The Church in London has been put on a growth path. One in nine Londoners now go to church, and church attendance in the capital has grown by 16% in the past seven years. This significant turn-around is reported by the Financial Times. Anglican mega churches like Holy Trinity Brompton (home of Alpha) and St Helen’s Bishopsgate account for the growth, as well as Hillsong, a mega church from Australia. This success is matched by a plethora of African Pentecostal movements, including the Nigerian Kingsway International Christian Centre and Kensington Temple. Research by academics at Cranmer Hall, a theological college in Durham, entitled ‘Church Growth in Britain from 1980 to the Present’ revealed that there are 500,000 Christians in black majority churches in Britain. Sixty years ago there were hardly any. At least 5,000 new churches have been started in Britain since 1980 - and this is an undercount, the true figure is probably higher.
A 105-year-old South Carolina, US woman refuses to take medication, choosing instead to rely on the Lord to keep her well. Dorothy Geiger is a former minister who just recently stepped down from the pulpit. She credits her faith in the Lord for strengthening and maintaining her well-being in her advanced age. ‘Hallelujah. Glory to God,’ she told WLTX. ‘I'm still doing what he tells me to do.’ Mrs Geiger founded God's Miracle House of Prayer for All People after the Lord told her to become a pastor. ‘God told me to build a church and he told me where to build it at,’ she said. ‘And I built it.’ The Orangeburg woman also believes she is being obedient by refusing to take any medications. ‘I don't take medicine,’ she said matter-of-factly. ‘I depend on God.’ Her goddaughter, Myra Elmore, said that her godmother's faith has been an inspiration and encouragement to her over the years.
Margaret Jones, a registrar who refused to marry same-sex couples, says she was sacked for her beliefs not for her actions. A marriage registrar has been vindicated by a council’s reversal of its decision to sack her for refusing to marry same-sex couples because of her Christian beliefs. Margaret Jones, 54, who had been dismissed for ‘bringing the council into disrepute’, was offered her job back after an appeal hearing ruled that her employer had failed to take a ‘balanced view’ of her religious beliefs. While the decision does not create a legal precedent, it is likely to give people greater rights to express religious beliefs in the workplace because it was based on official guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Paul Diamond, barrister to the Christian Legal Centre, which advised Jones early in her battle, said: ‘All good employers should follow this precedent, and practising Christians should no longer fear expressing their beliefs.’
An indigenous ministry in Sri Lanka is going house-to-house telling the good news of Jesus to anyone who will listen. The area is influenced by various cults, sorcery, witchcraft, etc. In one particular coastal town, a small congregation was able to collect enough funds to buy a small piece of land and build a 12’ x 20’ hall with a cement floor and a coconut leaf thatch roof. They now have started special evening meetings in their jungle area where the people are hungry for the Word of the Lord.
Just above the hustle and bustle of downtown Dallas stands a place called Prayer Mountain. It's the site of mysterious healings and answered prayers. For example; Vivianna Ruiz. At the age of 6 she faced a diagnosis of leukemia. Ruiz recalled, ‘I was in the first grade when I was diagnosed and as you can imagine our life just kind of completely crashed. You feel so sick from the cancer and then the chemo - it kills everything, not just the cancer.’ The doctor said, 'There is nothing else we can do.’ Around the same time, a family friend convinced Ruiz's mom to bring her to Prayer Mountain. ‘Pastor Robert had everyone come and they all laid hands on me and prayed for me. I was asleep through all of it and when I woke up my mom says I was completely better, a new little girl, ‘Ruiz said. Thanks to that ‘miracle on the mount’ the entire family eventually came to know Christ.
The Evangelical Alliance has launched a new outreach programme specifically targeted at the UK's growing Asian population. 'Discovering Jesus through Asian eyes' is aimed at presenting the Gospel in a way that addresses many of the issues and questions that Asian people may have about Christianity. It was trialed in churches last year before being officially launched this week in London. Sanjay Rajo of Naujavan, a Christian organisation dedicated to serving 16 to 30-year-old Asians, said that until now there has been a real gap in the market for outreach designed for young British Asians. ‘In the last forty years Asians came to the UK from overseas but now we are seeing more young people, who are born here are confused about their identity and hungry for something spiritual,’ he explained. ‘This course will attract a younger generation such as university students and young professionals in their 20s and 30s.’
Picture this: you arrive at a venue, and people are lined up on both sides of the street, cheering, waving, smiling, taking pictures, and reaching out to shake your hand as you pass. If you are with a Bibles For China (BFC) team, this is what greets you when you arrive at a local church in rural China. Chief Operating Officer Barry Werner is quick to note that the hoopla is less about the team and more about what’s coming. ‘It’s a spontaneous celebration the moment you arrive with a Bible. It’s God’s Word: the most precious thing they’re ever going to receive. They don’t want to miss one moment. Let the celebration and the praise begin!’ When word gets out that a team is on its way, people will walk all day to a church and wait for hours for the team to arrive and give them their own copy.
Every eight seconds, somewhere in the world another person indicates a decision to follow Christ after watching the JESUS film. That’s 10,800 people per day, 324,000 per month, and more than 3.8 million per year! That’s like the population of the entire city of Coventry coming to Christ every 28-25 days. And yet, if you are like many people, you may have never even heard of it. Called by some ‘one of the best-kept secrets in Christian missions’, a number of mission experts have acclaimed the film as one of the greatest evangelistic tools of all time. Since 1979, more than 200 million men, women, and children worldwide have indicated decisions to follow Jesus after viewing the film. In addition, through hundreds of partners, an estimated 10+ million decisions have been made as the film JESUS is used extensively by the Body of Christ worldwide.