Five for Friday: End of Mideast Christianity, Planned Parenthood Video, New IKEA Placemat

CHICAGO, IL (July 24, 2015) — Many Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos with one another that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

0724 five for Friday end of christianity
Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?
It’s been happening for decades, but the crisis for Christians in the Middle East is accelerating in horrific ways and getting worse every day. ‘‘’How much longer can we flee before we and other minorities become a story in a history book?’’ says Nuri Kino, a journalist and founder of the advocacy group Demand for Action. According to a Pew study, more Christians now face religious persecution than at any time since their early history.

On Planned Parenthood Controversy, ‘The New York Times’ Swings and Whiffs
A lot has been written about the video that was surreptitiously filmed of a Planned Parenthood executive. Many articles reinforce polemic arguments and distort what was or wasn’t said. This piece by Jonathan Merritt is one of the best. In taking on the New York Times editorial, Merritt, who is no political conservative, demonstrates how to keep the main thing the main thing.

0724 Ikea-Sittning
IKEA’s New Placemat Helps You Stay Logged Out During Dinner
IKEA will soon release a new set of dinnerware that includes a placemat with a pocket for your mobile phone during mealtime. The company’s website says of the Sittning collection, “We all love to meet with friends, sharing something more than just a meal.”

Why not just put the phone in another room while eating? Is a redesigned placemat really necessary? As for celebrating the joys of sharing a meal, the phone pocket on the placemat still is see-through. That way you can still tell if someone is messaging you, which means you’ll be sitting there thinking about your response while the person sitting across from you is speaking.

The Genesis Engine
The article highlights just how easy it is becoming to modify genes and create different forms of life. It’s also become highly competitive big business—with few real controls in place. The new creations have potential to bring healing or disaster, and so do the creators. The author notes, “In an odd reversal, it’s the scientists who are showing more fear than the civilians. … ‘You can’t stop science from progressing,’ (scientist Martin) Jinek says. ‘Science is what it is.’ He’s right. Science gives people power. And power is unpredictable.”

0724 five for friday train-church
10 Amazing Churches That Are Nothing Like Your Own
Photos include worship spaces in caves or which have been carved into the ground. Others feature a beautiful church made entirely of cardboard and a Russian Orthodox church made from a used train car. There’s even a church made completely of living trees. You might say it’s a growing church.

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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