By Jonathan Howe
“On the Horizon” is a preview of newsworthy events coming within the next week.
Nationalized Medicine and Court Intervention
The story of Alfie Evans captured hearts around the world last week. After the toddler’s death this weekend, focus has shifted from doctors’ treatment to the role of the government to decide whether or not to provide life-saving treatment or access to those in need.
Immigration Again in Focus
A caravan of immigrants from Central America has arrived at the San Diego border crossing in Southern California. Debate rages on both sides as advocates seek humanitarian asylum for those in need, while others are decrying the need to follow the rule of law regardless of need.
Abuse and Divorce Discussions in Evangelicalism
Online discussions over the weekend have propelled forward a discussion on the propriety of divorce in the wake of domestic abuse. While divorce continues to be seen as an absolute last resort, churches have acknowledged that domestic abuse is an issue.
In fact, Lifeway Research has reported that only half (52 percent) have a specific plan or procedures in place for how to respond if someone shares that they are experiencing domestic violence.
In 2015, Lifeway Research also found 37 percent of Americans and 28 percent of Protestant pastors said divorce is a sin when the individual is being abused by their spouse.
Missions, not Missiles
With the rather dramatic turn of events on the Korean Peninsula last week, missions agencies have begun to consider what an accessible North Korea might look like for the spread of the gospel.
Gospel presence in the communist state has mostly been of the underground variety in the past few decades. As North Korea denuclearizes and joins into peace treaties, there is hope that we might see a gospel revolution in the country akin to that in Germany and the former Soviet Republic following their respective openings to western culture.
Prayer for Unity
May 3 marks the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is that of “Unity.” Several events from Washington D.C. will be either live-streamed or broadcast (Daystar). There are also local gatherings in communities across the nation. To find one in your area, visit nationaldayofprayer.org.
Be sure to check FactsAndTrends.net throughout the week for continued coverage of these stories and much more.
JONATHAN HOWE (@Jonathan_Howe) is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Lifeway Christian Resources.