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June 5, 2020: Officers charged in George Floyd death, Mali attacks, Max Lucado speaks at prayer vigil

June 5, 2020: Officers charged in George Floyd death, Mali attacks, Max Lucado speaks at prayer vigil

Friday, June 5, 2020:

Here are the latest headlines, brought to you by The Christian Post.

27 killed, some burned alive in jihadi attacks on predominantly Christian villages in Mali

Suspected Islamic radicals killed at least 27 people last week in a series of attacks on three predominantly Christian villages in Central Mali.

At least 20 other people were killed in neighboring villages of Bankass and Koro. Local officials said most of the victims in those two villages were shot or burned to death. 

“Mali suffered its worst year of extremist violence in seven years in 2019. Jihadi militants carried out murderous attacks in the north and central area [of Mali], laying waste to Christian villages and causing hundreds to flee with only the clothes on their backs,” the interdenominational Christian aid agency Barnabus Aid said in a statement.

— Evangelical church network distributes 750K meals to feed hungry during COVID-19

A United States-based evangelical association has helped churches in over 10 countries in the former Soviet Union provide over 750,000 meals to hungry families as the coronavirus pandemic has caused economic struggles and hunger. 

The Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Association, which serves over 6,350 churches across countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, has worked with its partners to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed families as the region continues to see spikes in the number of coronavirus cases.

— All 4 former officers involved in death of George Floyd now charged

Derek Chauvin, 44, a former Minneapolis police officer who was previously charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd, had his charge upgraded to second-degree murder on Wednesday, while three other former officers were charged with aiding and abetting Floyd's murder.

The charges come just two days after Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison said he and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman filed charges against former Minneapolis officers J. Alexander Kueng, 26, Thomas Lane, 37, and Tou Thao, 34, of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for their role in Floyd’s death.

Chauvin is being held at the Minnesota Department of Corrections facility in Oak Park. His bail was increased to $1 million Wednesday, according to court documents. Lane, Kueng and Thao are also being held on $1 million bail.

— Max Lucado attends George Floyd prayer vigil

Pastor Max Lucado took part in a prayer vigil in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday night amid the societal unrest in response to the killing of African American George Floyd. 

Lucado, who leads Oak Hills church and is a bestselling author, was one of several leaders who spoke and prayed over a microphone during the gathering. He cited Luke 4 to highlight that God sent Christ to heal the brokenhearted, set free all who are oppressed.

"Where Jesus is, those who are traumatized find hope, find a fresh start, find a new beginning. Where Jesus is, every person is valued, the Gospel is declared,” Lucado assured those assembled at Travis Park which has bene the site of many protests.

— Pakistani Christian couple's death row appeal delayed after 6 years in prison for blasphemy

A Pakistani Christian couple who've been imprisoned for six years and sentenced to death on false blasphemy charges of sending a text message insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad continue to have their conviction appeal delayed.

The woman’s brother told the BBC that his sister and her husband are not only innocent, but he believes they aren't even literate enough to have written the text messages.

The couple's lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who also assisted in the appeal of Asia Bibi's blasphemy case, said the charges against Kausar and Emmanuel are "deeply flawed" and "weaker" than those levied against Bibi.

The couple's appeal hearing has been rescheduled for June 22.

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