While protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, fill the streets in the name of justice, local churches are filling pews in order to restore peace to a city divided by the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager.
Church leaders are working behind the scenes to create a dialogue between government officials and community members, clean up looted store fronts and restore a sense of calm so that the real change can begin.
F. Willis Johnson Jr., senior pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, told The Christian Post that he considers the protests and street rallies to be "their expression of their emotion, of their frustration of their hurt, of their sense of insecurity or even in some cases, fear of continuation of not only this event but what seems to be a reoccurring practice or a set of instances where people feel vulnerable or susceptible to being victims and victimized." more >>
A pastor peacefully protesting in Ferguson, Missouri was struck by a rubber bullet fired by police while chanting, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."
Renita Lamkin, an African Methodist Episcopal pastor was with a crowd protesting the death of Michael Brown, who was shot by police. Lamkin told the Huffington Post that she was "standing in the middle of the street, with people behind me, and the police were in front of me."
As tensions grew, she says that she was trying to mediate a peaceful separation of police and protestors. more >>
A three-day cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza is holding as of Monday morning, with negotiations for a longer-term truce set to begin later that day in Cairo.
The cease-fire agreement began midnight in Gaza, BBC News reported, following days of mediation by Egypt, whose previous endeavors for truce between the two sides had been rejected by Hamas.
Anti-Israel demonstrators targeted Jewish-owned businesses in NYC's diamond district last week chanting 'free Palestine' and were met with a spontaneous pro-Israel rally by the community that silenced them.
The protesters shouted "free, free Palestine," "free, free Gaza." Local store owners and others in the community took to the streets and countered the protests yelling "Hamas Terrorists" and cheered on the Israel Defense forces, chanting "IDF." Some even broke out into song.
Photojournalist Danielle Avel captured footage of the confrontation. more >>
Israel withdrew its ground forces from Gaza Tuesday morning to start a 72-hour cease-fire mediated by Egypt, to engage in talks on ending a four-week conflict that has killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians and Israelis.
The temporary cease-fire was agreed to by both Israel and Hamas late Monday night. Israel has also said that its army completed its main objective of the ground assault, including the destruction of cross-border infiltration tunnels from Gaza.
"Following reports of a temporary cease-fire, negotiations for the implementation of the Egyptian initiative will begin. We call on the Israeli side and the Palestinian side to come to Cairo for open discussions on a permanent cease-fire, and we hope to see stability in the region soon," said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in a statement, according to Haaretz. more >>
The ministry director of a group working to bring Israelis and Palestinians together has urged Christians not to take sides in the current conflict, but follow Jesus' example and promote reconciliation.
"Christians around the world can help promote reconciliation by remembering and encouraging us to remember the central figure of our faith, Jesus. We need to focus on His example as a peacemaker, as He called us to be at peace with God and each other," Salim J. Munayer, the director and founder of Musalaha Ministry of Reconciliation, told The Christian Post in an email interview on Monday.
"Instead of taking sides in our conflict, as many outside voices do, Christians should play the role of a bridge, and call us to follow Jesus' example, and His teachings." more >>