NEW YORK — Martin Luther King Jr. has often been quoted as saying that he found it "shameful" and "appalling" that 11 o'clock on Sunday was the most-segregated hour of Christian America. Yet, 40 years later, many churches in the United States are still struggling to realize the dream of racial diversity in their congregations. How did the institution of slavery in America affect this trend, and what role did Christians play in U.S. slavery?
Louis DeCaro Jr., professor of Church History at Nyack College's Alliance Theological Seminary in NYC, recently spoke with The Christian Post to provide some context for these questions. DeCaro, who has pastored two multiethnic congregations, has authored biographies on Malcolm X and several works on 19th century Christian abolitionist John Brown, cast as a "radical," "insurrectionist" and "terrorist" by historians.
Brown, born in 1800 to Calvinist parents in Connecticut, believed in armed resistance to slavery. An ardent abolitionist, Brown is most known for leading less than two dozen men, including his sons, on a raid at Harpers Ferry in what is now West Virginia. Brown hoped to spark an uprising among slaves to bring an end to the institution, but failed miserably. Two days after the attack, Brown was defeated by Robert E. Lee, and hanged on Dec. 2, 1859, after a swift trial headed by a judge and jury who were slaveholders. During his trial, the Christian abolitionist insisted that his actions were just and sanctioned by God. more >>
In the wake of the jury deadlocked on whether to charge Michael Dunn for first-degree murder charges against the late Jordan Davis, pastors and Christian leaders have criticized Florida's Justifiable Use of Force law, most often referred to as the "Stand Your Ground" law.
Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted murder, but the Florida jury came to no consensus on Saturday on whether to convict or acquit the defendant in the African American teenager's 2012 murder.
Dunn, who is white, shot into Davis' car 10 times after the teenager ignored his requests to turn his music down and "mouthed off" to him. The defendant also claimed that Davis had a shotgun, but police found no weapons inside the car. more >>
Georgia motorists can now sport a specialty license plate with the background of a Confederate battle flag after state officials approved the design earlier this month.
Previous license plates had a small Confederate flag, while the new one will cover the entire plate, and will feature a gold frame with the words "Sons of Confederate Veterans," CBS Atlanta reports about the design that was approved by the state's Department of Revenue on Feb. 1.
This move comes after the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group that claims it personifies "the best qualities of America" and seeks to "preserve the history and legacy of these [Confederate] heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern causes," had requested that the state approve a larger design. more >>
Venezuelans living the United States have come together to support the student-led opposition in Caracas and other cities, calling on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to respect their right to peacefully protest.
Hundreds have rallied in places like Times Square, Washington, D.C., Boston, Miami and Los Angeles to be the voices of those in their country that are fighting against government corruption, poverty and widespread violence.
"Our message is to make our American neighbors aware of the cry we are going through. We're fighting for freedom and democracy," said Henry Moreno, a Los Angeles resident involved in area protests, to The Christian Post. "This is a socialist government that has sided with Cuba and has given all of its resources away. Currently, there is no inventory of food or security in Venezuela." more >>
Genesis Carmona, a Venezuelan beauty queen and marketing student who was in a coma following a gunshot wound to the head, died Wednesday. She was shot during a peaceful demonstration amid the country's ongoing political turmoil.
Carmona's death marks the fifth fatality in Venezuela since students led a march last week against government corruption, violence and poverty.
"How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?" said a relative of Carmona, who asked to remain anonymous, reports New York Daily News. "She only needed one more semester to graduate." more >>
After being branded as possibly the most racist preacher in America because of his opposition to interracial relationships, Bro. Donny Reagan of Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Johnson City, Tenn., is apologizing to anyone who may have been offended by his message.
"If I offended you, I'm sorry and I'm asking you to forgive me," said Reagan in response to critics of his viral 2013 message in which he railed against interracial relationships that was posted on YouTube Tuesday.
Reagan explained that even though he doesn't believe in interracial relationships, he isn't a racist. more >>