of child sexual exploitation has been disrupted by dozens of arrests, according to police.

    A total of 39 suspects were apprehended in Europe and South America, following action by the Spanish National Police, Europol and Interpol.

    Spanish investigators discovered dark web sites directing users to private WhatsApp groups last year.

    Read more.

  • Theresa May has announced an early general election will take place on June 8.

    Here is the Prime Minister's statement in full.

    "I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on June 8."

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  • Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.

    "Sermons that teach about Scripture" are the No. 1 reason Americans go to church, according to a new Gallup poll.

    Researchers found that 82 percent of Protestants and 76 percent of all regular worshipers consider sermons' biblical lessons as a major factor that draws them to services.

    Read more.

  • A visiting lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium has been sacked after he described abortion as 'the murder of an innocent person'. Stéphane Mercier, who was lecturing to a first-year philosophy class, also argued that abortion could be 'worse than rape'. Mercier's comments attracted the outrage of a campus feminist group, which complained that he was presenting his personal views to the class.

    The sacking of Mercier reflects the absurd, chilling nature of campus censorship. Mercier was teaching philosophy. Philosophy students are (or should be) taught that the key to understanding philosophical theory is the free exchange, and conflict, of ideas. It is through debating conflicting points of view – including the personal views of academics and students – that you come to learn more about an issue.

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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".

    Read more.

  • Gay marriages may soon be able to take place in the Church of Scotland.

    A report to be debated at the Kirk's General Assembly in May said ministers should be permitted to perform same-sex ceremonies.

    It also said the Kirk should apologise for failing to recognise the Christian vocation of gay people.

    Read more.

  • On Palm Sunday, April 9, the Islamic State targeted two Coptic churches in coordinated bombings in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The explosions killed dozens of Egyptians and injured many more in the worst of a number of such attacks that have taken place in the last decade.

    The interrelated challenges of violence, economics and discrimination have led to the increasing departure of Christians from the Middle East. For centuries they have been part of the rich religious diversity of the region.

    So who are these people that National Geographic has called "The Forgotten Faithful"?

    Read more.

  • Young British Muslims think Isis fighters returning from Syria should be reintegrated into society and rehabilitated rather than being sent to prison, a study suggests.

    The national study found young British Muslims across the UK believe returnee fighters should be reintegrated into society, with one saying the Government should "give them a chance" and another warning that "otherwise they are gonna find another extremist group and join them".

    Read more.

  • Easter is a time for thinking about Jesus, for Christians and others. Sadly, though, we in Britain today take too little notice of the example of the man whom the holiday commemorates. That might sound odd coming from a Muslim like me, but it's true – and I'm not alone in thinking so.

    Jesus, who is known as Isa in Arabic, is referred to by name 25 times in the Qur'an. That book calls him the "spirit" and the "word" of God, and believing in Jesus is a fundamental pillar of faith for a Muslim. Our belief is different, of course; we don't accept the doctrine of the Trinity, or that Jesus was the son of God (in fact the Qu'ran has Jesus denying this in his own words). The Qur'an states that Jesus did not die nor was he crucified; instead, he ascended to Heaven. Still, for Muslims, he is one of the greatest prophets who was a precursor to Prophet Mohammed.

    Read more.

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