Friday's News & Ideas

  • ISIS takes monastery
  • Social media & religious persecution
  • Temple in Brazil
  • World's largest church
  • Church disc golf course
  • Thanks for coming home, LeBron

With Mosul's Christians gone, Islamic State troops take over 4th-century monasteryReligion News Service: A day after most of Mosul's Christians fled, Islamic State fighters stormed the fourth-century Mar Behnam Monastery near the city.Washington Post: After leveling Iraq's Tomb of Jonah, the Islamic State could destroy 'anything in the Bible'

Social media fuelling surge in 'back to the dark ages' religious persecution - Lord SacksThe (London) Guardian: 'God himself weeps at the evils being committed in his name', says former Chief Rabbi as he warns social media has helped intensify the global wave of religious persecution.

Temple in Brazil appeals to a surge in evangelicalsThe New York Times: The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is nourishing an evangelical Christian empire.

The world's largest church is in the middle of an African coconut plantationMother Jones: Basilica Our Lady of Peace is a jaw-dropping and bizarre monument to the end of a period when Côte d'Ivoire was competing to become the cultural and economic powerhouse of the continent.

Church turns land into disc havenAustin American-Statesman: The Austin Ridge Bible Church Disc Golf Course attracts many of Central Texas' top disc golfers. And that's the church's goal -- provide a valuable public service on privately run land.

The Spark

'Thanks for coming home, LeBron'People in Northeast Ohio have a lingering insecurity about living in a place that the world seems to have passed by, Pastor Andrew Kishman writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. But LeBron James is a reminder that the children of adversity may harbor our greatest potential -- not just for hoop dreams, but for community. "Thanks for coming home, LeBron."

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