Bible News

July 22 The French Bible Society will hand out 200,000 New Testaments at the Olympics this weekend — 140,000 in French and 60,000 in English. The aptly titled “More Precious than Gold” special edition will also feature personal testimonies from Olympic athletes. (RELEVANT)
July 22 According to the latest chapter release from the American Bible Society’s State of the Bible report, 54% of Gen Z ages 18-27 say the Bible has transformed their lives. This despite Gen Z being the least religious generation. (RELEVANT, from American Bible Society)
July 22 Archaeologists on the Persian Gulf island nation of Bahrain have discovered one of the oldest Christian buildings in the region. Believed to be a bishop’s residence, the find reveals fascinating details about Christian life in the Arabian world prior to the arrival of Islam. (Christian Today)
July 20 The historic sanctuary of Dallas’ 134-year-old First Baptist Church went up in flames Friday evening. Though 2,000 children and VBS volunteers were on premises earlier in the day, they had departed by the time of the fire and there were no injuries reported. The sanctuary itself, however, was unable to be saved. (Christianity Today)
July 19 Churches across the country who have found themselves with too much space due to declining congregations are repurposing their properties to build affordable housing complexes for low-income families and the elderly. (The Conversation)
July 19 Missionary explorers are bringing the Gospel to isolated people in the heart of the Amazon. Part of Project 3000, the small group traveled for six weeks by prop plane, canoe, and foot, and spent time in 12 villages, though they were unable to reach the uncontacted tribes they had hoped to find. (Religion Unplugged)
July 19 Back in 2014, archaeologists discovered the site of the earthquake mentioned in Amos 1:1 and Zechariah 14:5. They have now verified its timing coincides exactly with the Biblical narrative, around 760-750 BC. (The Torah)
July 18 Something new under the sun? The Promised Land, a new show from one of the assistant directors of The Chosen, aims to tell the story of Exodus … as a workplace comedy (in the style of The Office). The pilot episode is out on YouTube and has already received nearly half a million views — but you’ll have to wait (hopefully less than 40 years) for the next one. (Religion News Service)
July 18 A recent study by the Washington Post revealed that only 5% of Americans regularly attend church (at least 3 times per month). This shockingly low number is less than 1/4 of self-reported habits tracked by Pew and Gallup surveys. (RELEVANT, from Washington Post)
July 18 The first Catholic National Eucharistic Conference since 1941 kicked off in Indianapolis yesterday. A diverse crowd of laypeople and clergy from 17 countries and all 50 U.S. states packed into the Colts stadium for worship, prayer, and calls for unity and peace in the country and church. (Religion News Service)
July 17 Black Panther star Letitia Wright is producing a faith-based film that tells the story of Possum Trot, a small Texas community that began a national adoption movement. Wright’s mission is to help foster children in America find permanent loving homes — a mission she knows begins with the Church. (RELEVANT)
July 17 The Orthodox church in Moldova, much like elsewhere in Eastern Europe, is increasingly divided between allegiances to Patriarch Kirill of Russia (an ardent Putin supporter) and local priests defecting in protest of Russia’s offensive against neighboring Ukraine. (New York Times, paywalled)
July 16 Pilgrims are still making progress in Great Britain: Canterbury Cathedral remains a popular pilgrimage spot more than 600 years after Chaucer, and the 130 mile Pilgrim’s Way also draws travelers looking for a less well-trod route than the Camino de Santiago in Spain. (Christian Today)
July 15 Two leading faith-based medical charities have banded together to bring healthcare services to under-resourced parts of Africa. Mercy Ships and Mission Aviation Fellowship, who worked together in 2014-16 in Liberia, will now bring surgery and other necessary care to Madagascar, which has only 1 surgeon per 100,000 residents. (Christian Today)
July 12 The Vatican’s Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith will prepare a document on women’s roles in church leadership. Pope Francis has reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s ban on women priests, and seems unlikely to allow them to the diaconate, but he has promoted some to other high-ranking positions. (Religion News Service)
July 10 Under-covered: Churches in areas that see many natural disasters are being dropped by their insurance providers, often struggling to replace them. One church in Houston saw its rates more than triple this year, while churches from Iowa to Connecticut struggle to retain coverage. (Religion News Service)
July 10 We at Bible Gateway talk a lot about the complex process of translating the Bible — but what about the complex process of translating TV shows based on the Bible? Here’s how Rick Dempsey, the man who brought us Elsa’s “Let It Go” in 41 languages, is now bringing us The Chosen in 100 (or more). (Christianity Today)
July 8 A new study found that Gen Zers who actively engage with the Bible are happier than their peers who do not. Gen Z scored as the most stressed generation by far — but Bible-engaged Gen Zers also scored higher on the human flourishing scale than any other generation, highlighting the power of “a regular connection with God in Scripture.” (RELEVANT, from the American Bible Society)
July 8 Project DASH, a collaboration between DoorDash and local charities, has now delivered more than 100 million meals to those in need across the U.S. Originating during the pandemic, the initiative has helped faith-based organizations and nonprofits address hunger and poverty in their communities by facilitating free food deliveries amid staffing shortages and financial challenges. (Religion News Service)
July 5 The Pope is scheduled to preside over an interfaith meeting in a mosque in Indonesia next week. Though it is the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia is also home to the third-largest Christian population in Asia. (AP News)
July 5 The Vatican excommunicated former “apostolic nuncio” (ambassador) to the USA, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, for schism. Viganò rejected the legitimacy of Pope Francis and Vatican II. Excommunication is intended as a “medicinal” penalty aimed at restoring the offender to communion once he repents. (Vatican News)
July 3 Archaeologists from the University of Innsbruck in Austria discovered a 1500-year-old marble box containing ornate wooden and metallic artwork apparently depicting Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and Jesus ascending to heaven. It’s the first find of its kind in a century. (New York Post, from University of Innsbruck Newsroom)
July 3 The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) elected and installed its next stated clerk (the denomination’s highest office) at their 226th General Assembly in Salt Lake City, UT this week. Rev. Jihyun Oh will be the first Korean American, the second woman, and the first woman of color to serve in the role. (Christian Century)
July 3 Amid worsening religious persecution in Pakistan, a Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after allegedly posting pictures of a defaced Quran on his TikTok account. The accused, Ehsan Shan, is expected to appeal the sentence. (Religion News Service)
July 2 Eight Catholic dioceses in Paris are organizing faith-based events around the upcoming Olympics. The “Holy Games” will draw on a long history of Christian outreach through sports (1 Cor 9:24, Phil 3:13-14, etc.) in an effort to engage with young people especially. (The Conversation)
July 2 Ever wonder why the Bible is called “the Bible”? It all goes back to a Phoenician port now called Jubayl in modern-day Lebanon — seriously. (Christian Today)
July 1 Ghanian-British pastor and author Johnson Ambrose Afrane-Twum spoke with Christianity Today about the rising issue of “reverse mission.” African Christians are bringing the gospel “back” the UK, where faith has been in steep decline — and meeting resistance when they do. (Christianity Today)
June 30 Pastors resigning, bishops presiding, churches trading land, and one selling it in heaven: catch up on all of last month’s biggest and strangest Bible and church news stories.

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