- UK churches tackle loneliness
- Missionaries have good impact
- Atheism in decline in UK
13 Jan 2019
30 Dec 2018
POPE CALLS FOR FRATERNITY
According to Melbourne’s Herald-Sun, Pope Francis, in his Christmas message, declared that ‘God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters.’ Without fraternity, the Pope said, ‘even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.’ He urged the world to put aside ‘partisan interests’ to find a political solution to wars in Syria and Yemen and conflicts in Ukraine and on the Korean peninsula.
‘AHOK’ TO BE RELEASED
Jakarta’s former governor, known as “Ahok”, who was sentenced last year to two years in jail for blasphemy against Islam, is to be released from prison next month, four months ahead of schedule. The ethnic Chinese Christian was due to be released in May. But he has been granted early release, scheduled for 24 January, for good behaviour, according to the Director General for Prison Affairs, as reported by AsiaNews.
CALL TO PRAYER
Eternity News reports that more than 50 nations have responded to a call by Australian prayer leaders to pray at sunrise on New Year’s Day at a public location such as a hill, lookout or landmark in their city or town, or even at home. “Basically the New Year’s Day Sunrise Prayer Relay is a relay of people praying all around the world at sunrise on New Year’s Day, said Pat Steele, a prayer and worship leader in Wollongong on the NSW south coast.
24 Dec 2018
NATIVITY SCENE GOES WALKABOUT
LifeSiteNews reports that when the Thistles Centre shopping mall in Stirling, Scotland, cancelled the annual static Nativity Scene, 'Joseph, Mary and Jesus' staged a walkabout, creating a living Nativity there after news reports appeared that the shopping mall would not permit a traditional manger scene to become part of its Christmas display. The actors playing Mary and Joseph said that they wanted particularly to underscore the fact that Christmas is about Christ.
CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY
Renovation of the Church of the Nativity is lifting spirits in the Biblical town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas. Visitors are looking at ancient mosaics and columns that have been restored to their original glory for the first time in 600 years. City officials, according to a report from Sydneyanglican.net, hope the renovation at the traditional birthplace of Jesus will boost tourism and a weak economy in the Israeli‐occupied West Bank.
POP-UP TOY STORE
World Vision has set up a pop‐up toy store in Melbourne to tell the story of toys left behind by children forced to flee their homes. In this way, World Vision is seeking to shine a light on the plight of the world's 30 million displaced children. 'The Lost Toy Store,' created by artist Emma Davies, aims to provide a point of connection between shoppers and displaced children. It is hoped that shoppers will pass on a ‘message of generosity’ to the children and their families for Christmas.