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Satanic song from Cyprus for Eurovision music competition: Believers in protest

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Several dozen Orthodox Christian faithful and clergy members held up wooden crucifixes, icons of saints and a banner declaring Cyprus’ love for Christ in a renewed protest Wednesday over the island nation’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, which they contend promotes Satan worship.

The protest, held opposite the gates of the offices of state broadcaster RIK, was the second against the song “El Diablo” staged by Christians who argue the number has no place as the national song of Cyprus in the contest because of what they say is its brazen invitation to embrace the devil.

Both RIK and singer Elena Tsagrinou, who represents Cyprus in the contest underway this week in the Netherlands, say critics have misinterpreted the lyrics of “El Diablo” and that it’s actually about an abusive relationship between two lovers.

The song passed its first competition hurdle during a Tuesday semifinal and made it into the contest’s final round, set for Saturday in Rotterdam.

The people protesting Wednesday saw that as no cause for celebration, insisting that “El Diablo” is an affront to Cypriots’ Orthodox faith.

“This song doesn’t represent Cyprus. It doesn’t honor it. It insults Cyprus, it desecrates Cyprus and is dangerous, my good Orthodox Christians,” an unnamed clergyman said into a microphone while addressing the demonstrators. “It’s dangerous to our children, to our families. There is no chance that the devil can do any good to anyone.”

The Cypriot government has said that while dissent is respected, freedom of expression cannot be quashed.

The powerful Orthodox Church of Cyprus called for the withdrawal of the song in March, saying it mocked the Mediterranean island nation’s moral foundations by advocating “our surrender to the devil and promoting his worship.”

Devil worship
The Church’s highest decision-making body, the Holy Synod, urged the state broadcaster to replace it with one that “expresses our history, culture, traditions and our claims.”

Police also charged a man with uttering threats and causing a disturbance when he barged onto the grounds of the public broadcaster to protest what he condemned as a “blasphemous” song.

Tsagrinou played down the controversy. She said “El Diablo,” which she performs flanked by four dancers in skin-tight red costumes, is about an abusive relationship and has nothing to do with devil worship.

She said dealing with COVID-19 restrictions was tough while preparing for the contest, “but that’s not going to keep us back, and we’re going to feel the vibe that we want to feel and the smile on our face.”
Sources:euronews

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Actor Mark Wahlberg Attributes All of His Success to His Faith: ‘Stay Prayed Up’

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Actor Mark Wahlberg is crediting his faith for the massive success he’s had in Hollywood.

“My faith, and my family, and just finding good balance,” Wahlberg told Fox News, cataloging the reasons for his success. “But I have to attribute all my success to my faith.”

The “Patriots Day” star made his comments at the opening of his new restaurant, Flecha. He also had the establishment blessed by Bishop Kevin W. Vann of the Diocese of Orange Christ Cathedral.

Wahlberg is no stranger to sharing about his Catholic faith. In addition to being outspoken, he funded and starred in the 2022 film “Father Stu” about amateur boxer-turned-priest Stuart Long.

“You got to stay prayed up,” Wahlberg told fans the year the movie was released. “God bless you.”

Prayer is certainly central to the actor’s life. He has said he starts each day with Scripture and invocations. But Wahlberg doesn’t foist these values upon his kids. Knowing they see his daily example of devotion, he hopes it resonates with them.

“Even with my faith, I don’t force it on [my kids]. But they know that dad can’t start the day without being in prayer, can’t start the day without reading my Scripture or going to Mass,” Wahlberg told NBC’s “Today” in 2022. “And hopefully, instead of forcing that on them, they’ll say, ‘Well, if it works for dad, maybe it’ll work for us,’ and they’ll kind of gravitate toward it on their own.”

The actor’s consistency in his faith has been notable over the years, as he has discussed the impact clinging to God has had in his life. In fact, Wahlberg has repeatedly spoken about the power of faith not only to bring good things into his life but also to help him cope with issues that might unfold.

“As soon as I started putting my faith and focus on God, good things started happening for me,” he told Fox News in 2023. “And even when they didn’t, it gives you the coping skills to deal with things that are inevitable, like loss and failure and those things.”

Wahlberg added, “But, you know, again, my faith and my family, those are the most important aspects of my life.”
Sources:faithwire

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Angel Studios’ New Film Brings Message of Adoption, Hope to Big Screen

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It’s a story that needed to be told, says “Sound of Hope” writer and producer Rebekah Weigel, because Possum Trot is not just another small Texas community near the Louisiana border, but a town that chose to live out God’s command to care for the orphan.

“This is such an amazing story,” says Weigel, an adoptive mother herself, adding, “we need to see more churches step in” the way that Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church did.

Back in the 1990s, W.C. Martin, the pastor of the small church in Possum Trot, and wife Donna felt the Lord call them to adopt a child. Martin began preaching to his rural church about what the Bible says about adoption, and the congregation was moved to action. In total, 22 families in the church adopted 77 of the hardest-to-place children in the foster care system.

“There’s probably only a couple hundred people in the community of Possum Trot, an unincorporated area,” Weigel says, “but, you know, they took it seriously, and they did it together as a community. And I think that’s something I really loved about this story, was just the sense of doing it together, like bearing each other’s burdens, and, you know, when one was weak, they came together, and they helped each other, and I think we need more of that.”

Now, the inspirational story of what happened years ago in the little community of Possum Trot is hitting the big screen on July 4 in the feature film “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot.” Angel Studios is distributing the film. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

Weigel joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the true story behind the film and the experience of telling such a moving story through film.
Sources:BREAKING CHRISTIAN NEWS

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‘Hungry For God’: Powerful Moves of Revival, Thirst for Bible Sweeps College Campuses

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Jennie Allen has had a front-row seat to much of the revival unfolding across America, particularly among young people.

She’s been speaking on college campuses and witnessing Gen Z’s rising interest in faith and the Bible.

“It is so real,” Allen recently told  from the red carpet of the KLOVE Fan Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. “There’s no hype. They actually are hungry for God. It’s been the most beautiful thing.”

Allen has seen massive college-age audiences hang on her every word as she shares the Gospel, with the fervor so strong at some schools she’s found herself impromptu baptizing young people in the backs of pick-up trucks — or even in local creeks.

“They are responding to the Gospel,” she said. “And they are showing up in droves. So, it’s been super encouraging that this generation wants God.”

Allen said she first noticed Generation Z’s hunger in 2018 when she spoke at Texas A&M about sin, and the young audience immediately responded in a truly “special” way.

“They were hungry,” she said, noting the intense interest wasn’t lost on her. “They were willing to be honest; they wanted God.”

Allen said the experience of ministering to young people has had a profound impact on her life as well. Today, she’s focused on reaching youths with the Bible’s message of grace and redemption.

“I want to just keep my head down, and be faithful, and not be distracted by many things,” she said. “So, for me, it’s given me such clarity, such boldness. I want to serve God, and I want to serve them well, and I don’t want to hold back.”
Sources:faithwire

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