Category Archives: In The News

Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ Sequel is Coming

Actor, director, producer Mel Gibson will begin production on the sequel of his mega-hit film, The Passion of the Christ, this spring, according to a new report.

Veteran film journalist Jordan Ruimy shared Wednesday that Gibson will begin filming The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection in the next few months.

“Gibson has been hard at work on the screenplay with Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace. There have already been six drafts. ‘Resurrection’ would focus on the twenty-four hours encompassing Jesus’ passion and the events that occurred three days between his crucifixion and resurrection,” Ruimy explained. 

Actor, director, producer Mel Gibson will begin production on the sequel of his mega-hit film, The Passion of the Christ, this spring, according to a new report.

Veteran film journalist Jordan Ruimy shared Wednesday that Gibson will begin filming The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection in the next few months.

“Gibson has been hard at work on the screenplay with Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace. There have already been six drafts. ‘Resurrection’ would focus on the twenty-four hours encompassing Jesus’ passion and the events that occurred three days between his crucifixion and resurrection,” Ruimy explained. 

The highly-anticipated sequel has been in the development stages for the last 10 years. In 2016, Gibson told Greg Laurie at a Harvest Crusade that he wanted to take his time in developing the story.

“It’s called The Resurrection. Of course, that’s a very big subject and it needs to be looked at because we don’t want to just do a simple rendering of it — you know, read what happened,” Gibson explained.

“But in order to read it, experience and explore probably deeper meanings of what it’s about, it’s going to take some doing and Randall Wallace is up to the task,” Gibson continued. “He is also, as well as a brilliant writer, he is a great director. He directed We Were Soldiers and Heaven is for Real and stuff. So, he is a good writer and director.”

Wallace told The Hollywood Reporter during that time that he has always wanted to tell this story.

“The evangelical community considers ‘The Passion’ the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood, and they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger,” he said. 

“I always wanted to tell this story,” Wallace added. “‘The Passion’ is the beginning, and there’s a lot more story to tell.”

The original film made $612 Million on a $30 million budget making it the highest-grossing R-rated film in North America and one of the most successful independent films of all time. 

Hero Pastors Reveal Miracles on his Quest to Save Lives During Storm

“I don’t even know how I did it other than the grace of God.”

That’s how Pastor Al Robinson described his recent rescue of a woman stranded in deadly snowstorms in Buffalo, New York.

Al and Vivian Robinson, a husband and wife who lead Spirit of Truth Urban Ministry in Buffalo, told CBN’s Faithwire about their now-viral story of love and compassion for those around them as they stepped up to the plate to feed, house, and protect the vulnerable.

But it’s the woman’s rescue story that truly stands out.

In addition to feeding and housing people, the Robinsons sent heroes to recover vulnerable individuals who could have frozen in dire conditions. While a friend used a snowmobile to bring people to the house of worship, Al personally rescued at least one individual.

That young woman, about two blocks away, called the pastor as 79-mile-per-hour winds raged and snow swirled all around.

“She called me and she said, ‘Pastor, please don’t let me die. Please don’t let me die. Don’t let me die here. Don’t let me die like this,’” Al recounted. “And I looked at Vivian. I said, ‘We have no choice.’ I suited up, I walked down the street to get her, and somehow I carried that woman through all that snow.”

Watch him tell the incredible story:

Al said these actions were especially miraculous, considering a 2015 accident left him with major back issues. Somehow, though, he was able to persist and save the day — and he’s attributing it all to God.

The couple also told Faithwire how and why they decided to open their church doors, noting how their house of worship amazingly never lost power despite most of the community around it suffering outages.

“My wife and I, we were just having a regular day, and we get reports on our Facebook group that people are losing power,” Al said. “And I look at my wife, and I say to her, ‘I wonder why we’re not losing power?’”

Within just a few hours, he said he fully understood why God spared his church property: so that he and Vivian could open the church’s doors to the public.

“That’s how God works,” he said.

Vivian said the couple had planned to welcome their nine children home for the holidays before the storm, but the food they bought ended up feeding well over 100 people who sought refuge inside their church.

“When I told my husband, ‘We have to open up our church doors,’ we never imagined that it was going to just open up so big for the lives of all these people,” she said.

The couple lost count of how many people came through the doors, around 127 or 128, and said they had the most people inside the church on Christmas day.

