Jesus Global Youth Day Sparks Passion for the Gospel in Millions Worldwide

Some 50,000 young people and church leaders gathered together at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines last week for the first-ever Jesus Global Youth Day (JGYD).

According to a press release from the organization, nearly 50,000 people from more than 30 countries came together for a three-day event filled with praise, worship and the Good News.

Among those speaking at the event was boxing champion and current Philippines senator, Manny Pacquiao, actor Stephen Baldwin, and inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic, Fox News reports. Among the groups performing praise and worship music was worship ban Bethel Music, Planetshakers and Joe Praize among others.

The aim of the event, Harvest Ministry Bishop Oriel Ballano said, is to “Teach your young people to follow [Christ], teach your young people to become a disciple. Teach your young people to be leaders and be an agent of change.” He added, “Together we will change the world.”

According to the press release, the event was broadcasted in several countries with around 83,000 churches worldwide participating. In Uganda, an estimated 50,000 youth tuned into the broadcast. The estimated overall reach of the event is believed to be around 8 million young people.

Co-Chairman and Director of JGYD Ron Luce pushed back against the belief that today’s youth are absorbed in their phones by recalling the engagement he witnessed last week. He said, “The audience here in Manila was attentive with each engaging speaker – even during worship from many different cultures.”

COO of JGYD Mike Guzzardo also noted the group’s engagement saying, “I loved seeing how these young people responded to international worship bands.”

He recalled, “Joe Praize from Africa and Meil San Marcos from Latin America both had the crowd passionately energized through worship, even though many had not known the songs beforehand…I heard conversations where young people and their leaders expressed how JGYD sparked a change in their hearts as they recommitted their lives to God and His plan for them.”

As for the future of JGYD, Luce shared that the organization wants to host “more Jesus Global Youth Day’s in other nations, along with the launch of a new global alliance consisting of 1 million churches focusing on passing the baton to the next generation, emphasizing discipleship and mentoring.”

Vice-Chairman of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches Bishop Ellie Mercado highlighted that the group’s prayer is to “become world changers.”

Source: christianheadlines.com

“Unplanned” the movie Takes No. 1 Spot on Amazon’s Overall Best Sellers for DVDs List

Pro-life movie Unplanned has nabbed the top spot on Amazon’s Overall Best-Selling DVDs.

The controversial movie tells the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, who left the organization after watching an abortion live. She later became a pro-life advocate and started a nonprofit called And Then There Were None, which supports women who wish to leave the abortion industry. To date, the nonprofit has helped nearly 500 workers exit the industry.

As Christian Headlines previously reported, the movie created waves amongst the abortion industry with nearly 100 workers choosing to leave after watching Johnson’s story.

But the R-rated film has faced serious challenges on its rise to the top. Director Chuck Konzelman accused Google and Twitter of censoring the movie’s ads and even suspending their Twitter feed on the movie’s launch date.

Advertisements for the movie were also banned from major networks such as Lifetime, Hallmark, HGTV, and others, the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

The PureFlix film also faced persecution north of the border, where pro-life advocates fought for distribution in Canada, Worthy News reports.

As Christian Headlines previously wrote, the pro-life film was initially blocked by major film distributors from being played in movie theaters across Canada. Eventually, independent film distributor Cinedicom picked up the 110-minute movie for showings in select theaters throughout the country. Despite owners of movie theaters where the film was shown reportedly receiving death threats from abortion advocates, the film was a box office success. In its opening weekend, Unplanned grossed $353,510 in Canada.

‘Unplanned’ shocked Hollywood, too, with its earnings, pulling in a domestic total gross of over $18 million, according to the Christian Post. The total was over two times its production cost of $6 million.

Amazon’s Best Sellers are updated hourly and the movie pushed ahead of DC’s “Shazam”, “Pokemon Detective Pikachu”, and “Avengers: Endgame.”

Source:
https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/mikaela-matthews/unplanned-takes-no-1-spot-on-amazon-s-overall-best-sellers-for-dvds.html

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg No Longer an Atheist

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has announced he is no longer an atheist, but in fact sees religion as “very important”.

Over the weekend, Zuckerberg posted a “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah” message from his family to his followers on Facebook, and in the comments sections, answered a question about his personal beliefs.

