Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Church Calendar Colliding with St. Patrick's Day Celebrations
- Christians in Guerrero, Mexico Expelled from Homes
- Report: More than Half of Britons Have No Religion
- NFL to Allow Church Super Bowl Parties
Church Calendar Colliding with St. Patrick's Day Celebrations
It won’t happen again for more than 150 years, but this year St. Patrick’s Day happens to fall within Holy Week. According to the Kansas City Star, that oddity of the calendar is affecting the Catholic Church as well as parade plans in some cities, creating confusion and even some bad feelings. Because Holy Week takes precedence, in most Catholic diocese the feast will not be commemorated officially. Because of that, some cities are shifting the date for their St. Patrick’s Day parades. At least one city is arguing about it. In Columbus, Ohio, the diocese urged that all St. Patrick’s celebrations be rescheduled to avoid Holy Week. In New York and Boston, as in Kansas City, the church is staying out of secular plans.
Christians in Guerrero, Mexico Expelled from Homes
“Traditionalist Catholics” this week expelled 20 evangelical Christians from a town in Guerrero state and cut off the electricity and water supplies to eight Protestant families in Chiapas state, Christian sources said. Compass Direct News reported that authorities in Tenango Tepexi, Guerrero, on Monday February 18 removed 20 Christians in three families, including 14 children, from their homes. Sources said the Christians were temporarily held in town offices, then loaded onto trucks and dumped on the edge of town. Town leaders supportive of the “traditionalist Catholics,” who practice a blend of Catholic and native religions, told them they would be burned to death if they tried to return.
Report: More than Half of Britons Have No Religion
The Christian Post reports that more than half of British people admitted they have no religious adherence, revealed a new U.N. report published this week. The poll stands in contrast to the 2001 National Census which said nearly 72 percent of the population is Christian. The 23-page U.N. report, published Thursday, showed that two-thirds of the population claims no religious affiliation. The report then called for the disestablishment of the Church of England because it no longer reflected “the religious demography of the country and the rising proportion of other Christian denominations.” The author contends the role and privileges of the Church of England should be challenged given the new statistics on the state of religion in the United Kingdom.
NFL to Allow Church Super Bowl Parties
According to Baptist Press, churches can resume hosting Super Bowl parties without opposition from the National Football League, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed Sen. Orin Hatch, R.-Utah. "For future Super Bowls," Goodell said in a Feb. 19 letter to Hatch, "the League will not object to live showings –- regardless of screen size -– of the Super Bowl by a religious organization on a routine and customary basis." Goodell's reversal settles an issue reported by Baptist Press on Feb. 1, 2007, when the NFL informed a Southern Baptist church in Indianapolis it would run afoul of federal copyright law by showing the Super Bowl on a screen wider than 55 inches. According to a Feb. 20 news release from Hatch's office after Goodell's reversal, "In essence, this provides churches the same right as sports bars."