“I’m a fervent believer that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called,” Al said. “We ran for like four days straight.”

The preachers’ kind acts have been making national headlines in recent days — and with good reason. Their selflessness, kindness, and love went above and beyond the call of duty.

Pastor Sprayed with Acid in Ambush

A pastor has lost nearly all his vision after Muslim extremists lured him into an ambush and sprayed him with acid, sources said.

Pastor Frank Matt of Mbarara can see only dimly out of one eye and has trouble eating and talking due to the burns from the acid attack on Dec. 22 in Kampala. His shoulder was also seriously burned, and he cannot sleep without painkillers.

After the pastor preached at an evening service of a church in the Kasubi area of Kampala, a Muslim extremist pretending to be a congregation member greeted him, praised him for his “wonderful sermon” and asked for a ride to the Busega area in western Kampala, he said. About to return to his home in Mbarara nearly five hours away, the pastor agreed to give him a lift and set out on the Kampala-Northern Bypass Highway.

“On my way to the main road, the gentleman started making several phone calls,” Pastor Matt told Morning Star News with difficulty due to burns on his mouth.

Approaching a roundabout, the man said he wanted to get out, Pastor Mutabaazi said. The pastor told him they were still far from his destination, but the man replied that he wanted to visit a friend first.

“As he came out of the vehicle, three men dressed in Islamic attire appeared and pulled out a bottle and started spraying on me through the window while shouting and mentioning that I am an enemy of their religion as well as a deceiver who is not worthy to live,” Pastor Matt said. “From that time on, I did not know what happened, only to find myself at a nearby clinic in Namunghona after five hours.”

He had received several threats on his phone demanding that he stop evangelistic events in Masaka and Kambala in central Uganda, Mbale and Pallisa in the east and the West Nile sub-region in the northwest part of the country, he said. One text message read, “We have been monitoring your evil activities of changing our members to Christianity. Let this be known to you that your life is at risk.”

The pastor said he had been taking many precautions but never expected a Muslim would attend a church service masquerading as a Christian.

Still struggling to recover, Pastor Matt was unable to contemplate filing a police report.

The attack was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

‘Friends’ Star has Powerful, Healing Encounter with God

“Friends” star Matthew Perry shocked the world recently when he opened up about his years-long battle with heavy drugs and alcohol, but now new details about his road to recovery reveal that it was a heartfelt prayer to God that played a key role in finally freeing him from his addictions.

Perry is famously known for playing Chandler Bing on the hit NBC show. Bing was sarcastic, charming, and always up for a good time, and while Perry was able to deliver on-camera, behind the scenes he lived a torturous battle of heavy addiction. 

“By the time I was 18, I was drinking every day. At that time I was drinking out with friends, a lot, and then at 1:45 I would say ‘I’m going to go home’ and I would race across town to a liquor store, buy a bottle of vodka, and drink as much as I had with the other guys that night,” he told Diane Sawyer in a Nightline interview. 

Perry tried to hide his spiraling addiction from friends, family, and coworkers, for many years. Then, one day, he was confronted by co-star Jennifer Aniston. 

“Imagine how scary that was,” he said. “And I said, ‘How? I thought I was hiding it so well.’ And she said, ‘We can smell it on you.’ But I wasn’t in a position to stop because that is what addiction is, but she was the one to reach out the most.”

“I’m really grateful to her for that,” he added. 

In his memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry believes he blacked out a few times because he doesn’t remember filming some scenes.

He recounts that at one point he was taking as many as 55 Vicodin pills a day. 
“I was in a dark room, meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone, for months,” he shared. “Addiction is an obsession of your mind [that says] now give me everything you gave me before and more.”

Addiction took his health–rotting the top row of his teeth. 

It took his money–nearly $9 million in rehab and recovery programs. 

And it nearly took his life.

An opioid overdose led to a burst colon and an extended hospital stay, the Daily Citizen reports.

“I was given a 2 percent chance to survive the night,” Perry told HBO’s Bill Maher. “They didn’t tell me that, obviously, because I wasn’t really there, but they told my family. And I was put on a thing called an ECMO [Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation] machine. … They call that a hail Mary. … Five people were on ECMO that night, and the other four died, and I somehow made it.”

