In the midst of racial tensions in Charlotte, an African-American church in Greensboro, North Carolina, is transitioning to become the newest campus of The Refuge, a predominantly white multi-campus church aiming to have more multicultural diversity in its pews.
It was announced last Sunday that the predominantly black House of Refuge in Greensboro will become the fourth campus of The Refuge, a 2,200-member non-denominational church with campuses already established in Kannapolis, Salisbury and Brazil.
While the merger won't be complete until Nov. 6, when the House of Refuge officially becomes The Refuge of Greensboro, the announcement of the merger came just two days before riots broke out in the streets of Charlotte last week after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. more >>
The Communist Party of China has intensified its ongoing crackdown of Christianity and other faiths with the publication of new rules and regulations that tighten the government's grip on underground churches, persecution watchdog groups have said.
China Aid, which reports on religious freedom issues in China, said late last week that the new restrictions are aimed at dispersing Christian house churches and silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists.
The Revised Draft of Regulations on Religious Affairs is expected to formally come into effect early in October, and includes prohibitions on "organizing citizens to attend religious training, conferences and activities abroad," "preaching, organizing religious activities, and establishing religious institutions or religious sites at schools," and "providing religious services through the internet." more >>
Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz shares his gratitude for church growth in a recent social media post where he reveals that hundreds of people stand in line and wait to get into a church service.
Lentz took to Instagram on Friday with a photo that showed a line of people standing down a New York City block. The young pastor with over 336,000 Instagram followers used a photo to express his gratitude for the growth his church is experiencing, while revealing that his ministry continues to surpass the amount of people they can fit in a building per service.
"Last night @hillsongnyc was special and typical.. This photo encapsulates the heart of our church.. When churches have buildings they own, it's easy to take for granted how convenient it is to simply have meetings! We have never known that.. Every meeting we have ever had, we have to rent a venue. Pay for it. And it's never big enough! So waiting in a line, to get into an overcrowded room where you just might have to stand the whole time, becomes a normal thing. It's literally a choice to be inconvenienced..We have had people leave our church from time to time and say 'You know what, I just want to be somewhere smaller.' Not realizing the new place they choose to go, has the same desire to grow!! It just hasn't happened yet, or at the same 'speed'..I refuse to be a Christian that asks to be delivered from my own prayer requests.. 'God bring revival to NYC!!' And then when He does, resent what I used to rejoice about.. No way," Lentz wrote. more >>
The Episcopal Church continued its long trend of decline in 2015, with recently released statistics showing the Mainline denomination losing more than 37,000 members last year.
In statistics released earlier this week by the Episcopal Church Office of Research, in 2015 the Church had approximately 1.77 million members in its domestic dioceses, down from about 1.81 million members in 2014.
2015's membership numbers contrast strongly with the Episcopal Church's membership count 10 years earlier, which stood around 2.2 million members. This represents a decline of nearly 20 percent over the past decade. more >>
A Chinese businessman who years ago converted to Christianity from Buddhism is reportedly set to build a massive life-sized replica of Noah's Ark in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, believed to cost around $1.2 million.
Marc L'Hoir, who manages Sunset Cemetery in the city, revealed that businessman Wenqing Sun has already built such a life-sized Bible theme park in the city of Shenyang in northern China, and is looking to spread the Gospel message around the world.
Twenty-five percent of the American population is now religiously unaffiliated, a number which includes nearly one in four or 39 percent of young people aged 18-29, according to a survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute.
What is more, the most popular reason found for why people leave their faith was simply that they stopped believing in the teachings.