NEW YORK — Guatemala, home to about 14.6 million people, has been plagued for decades by gang violence, some of it mindless, according to the confessions of gangsters featured in the powerful and gritty Nadus Films documentary, BBoy for Life. Coury Deeb, who co-produced and directed the film, captured the stories of everyday Guatemalans who have found an alternative to the pervasive gang life by breakdancing, a defiant act that could still cost them their lives.
"Here in Guatemala, you take a risk dancing," explains Cheez, one of the protagonists in BBoy for Life and the main organizer of his breakdancing Poker Crew. "There are gangsters. … The gangs don't like this — they really don't. If they see me dance in my neighborhood, they threaten me with death."
Gangsters locked up in a maximum security prison, "somewhere outside of Guatemala City," back up Cheez's statement. more >>
The city of New York recently agreed to fund full day, pre-kindergarten programs for religious schools in the city in an attempt to make more space for preschool attendance by Fall 2014. Multiple religious schools in the area have questioned the full-day funding, as it prohibits religious teaching from being taught during school hours.
The new policy, approved by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, extends the previous half-day prekindergarten programs at religious schools into a full day program funded by the government.
Previously, religious schools offered a half-day of secular prekindergarten funded by the government, contributing religious teaching to the latter part of the school day that they paid for using their own school funds. more >>
A magistrate judge has ruled that a New York public school's removal of Christian items from a science teacher's classroom was legal. The teacher, Joelle Silver, had multiple Bible verses on display, as well as a painting that included three crosses on a hill, and a prayer request box on her desk that was placed there by the school's Bible Study Club, which she served as a faculty monitor.
The decision given Tuesday by a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York dismissed part of the motion given by the Christian teacher.
Judge Leslie G. Foschio argued that Silver's lawsuit against Cheektowaga Central School District, its Superintendent Dennis Kane and its Board of Education President Brian J. Gould could not proceed on the basis of her rights being violated when they removed the Christian items. more >>
Baylor University's Isaiah Austin was recognized by the NBA as the league's best pick during the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night, despite having a rare genetic disorder that ended his dreams of playing professionally.
Though Austin will not play, NBA commissioner Adam Silver honored him as one of the nation's best collegiate basketball players in an announcement that was met with an emotional standing ovation.
"For Commissioner Silver to even invite me here was a tremendous blessing and it just shows how much class that man has," said Austin, according to ESPN. "It's really been a tough week for me, and it's been really rough. I've just had a tremendous amount of support from everybody around the world, telling me they're praying for me and everything. I can't thank everybody enough." more >>
New York's homeless are outraged after a Chinese millionaire promised to provide them each with a fancy lunch in Central Park and $300 each, only to find that they would not be receiving the cash prize.
Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese recycling entrepreneur, organized Wednesday's lunch with the New York City Rescue Mission to provide a three-course meal to 250 homeless people at The Loeb Central Park Boathouse restaurant. Chen had taken out advertisements last week in U.S. newspapers, advertising the unique charity event that promised lunch, along with a $300 cash gift for each attendee.
Chinese and Americans reporters crowded around the Boathouse restaurant on Wednesday to observe the 250 homeless people dining on a three-course meal that was served by suited waiters and included filet mignon, tuna and fruit. Chen also performed magic tricks for the crowd and sang a rendition of "We Are the World," a charity song originally composed in 1985. more >>
NEW YORK — A 2013 Gallup poll found that most Americans think religion is losing its influence in the United States, while a religious landscape survey from the Pew Forum found that "the United States is on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country." Could church planting be the key to turning these trends around?
Brent Storms, president & CEO of Orchard Group, a 66-year-old church planting network located in New York City, certainly thinks so. Storms planted his own church over 15 years ago, and for the past 10 years has assessed, trained and managed hundreds of other pastors who have felt called to found new Protestant communities.
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Storms shared his views on how starting new churches can help Christianity thrive in America, and perhaps around the world. more >>