According to Perry’s memoir, his addiction added up to 14 stints in rehab, 15 stomach surgeries, and more than 60 attempts at detox.

But nothing changed for Perry until he had a powerful encounter with God.

“‘God, please help me,’ I whispered. ‘Show me that you are here. God, please help me,'” he recounts in his memoir. 

He continued, “As I kneeled, the light slowly began to get bigger, and bigger until it was so big that it encompassed the entire room…What was happening? And why was I starting to feel better?”
“I started to cry,” he explained. “I mean, I really started to cry – that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping. I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK. I felt safe, taken care of. Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”

“I had been in the presence of God. I was certain of it. And this time I had prayed for the right thing: help,” Perry said.

Perry credits that encounter with God as the reason he stayed sober for the next two years. 

“God had shown me a sliver of what life could be. He had saved me that day, and for all days, no matter what. He had turned me into a seeker, not only of sobriety, and truth but also of him,” Perry wrote. 

Christian Prophet Shawn Bolz, the founder of Bolz Ministries, often covers connections between faith and the entertainment industry. 

Bolz shared in a recent podcast that he is excited to see what God is going to do in Perry’s life. 

“Wow, what a story,” he said. “You think of a person like Matthew Perry, who has gone through so much publically…and now God is operating in Him.”

He added, “Once you realize you are saved…once you realize what God did for you, you spend your life in that give-back (giving back to charities, ministries, and organizations)…which is so beautiful.”

Antifa Targets Christian Church Site

San Diego police are investigating a possible hate crime after far-left activists vandalized a church building that was scheduled to hold a New Year’s Eve worship service led by Sean Feucht.

Early Saturday, Feucht posted video and photos of the church after Antifa members defaced City View Church and caused minor damage to the building.

“Queers bash back”, “separate church and state”, “Christofacist not welcome”, “Sean Breeds Hate” and “No Safe Space for Bigots,” were a few of the phrases spray painted across the church’s campus. Other profanity-laced threats were sprayed on the church building but were unfit to mention in this article.

“Last night, bigots spread hate and violence at a church where we are holding a New Year’s Eve event in San Diego, Feucht wrote on Instagram. “The police are investigating it as a hate crime. The enemy making the age-old mistake. Persecuting the Church won’t stop the gospel, it’ll spark a wildfire.”

“We will not back down,” he added on Twitter. 

The church was defaced with vulgarity, symbols, and other threats, but it did not stop hundreds of people from attending the event.

“It’s intimidation, and you know, we don’t get discouraged when fear comes, we actually get emboldened and this is a chance for the church of California to take a stand to rise up in unity and to say, ‘We’re not going to let persecution, bigotry, hatred, vandalism, stop us from worshiping,” Feucht told “The church isn’t a building. We’re the bride of Christ and in 2023 we’re rising up like never before.”

He told CBN News, last October, it is powerful when believers show up and take a stand.

“We have the keys to the kingdom,” he said. “The gates of hell will not prevail and whatever we bind in heaven will be bound on earth, and whatever we loose, will be loosed.”

“We need to get believers activated to take responsibility for their nation, for their state…and we all get in the game. We are going to see God do some really cool stuff,” the songwriter and worship evangelist added. 

Feucht has plans to kick off a 50-state worship tour in 2023 called “Kingdom to the Capitol”.

The prayer and worship movement will continue throughout all 50 states with the goal of moving forward legislation to make every state, a pro-life state. 

“We need to go to every state in America and believe, not only that every state will become a pro-life state, but that in every state we are bringing the Kingdom to the capitol and we are going to rally pastors, leaders, and Holy Spirit-filled legislators and take responsibility for the states,” Feucht explained. 

He added, “We have to keep going, we have to keep striking the ground – just like Elijah told the king – until we see a breakthrough happen.

2 Pastors Save Over 150 People in Storm

Two pastors are making headlines after heroically rescuing 154 people during deadly snowstorms in Buffalo, New York, offering housing and resources to the afflicted during the horrific conditions.

Al and Vivian Robinson, a husband and wife who pastor Spirit of Truth Urban Ministry in Buffalo, decided to go out and help people who might have otherwise frozen.

It was a stark diversion from their original holiday plans of welcoming home their nine children to enjoy the Christmas season with one another.

