May 9, 2020: Va. pastors' petition, American Christians poll, ISIS returns to Iraq

Saturday, May 9, 2020:

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

— Nearly 200 pastors sign petition urging Va. Gov. Northam to allow weekly in-person church services

Over 190 pastors in Virginia have signed onto a petition letter urging Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to modify two executive orders so churches can gather for in-person worship services at least once a week.

The pastors said they “have been praying for” the governor and are pleading with him to modify Executive Orders 53 and 55 to at least allow “once-weekly gatherings of religious organizations, provided that reasonable public-health precautions are taken” to help protect churchgoers from contracting the new coronavirus.

Virginia has banned churches from holding outdoor or indoor gatherings of more than 10 people until June 10.

— Most American Christians don't know their purpose in life 

Most Americans are unsure about what their life’s purpose is, even among Christians.

According survey results released by the American Worldview Inventory from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, only 18% believe the universal purpose is “knowing, loving and serving God.”

“Even among the 71% of Americans who consider themselves to be Christians, fewer than 20% adopt the biblical view that our purpose is to know, love and serve God.”

— Worship video goes viral: UK churches unite to sing blessing over the nation 

Over 65 churches in the United Kingdom linked arms during these challenging times for an emotional digital performance of Cody Carnes and Kari Jobe's Christian anthem, “The Blessing.” 

Encouraged by The Pittsburgh Blessing, which consisted of a group of churches in the U.S. that recorded the worship song, hundreds in the U.K. followed suit to sing a blessing over their land. The video has since gone viral and has over 1.7 million views as of Friday.

— ISIS attacks return in Iraq

As Muslims celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and as governments try to combat the spread of COVID-19, there has been a resurgence of deadly attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq over two years after the group’s territorial defeat. 

According to reports, militants aligned with the jihadi group have launched a series of attacks in the last week as they are trying to take advantage of gaps in security protection in Iraq. 

Andrew White, an Anglican vicar who spent years serving in Baghdad, warned that ISIS seems more empowered now than ever before. We need serious prayer that order will be restored. Things are truly desperate."

— Mike Pence denounces Va. officials’ punishment of church 

Vice President Mike Pence denounced Virginia officials for punishing a congregation whose pastor was threatened with jail or a fine for holding an in-person worship service of 16 people on Palm Sunday.

Pastor Kevin Wilson of Lighthouse Fellowship Church on Chincoteague Island was cited by officials for holding a worship service on April 5 that had 16 people in attendance.

On an episode of “The Brian Kilmeade Show” on Wednesday, Pence said that “The very idea that the Commonwealth of Virginia would sanction a church for having 16 people come to a Psalm Sunday service when I think the church actually seats about 250 was just beyond the pale,” the vice president said.

To read more stories from a Christian perspective, visit

Free Religious Freedom Updates

Join thousands of others to get the FREEDOM POST newsletter for free, sent twice a week from The Christian Post.

Most Popular

Free Religious Freedom Updates

A religious liberty newsletter that is a must-read for people of faith.

More Articles