Pastor Gu Yuese, the imprisoned leader of the largest government-sanctioned church in China who stood up to the ongoing crackdown on churches, wrote a letter to his congregation urging compliance.
China Aid, a Christian human rights organization based in the U.S., said, however, that some suspect Gu might have been forced by government authorities to write the letter.
While the Communist Party detained and in February charged the pastor with embezzling near U.S. $1.6 million in funds, persecution watchdog groups have said that the arrest has more to do with Gu standing up against the government's crackdown of churches, including the forced removal of rooftop crosses. more >>
For the second consecutive year, a Mississippi lawmaker has introduced a bill to make the Bible the official state book, even though a similar bill failed to pass last year.
Known as House Bill 840 and introduced by Democratic Representative Tom Miles, the proposed legislation was referred to the Rules and Constitution committees earlier this month.
In an interview with local media, Miles argued that the bill should not be considered controversial given the legislature voted a couple years ago to add "In God We Trust" to the state seal. more >>
Hillsong Church will open the doors to its third congregation in the U.S. on Sunday, offering six worship services at three campus locations in Arizona.
The new Phoenix site, Hillsong Church Phoenix, is the former City of Grace Church co-pastored by Terry and Judith Crist, and is comprised of three campuses located in Scottsdale, Mesa and Phoenix. The three campuses will host at total of six Sunday worship services, and the Crists will stay on as Hillsong Phoenix's lead pastors, according to Chrisitan News Wire.
Pastor Crist said the deal was years in the making and marked his church's "greatest step of expansion." In an address to his congregation, Crist further explained how the decision came about. "After eight years of general conversations, followed by the last two years of very specific and serious considerations, followed by a time of seeking God — both with our board and with a few of our key team members — I am so excited to announce to you today that City of Grace is becoming the 16th global location of Hillsong Church." more >>
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign is not concerned by the lawsuit threat leveled by Donald Trump following the Cruz campaign running an ad attacking Trump as being pro-choice.
Earlier this week Cruz released an attack ad against Trump titled "Supreme Trust," which centered on the question of which president can be trusted to appoint a pro-life justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In contrast to his precipitous fall from grace in October 2014, Pastor Mark Driscoll's Feb. 1 Twitter announcement that he is planting a new congregation, The Trinity Church, in Phoenix, Arizona, has received some positive responses.
On the same day of Driscoll's announcement, Paul Kidd, pastor of North Carolina-based Thrive Church, took to Twitter to express his support for Driscoll: "@PastorMark We support you and the church. As a ministry kid and now Pastor, I have seen all sides ... you have our prayers!"
Support for Driscoll's new venture extends to the Mountain West where the pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Brady Boyd, celebrated the news in a brief tweet: "@PastorMark congratulations!!" more >>
It's been a decade since North Carolina-based Elevation Church first opened its doors, and lead pastor Steven Furtick is celebrating that milestone along with 40,000 "professions of faith" thus far in his ministry.
In a Twitter post shared with his more than a quarter million followers, the megachurch pastor wrote, "Core team … still together 10yrs & 40k professions of faith later. God is Able ... " The message was accompanied by two photos of Furtick's "core team," one apparently taken 10 years ago and the other one more recently.
Christian Post had featured Furtick in a 2013 special article series called "An Inside Look at a New Generation of Pastors." The series interviewed up-and-coming pastors under the age of 40 who preached orthodox biblical Christianity and were successful in conveying the Gospel message in a way that resonated with today's generation. At the time of the article series, Furtick was 33 and was the founding and lead pastor of Elevation Church, a multi-site church in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an average of more than 14,000 people in attendance each weekend, according to the church. more >>