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Weekly Briefing

Weekly briefing: Tornadoes ravage South, DOJ backs churches, locusts threaten millions

Louisiana
A tornado damaged home in the Monroe area of Louisiana. |

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Tornadoes, storms devastate South; at least 36 killed

Over 120 tornadoes ravaged the South on Sunday and Monday, according to the National Weather Service, leaving at least 36 people dead and countless homes destroyed.

“We saw more tragedy in the midst of what is already one of the most trying times our state has endured.” — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster 

More storms across the Gulf Coast states are expected this weekend.

Justice Dept. steps in to support churches against gathering bans

The Department of Justice began to take action against government officials who single out religious organizations to enforce large gathering bans during the coronavirus pandemic.

After the DOJ intervened in a case where members of a Mississippi church got ticketed for attending a drive-in service, arguing that churches were being singled out in social distancing guidelines, the mayor of Greenville reversed course to allow such services.

Attorney General William Barr said his office will continue to defend houses of worship against discrimination.

New wave of locusts threatens millions in Africa, Middle East

The locust infestation in Africa and the Middle East is expected to get 20 times worse over the next few months, according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization.

With the insects devouring crops, tens of millions of people are facing food insecurity.

The coronavirus pandemic has made it more difficult to deliver pesticides and fight the spread of locusts in Africa as many governments have instituted travel restrictions.

“Some people will even tell you that the locusts are more destructive than the coronavirus. There are even some who don’t believe that the virus will reach here.” — Ugandan farmer Yoweri Aboket

Willow Creek names new lead pastor 2 years after Bill Hybels’ resignation

Willow Creek Community Church announced that Michigan megachurch pastor David Dummitt will succeed founder Bill Hybels as senior pastor.

Dummitt has been leading the 10,000-member 2|42 Community Church in Southeast Michigan. He will begin serving as pastor at Willow Creek in June.

The announcement comes two years after Hybels resigned following several sexual misconduct allegations.

Interviews

Tim Keller on God’s message to the world amid COVID-19

“You’re not really in charge. You may think you are going to get ready for the next one, but you never will. The world isn’t under your control.” — Tim Keller

Chick-fil-A founder’s daughter on how mother’s quiet faith, strength led to company’s success

Jeremy, Adrienne Camp offer tips for God-glorifying marriage

Pray for

Christians in Mozambique who have been killed, displaced by Islamic militants

New releases

grace from the rubble

Albums:

Heaven Come Closer (live) by Corey Voss & Madison Street Worship (April 17)

Songs of Refuge by Simple Hymns (April 17)

Books:

In Unison: The Unfinished Story of Jeremy and Adrienne Camp by Jeremy and Adrienne Camp (April 7)

Grace from the Rubble: Two Fathers' Road to Reconciliation after the Oklahoma City Bombing by Jeanne Bishop (April 14)

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