But the Robinsons’ bold quest came as they realized their church was the only local place with power. At first, Robinson said he didn’t understand why his church still had electricity.

“I’ll never forget asking my wife, ‘Why do you suppose God gave us power, and didn’t give other people power? I mean, why did he choose us?’” Robinson told NewsNation. “And then five hours later, I discovered exactly why our church still had power.”

Various numbers are floating around regarding who was fed and housed; he said 154 people were brought to the church.

“We just jumped into action and was able to deliver up to 154 people to the church, to not freeze to death,” Al Robinson told CNN. “I wish that I could say that for everyone.”

With 12-foot snowdrifts and frigid conditions, Robinson said he and his wife were glad to serve.

“We had people that were freezing to death,” he told TODAY. “You could not drive, and the wind chill factor dipped down into the negative 20s, so it hurts your face to walk around.”

Then, the floodgates opened.

“It started with, like, 10 people, two big families, and then it went to 30, then it went to 60, then went to 90, then it went to 100, 120, 128 was the last time I counted, but it went all the way up to 154,” Al Robinson told CNN. “We had people sleeping everywhere in our church, but we were the only ones with the electricity.”

The couple even got a friend to use his snowmobile to help rescue people outside and bring them to the church; he helped those people bring in their cats, dogs, and other necessary belongings.

Fortunately, the Robinsons had purchased two weeks’ worth of food for their family of 11 over the holidays. That food helped feed around 130 people, according to TODAY.

One of the most amazing elements of the story is the fact the Robinsons had recently sold a rehabilitation home in a bid to create a larger facility. In the meantime, mattresses and beds had been moved to the church — and those beds were available for the people to use.

All of these elements coming together to meet the people’s needs didn’t surprise Al Robinson, who told TODAY God equipped the couple for the moment.

“People need to realize that if God has given them the ability to help someone else, it is incumbent upon them to help someone else,” he said. “We weren’t expecting any of this chaos at all. God just knew what was going to happen before it even happened. And he already supplied the need before the need was needed.”

With dozens dying in Buffalo during the storm, many will forever remember the Robinsons’ goodness.

Archaeologists Discover Tomb of ‘Jesus’ Midwife’

Archaeologists uncovered hundreds of artifacts in an ancient Jewish burial cave in Israel that is believed by some to have been the tomb of a midwife present at the scene of Jesus’ birth based on the narrowly accepted apocryphal Gospel of James.  

The Gospel of James, which is not the same as the Book of James found in the Bible, is one of the second-century apocryphal texts — which are a collection of scriptural texts written by early Jewish-Christian writers that fall outside the Holy apostolic-based Bible or canon. 

A team of archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) discovered hundreds of lamps in a burial cave in the Lachish region in central Israel that are believed to have belonged to early Christians who went on pilgrimages into the tomb. 

According to the IAA, the burial cave continued in use during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods and became known as “Salome Cave” because of a “popular tradition that identified it as the burial place of Salome, the midwife of Jesus.”

The excavation was part of the Judean Kings’ Trail Project led by the IAA, the Ministry for Jerusalem and Heritage and the Jewish National Fund. 

Researchers uncovered a row of shop stalls that sold or rented clay lamps when excavating the courtyard. 

“In the shop, we found hundreds of complete and broken lamps dating from the 8th–9th centuries [A.D],” Nir Shimshon-Paran and Zvi Firer, excavation directors in the Israel Antiquities Authority Southern Region, said in a joint statement. “The lamps may have served to light up the cave, or as part of the religious ceremonies, similarly to candles distributed today at the graves of righteous figures, and in churches.” 

The burial cave became a hot spot for pilgrimages among local Christians after the area was recognized as Salome’s burial place in the Byzantine era, Firer told The Times of Israel

“The name Salome may possibly have appeared in antiquity on one of the ossuaries [stone boxes] in the tomb, and the tradition identifying the site with Salome the midwife developed, with the cave becoming venerated by Christianity,” Firer was quoted as saying. 

The apocryphal texts, which include the Gospel of James, are a series of writings that give various accounts of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and his teachings, the nature of God, or the teachings of his apostles and of their lives. 

Many Christian scholars and theologians have questioned the validity of the events told in the apocryphal writings. 

The Gospel of James tells the story of Jesus’ nativity as having been done in a cave ​​located in the Lachish region in central Israel, instead of in a manger in Bethlehem as recorded in the Bible. 

