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In the Press

  • As many as one fifth of teenagers are 'active followers of Jesus', according to new research.

    And one of the things that encouraged them to give their lives to Christ was visits to church buildings, often with their schools.

    The poll was carried out by ComRes months ago but has onlly just been released because researchers were so surprised by the results they had them checked and double-checked.

    Read more.

  • In the summer of 2011, the well-known evangelical campus ministry Campus Crusade announced it was planning to change its name to the strange abbreviation "Cru."[1] The word "crusade" had negative connotations, particularly overseas. It was identified with the medieval Christian crusades against Islam. Apparently the word became a barrier to today's campus evangelism. Similarly, when I attended Christian schools in the 60s and 70s, many of them chose as their team name "the Crusaders." This in fact was the name of my own high school in northern Ohio.

    Times have changed. Many people even in the United States believe that the Crusades were a great blot on Christian history. It's true that they were far from perfect, and Christians committed atrocities. On the other hand, the goal of the crusaders was to retake Christian territory that had been forcibly overthrown by Islam.[2] We could certainly make the case that if there're any room for just war, this would be it.[3] Getting rid of violent, murderous Islam (like ISIS today) is a legitimate military aspiration.

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  • We recently ran a piece on abortion and male suicide. Now, the BBC has produced a radio programme on men and abortion.

    Today, BBC Radio 4 aired a programme called "It's my baby too", asking the question "how are men affected by abortion?" It features presenter Aasmah Mir talking to men who have gone through the experience and to women about how they feel men cope with abortion. She also heard from abortion service providers about the current process, academics about the limited research conducted into the impact abortion has on men, and experts working in the field of relationship counselling.

    Although the show isn't perfect by any means (it uncritically features David Steel recounting why he introduced the 1967 Abortion Act), it is significant because any public discussion of how abortion affects men is almost unheard of.

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  • Little more than a week has passed since yet another election has turned British politics on its head. One of the most prominent themes: the role of evangelicals in politics.

    With her loss of 13 seats, Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Theresa May was sent scrambling to form a coalition government in what is now a hung Parliament. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is in negotiations to be the likely partner.

    Founded by pastor Ian Paisley as the political arm of the Protestant factions during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the DUP gained notoriety for its fiery social conservatism. Even as social policy across Britain liberalized, the DUP held the line to protect abortion restrictions and to ban the expansion of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

    Read more.

  • The Church of England's General Synod is to consider whether to introduce a way to allow transgender Christians affirm their new identity in a church setting.

    A motion has been brought by the Diocese of Blackburn which will be debated at July's meeting in York.

    The Church will look at how an existing service for reaffirming baptismal vows may form the liturgical basis for services which help transgender Christians mark their gender transition publicly.

    Read more.

  • Ireland's newly elected Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that a referendum will be held in 2018 on the issue of repealing the eighth amendment of the Irish constitution, which strictly prohibits abortion in nearly all circumstances. Varadkar announced the planned referendum alongside his selection of new cabinet ministers, including 'pro-choice' Minister for Health Simon Harris, who will be preparing legislation to enable this referendum to be held. Humanists UK and its section Northern Ireland Humanists have welcomed the announcement, which represents a significant step towards the full realisation of women's sexual and reproductive rights in the Republic of Ireland and will strengthen the case for equal access to abortion in Northern Ireland.

    The announcement follows an increase in pressure upon the Irish Government for the law to be changed. Earlier this month, the UN Humans Rights Committee ruled that Ireland's prohibition on abortion, which forces women to travel abroad for the procedure, violates international human rights treaties. This was the second ruling against the Irish Government by the UN Human Rights Committee on this issue since 2015.

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  • Tim Farron's resignation caused shockwaves as he announced he was stepping down, not because he was forced out, not because of his party's mediocre election performance, but because being Liberal Democrat leader was incompatible with his Christian faith.

    His full statement has sparked debate over whether faith and politics can mix and whether we will ever see a socially conservative Christian in charge of a political party again.

    Here is his full resignation speech, delivered to party activists on Wednesday evening, in full.

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  • Tim Farron was right to resign as Liberal Democrat leader because of his "fundamentally illiberal and prejudiced views" on gay sex, former Lib Dem minister David Laws has said.

    Mr Farron announced he was standing down as leader on Wednesday, saying he had been unable to reconcile his Christian faith with the demands of leading a "progressive, liberal" party.

    His decision was hailed as "brave and honourable" by bisexual former deputy leader Sir Simon Hughes.

    Read more.

  • The Archbishop of York has said Tim Farron's 'tormentors' who questioned him repeatedly about gay sex should be 'ashamed of themselves'.

    The Lib Dem leader triggered a row about faith and politics after resigning saying it felt 'impossible' to live as a 'committed Christian, hold faithfully to the Bible's teachings' and be in his role.

    'The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader,' he told party activists after being repeatedly asked about his private views on gay sex and abortion as an evangelical.

    Read more.

  • It's very rare these days that Jesus Christ has a direct impact on British politics. Yesterday was an exception, with Tim Farron making the announcement that he is stepping down as leader of the Liberal Democrats because it is apparently 'impossible' to be the party's leader and 'remain faithful to Christ'. His statement came only hours after Brian Paddick, his home affairs spokesman, resigned in protest at Farron's views on homosexuality.

    It's not difficult to see why Farron, who is an evangelical Christian, would reach this decision. His faith has been under scrutiny ever since he gave an interview to Channel 4 News two years ago. In answer to the question of whether homosexuality is a sin, Farron said 'We are all sinners'. When asked the same question this April, he muttered something about not being in a position to make theological pronouncements. In other words, he was there as a representative of his party, not his religion.

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