One of two South Korean men that were detained late last year by the North Korean government on charges of espionage has been identified as a Presbyterian pastor who has dedicated much of the last 13 years to missionary work benefiting North Korean defectors in China.
After a North Korean state news agency announced last week that the country was holding two South Korean men accused of espionage, the General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in Korea, a Seoul-based Protestant association, identified Kim Kuk Gi last Friday as one of their own registered pastors and demanded that he be released.
"He was carrying out missionary works for North Korean defectors in [the Chinese port city of] Dandong," a representative from the Presbyterian assembly told Voice of America News. "He bought noodle makers and tofu machines to send to the North, as well as sewing machines." more >>
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he will allow churches to use public schools for worship space following the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to take up an appeal on the matter.
De Blasio will seek to revamp rules that presently bar congregations, such as the Bronx Household of Faith, from using public school buildings on weekends for worship.
Wiley Norvell, spokesperson for de Blasio, said in a statement that the effort was being made now that Bronx Household of Faith's legal effort has failed. more >>
A Christian fellowship student group is no longer being recognized at California State University, Stanislaus because its requirement that student leaders be Christian is considered discriminatory and a violation of a statewide non-discrimination order.
The University System of California is no longer recognizing Cal State Stanislaus' chapter of the Christian student organization Chi Alpha, which under the name of Stanislaus Christian Fellowship has been a part of the campus for over 40 years.
The group was deactivated after the school discovered that the group's constitution required students to hold a Christian faith in order to be placed into leadership positions, which is in direct violation of a state university system executive order of non-discrimination. more >>
Vanessa Hudgens recently praised Australian Megachurch Hillsong, which she said strongly encourages congregants to have their "own personal relationship with Jesus."
The former Disney star, who was born a Catholic, spoke openly about her faith in a recent interview with The New York Times. Regarding Catholicism, the 26-year-old actress revealed that she "never felt very connected to it" and she credited her actor boyfriend, Austin Butler, 23, for helping revive her Christian faith.
"It feels like Arcade Fire — it's epic like that," Hudgens told the Times regarding the church's acclaimed worship band Hillsong United. "They really focus on you having your own personal relationship with Jesus, which is wonderful." more >>
Nearly 1,000 youth sent to a religious camp found themselves going through exorcisms at the hands of a local priest in Gryfice, Poland.
They were originally attending the camp to help them "explore God and devote themselves to spiritual renewal through prayer," the Daily Mail reported.
However, they found themselves undergoing exorcism with priest Tomas Wieczorek. The exorcisms came as a surprise to the youth as well as their parents, who believed they were just attending a typical religious camp. According to the Metropolitan Police, there has been an increase in the performance of exorcisms on youth in Britain and throughout Europe. more >>
Outspoken Christian National Football League player Benjamin Watson recently posted photos of his infant son on Facebook and remarked about how every time he thinks of his son, he's reminded of how deserving God is to receive the utmost highest praise from believers.
Watson, who is an 11-season NFL veteran and a tight end for the New Orleans Saints, commemorated his son, Judah's, second birthday by posting a collage of Judah's baby pictures on Facebook to share with his fans.
"Baby picture alert!!" Watson wrote. "It's always fun and nostalgic to look back at baby pictures on our kids' birthdays. On March 19, 2013, we were blessed with our second baby boy. We named him Judah, which means 'God be Praised.'" more >>