After he posted the comment, a user asked, “But aren’t you atheist?” In response, the 32-year-old billionaire replied, “No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.” When another user asked, “But why Facebook doesn’t notify that is Jesus birthday today???” Zuckerberg joked, “You’re not friends with Jesus on Facebook?” adding a smiling emoji with a halo.

As of Thursday, Zuckerberg’s response to the comment has garnered over 4,496 likes.

According to The Atlantic, Zuckerberg was raised in a Jewish home but previously identified himself as an atheist on his Facebook page. In the past, he has also expressed interest in Buddhism.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, met with Pope Francis to discuss ways that technology could help the poor. Following the visit, Zuckerberg took to social media to shared their admiration for the pontiff’s ability to connect with people of different faiths while remaining true to his own.

“Priscilla and I had the honor of meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican. We told him how much we admire his message of mercy and tenderness, and how he’s found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around the world,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook message.

“We also discussed the importance of connecting people, especially in parts of the world without internet access. We gave him a model of Aquila, our solar-powered aircraft that will beam internet connectivity to places that don’t have it. And we shared our work with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to help people around the world,” he added.

“It was a meeting we’ll never forget. You can feel his warmth and kindness, and how deeply he cares about helping people.”

Despite their different religious views, Zuckerberg has praised Francis on previous occasions as well.

“No matter what faith you practice, we can all be inspired by Pope Francis’ humility and compassion. I’m looking forward to following the pope – and watching him continue sharing his message of mercy, equality and justice with the world,” Zuckerberg wrote back in March.

Source:
https://www.gospelherald.com

School Punishes 6th Grader for Using Wrong Pronoun for Transgender Student

An Ohio public school punished a sixth-grader after he used the wrong pronoun for a transgender student and told friends that the student “is a boy, not a girl,” according to the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel.

The school has since agreed to stop punishing students in similar circumstances, Liberty Counsel says.

At issue is a biological boy who identifies as a girl, according to a letter Liberty Counsel wrote to the school district. Names were redacted.

The incident occurred in art class on May 13, when a group of girls who had “enthusiastically” affirmed the transgender student’s identity began discussing the issue.

“The girls began talking about” the transgender student “taking girl hormones” and “eventually having his ‘male private parts removed,’ and that this would ‘make him a girl,’” according to the letter.

That’s when the sixth-grade student (“John Doe”) who was punished spoke up, saying, “No, he is a boy, and not a girl.” Another male student (Boy B) agreed, saying, “Yes, you are what you’re born with.”

John was not mocking the transgender student but was stating “what he truly believes” after “being subjected to the conversations of the girls all semester,” the letter said.

The art teacher overheard a portion of the conversation and reported the boys to the assistant principal, who allegedly told John, “you can have your own beliefs” but the transgender student “wants to be called a girl.” John was pulled out of PE class on May 14 and forced to sit in the principal’s office.

“[He] felt shame and embarrassment at being pulled out of gym class in front of his friends,” the letter said. “Based on his conversation with [the assistant principal, he] understands that he must refer to” the transgender student “as a girl and with female pronouns, going forward, or that he will be punished.”

The other boys received worse punishments, apparently because the assistant principal believed they were bullying and not being sincere.

Liberty Counsel said John has the right to state his beliefs.

“The First Amendment protects a student’s right to hold his own views,” the letter said, “and to respectfully share them, where the issues of transgenderism, cross-sex hormones, and ‘having male private parts removed’ are raised by others in conversation during school time where students may talk, and are otherwise permissible subjects of discussion. This is especially true where the student shares his views in response to conversations to which he is repeatedly subjected by others against his will.

“Moreover, the government may not take one side in a cultural or scientific debate, and turn classrooms into enclaves of totalitarianism,” the letter said. “… Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”

The school district responded to Liberty Counsel, saying John did not receive “formal disciplinary action” and that the “Board of Education does not discipline students for expressing respectful disagreement on any topic.” The school further said the “Board of Education does not discipline students for using certain pronouns in referring to students or coerce any student to use a particular pronoun” and that “no student would be required to use” false pronouns.

The parents were pleased with the outcome, Liberty Counsel said.

“Students may respectfully share their views without being punished,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said. “School administrators were wrong to punish students for expressing their views on something patently obvious. Schools cannot force students to lie about objective reality.”

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Source:
https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/school-punishes-6th-grader-for-using-wrong-pronoun-for-transgender-student.html