The recent, racially-motivated massacre of a bible study group in a historic African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston has sparked grief, shock, rage, and an almost-unbelievable and moving expression of forgiveness from the victims' families. The shooting reignited a national conversation on the appropriateness of public displays of the Confederate battle flag; many prominent Southern Christians spoke in favor of its removal. Within Charleston, the church which was the site of the massacre was packed during the next Sunday's service. Thousands participated in vigils, and an estimated 20,000 people of every background marched together in solidarity, singing "This Little Light of Mine" and "God Bless America." Many public leaders recognized and reflected this solidarity and the forgiveness offered even while acknowledging and mourning the history of anti-Black and anti-Black church violence in American history; a vocal few, primarily from the political left, chose instead to exploit the tragedy for their own ends.
Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, gave an impassioned speech denouncing America and aligning all white Americans with the sentiments of the racist murderer. This speech was given at historic Metropolitan AME Church in Washington D.C., the "National Cathedral of African Methodism," and received thunderous applause and cheers. Farrakhan did not hold back with his extreme and inciting vitriol. Speaking of the white people of Charleston that joined in the services, vigils, and marches he shouted, "White folks march with you because they don't want you upsetting the city. They don't give a damn about them nine."
Because the police fed the murderer shortly after he was (without incident) apprehended, Farrakhan accused them of supporting the murders. "And you know what they [the police] were saying? 'You did a good job killing all them [racial epithet].' You think they were sympathetic? If they were sympathetic with us they would have snatched him, put him in chains, had the gun on him." (Photos show the murderer in handcuffs.) more >>
The FBI is investigating a string of fires that have occurred over the past week at primarily black churches in the South and so far at least three of them have been ruled an arson.
Less than one week after 21-year-old white suspect, Dylann Roof, allegedly opened fire and killed nine worshipers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, churches in Tennessee, Georgia, South and North Carolina and Florida caught fire and investigators are trying to determine whether the blazes are connected.
"They're being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them," FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson told BuzzFeed News. "I'm not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point." more >>
Six men who called senior pastor of Lakewood church, Joel Osteen, "a liar" during a bizarre outburst which scared several members into leaving a service at the Houston, Texas, megachurch prematurely on Sunday morning were removed from the church then slapped with charges of criminal trespassing.
Donald Iloff Jr., a senior executive with Joel Osteen Ministries, revealed in a statement to The Christian Post on Monday that the hecklers were all with The Church of Wells, a controversial group known for protesting Christian churches they disagree with and that they were quickly arrested by members of the church's security team, a number of whom are local law enforcement officers.
"We've learned that the protestors who disrupted one of our Sunday morning services were the leaders of a small controversial church in Nacogdoches, Texas, called The Church of Wells. This group is known for protesting many Christian churches with whom they don't agree. The six protestors were arrested by Houston police and are being charged with criminal trespass. Lakewood Church takes the disruption of our services seriously and plans to pursue criminal charges, as well as all other legal remedies against these individuals and The Church of Wells," said the statement. more >>
The Evangelical Fellowship of India has reported a violent attack against Christians in the country that was committed earlier this month when over 200 Hindu radicals stormed a Protestant church in the town of Attingal, Kerela, beating up the pastor and some of the worshipers, and breaking the altar.
EFI shared the news with Fides News Agency, reporting that the attack took place on June 14. The radicals apparently shouted slogans like "Bharat Mathaki Jai" ("Hail Mother India") during the attack, which was broken up after police arrived.
Christians in Attingal have since staged a protest march in the city, calling for harmony and religious freedom, while counter-demonstrators reportedly chanted anti-Christian slogans and threats. more >>
A jury in New Jersey has found a conversion therapy group guilty of committing fraud over claim that it offers services that can change a person's sexual orientation.
The jury on Thursday afternoon found the group Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, also called JONAH International, liable for consumer fraud.
Known as Michael Ferguson, et al., v. JONAH, et al., the suit was brought forth by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal organization that garnered controversy for listing conservative organizations like the Family Research Council as "hate groups" and Dr. Ben Carson as a danger to the United States. more >>
A Delaware pastor's spiritual hymn written to remember the nine Christians killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week is now touching the lives of countless believers, as many churches around the world have started to include it in their worship services.
The hymn's writer, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette who co-pastors Limestone Presbyterian Church in Pike Creek, Delaware, with her husband, Bruce, has written spiritual songs about other tragic events such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and 9/11.
Her latest hymn, "They Met to Read the Bible" that addresses the shooting in Charleston has gone viral on Facebook and has been written about by various secular media outlets, including The New Yorker. more >>