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Hundreds Remember Christian Newlyweds Killed in Helicopter Crash at Memorial Service

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A newlywed Christian couple who died just minutes after their wedding reception, have been honored in a memorial service that drew 2,000 people.

Friends and family payed their respects to William Troy Byler and Bailee Raye Byler, who were described as being meant for each other in separate obituaries.

The young newlywed couple, who were seniors in college, died when the family helicopter carrying them away crashed into hills just a mile from the family farm.

“Will brought so much positivity and happiness to her life and they were inseparable. We know there are angels among us for they showed up that starry night to fly them to their eternal home. Bailee Raye will be truly missed by all who knew her. Until we meet again there will not be a moment her and Will are not in our hearts with plenty of memories to share,” Bailee’s obituary stated.

“If you knew Will, you knew he loved with every being in his body. He never met a stranger and would do anything for anybody at the drop of a hat. He wore his heart on his sleeve. It shined through the biggest dimples you have ever seen with the sweetest smile. Will was always the life of the party and kept a smile on everyone’s face. Will had so many friends that were near and dear to his heart,” the late groom’s obituary explained.

“When Will met Bailee he was forever changed. She was his saving grace. He knew she was his soulmate from the beginning. Bailee made his eyes brighter and his smile bigger. She was his world and he would do anything to make her happy. Will’s love for the Lord showed in how he loved Bailee. They had a special kind of love. A love that was too perfect for this broken world. Now they will have a perfect marriage and spend an eternal honeymoon together with Our Savior,” it added.

Bailee was the only daughter for her parents while William was his parents’ only son.

A separate funeral was held for Bailee a day. Proceedings at both events were kept private.

Those who were not able to shared their love in different ways in Belleville Square where flowers were placed in front of a store owned by the Byler family. White ribbons were also wrapped around brown poles to remember the couple.

“I think it symbolizes more of what we would … want to portray rather than doing black even though it was such a tragedy. It’s kind of our town’s way of … letting them know we’re lifting them up. And we’re lifting them up in faith. We’re lifting them up in prayer because as we know, that is what is going to get them through this,” Melissa Weiss, who works next to the store owned by Byler’s grandmother, and where his mother also works.

“It’s just such a tragedy that the other family had to lose their only daughter. This family had to lose their only son,” she added.

Gerald Douglas Lawrence, who federal officials say was a “very experienced” pilot was also killed along with the couple.

Jacob Martinez, who filmed the couple’s wedding and final moments before they would board the ill-fated helicopter, said they were in high spirits during the send-off from family and friends.

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Irish Bishop Against Practicing Yoga in Christian Schools

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An Irish bishop has written to Catholic schools urging them to ban yoga as it is ‘not of Christian origin’ and the children should spend their time ‘in adoration of Jesus’ instead.

Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, wrote to principals, teachers and school staff members in Waterford City and County, Ireland, on October 10.

In his letter, he said: ‘Yoga is not of Christian origin and is not suitable for our parish school setting and especially not during religious education time.

‘I have been asked by several people to say a word on yoga and mindfulness. My question is, ‘Will they bring us closer to God or replace him?’

The bishop claimed that Christian Mindfulness is ‘meditation on Christ’ which empties the mind of ‘everything unnecessary’ in order to become ‘aware of the presence and love of Christ’.

While he also quoted Pope Francis that practices like yoga are ‘not capable of opening our hearts up to God’.

The bishop added how people can ‘take a million courses in spirituality’ but this activity ‘will never be able to give you freedom’, echoing Pope Francis’s speech in 2015.

He said Pope Francis’s philosophy was in keeping with Ireland’s Grow In Love programme. This touches on Christian doctrine, Scripture, morality and prayer.

Teacher’s were reminded that October is the ‘month of the Rosary’ and they should each pray in a bid to get closer to Jesus, in the letter.

But the primary school curriculum allows a degree of flexibility about how its implemented, according to the Irish National Teachers Organisation, who hit-back at his view.

John Stokes, a yoga instructor in Waterford, said the practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness should be ’embraced’ in ‘an age where children are really suffering from anxiety and stress’.

‘There is no dogma taught in our classes and Yoga in it’s truest sense is a movement and breath awareness practice for health and wellbeing.

They said ‘here’s to tolerance, love and unity’ and invited him to a one-to-one yoga session or class of his choice’ at their Wellness Centre in Youghal, Ireland.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation said the primary school curriculum allows schools a certain amount of flexibility and autonomy with regard to its implementation.

They said the schools ‘are best placed’ to make the decisions about how the subjects are taught, taking into consideration the ‘school culture, ethos and needs of the pupils’.

This is not the first time Bishop Cullinan has received backlash for his views as he said he was to establish a ‘delivery ministry’ group to rid people of the devil through exorcism, last year.

He also claimed the cervical cancer vaccine could lead to promiscuity in 2017.

The bishop said the vaccine ‘lulls girls into false sense of security’ and encourages sexual activity, adding: ‘Prevention, the number one and most effective protection, is abstinence. A good old traditional value.’

He later apologised and admitted he was not fully informed about the vaccination programme. Cullinan’s ‘intention was solely motivated to protect people from HPV’.

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China Demolishes 3,000-Seat Megachurch during Worship Service

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The People’s Republic of China destroyed a church that reportedly could seat 3,000 people and detained its pastors, according to a human rights organization.

An international nonprofit Christian human rights group based in Texas, reported the incident in a statement released Saturday. According to the group, Chinese authorities provided no legal papers to justify the demolition.

The church was located in Funan, Anhui province. Its pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao, were detained under suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.”

China Aid President Bob Fu said in a statement that the incident was “yet another clear example showing the escalation of religious persecution today by the Chinese Communist regime.”

“The total disregard of religious freedom’s protection as enshrined in the Communist Party’s own Constitution tells the whole world President Xi is determined to continue his war against the peaceful Christian faithful. This campaign will surely fail in the end.”

While China’s persecution of religious groups has existed for many years, recently under President Xi Jinping a wave of crackdowns on religious practices in China has taken place.

The Communist government has destroyed or damaged several churches, reflecting concerns about the increasing Christian population of the country.

In the summer, True Jesus Church in Henan province was razed to the ground, according to persecution watchdog Bitter Winter. Police officers reportedly dragged out all believers from the church before they demolished the property.

Bitter Winter also reported last month that the Ten Commandments have been removed from nearly every Three-Self church and meeting venue in a county of Luoyang city and replaced with the President Xi Jinping’s quotes as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to “sinicize” Christianity.

In addition to cracking down on its Christian minority, China has engaged in violent persecution of its Uighur Muslim and Falun Gong communities.

The China Tribunal, a human rights group, told the United Nations Human Rights Council last month that the Chinese government is harvesting organs from religious minorities, with possibly hundreds of thousands of victims.

“Forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, including the religious minorities of Falun Gong and Uighurs, has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale, and that it continues today. This involves hundreds of thousands of victims.”

“Victim for victim and death for death, cutting out the hearts and other organs from living, blameless, harmless, peaceable people constitutes one of the worst mass atrocities of this century.”

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