The 64th annual National Day of Prayer is expected to have its largest number of participants in over 60 years Monday as political and religious leaders join local residents in praying for the nation.
"We are anticipating the largest day of prayer from coast to coast with more than 43,000 prayer gatherings," John Bornschein, vice chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and an executive member of the National Prayer Committee, told The Christian Post.
"This coming year marks the 64th anniversary of this important day and we fully expect that the president will sign a proclamation as well as all 50 state governors. Already nearly 40 proclamations have been received and counting." more >>
Megachurch pastor Tony Evans has issued a call to Christians across the nation to rise to the challenge of bringing solutions to some of the issues he believes are apparent in the violence that recently gripped parts of Baltimore city amid protests over the police killing of a young black man.
"It is with deep regret and sadness that I have joined the rest of America to see the carnage, the pain and the anguish taking place in my hometown, Baltimore, Maryland," said Evans in a video released the night after rioting and looting erupted in Baltimore.
"To see what can emanate from hopelessness is a reminder of two things. First of all, the damage that hopelessness can do, the wrong that can be expressed by people in their frustration so that they wind up doing the very thing that they're complaining against. At the very same time, I recognize this demonstrates the need for the Church of Jesus Christ to offer the hope that is missing in so many people's lives." more >>
A diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church in 2012 over theological and personal differences might join a prominent conservative Anglican group.
Representatives for the Diocese of South Carolina and the Anglican Church in North America met Tuesday and Wednesday about the possible affiliation.
Held at the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center in South Carolina, the meeting was overseen by South Carolina Diocese Bishop Mark Lawrence and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach. more >>
As the rioting, looting and burning of homes and businesses that erupted earlier this week threatened to overshadow the weeks-long peaceful protests that have been ongoing in Baltimore, the word "thug" began rolling off of lips and popping up on social media accounts, including on those belonging to some Christians shocked by the violent scenes playing out on TV networks like CNN. However, one Baltimore pastor, recalling the Apostle Paul's transition from the persecutor Saul, warned against simply condemning "rioters as unsalvageable thugs."
"Resist the temptation to condemn rioters as unsalvageable thugs and instead pray that God would transform these Sauls into Pauls," Dan Hyun, lead pastor at The Village Church in Baltimore, tweeted just after midnight on Tuesday.
Hyun added the hashtag "#MyStory" at the end of his tweet, suggesting that his testimony bears semblance to the radical conversion of Paul, who, before changing his name, terrorized and imprisoned Christians in the Roman Empire. The devout Jew, who the Bible says was "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord," experienced a vision of Jesus and eventually became a believer himself. The Apostle Paul remains one of Christianity's most influential leaders and the New Testament's most prolific author. more >>
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee expressed concern about the state of religious liberty for Christians in America, saying that it is in danger of becoming criminalized.
Speaking at a major Hispanic evangelical gathering in Texas, the potential GOP presidential candidate explained that Christians in America are seeing their beliefs criminalized.
"We are living in perilous times where people who are Christian are on the brink of being criminalized for their convictions," stated Huckabee. 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 >>