News Round-up: May 12
The Most Dangerous Place To Be A Christian
For the 14th year in a row, North Korea remains the worst place on the planet to follow Jesus. According to long-standing charity Open Doors — which supports persecuted Christians around the word — North Korea has an estimated 70,000 Christians in prison or labour camps. Under the rule of Kim Jong-un, it is illegal to be Christian in North Korea. The second worst country on Open Doors’ disturbing list is Iraq, which has replaced Somalia.
Lady Gaga: “God is never a trend”
Hugely successful pop oddity Lady Gaga responded directly to what she felt was criticism of her, by a Catholic website. The website posted an article about what seems to be a trend among celebrities of “sharing Bible verses, quoting priests, and singing Christian music”. The article questioned how such things could be viewed in light of some of these celebrities “still leading a typical Hollywood lifestyle void of Christian values such as modesty and purity.” In a highly viewed response, Lady Gaga pointed to the example of Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. Like Mary, Lady Gaga wrote, “we are humans and sinners … We are not just celebrities … We are as equally forgiven as our neighbour. God is never a trend, no matter who the believer [is]”.
John Howard: Christianity shaped Australia
Former Prime Minister John Howard has given an interesting interview to Eternity newspaper about his Christian faith and how he sees Christianity playing out in Australian life. Mr Howard identified Judaeo-Christian values as the “greatest shaper, morally and ethically, of today’s Australia”, pointing back to Jesus’s teachings as the source of many things Australians hold dear.
First Muslim Miss USA is a Christian
Back in 2010, Rima Fakih won the well-known Miss USA crown. She was believed to be the first Muslim winner of the title. However, this year, Fakih has posted Bible verses on Twitter which suggest she’s a Christian. Notably, she posted Philippians 4:13 — “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”, a direct reference to finding the power to live life in Jesus Christ.