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Weekly Briefing
Weekly briefing: Google whistleblower, Marty Sampson, Greg Laurie

Weekly briefing: Google whistleblower, Marty Sampson, Greg Laurie

Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers his keynote address during the Google I/O 2016 developers conference in Mountain View, California, U.S. May 18, 2016. | REUTERS/Stephen Lam

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Google whistleblower reveals bias, manipulation, blacklist

Former Google employee Zachary Vorhies revealed that he delivered roughly 950 pages of documents to the Department of Justice’s Antitrust division demonstrating that Google manipulated its algorithms in a way that biased its search engine against conservative media, Christian media, nonprofit groups and Republicans.

The documents included a news blacklist for Google Now, which he said is a list that restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds from some Android Google products. On that list was The Christian Post, Life News, Patheos and Glenn Beck, among others.

Those that “don’t fall in line” with Google’s editorial agenda get “de-ranked,” Vorhies told Project Veritas.

“I saw that they were making really quick moves ... that they were intending to sculpt the information landscape so that they could create their own version of what was objectively true.” — Zachary Vorhies

Christians respond to Hillsong worship leader losing his faith

Christians have been responding this week to the shocking announcement of Marty Sampson — a worship leader and songwriter with Hillsong Church — that he’s “genuinely” losing his faith.

Sampson said on social media that he’s struggling with questions — such as contradictions in the Bible and why God would send people to Hell — and that his faith is on shaky ground.

One of the most talked about responses came from John Cooper, lead singer of the Christian rock band Skillet.

“We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom.” — John Cooper

Read Sampson’s response to Cooper.

Greg Laurie has the longest-running evangelistic event in the US

Evangelist Greg Laurie is gearing up for his 30th annual Southern California Harvest Crusade next week and they’re pulling out all the stops to make it really special this year.

Over 500,000 people have made decisions for Christ at Angel Stadium over the last three decades and Laurie wants to bring hope particularly to Generation Z, which has been described as the hopeless generation.

Read Laurie’s remarks about evangelism, deconversions, and answering hard questions about Christianity.

Some Christians denounce Trump admin’s new immigration restriction rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli announced this week that a new public charge rule would be implemented to prevent legal immigrants from getting green cards if they rely on food stamps, Medicaid, or other taxpayer-funded services.

While federal law has required foreign-born residents to rely on their own resources since 1996, Congress had never defined what the term public charge meant.

It is now being defined as “an individual who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period,” Cuccinelli said.

World Relief’s Matthew Soerens believes the new rule “will likely lead more people to consider immigrating illegally.”

Several states, including California, Maine, Pennsylvania and Oregon, as well as the District of Columbia, are challenging the rule with a complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Friday.

Pray for

Pastor Raju Prassad in India who was beaten by Hindu radicals

Christians in northern Kenya who continue to face threats and were able to escape a terrorist attack

New releases

Albums:

Let’s Talk by Freewill (Aug. 16)

Order by Jason Gray (Aug. 16)

Books:

Transformed by Truth: Why and How to Study the Bible for Yourself as a Teen by Katherine Forster (Aug. 6)

Divine Impassibility: Four Views of God's Emotions and Suffering edited by Robert J. Matz and A. Chadwick Thornhill (Aug. 13)

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