May 7, 2020: Judge favors Calif. ban on church services, study on impact of prayer, End Times scholar on COVID-19

Thursday, May 7, 2020:

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

— Judge upholds Calif. ban on church services

A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that California Gov. Gavin Newsom had the right to ban churches from assembling during the coronavirus pandemic in the interest of public health.

Cross Culture Christian Center had sought a temporary restraining order against the ban but U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez said “the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community ... to communicable disease.”

— Researchers launch study to measure impact of prayer on coronavirus

An international team of doctors launched a clinical study to measure the impact of prayer in the health outcomes of coronavirus patients.

The team is being led by Kansas City cardiologist Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, who believes in both science and faith, and will involve 1,000 patients with severe coronavirus infections.

Half of them will receive a “universal” prayer from one of five religions, including Christianity and Buddhism.

The study will measure outcomes such as mortality rate differences and hospital length of stay.

— End Times scholar calls COVID-19 precursor of what’s to come

End Times scholar Mark Hitchcock told The Christian Post that he believes the new coronavirus is a “very serious foreshadowing” of what’s to come.

Scripture says that in the End Times, plagues will kill 25% of the global population and while Hitchcock doesn’t believe COVID-19 is one of the plagues mentioned in the Bible, “it’s a wake-up call for people to come to Christ in light of what's coming in the future, which is going to be far worse.”

— New evangelical TV channel launched in Israel, prohibited from proselytizing

GOD TV was granted permission by the government to air a new Hebrew-language channel in Israel, which its CEO said is unprecedented.

Ward Simpson of GOD TV said they have been allowed to broadcast the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But an investigation has been ordered to determine whether the channel, called Shelanu, is engaging in any missionary activities. If found to be proselytizing, it could be shut down.

— More Brits turning to prayer

A new survey revealed that more people are praying in the U.K. following the coronavirus outbreak.

The Tearfund survey found that some 44% of respondents said they pray and that one in 20 people started praying for the first time during the lockdown.

A third of the respondents said they believe prayer makes a difference and about a quarter said they pray to gain comfort.

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