News round-up: February 5
Jesus for US President?
With the American presidential race heating up, politics and Christian faith are increasingly being found together. Much more than Australia’s political landscape, the Christian beliefs and actions of many candidates (and voters) are a big factor in who ultimately will win. American comedy shows have a field day with this, as they poke fun at possible hypocrisy or lack of logic. This week, Jimmy Kimmel Live ran a segment featuring an actor playing Jesus. He reads outlandish or insensitive quotes from presidential candidates (without stating who actually said it). The effect of “putting words into Jesus’ mouth” is odd, potentially offensive and yet more powerful than you might expect.
National Day of Prayer and Fasting this Sunday
Around Australia on Sunday, February 7, Christians are called to join in a national day of prayer and fasting. Along with local church events, a major part of this National Day will be a prayer vigil occurring in Canberra at Parliament House’s Great Hall, between 10am and 4pm. Organisers hope this National Day will unite Christians to pray for “revival and transformation in Australia”.
Giant cross on the horizon
Things are meant to be big in Texas. But one big thing you might not have expected is a 65-metre-tall cross. That’s right, a huge cross is being constructed in the appropriate Texan town of Corpus Christi. Aiming to be “the tallest cross in the Western hemisphere”, the Corpus Christi cross will be visible from 8 kilometres away. “The cross is different than any religious symbol in that it points the way to the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who through His sacrificial death offers to all the free gift of eternal life by grace through faith,” explains Pastor Rick Milby, who conceived the project.
Huge Christian growth in Nepal
Praise God! The distant land of Himalayas and hiking, Nepal, has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world. In the Nepalese census of 1951, the heavily Hindu and Buddhist nation had no Christians listed. However, by a census taken less than five years ago, more than 375,000 Christians were listed. But according to World Christian Database (which monitors Christian trends), this figure is low and not representative of how God’s Spirit has powerfully worked in Nepal.