Commenting on the devastating violence that took place on Monday in Baltimore, outspoken Christian professional football player Benjamin Watson explained that the pain, anger and tension that the city and its residents are experiencing can only be healed through the power of Christ.
The 34-year-old 11-season NFL tight end, who plays for the New Orleans Saints, is a frequent commentator on current events and has never been afraid to let his Christian convictions be heard. On Tuesday, Watson took to Facebook to voice his thoughts on the rioting, looting, injuring of cops, destroying of police cars, and homes and businesses that took place in Baltimore after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who suffered a spinal injury while in Baltimore police custody.
Watson noted that Baltimore is not the first city to go through a violent uprising over police negligence, and likely won't be the last. He further asserted that the problems Baltimore faces right now are shared by the nation as a whole. more >>
As angry rioters took to the streets of Baltimore this week and destroyed cars, injured 98 police officers, and burned homes and businesses, local pastors have spoken out against the violence and one even called the riots an attempt by Satan to take control of the city.
When the worst of the Baltimore riots went down on Monday, Michael Crawford, the pastor of Baltimore's Freedom Church who also serves as a church growth strategist for the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, was set to board an airplane headed for Florida but said he knew that God was calling him to remain in Baltimore and pray for the well-being of his city.
Noman Masih, the 14-year-old Pakistani boy who was burned alive by a group of Muslim youths earlier in April and died from his injuries was targeted because he admitted that he was a Christian, watchdog group International Christian Concern has said.
The group shared Masih's own words from his hospital bed: "I have neither enemies, nor a dispute with anybody in the area I live. My tailor master asked me to go to the nearest market for some work and, on my way, [a] few men stopped me, asking my name and religion. I gave them my name and identified my religion as Christian. It was Friday prayers time and not many people [were] on the road."
The boy added: "Suddenly they started beating and abusing me. I tried to rescue myself, however, [I] couldn't. One of them threw kerosene oil and [the] other set me on fire. With the help of the locals around I managed to stop the fire, however, [I became] unconscious." more >>
An Egyptian court has handed out life in prison sentences to 71 people for burning a Christian church in in the Giza province village of Kafr Hakim in 2013.
CNN reported that the people were part of a mob that chanted for Egypt to become an "Islamic State" as they torched and looted The Virgin Mary Church in 2013, following anti-government unrest. Christians were heavily targeted in Egypt following the fall of former President Mohammed Morsi, which later led to the Muslim Brotherhood being outlawed.
Reports said that 52 out of the 73 defendants were tried in absentia, with 21 already in prison. Two minors were additionally given 10 years in prison and fined the equivalent of $1,300. more >>
The pastor of a youthful and racially-diverse congregation located just a few blocks from the CVS pharmacy set on fire by rioters amid otherwise peaceful protests in Baltimore says it's time for white Christians to acknowledge the existence of systemic racism in America and to listen to those who are angry and hurting in order to help find meaningful solutions.
"There are deep systemic issues. There is no surface issue that's really the cause. There's some deep stuff that's been going on that's been going on for a lot of years," Joel Kurz, lead pastor of The Garden Church in Central/West Baltimore, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
Some of those "deep systemic issues" are believed to have been at play when Baltimore police officers chased and arrested Freddie Gray and placed him inside a van on April 12. Gray, who was arrested for having a switchblade-like knife in his possession, was admitted to a hospital less than two hours later, and was dead by the end of the week. The 25-year-old died at the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center where he had received surgery for his severely injured spinal cord and crushed voice box — injuries sustained while he was in police custody, according to The Baltimore Sun. Protesters had already taken to the streets the day before Gray's death, and when news of his passing came with no information on what might have befallen Gray during his arrest, their numbers swelled. more >>
As I read the story of Michael Brown who was shot and killed August 9th, 2014 by Darren Wilson, a police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., and the other recent shootings, my heart immediately went out to the family. The pain of losing a child, I'm told, is one of the most difficult to endure.
The Baltimore decision once again fueled the flames of racism and hatred, but what if we looked through a different lens...
What if more people knew that many of America's founders did not support slavery? The truth is that many of the Founding Fathers were responsible for planting the first seeds of equality and for the eventual end of slavery. John Quincy Adams was often referred to as the "hell-hound of abolition movement" for his efforts against slavery. As historian David Barton rightly noted, "This was a fact made clear by Richard Allen. Allen had been a slave in Pennsylvania but was freed after he converted his master to Christianity. Allen, a close friend of Benjamin Rush and several other Founding Fathers, went on to become the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. In an early address 'To the People of Color,' he explained: 'Many of the white people have been instruments in the hands of God for our good, even such as have held us in captivity, [and] are now pleading our cause with earnestness and zeal'." more >>