What You Need To Know This Week

What You Need To Know This Week

Johnny Cash is Jesus?

Joaquin Phoenix was Oscar nominated for playing legendary musician Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005). Cash was known as an on-again, off-again Christian but one of Phoenix’s upcoming roles might be the centrepiece of Christianity himself — Jesus. An Australian production company and director (Garth Davis) announced their next project will be Mary Magdalene. Carol and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo actress Rooney Mara will play the famous female figure from the gospels, while Phoenix is in talks to play Jesus. While it is significantly backed by Australian production talent, Mary Magdalene will begin filming on location in Europe later this year.

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Australian Olympian’s big win

Eloise Wellings is a middle-distance runner competing in her second Olympics. But her first bid to compete in the World Games — as a 16-year-old, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics — ended in disaster. An injury prevented her from competing. More importantly for Wellings, though, she soon came to faith in Jesus Christ (with prayerful help from schoolfriends, who had been praying for Wellings without her knowing). While her athletic ambitions didn’t instantly become golden, the Australian runner learned to xxxxxx the truth of who she was to God, and within God’s plans.

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Pastor makes peace in gang warfare

What would you do if you lived in an urban battleground where gang violence led to babies and infants being shot? Chicago pastor Corey Brooks decided to take a stand by inviting 100 gang members to his church — to broker a truce. The results were surprising, as Brooks’ New Beginnings Church took its Christian beliefs to the local streets.

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Atheist slams “No Religion” Census campaign

Australia’s 2016 Census is days away and one of its hot-button issues already has been the religion questions. Specifically, whether someone should tick “No Religion” or not when they fill out the Census. A campaign has been running for a while called “Mark No Religion” (check out the website here). It claims to want to remind Australians that the Census is “an important chance to make sure your interests are met and that views you don’t hold are not over-represented in the coming years.” This week, TV presenter Paul Murray on Sky News dedicated about 7 minutes to investigating the “No Religion” campaign, and who is behind it. While he is a self-professed atheist, he was outraged to discover that atheist organisations are behind the “No Religion” campaign — and objected to their approach and allegations.

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World Vision shocked by corruption claims

One of Australia’s best-known and longest-running aid organisations, World Vision has been rattled by allegations about one of its Gaza Strip employees. He has been charged in Israel with channeling millions of World Vision dollars to Palestinian militant group Hamas. World Vision is a Christian-based organisation and its CEO, Tim Costello, was “profoundly shocked” by the “very explosive allegations” of financing weapons and potential terrorism. Mr Costello said World Vision is independently audited every year and he believed the charges would not be upheld.

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