After last Wednesday night's Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston ended with nine people losing their lives in a violent act of racial hatred, over 100 worshipers gathered in the very same room just one week later to continue the church's Wednesday night tradition.
Interim pastor Norvel Goff Sr., who's standing in for slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney, said that while Wednesday night Bible studies would never be the same for members of the church, he believed that faith had brought the 100-strong crowd to the same basement room only a week later to continue worshipping the Lord.
"This territory belongs to God," Goff told the crowd at the Bible study, as quoted by CNN. "Bible study will continue. But because of what happened, we will never be the same." more >>
Leading evangelist Franklin Graham has joined the growing chorus of voices calling for Southern states to put the Confederate flag to rest and leave it in the history books.
After a white gunman killed nine African-Americans during a Bible study at the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, numerous activists and leading voices from both sides of the political spectrum have called on states that raise or present the Confederate flag on government property to stop honoring a symbol of "hate."
Graham, a North Carolina native and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, took to Facebook this week to explain that even though some of his own ancestors were injured fighting for the South in the Civil War, the Confederate flag stands in the way of racial unity in America. more >>
On the same day that Bobby Jindal announced he's running for president, The Washington Post published an article implicitly questioning why the Louisiana governor indentifies more as an American than an Indian American.
Jindal's parents were born and raised in India before immigrating to the United States.
"Yet many see him as a man who has spent a lifetime distancing himself from his Indian roots," Annie Gowen and Tyler Bridges reported from Khanpur, India. more >>
As a white, Jewish American (and committed follower of Jesus), I have learned much from my black brothers and sisters, among whom are some dear friends and colleagues, while some of my fondest memories of worship and ministry are in the context of black church services.
When I do a rally for my radio listeners in a major city, I'm always delighted to see the ethnic mix, with a strong percentage of my listeners being black, and they bring something special to our gatherings.
Of course I recognize that every culture and ethnicity has particular strengths and weaknesses, and I realize that all generalizations are flawed, but in the aftermath of the massacre in Charleston, I feel it is important to give honor by sharing these thoughts. They simply represent my own perspective, and I welcome either confirmation or constructive criticism. more >>
One of the pastors counseling South Carolina gunman Dylann Storm Roof's family believes the white 21-year-old's confessed race-based massacre of nine people at a historically black church in Charleston indicates that the United States needs to "address the deep serious issue of racism in our society."
"We've got to work to build bridges among our congregations," the Rev. Herman R. Yoos of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Columbia told NBC News.
"We need (to) confront the reality of racism and work together to build honest communications, honest dialogue, prayerful conversations that help this be a turning point for our state," added Yoos, who's also bishop of the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. more >>
In recent comments on the Charleston church massacre in South Carolina, Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae, urged the church to do more than just forgive oppression but correct it. "Let's not simply encourage the oppressed to be calm and act peacefully," he said.
On June 17, confessed gunman Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire during a Bible study at Charleston's historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, killing nine people in what he hoped would "start a race war." While many of the victims' family members offered the shooter forgiveness and Emanuel AME reopened its doors in prayer and worship on Sunday, Lecrae is called all Christians to go one step further and combat oppression in a piece published on Billboard.com.
"Let us in the words of Isaiah 1:17, 'Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression,'" said the rapper. more >>