Monday's News & Ideas - 1/14/2019

  • China crackdown worst since Mao
  • Texas Muslim retains GOP role
  • Who joins and leaves the Episcopal Church?
  • Religion scholar Lamin Sanneh dies
  • Resolving to unplug
  • 'Super blood Wolf Moon' -- not as scary as it sounds

In China, they’re closing churches, jailing pastors – and even rewriting scripture
The Guardian: Researchers say the current drive, fuelled by government unease over the growing number of Christians and their potential links to the west, is aimed not so much at destroying Christianity but bringing it to heel.
Ukiah Daily Journal: On Religion: Persecution of Christians in Middle East now ‘old news?’

Texas GOP leader who is Muslim declares victory over bigotry
Dr. Shahid Shafi, a trauma surgeon who is Muslim, declared victory over bigotry and a win for religious freedom after fellow Republicans in Texas’ most conservative urban county voted 139-49 with 10 abstentions to retain him in a key leadership position.

Leaving and joining the Episcopal Church
Episcopal Cafe: According to a new study based on Pew research, the Episcopal Church’s more inclusive approach to spirituality as well as its advocacy of marriage equality/LGBTQ rights are the most influential factors right now that are driving some people away from the Episcopal Church while simultaneously drawing newcomers in.

Lamin Sanneh, pioneering historian who studied Christianity’s spread, dies at 76
Washington Post: Lamin Sanneh, a Yale Divinity School professor who was raised a Muslim, converted to Christianity and became a leading scholar of both religions, most notably as a pioneer in the study of Christianity’s transformation from a Western institution into a world-spanning faith, has died at 76.

Resolved to unplug? Films, challenges urge the religious to reflect on digital lives
Religion News Service: Christian author Andy Crouch and Barna Group have launched The Tech-Wise Family Challenge. The 21-day challenge encourages participants to rethink the role of technology in their lives and homes. It includes questions for discussion and recommended action steps.

The Spark

'Super blood Wolf Moon' coming Jan. 20
For more than an hour next weekend, people across the globe will see the Wolf Moon -- a full moon in January -- which also will be a lunar eclipse and "super blood moon" that reveals a vivid reddish tint.

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