The writings also describe Mary as having two midwives. One of the midwives is not given a name, but the other midwife is named Salome, who is believed to have shown up directly after Jesus’ birth.   

In the apocryphal text, when Salome enters the cave directly after Jesus’ birth, she has an injured hand. She holds the infant Jesus and she receives miraculous healing in her hand. Following the healing, she is believed to have become a follower of Jesus. 

Apocryphal writings also include accounts from characters not mentioned in the Bible but are believed by some to have walked the earth during Christ’s time.

The apocryphal stories often take a different approach to the canonical Scripture and tend to elaborate on different aspects of Scripture in accounts that are different from the Holy Bible.   

Some Christian, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths today acknowledge the apocryphal texts as being either partially or fully truthful. 

Those who believe in the truthfulness of the stories think that even though the writings aren’t included in Bible, all of the texts are sanctified and were orchestrated by God for His divine plan.

Some believe that Apostle James, who wrote the New Testament’s Book of James, was the writer of the apocryphal text. 

“I would say — James didn’t write it. It’s an apocryphal gospel,” R. Steven Notley, professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at New York’s Alliance University (formerly Nyack College), told Haaretz

Notley was not involved in the Salome Cave excavation but has been involved in other projects, including the site of Bethsaida by the Sea of Galilee. 

Notley said the Gospel of James is often acknowledged as a writing that used to fill in the blanks to answer questions and doubts that early Christians had about the truthfulness of the virgin birth.  

“It’s like a Christian midrash,” he noted, adding that James could not have written the “Gospel of James” because the text was written in the second century. 

The Catholic Church, some Lutherans, Anglicans and other Protestants adhere to the “perpetual virginity of Mary” doctrine. St. Jerome authored “The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary: Against Helvidius,” which first appeared in 383 A.D. St. Jerome contends that no midwife assisted at Christ’s birth.

“[N]o women’s officiousness intervened,” the document reads. 

“With her own hands she wrapped him in the swaddling clothes, herself both mother and midwife.”

‘True-Life Grinch’ Robbing Children of Christmas

Police officers in South Bend, Indiana, responded swiftly on the morning of Christmas Eve, after a “true-life Grinch” broke into one family’s home and stole their food and gifts from under the tree.

“After talking to the homeowner, officers learned that Christmas gifts had been taken, leaving the children with nothing for the holidays,” the South Bend Police Department explained in a post shared to Facebook.

Thankfully, the officers on duty quickly contacted the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #36. The group’s “Santa’s Elficers” program told the deputies they had leftover gifts to share with the family in need.

“Officers then came back to the residence with several boxes of Christmas presents and food for the family,” the SBPD explained. “This is what serving our community is all about.”

In the video, four police officers can be seen surprising the mother and her three children with a brand new pile of Christmas gifts. “Oh my goodness,” the overjoyed mom exclaims before telling her kids to thank the officers for their kind-hearted gesture. She, too, thanked them for their generosity.

During an interview with WNDU-TV, Patrolman Brian Meador compared the thief to “The Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ popular Christmas story.

“They found out that the house had been burglarized and, in the process, the individual had taken all the gifts and even some food out of their refrigerator,” he said. “So, they really left this family with nothing much at all.”

Meador, who works with the “Santa’s Elficers” program, said he was contacted by the officers on duty at the time of the burglary report. While the FOP Lodge members had already delivered toys and food to more than 400 local families, he shared whatever was left over with the family in need.

“[The officers] asked if we had anything extra, and we keep items here at the station for just an instance like this,” he explained. “And when you see the kids — this morning I was able to go out and deliver the food and the gifts — and to see those little girls’ faces when they saw the presents under the tree and started playing with them, that’s why we do what we do.”

“That’s the positive part, and that’s what keeps us going as officers,” Meador added. “And so, I hope it’s a memory for them that’ll last a lifetime. Maybe someday, they’ll be in a position to give back.”

What’s the Deal With Elon Musk’s Devil Outfit?

When the world’s richest man dons a costume named after the “Prince of Darkness,” it’s inevitable that controversy will follow.

Just days after becoming CEO of Twitter, Musk attended a Halloween party in New York City wearing a blood-red leather gladiator outfit that featured the satanic goat’s head symbol — known in occult circles as the Baphomet — and inverted crosses on his breastplate and forearms.

