THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn
International Mission Board workers called for prayer in the wake of devastating terrorist attacks in France, Baptist Press reports. “There exists today a delicate tension in France that teeters toward breaking, and [Wednesday’s] tragic events will likely serve to further stir up the tension,” said Mark Stone, a church planter in southern France. The outbreak of violence started Jan. 7 with a shooting that left 12 people dead at the headquarters of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
“We are praying that the outcry against these heinous acts committed by religious extremists will not become outcries against anyone who claims to have any sort of religious belief,” IMB worker Tara Chaney told Baptist Press.
“Right now, we are praying that the people of France will turn toward God and not away from Him.”
The Muslim actor who will play Jesus in an upcoming National Geographic Channel said he didn’t believe Jesus would judge him for playing the part. “I cannot speak for Jesus, but I can quote his teachings and He said, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,'” Haaz Sleiman told Entertainment Weekly. “…How would He react to me playing Jesus? He wouldn’t judge it. He wouldn’t judge His own enemy…playing this part highlights His teaching in a very nice way.”
Sleiman will portray Christ in “Killing Jesus,” a miniseries based on a book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. Read the full story at ChristianPost.com.
North Korea is atop Open Doors’ annual World Watch List for the 13th consecutive year, followed by Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The list tracks the countries “where it is most dangerous and difficult to be a Christian.”
“Under no circumstances have I been discriminatory or hateful towards any member of the department in the LGBT community or a member of the LGBT community at large,” former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran told Baptist Press Jan. 6. Cochran was fired after an investigation into his self-published book which briefly mentions homosexuality as an immoral behavior, BP reports. Cochran teaches Sunday school and serves as a deacon at Elizabeth Baptist Church, which is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Where do the majority of Congressional representatives fall, faith-wise? Pew Research breaks down the religious makeup of the current U.S. Congress in this full report.
Wondering what else happened in Louis Zamperini’s life that didn’t make it into the recently released feature film Unbroken? Check out this half-hour documentary from the Bill Graham Evangelistic Association about the war hero’s conversion to Christianity.
We’ll give this a few weeks to see how it checks out: LifeWay Research recently found only 15% of churchgoers said they would skip worship to watch their favorite football team.