Social Media Corrosive to Faith, China Clamps Down on Christian Funerals, Kayak Church, Church Fined $50,000 but Refuses to Close, 20 million Holocaust Records searchable free, Three Faiths on Display
Social Media Corrosive to People of Faith
The Catholic Church may no longer be telling its own story with the ascendance of social media. “The snark and the belittling are bad enough, but social media are aflame with all manner of allegations of great deceits and greater conspiracies among one’s opponents.” In addition, Pope Francis decried gossip which he said is “a plague worse than COVID.”
Communist China Clamping Down on Christian Funerals
Under policies prohibiting religious activities outside an approved religious building, China has been steadily restricting such activities as funerals. Singing hymns or using religious items at funeral homes are prohibited. “If I hold religious ceremonies, my church might be implicated, even closed forever,” said one minister.
Creative Ways to Worship: Kayak Church
Stay at home orders and restrictions on in-person gatherings have spurred creative ways for people of faith to meet. Online Zoom services, parking lot prayer, drive-by services and now, Kayak Church.
California Church Refuses to Close Following $50,000 Fine
Even though Jack Trieber, pastor of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, has followed social distancing rules, the county has fined his church $52,000 for in-person meetings and for singing. Trieber cites the First Amendment and says the services will continue.
Three Faiths on Display
The J. Paul Getty Museum is hosting a digital show of exquisitely preserved manuscripts of the Torah, Bible and Quran.
Ancestry.com Archives Millions of Digitized Holocaust Records
Ancestry.com has partnered with the Arolsen Archives to make millions of records of people affected by the Holocaust available in digital format online and searchable at no charge. Included are 19.2 million records and 1.2 million images. In addition, Ancestry will soon collaborate with USC’s Shoah Foundation to publish an index of some 50,000 Holocaust survivor testimonies which mention 600,000 additional relatives and other individuals.