Musk, 51, reportedly wore the “Devil’s Champion” set from the NYC costume store Abracadabra to supermodel Heidi Klum’s annual Halloween party at the Moxy Hotel on Oct. 31.

According to Abracadabra’s website, the costume has a list price of $7,500 and is sold out.

The South African billionaire even shared images of himself wearing the outfit alongside his mother Maye.

Later that night, he posted a second photo of himself wearing the costume.

As of late December, Musk’s profile image on Twitter is of him posing in the Baphomet outfit, the goat’s horns clearly visible in the bottom of the image.

Oddly enough, Musk’s ex-wife, Claire Boucher, better known as pop artist Grimes, has also shown an affinity for satanic references.

She posed with a book titled Satan is Real in a 2019 cover shoot for Cultured, and in April, Boucher was depicted in a Vanity Fair interview with black “alien” eyes and her right two fingers held up in a pose directly referencing the traditional depiction of the Baphomet figure.

Boucher, who gave birth in March to her second child with Musk, has also sung about the virtues of artificial intelligence (AI).

Her 2018 song, We Appreciate Power, includes the lyrics, “Neanderthal to human being/ Evolution, kill the gene/ Biology is superficial/ Intelligence is artificial/ Submit Submit Submit Submit/ Submit Submit Submit Submit.”

Not surprisingly, reaction to Musk’s choice of Halloween costume — especially in the context of his other ventures — ranged from celebration to concern, particularly among Christians.

Writing for the Gateway Pundit, Anthony Scott said: “Musk’s take on free speech should be celebrated but as of right now it’s quite fair to question why the world’s richest man, who is also a major U.S. Defense contractor (SpaceX) and is the owner of [Neuralink], a company attempting to hook the human brain up to computers, is wearing the Baphomet coupled with inverted crosses as if it’s a badge of honor.”

While some derided Musk for the satanic imagery, others saw Musk’s costume as a nod to how vilified he’s been in the media since taking over Twitter.

But that’s not quite how Seth Dillon, CEO of satire news site The Babylon Bee, sees it.

Dillon told The Christian Post he believes Musk is merely trolling his critics following the backlash from the “secular progressive left” after his takeover of Twitter.

Using terms like “Nazi” and “Hitler,” the Left, Dillon said, sees Musk not simply as a political threat, but as an ideological enemy.

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter “was a huge threat to them, and they rightly viewed him as an enemy because when their goal is to control the narrative and his goal is to disrupt that control and take it away from them, he’s their enemy,” he said. 

“So when Musk puts on a costume like that, and parades himself around for photo shoots and stuff in response to them calling him the bad guy, I think he’s just trolling them.”

Maybe even more importantly, Dillon added, is that Musk just happens to be a pretty funny guy.

Musk is constantly sharing memes on Twitter, and even walked into Twitter headquarters following the acquisition holding a kitchen sink, an apparent reference to the popular “Let that sink in” meme. 

It’s that sense of humor, said Dillon, that is likely behind Musk’s costume choice.

“I think this was just an opportunity for him to troll, and I don’t think that it’s an indication that he’s really an evil person trying to do evil things and convince us he’s a good guy. “

Musk did not respond to a request for comment from CP for this story.

So what does all this mean when it comes to assessing Musk’s ultimate intention as the innovator of our time?

Todd Hampton of the “Prophecy Pros Podcast” says the rise of tech moguls such as Musk who wield global influence is another indicator that Bible prophecy is indeed moving toward its climax.

“We live in an era where technology leaders such as Musk or [Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg] can have more of an impact than rulers of countries,” he told CP. “Another major trend that shows us we are drawing closer to the tribulation period is the global nature of such figures along with the open push for global government from very influential leaders from every sphere of influence.”

Regardless of whether Musk has an agenda, Hampton said, that doesn’t exclude him from potentially playing a prophetic role. 

“Even if his intentions are good, some of the technology he develops could be used for evil — even possibly with the future mark of the beast,” he said.

The so-called Mark of the Beast from Revelation Chapter 13 describes specific technological advances that, according to Hampton, are widely available for the first time in history.

