LISTEN: Former Muslim In Kenya Introducing Others to ‘the Real Jesus’; Benin Pastor Assassinated (BCNN1, 3/18/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Saturday, March 18, 2017.

1. According to the Christian Post, a former Muslim man in Kenya, who joined a Scripture outreach program and has been converting others from Islam to Christianity, said that a great change occurs when people learn about “the real Jesus.” Lydia Munene, Biblica’s area executive director for Africa, explained in a Mission Network News story that important evangelism work is being undertaken in Kilifi, which is a Muslim-dominated coastal region in Kenya. Munene said, “So it just happened that our Bibles got into the hands of a former Muslim, we’ll call him Michael. Now Michael got converted by attending a Christian meeting in Kilifi, and once he got converted, he had a passion for distributing Bibles to Muslims so they can know the Word of God, they can know the real Jesus.” Michael has been distributing Bibles and sharing the Gospel to people with the help of small groups, even though he and all who choose to convert have faced great dangers — including being ostracized or even killed by their Muslim families.

2. According to Vanguard, founder of Love Fire Ministry, a Benin-based Pentecostal Church, Pastor Godwin Emmanuel, has been killed by gunmen in Benin. He opened the church about 11 months ago. Pastor Godwin Emmanuel, who was also known as Prophet Speed, was shot dead on Sunday night along Oko Central Road, off Airport Road, Benin, Edo state. Head of media in the church, Festus Edema, who narrated the incident to journalists, said the pastor was on his way to distribute food items to members of his church when he was shot dead by yet-to-be identified gunmen. Also speaking, a member of the church, who identified himself simply as Pastor Esquire, said the news of the death of cleric devastated him. He said, “When I heard about the news of his death, it was devastating and shocking. It is a painful one, very painful. But God will give us the strength to go through it.”

3. According to Religion News Service, a bus attack in northern Kenya during which Muslims shielded Christians from al-Shabab militants is the subject of a fictional film adaptation that focuses on religious integration and coexistence. “Watu Wote,” Swahili for “All of Us,” is based on the militant ambush of a Mandera bus in December 2015. Gunmen sprayed the bus with bullets, killing two passengers. But when they asked the 62 Muslims to identify the Christian passengers, the Muslims refused, telling the militants to kill everyone or leave. Salah Farah, a teacher who was shot during the incident and died weeks after, became a symbol of unity. Katja Benrath, the film’s director and a student at Hamburg Media School in Germany, said, “We were touched by the story … that in a situation like this one humanity could win. In this life-threatening moment, people stood up for each other — not caring about the religion of the next person because they wanted to save and shield human beings.”

4. According to EEW Magazine News, celebrity radio hosts and Radio One’s national network of praise stations, lent their voices to help in the fight against childhood cancer, sickle cell disease and other life-threatening diseases. This year’s Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids® national radio broadcast event corralled inspirational music stations across the country and raised more than $1.5 million for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Richard Shadyac, Jr., President and CEO for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said, “We greatly appreciate our partnership with Radio One and its network of music stations and talents. It is a remarkable opportunity to celebrate the true spirit of giving while raising funds and awareness to help find cures for children fighting cancer, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases. To celebrate a record fundraising year of the Radio Cares for St. Jude Kids program is an achievement. We are grateful of the support from our gospel and celebrity friends in support of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

5. According to EEW Magazine News, ten-time Grammy Award winner and multi-platinum-selling artist CeCe Winans will follow her recently released number one album Let Them Fall In Love, with a national tour. The “Fall In Love Tour” presented by Medi-Share is Winans’ first solo tour in a decade, which will kick off on May 31 in New Orleans with additional dates across the country. Winans is the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time and is credited as one of the most accomplished and celebrated women in modern music history. Her current release Let Them Fall In Love, released through Puresprings Gospel/Thirty Tigers last month, was both critically and consumer acclaimed. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. In addition to heavy airplay across multiple stations, the project’s first single “Never Have To Be Alone,” landed in the Top 5 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart.

6. According to the Christian Post, Gospel singer Tim Bowman Jr. and his author wife Brelyn Bowman are bringing a brand new show to The Word Network that will cater to a younger generation. Tim, 29, and Brelyn, 24, are gearing up to air the first episode of their talk show on The Word Network on April 1. The network has been promoting the show on social media. An Instagram message from The Word Network reads, “Are you ready for #TheTimandBrelynShow on The Word Network?! We’re so excited to bring to you, a talk show the younger generations have been looking for. It will capture the romance and wonder of young millennial love, while giving you an enriched and entertaining experience, with a focus on Christian living.” Tim, the Grammy-nominated singer whose album Listen topped Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart last year, gave his Instagram followers a glimpse of some of the guests that would appear on the show, including “Insecure” actress Yvonne Orji, singer Kierra Sheard, television personality Morgan Westbrooks, singer Jermaine Dolly, pastors Real Talk Kim, John Gray and his wife Aventer Gray.

7. According to Black Voices, Harry Belafonte’s long and respected personal history as a humanitarian earned him a distinguished honor in New York on Wednesday evening. The 90-year-old singer, actor and activist was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jefferson Awards Foundation, which identifies itself as the nation’s most prestigious and long-standing organization dedicated to powering and celebrating public service. Belafonte, who was recognized alongside other notable people who took home separate awards like Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and entrepreneur Peter Diamandis, proudly accepted his honor and made a plea for us all to keep fighting for human rights. In a statement to The Huffington Post, Belafonte said, “It’s a pleasure to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jefferson Awards Foundation. Throughout my life, I’ve been committed to social change and while this is a celebration of the progress we’ve made, there is still work to be done in the fight for human rights and racial unity.”