Jan. 30, 2020: Trump Mideast plan, suicide rate, Willow Creek apology

Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

— Trump unveils Israel-Palestinian peace plan

Calling it the “deal of the century,” President Donald Trump unveiled on Tuesday an Israel-Palestinian peace plan that would include Israel annexing parts of the West Bank while offering a Palestinian state.

The proposal was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but has been rejected by Palestinian leaders.

Trump said, “This is an opportunity for peace … We’ll see if it catches hold. If it does, that’d be great. If it doesn’t, it’s OK.”

— CDC study: Blue-collar workers most vulnerable to suicide

A new study from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention revealed that suicide rates are higher among blue-collar workers, particularly men, compared to those of other occupational groups.

Some of the major industry groups with high suicide rates include construction, mining, agriculture and warehousing.

Since 2000, the U.S. suicide rate has increased 40%.

— Willow Creek apologizes after sex abuse allegation against Bill Hybels’ mentor

Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago released an apology Tuesday after a longtime congregant revealed that its founding pastor Bill Hybels’ mentor sexually abused her.

Ann Lindberg disclosed in an extended post on Facebook Saturday that Gilbert Bilezikian victimized her for years. The abuse included kissing, fondling and pressure to have sex, she said.

While Bilezikian has never been an employee at Willow Creek, he has served and taught at the church. The church’s elders apologized for allowing him to serve.

— China bans Christians from holding religious funerals

Chinese authorities are enforcing policies throughout the country that bans Christians from holding religious funerals.

Wenzhou city’s Pingyang county adopted new rules that prohibits clerical personnel from participating in funerals and allows no more than 10 family members to read scriptures or sing hymns in a low voice.

A village official from the central province of Henan said the local government has also imposed restrictions.

The new rules are being adopted as the government continues its crackdown on Christians and efforts to “sinicize” religion.

— TobyMac talks about unexpected death of son at Rock the Universe

Christian artist TobyMac was at Rock the Universe over the weekend where he spoke about the sudden loss of his 21-year-old son, Truett.

Saying it’s “been hard,” TobyMac said God didn’t promise no suffering, pain or loss. But what God did promise is that He will never leave us or forsake us, the artist said.

Truett died in October of an accidental overdose of fentanyl and amphetamines.

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