CCM feature on the cover of US Newsweek

AMERICAS PRESTIGEOUS mainstream magazine Newsweek has published a cover story on contemporary Christian music. The feature, with the headline Jesus Rocks! Christian Entertainment Makes A Joyful Noise, reported "with big bestsellers, new movies and religious rock, the £3 billion Christian entertainment industry is exploding."

"We're experiencing what alternative music experienced - it starts as this small thing and blows up," Newsboys singer Peter Furler says. "To me this is the underground right now, know what I mean? Now you have big record companies involved 'cause they're sniffing at the bucks. But we know that. We're not stupid. We know they're not trying to promote the name of Christ." The Newsweek report continued, "Alternative rock is just one pillar in the gigantic cathedral of Christian entertainment. It spans from the popular Left Behind novels, which sold 28.8 million copies, to the Grammy-winning singer Steven Curtis Chapman, who helped pack in 50,000 at the Freedom Live festival in Tulsa, Okla, last week. Additionally, the children's animated video series Veggie Tales has sold 22 million videos. As Christian retailers meet for their annual convention in Atlanta this week, trade industry officials say Christian product sales exceeded £4 billion in 2000, Religion News Service reported."

"This gospel-fuelled fun is now a booming business and a cornerstone of American culture," Newsweek observed. "So why didn't you hear the hoofbeats of its thunderous approach? Because so much of this energy fails to register on the seismographs of mainstream industry and media, the ruling parties tend to dismiss Christian entertainment as too marginal ever to outgrow its niche position." CR

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