Promising prosperity, miracle cures and life-changing spiritual experiences, the “born again” faiths that are the staple of America’s multi-millionaire televangelists are fast taking over the world’s poorest continent.
Annual Meeting Brings 7,000 To D.C. for Fellowship, Praise Washington Post, Aug. 3, 2002 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38318-2002Aug2.html By Caryle Murphy Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, August 3, 2002; Page B09 The spreading appeal of Pentecostalism was evident this week as about 7,000 members of one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the United States gathered at the […]
In this issue: cult leader Debra Burslem, of the Magnificat Meal Movement, has fled Australia for the island nation of Vanuata. An Australian current affairs program tracked her down and confronted the ‘prophetess’ with claims that she has misused funds provided by her followers.
Plus: Does evangelist Reinhard Bonnke perform miracles?
Also: next month marks the 20th anniversary of doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo’s sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.
And and in-depth look at the apocalyptic theology that fuels ISIS and other Muslim radicals around the world.
Many more religion news items…
Children as young as 13 claim they have instantly healed hundreds of people using the miracle powers of Jesus on Queensland streets.
The Pentecostal group Culture Shifters says it has healed people suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis and is developing a large youth following.
Our hand-selected collection of religion news items for today includes snake handling churches, the ‘Jesus is not a homophobe’ T-shirt, Tim Tebow, and an orthodox Jewish reality show.
Plus: psychics accused of criminal fraud claim ‘religious freedom’ as a defense. More…
Every Saturday Religion News Blog highlights 5 religion news stories posted during the week.
We include some extra comments, resources and opinions — and we invite readers to comment as well.
According to a recent Pew Research Center report on Global Christianity, 305 million Christians worldwide follow the charismatic movement.
“One of the reasons the charismatic movement is expanding
apart from salvation, we experience healing, miracles. The blind see, the lame get up and walk, and the deaf can hear. That attracts a lot of people,” says on pastor.
Religion News Roundup
, today with Louis Farrakhan (and his UFO trip), the Branch Davidians siege, the state of religion reporting, E.T., Christian medical plans, and more…
Brazil – and much of Latin America and the Caribbean — is in the midst of what believers proudly call an “evangelical revolution”.
According to the IBGE, Brazil’s census board, the country’s Catholic population fell from around 89% in 1980 to 74% in 2000, while its Pentecostal flock grew from 3% to 10%. Brazilian churches are opening branches from Buenos Aires to Port-au-Prince.
Two members of an Oregon City faith-healing church were charged Thursday with first-degree criminal mistreatment for failing to provide medical care for their infant daughter.
Child-protection authorities took custody of the couple’s 7-month-old daughter, Alayna, after she developed a growth over her left eye that ballooned over several months to the size of a tennis ball and threatens her vision.
Of course it isn’t all that unusual for a pastor to claim healing powers. Witness the blow-dried televangelists of America and elsewhere, who often advertise their dramatic healing powers in infomercials.
But in western Kenya the belief in the supernatural is far deeper, and the line between Christianity and the occult is thin at best.
Evangelical Christian churches are luring Brazilians away from Roman Catholicism
, the dominant religion in Brazil. In 1950, 94 percent of Brazilians said they were Catholic, but that number fell steadily to 74 percent by 2000.
The New York Times article mentions several churches, among which Renascer/Reborn in Christ — whose leaders are facing fraud, larceny, tax evasion and money laundering charges.
Today’s edition of RNB’s Religion News Roundup includes two items about witchcraft, one somewhat funny, and one seriously disturbing.
The funny item involves the believe in Tanzania that by use of witchcraft one can transport crops from one farm to another (i.e. stealing in order to save oneself lots of hard work).
The serious item comes from Nigeria, where hundreds of children falsely accused of witchcraft have been killed.
There are also news items about faith healing, a link to resources for religion reporters covering the on-going torture debacle, and more…
Carlton Pearson, once regarded as one of the nation’s most influential Pentecostal preachers, was denounced as a heretic
for his teaching that everyone goes to heaven: Muslims, Buddhists, gays, even the devil.
Now Pearson faces a different battle, as members of a New Thought church in Chicago are protesting his appointment as senior minister.
In today’s Religion News Roundup stories about: Muslims behaving badly, a ‘starvation diet’ weight-loss guru addressing school children, a couple of televangelists, and one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Also present: vampires, as well as Christians who are holding their first ever symposium on aliens (from outer space, that is). Speaking of aliens, a Scientology PR guy does a good job inoculating people against Scientology. More…
The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to review the case
of a former Colleyville woman who claims a forced traumatic exorcism
left her so physically bruised and emotionally scarred that she later attempted to commit suicide.
A sharply divided Texas Supreme Court ruled
in June that the Pleasant Glade Assembly of God staff and members are protected by the First Amendment because it involves an ecclesiastical dispute over religious conduct.
Increasingly Nigerian children accused of witchcraft are tortured, murdered or abandoned. The director of one child protection agency says the teachings of some churches are partly to blame.
“Churches have strong influence on people and some church leaders get some parents to sheepishly believe that their kids are witches and wizards. This is the focus of most of these churches, which have departed from preaching righteousness and salvation of souls to stigmatisation of children as witches and wizards.”
Has the so-called Prosperity gospel
turned its followers into some of the most willing participants — and hence, victims — of the current financial crisis?
While researching a book on black televangelism, says Jonathan Walton, a religion professor at the University of California at Riverside, he realized that Prosperity’s central promise — that God will “make a way” for poor people to enjoy the better things in life — had developed an additional, dangerous expression during the subprime-lending boom.