Belfast

Survivors of Magdalene Laundries Still Waiting for an Apology

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — When the Republic of Ireland apologized to the wayward girls who were sent to the Magdalene laundries for hard work and no pay, Teresa Bell felt encouraged. Surely, she thought, the government of Northern Ireland would do the same.

Nearly three months later, she’s still waiting.

Bell was one of thousands of young girls who were sent to the Magdalene workhouses run by Roman Catholic nuns when she got pregnant at age 16. She worked long hours washing clothes with no pay and little rest; after giving birth, her daughter was put in an orphanage.

Bell never recovered from the shame.

GGNFT: The Rend Collective, 'Build Your Kingdom Here'

God Girl's New Favorite Thing for Sept. 27, 2012: Northern Ireland's Rend Collective Experiment

I love music. I love Jesus. And I love all things Irish.

So when a friend introduced me to Rend Collective Experiment last year, chances were pretty good that I'd vibe with this band from the North of Ireland (Bangor, to be specific.)

But ... and this was a BIG but ... my musical proclivities, while decidedly ecclectic, generally steer clear of contemporary Christian worship music (especially if it's billed as such.) When it comes to having a musical worship experience, give me Chris Martin and his bandmates, or those other four greying boyos from a little farther south in the Republic of Ireland.

Without putting too fine a point on it, Rend Collective are very much a contemporary Christian worship band. But they aren't what you're thinking.

Neither painfully earnest nor woefully twee. They're fun and funky — earthy, too, in a grab-your-banjo-and-trilby-hat kind of a way.

UK Watchdog Group Bans Christian Ads, Says Divine Healing=False Advertising

 LONDON — Britain's powerful media advertising watchdog has banned a Christian group from claiming on its website and brochures that God's cure-all powers can heal a string of medical ailments.

The Advertising Standards Authority, the independent regulator of advertising in all British media, ruled that the ads generated by the group Healing on the Streets are irresponsible and misleading.

The ASA, whose tight rules are considered among the world's most stringent, cites a leaflet produced by the group from its center in the spa town of Bath, England, claiming that God "can heal you from any sickness."

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