Judah Smith, Seattle megachurch pastor and friend to pop star Justin Bieber, has called on Jesus' followers to be bridge-builders weeks after a white supremacist murdered nine black Christians during Bible study at a South Carolina church.
"Recently, the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, had a very deep impact to me and in my heart and in my mind," Smith said in a video message shared online. "Of course, at it's core is the issue of race and racism and prejudice and hatred."
Smith was referencing Dlyann Storm Roof, the 19-year-old who was charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for the shooting. Police say Roof entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 17 and opened fire on a group he had been sitting with an hour prior for Bible study. Roof, who faces additional charges, reportedly confessed to targeting his victims because they are black. more >>
The Synagogue Church of All Nations, led by Nigerian megachurch preacher TB Joshua, was indicted by a coroner on Wednesday of criminal negligence in a building collapse in September 2014 that killed 116 worshipers.
"The church must be investigated and prosecuted for not obtaining the relevant approval before embarking on the construction of the building," coroner Oyetade Komolafe said in his ruling, AFP reported.
"The church was culpable because of criminal negligence resulting in the death of the victims." more >>
City Harvest Church pastor Kong Hee has put up for sale a co-owned $10 million luxury penthouse in Sentosa Cove, Singapore, amid an ongoing trial concerning the possible misuse of over $19 million in church funds to finance his wife's music career. Kong has hit back against a report describing the penthouse, calling it "misleading and exaggerated."
Kong explained that his family has sold other properties as well to help pay their attorneys' fees.
"The property that my family and I have been living in is co-owned with another family. We have been living at this property with the co-owner's kind permission after we had to sell our properties in order to pay the legal expenses for the ongoing trial," the pastor said in a Facebook post, responding to a Straits Times article from earlier this week. more >>
The six men arrested on Sunday for heckling pastor Joel Osteen at his Lakewood Church in Houston appeared in court on Friday and now face trespassing charges. The defendants, who are members of a controversial East Texas church, said they heckled the pastor during the Sunday service because they don't believe Lakewood Church is practicing "true religion."
"We went there to disrupt the peace of that religious service because we don't believe that it is true religion," said one of the arrested, Jake Gardener, according to KTRK. "We don't believe that it is pure religion."
The six hecklers, who are from The Church of Wells, have been ordered to stay 200 feet away from Lakewood Church, and are not permitted to have any contact with Joel Osteen or his wife, Victoria. more >>
Glenn Beck, conservative radio host and television personality, is the featured guest at pastor Ed Young Jr.'s Texas megachurch over the July 4th weekend because Beck, long affiliated with the Mormon Church, "is a man who is undoubtedly an American patriot, loves this country, and has shown his love for God in many ways," according to a spokesman.
Beck, 51, will be in attendance at Fellowship Church's Freedom Experience on July 4-5 for "a special interview" with Young, who heads up the multi-campus church that also has a congregation in London.
Fellowship Church hosted an America's Mighty Warriors retreat in May for Gold Star and Purple Heart families — surviving kin of military members who died or were wounded in war — at its sprawling Allaso Ranch in Hawkins, Texas. Beck spoke at the event "for about an hour on heroes and how Americans always rise to the occasion," according to his reflection about the retreat on Facebook. more >>