News round-up: July 22
Hollywood is possessed
One of the most famous horror films ever, The Exorcist (1973), is being turned into a TV series. Already, another TV series, Preacher, focuses on a man of the cloth who is possessed by an angel/demon creature. Both are somewhat based upon Christian understandings of good, bad and the spiritual realm — as are two recent films, The Conjuring 2 and The Witch. What’s with this possession trend? Is it tapping into our deep anxieties about how scary reality can appear to be?
Safe Schools explained
Even if you haven’t closely followed the public debate about the “Safe Schools” program, you’ll know how controversial it has been. Hope 103.2FM’s online reporter Clare Chate has boiled down the big issues and different sides of the debate, to help Christians consider their own response to the proposed program.
Oprah’s ‘megachurch’ series might offend
Greenleaf is a drama TV series developed by Oprah Winfrey, focusing upon a minister, his family and their megachurch in Memphis. Some prominent Christians are suggesting Greenleaf might upset Christian viewers, but Winfrey and Greenleaf writer Craig Wright claim it is “respectful” of churches and those who attend them.
New Russian laws muzzle evangelism
Known for its discriminatory legislation, Russia this week enacted “anti-extremism” laws. Allegedly designed to fight against the influence and impact of Islamic State, the laws have been deemed by Christian advocates (in Russia, and outside) to be threatening to Christian expression. One American expert said: “The law doesn’t do that much to defend from terrorism and only prevents Christians and others who are not Orthodox from preaching and proselytising.”