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A-Z of Christian news in 2023

A is for AI church. With headlines that the role of a priest could be carried out by a robot and that sermons could be written on Chat GPT, there was plenty for the Church to think about as to the benefits and dangers of Artificial Intelligence.

B is for Baptisms. Despite suggestions that Christianity is on the decline, plenty of baptism stories showed that God is continuing to move through his people. From large scale baptisms in the USA to superstar footballers making the decision to get baptised.

C is for TV show The Chosen. The online series, which tells the story of Jesus, grows from strength to strength but with that comes opposition too.

D is for Debanking. Concern is growing over the number of cases involving organisations or individuals who've had their bank acounts closed over political or religious views. Anglican minister Richard Fothergill was the latest to share his story.

E is for 90's girl band Eternal who hit the headlines over a row about the Christian beliefs of two of the group.

F is for Scotish politician Kate Forbes. Her faith came under the spotlight when bidding to become SNP leader. Her views on sexuality were questioned and she ended up coming runner up in the contest.

G is for Geoge Verwer. Much loved evangelist and leader of Operation Mobilisation lost his battle with cancer this year. "Please ask people not to pray for total healing as I really am looking forward to heaven," he said in the run up to his passing.

H is for Brian Houston who was found not guilty of covering up abuse carried out by his father. Houston would describe himself as a victim of perseuction following the verdict.

I is for ISB. The Church of England found itself in a mess in regards to its handling of safeguarding allegations. It was accused of blocking the work of its own safeguarding panel before the group was ultimately disbanded.

J is for Just Stop Oil. The climate protest group caused widespread disruption throughout the summer. Priest Bill White was one of many arrested as roads were blocked and sporting events hit.

K is for King Charles Coronation. While there was some controversy over the oaths read at the service there was broad praise for the event which saw millions take part in a Christian act of worship

L is for Lizzo. The American award-winning singer faced a lawsuit over a "hostile working environment" in which dancers were forced to attend prayer meetings.

M is for Manipur. A story which passed the mainstream media by. Thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes due to attacks in the Indian state. Churches were burned down with the government facing criticisms for not doing enough to protect those suffering.

N is for Nagorno Karabakh. The disputed region in which conflict has forced a mass exodus of Christians from a place that holds some of Christianity's oldest heritage.

O is for Leyton Orient. The London based football team drew smiles after an improptu worship session following their promotion from League 2. Tens of thousands watched their celebrations including the singing of a song by worship band Maverick City Music.

P is Paivi Rassanen. The Finnish MP again faced court action over a tweet in which she posted a picture of the Bible. Despite accusations of hate speech she was cleared of wrongdoing.

Q is for threats to Quit. In the wake of the Church of England moving to bless same sex couples, many churches have begun to look at options which could see them taking oversight from other parts of the Anglican Communion.

R is for Revival. Thousands flocked to Asbury University after reports emerged that a revival was underway on the campus. 15,000 people were said to attending each day following the move of the Spirit.

S is for Soul Survivor. The UK Church was shocked to hear of allegations facing popular pastor Mike Pilavachi. Soul Survivor, the church he founded announced an investgation which later found the accusations were credible. Pilavachi would later resign from leadership.

T is for TikTok. As the social media platform grew in popularity, many Christians and churches took advantage of the opportunity for evangelism.

U is for UCCF. A long-running investigation into the student group was completed which would later lead to changes in working practices across the organisation.

V is for Vineyard. At the back end of last year the church network saw its 'mother church' taken out of the denomination by Pastor Alan Scott. A seperate investigation would later find him guilty of carrying out acts of spiritual abuse.

W is for Rick Warren. The much-loved author and pastor saw his church expelled by the Southern Baptist Convention over his stance on women in leadership.

X is for X/Twitter. As the social media platform was taken over by billionaire Elon Musk, opinions were divided over the issue of free speech on the platform.

Y is for Daddy Yankee. One of the biggest names in global music announced his conversion to Christianity. "Follow Jesus Christ, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life," he would write to supporters online.

Z is for Buffer Zones. The areas set up outside abortion clinics to stop protests also saw a ban on 'silent prayer'. Several Christians would challenge the legality of the zones in court and the Home Secretary Suella Braverman later wrote to police chiefs to clarify the law.

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