May 2, 2020: 'Mother God' prayer, churches sue Ill. gov, pro-lifers pay $1.2M to Planned Parenthood

Saturday, May 2, 2020:

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

— Pro-life activists ordered to pay Planned Parenthood over $1.2M for exposé on baby body parts scandal

A federal judge issued an order Wednesday requiring a group of pro-life activists who were behind a series of undercover videos taken at Planned Parenthood facilities and abortion conferences pay more than $1.2 million in damages to the corporation.

In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress released a series of videos showing Planned Parenthood workers discussing harvesting and selling of aborted babies' limbs, tissue and organs.

— Church sues Ill. governor over stay-at-home order

A congregation in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against the governor and local officials, claiming that their orders to stop in-person worship conveyed “discriminatory hostility” to churches.

The Beloved Church of Lena and Pastor Stephen Cassell filed the complaint Thursday. The suit claims that Gov. Jay Pritzker and officials with Lena and Stephenson County unlawfully declared houses of worship “non-essential” when enacting stay-at-home orders.

ELCA faces criticism for posting prayer to 'Mother God' on Facebook, Twitter

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America garnered controversy this week for posting a prayer on their Twitter and Facebook accounts addressing God as “Mother" instead of Father. 

Jeff Walton of the theologically conservative Institute on Religion & Democracy told The Christian Post that he was concerned about the prayer because it “does not focus upon an attribute of God’s character and instead simply declares God ‘Mother.’ It prompts me to ask if there's an agenda in doing so.”

— Sam Rodriguez, Christian college president urge Calif. to reopen churches

Hispanic evangelical leader and Sacramento megachurch pastor Samuel Rodriguez and a Christian college president have called on California leaders to allow churches to reopen their doors as places of worship as the pace of new coronavirus cases has slowed down in recent days. 

Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and pastor of New Season Church, along with William Jessup University President John Jackson published the letter Wednesday to provide an outline for how churches across the state should slowly start to reopen and be at full capacity by July.

— Most black congregants say faith has grown amid coronavirus crisis

Despite the shuttering of many churches across America and the disproportionate impact the new coronavirus pandemic has been having on the black community, a majority of adults affiliated with historically black churches say their faith has strengthened, a new study shows.

The study, a survey of a nationally representative panel of 11,022 randomly selected U.S. adults, was conducted by the Pew Research Center.

While 47% of survey respondents reported that their faith hadn’t changed much and 26% said they weren’t religious to begin with, 24% of them said their faith had become stronger in the pandemic.

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