“These technologies include a cashless monetary system, tracking technology, database technology, and artificial intelligence, to name a few,” he explained. “All of those are in place now — and in many cases are integrated into a single system,” such as China’s social credit system.

Now, said Hampton, it’s just a matter of getting people to voluntarily choose to participate in such a system, which he believes will not be forced on the world until the midpoint of a future seven-year period often referred to as the Great Tribulation. 

“It will be very clear that people are choosing to take the mark. No one will take it by accident or without knowing,” he said. 

“This future ‘Beast’ system — which will be worldwide — is not yet in place, but the fact we’re seeing the technology for it now should get our attention.”

The Countries That Banned Christmas

A high-level official in western Indonesia on Saturday (Dec. 17) announced an agreement with a multi-faith body that prohibits Christmas celebrations in a district at sites without government approval.

The agreement effectively bans religious Christmas celebrations in Java Island’s Maja District, Banten Province as strict requirements and bureaucratic opposition make obtaining official worship permits impossible for small fellowships. The announcement comes despite lack of any national-level restrictions on religious Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in the Muslim-majority country.

The head of Lebak Regency in Banten Province, Iti Octavia Jayabaya, revealed the agreement with the Forum for Religious Harmony (FKUB) that restricts Christmas celebrations in Maja, one of 28 districts under her jurisdiction.

“There is no prohibition, but based on the results of an agreement from the Forum for Religious Harmony (FKUB) deliberations, Christmas joint worship [in Maja District] may only be held in places that are in accordance with the permits,” Iti said in a press statement on Saturday (Dec. 17).

Requirements for obtaining permission to build houses of worship in Indonesia are onerous and hamper the establishment of such buildings for Christians and other faiths. Rights advocates say Indonesia’s Joint Ministerial Decree of 2006 makes requirements for obtaining permits nearly impossible for most new churches.

Even when small, new churches are able to meet the requirement of obtaining 90 signatures of approval from congregation members and 60 from area households of different religions, they are often met with delays or lack of response from officials.

Instead of celebrating Christ’s birth in prohibited venues, Iti said Christians could hold religious Christmas celebrations in nearby Rangkasbitung District. Iti, daughter of previous regent head Mulyadi Jayabaya (2003-2012), said Christians could take public transportation to Rangkasbitung, a town and district about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Maja, for the celebrations.

“In Rangkasbitung there will be a joint [multi-faith but non-religious] Christmas celebration on Dec. 27, and the combined Christians and I will come,” Iti, a Muslim, said on Dec. 14 in Rangkasbitung at a coordination meeting for Christmas and New Year preparations, according to news outlet

The former head of the Communion of Indonesian Churches (PGI), Andreas A. Yewangoe, told Morning Star News that banning Christmas celebrations in Lebak Regency should bring reproach.

“The central government must sternly reprimand the regent, since it is against the values of Pancasila and the constitution,” Yewangoe said.

Pancasila is the government’s guiding policy of unity and social justice for all of Indonesia’s various peoples. Yewangoe, one of Indonesia’s leading theologians, said a central government reprimand would represent not only a defense of Christians but would uphold the values of Pancasila and the constitution.

The right to hold religious services is solidly stated in the Indonesian Constitution, said Yewangoe, a member of the Pancasila Ideology Development Agency (BPIP), a newly established government body.

“So it should be that everyone has that right,” he told Morning Star News. “That right is actually a human right which derives from God.”

There are no churches or other houses of worship for minority faiths in Maja District due to the strict regulations imposed on Christians and other minorities.

Of Lebak Regency’s more than 1.4 million inhabitants, 0.14 percent are Protestant Christians and 0.7 percent are Roman Catholics, Mumu Najamuddin, head of the Cross-Religious Forum of Lebak Regency states on the Banten Department of Religious Affairs’ website  (

The tension between Christians and other minority faiths in Afghanistan is likely to continue now that the extremist group is once again in control of the country. For those religious groups, the takeover caused “a catastrophe”, said Pontifex.

Christmas is almost never celebrated here, with those that choose to do so running the risk of persecution.


Another Muslim-majority nation, Algeria has not observed Christmas in any official capacity since it gained its independence from France, a mostly Catholic nation, in 1962.

However, the country’s population of Christian African migrants, alongside diplomats and locals, have held small celebrations. A market, organised by a the faith-based charity Caritas in 2017, came as a sign of “stable security in a country that has rebounded from a decade of Islamist militant violence”, Reuters reported.


