A time of worship and prayer came to a horrific end Wednesday night, as a white gunman, identified as Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire during a Bible study in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, slaying nine people, including the church's pastor, in what the police have called a "hate crime" and the city's mayor has labeled an act of "pure hatred."
The suspect began firing at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Calhoun Street, one of the oldest black churches in the South with roots dating back to 1816, around 9 p.m. Wednesday night. Eight people were killed on the scene, while two others were transported to a nearby hospital, one of whom died along the way.
The gunman, believed to be Roof, successfully fled the church as remains at-large as of Thursday morning. more >>
A Florida sheriff who recently received a complaint from an atheist group for delivering a sermon while in his uniform finds their objections "humorous and entertaining."
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd preached a sermon back in April at a Florida church wherein he wore his uniform and spoke of God ordaining his profession.
In response, the Wisconsin-based group Freedom From Religion Foundation sent him a letter of complaint on Monday. more >>
In a passionate speech presenting the historic sacrifice made by Iraqi Christians on Wednesday, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo said that although Iraqi Christians have been slaughtered in masses by ISIS, Iraqi Christians have been proudly losing their lives in the name of Jesus since before Islam existed.
Speaking at Skyline Wesleyan Church's Future Conference in San Diego, Jammo, who's a native of Baghdad with ancestral ties to the Nineveh Plains and serves as bishop of a Chaldean Catholic Diocese that spans throughout the Western U.S., explained that the Chaldean Christian community's experience of being forced to choose between paying a tax for their faith or being killed predates ISIS' brutal demand.
In fact, Jammo explained that Chaldean Christians were first asked to pay taxes in order to celebrate their faith in the year 339 under the rule of King Shapur II, when he told Christians that they must pay double taxes if they wish to continue worshiping Jesus without being killed. more >>
A prominent Muslim leader in France has suggested that thousands of the country's abandoned Catholic churches should be turned into mosques to accommodate the growing French Muslim population, which is the largest Muslim population in Europe.
In a Monday interview with France's Europe 1 radio, Dalil Boubakeur, the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith and rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, explained that there are only 2,500 mosques in France, with another 300 under construction, which falls short of being able to serve the nation's estimated 5 million Muslims.
Boubakeur asserted that at least 5,000 mosques are needed in order to comfortably serve the French Muslim community and advised that converting some of the nation's emptied churches could be a viable option. more >>
COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a blistering message aimed at Southern Baptists, evangelicals, Americans, the Supreme Court, and the world – Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd pointed to some of the nation's most divisive issues Tuesday morning in his convention sermon.
In tackling same-sex marriage, racism, abortion, and the freedom of religion, the Arkansas pastor warned there is an "alarm clock going off in our nation and around the world" and now is not the time to push the "snooze button."
"Southern Baptists, now is the time to lead," he said. "We need to believe and stand on His Word and for His name unashamedly and boldly, but always compassionately." more >>
In fervent prayer at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday night, the organization's president, Ronnie Floyd, said the only thing that can reshape America is a "spiritual awakening" preceded by "extraordinary prayer."
"The only thing that can reshape America is the next spiritual awakening and the next move of God," said Floyd, who's also senior pastor at Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas. "When you look at it historically, there is no great movement of God that is not first preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God's people."
Floyd, whose prayer came after SBC music director and global worship pastor Julio Arriola led a session of worship, then explained what he meant by "extraordinary prayer." more >>