And now atheists join the billboard conversation

First the Muslims, then the Christians, and just as Rev Rob Forsyth suggested, now the atheists.

The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) is preparing for one of its “biggest and most important projects” – a billboard campaign to encourage individuals and families to “think about the importance and impact of their answer to this leading Census question: ‘What is the person’s religion?'”

As the next Australian Census approaches on August 9, there will be concerted campaign by the AFA to have nominal or non-believing people mark their census “No religion”. Their nominated motivation for the campaign – to take religion out of politics on the basis that if there is a larger “no religion” segment of the community, the views of Christians and other people of faith will be less influential in the political realm.

In the meantime, the political aspect of this campaign has led to one of their billboards being refused, much to the AFA’s loud dismay.

Read the full story in Australian Christian News.

Faith by billboard conversation continues

If you happen to commute along the M4 and also Victoria Rd (you are to be deeply pitied for that commute) then you may feel like you’re in the middle of a friendly, billboard-sized banter between a Christian and a Muslim. And the topic? Jesus.

Check out the full story at Australian Christian News.

Original billboard post
Forget billboards, they want to ban the  Bible

Forget billboards, Islamic leader calls for Bible ban

At a time when Christians and Muslims are conducting (mainly) respectful debates about large billboards with Islamic messages in Sydney, there has been a call in Pakistan for the Bible to be banned because it is blasphemous for Muslims.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party’s leader, Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, at a press conference on May 30 in Lahore, informally petitioned the Supreme Court, complaining that the Bible includes stories about some of the biblical prophets that include “a variety of moral crimes, which undermine the sanctity of the holy figures.”

Pakistiani Christians, estimated at 3 million, fear the call for a Bible ban is a sign of a trend of deepening persecution against them.

Now might be a good time for people of Islamic faith enjoying democratic rights and freedom of religion in Australia to raise their voices against this call.

Read the fully story in Christian Telegraph

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Balancing freedoms as Bibles and bodies are burned

The threatened burning of the Qur’an by a Florida pastor created international headlines and now a Brisbane atheist has used pages of the Bible and the Qur’an to roll fake joints and smoke them. 

And while journalists waste time over these peculiarly western debates, we hear nothing about the very real plight of millions of Christians, many in Muslim countries, where such freedoms are not enjoyed. 

For example a young Laotian woman had her Bible burned (pictured) by villagers who believed it was causing her mother’s illness. 

‘My villagers still hate me and mock me, like they mocked Jesus on the cross. It is the world’s right to hate us or to love us. But for me, I will follow Jesus.’ 

 Many people like this young woman are assisted by Voice of the Martyrs. You might wonder why we need such an organisation in the 21st century but there are more Christian martyrs today than ever before. 

VOM says, ‘In restricted nations around the world, Bibles are burned, shredded or confiscated every day. Those opposed to the gospel can destroy Bibles, but they cannot destroy the faith of those like ****’. 

To read many other heart wrenching stories of the persecution of Christians – the burning of their Bibles, churches and bodies – visit Voice of the Martyrs

We do enjoy remarkable freedoms in the west, rarely known on our planet or throughout history, very much brought about by a Christian world view that says every life is sacred and deserves dignity, freedom, opportunity and life. 

This should be extended to people of all faiths and Koran burning or Bible ‘smoking’ are ridiculous parades of ego. 

But there is something that would help balance the debate. Whenever we stand and affirm that Muslims, for example, should receive the same freedoms in Australia or America as anyone else, it would be inspiring to hear those voices, especially Muslims, speak up and say they would like to see the same freedoms for those persecuted for their faith in Muslim or other restricted countries.