With a Christian population of just 10,000 (less than 1% of the country’s total), Christmas is not part of the Bhutanese calendar, where Buddhism takes precedence.


The public celebration of Christmas has been banned in the tiny oil-rich Islamic state of Brunei since 2015, with anyone found violating the law facing up to five years in jail or a fine of US $20,000, or both.

Although non-Muslims are allowed to celebrate the holiday within their own communities, they are not allowed to share their plans with the country’s Muslims, who make up about two-thirds of the population.

According to the country’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, the rules are “intended to control the act of celebrating Christmas excessively and openly, which could damage the aqidah (creed) of the Muslim community”. One expat told that “the only way to enjoy the festive season is to get out for a vacation”. 


According to the Daily Express, Christmas in China is “another working day and schools, offices and shops all remain open”, adding: “The country is officially a non-religious state, so Christmas was once completely banned.”

In 2018, authorities began “cracking down on Christmas”, with citizens ordered “to instead focus on promoting traditional Chinese culture”, said The Guardian.


At 98% Sunni Muslim, the Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean takes a firm stance against Christianity. Sunni Islam became the religion of the state following a referendum in 2018, which World Watch Monitor reported was “expected to have a tough impact on the country’s small Christian minority”. 

WorldAtlas reported that the open practice of Christianity is prohibited, and Comoros has “been on the World Watch list for the past 22 years for the persecution of Christians”


Christmas has not been celebrated in this predominantly Muslim nation for years. However, 24 December is the country’s independence day, which gives cause for celebration. This year, presidential elections will also take place on Christmas Eve, the first national election for seven years.


The government of Mauritania, despite having a small population of Christians within its borders, chooses not to recognise them at all, with the most recent census claiming that 100% of the country is Muslim.


The overwhelmingly Buddhist nation of Mongolia does not observe any public holidays around Christmas, and few Christians live here. 1 January is a public holiday, but citizens also hold a three-day celebration for the Mongolian Lunar New Year, known as Tsagaan Sar, at the start of the first lunar month. 

North Korea

Christmas “is something of a non-event” in North Korea, reported The Independent. The country’s extreme, authoritarian interpretation of atheism as supposedly laid out in communist doctrine has led to the total outlawing of all things Christmas.

“The North Korean government works hard to ensure information about religious holidays does not enter the so-called hermit kingdom,” the newspaper continued. Anyone who did mark the holiday could be “imprisoned, tortured or ordered to death”. 


The country’s extremely small Christian population “remains full of insecurity” about celebrating Christmas, according to news site Parhlo, and there can be a “threat to the lives of the people celebrating the events”.

The 25 December is a public holiday in Pakistan, but to commemorate the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, considered to be the founder of the nation, rather than the birth of Jesus.

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Christmas is a non-event among the predominantly Islamic population of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a partially recognised state that claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara.

Saudi Arabia

Christmas trees or the holding of any Christmas-related festivals were for years banned for decades in Saudi Arabia, said Al Bawaba.

But “Christmas trees and glitter ornaments” for sale in the capital Riyadh are “a sign of the changing times”, reported The Arab Weekly. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has claimed he is committed to steering the kingdom towards an “open, moderate Islam”. 


In 2015, Somalia, which adopted Sharia law in 2009, banned the celebration of Christmas outright, warning that such Christian festivities could threaten the nation’s Muslim faith.


Six years ago, the mostly secular former Soviet state of Tajikistan outlawed Christmas trees and giving presents in schools. “The use of fireworks, festive meals, gift-giving and raising money” were prohibited through a decree issued by the education ministry. 


Although Christmas is not banned here, Tunisia has almost no public celebrations of the holiday and it is a regular work day for the country.


Despite almost 10% of the country being Eastern Orthodox Christians, Christmas is not celebrated here. Instead, Uzbekistan’s New Year celebrations closely resemble Christmas festivities, complete with trees and the exchange of gifts. However, it is a secular holiday.


The war-torn state of Yemen has not officially observed Christmas for decades. Last year, Yemeni citizens in the neighbourhood of Al-Jahmiliya lit “hundreds of candles” on 25 December, “to draw the world’s attention” to end the war in their city Taez, Euronews reported.