This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to KHOU News, a Houston-area pastor has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. According to Harris County deputies, an investigation into 65-year-old Paul Cain started in June after the teenager made an outcry of abuse. Investigators found evidence Cain sent multiple sexually explicit messages to the victim’s phone and assaulted her multiple times in 2018. Cain allegedly admitted to investigators that the messages he sent the victim were sexually explicit and when asked if this type of communication was harmless he said the victim initiated it. According to court records, investigators asked Cain if the 13-year-old was his first victim, but he refused to answer. Cain served nearly two decades as pastor of New Canaan Missionary Baptist Church in the 4600 block of Hirsch Road in the Kashmere Gardens community.
According to Baptist Press, After 17-year-old Perry participated in Bring Your Bible to School Day in the seventh grade, he started a Bible study for classmates and grew closer to God during his mother’s cancer diagnosis in his junior year. “I think that if you take one step, one action at a time, and just take your Bible to school,” Perry said in advance of the 2019 observance Oct. 3, “then whether right there or way later on in your life, you realize that that was exactly what [you] needed in that moment.” The impact of Scripture in Perry’s life anchors a promotional video for the 2019 event and its motto “Bring It. Share It. Live It.” Event founder Focus on the Family (FOTF) encourages students of all ages not only to bring their Bibles to school Oct. 3, but to live their faith with targeted events scheduled throughout the year. “For the first time this year, Focus on the Family will challenge Bring Your Bible to School Day participants to put into practice the ‘Live It’ portion of the event’s ‘Bring It. Share It. Live It’ motto,” FOTF said in a press release. “Students and their families will be equipped with monthly challenges — specific, tangible actions they can take to live out their faith at school and in the community throughout the year.”
According to Christian Post, Juli Wilson, widow of the late Harvest Christian Church Associate Pastor Jarrid Wilson, who took his life just over two weeks ago, urged the church to “get serious about mental health” at his memorial service on Tuesday. At the service, Wilson vowed to continue advocating for suicide prevention through the Anthem of Hope organization they launched together in 2016. “It’s time for the church to get serious about mental health,” Wilson said to the crowd of family, friends and well-wishers who gathered at the Greg Laurie-led megachurch in Riverside, California, to celebrate her late husband’s life. “In honor of Jarrid, I’m going to ask all of you guys to join me in making our church home, our lives, everywhere we go, a little bit safer for people. Let them know it’s OK for them to tell you what they’re going through. Tell them what you’re going through first. It’s the gift of going second. Tell them your mess and let them pour theirs on you after. And I’m telling you, we will see a change not only in our church [but] in the city, in our state, and beyond. And I can’t wait to see how God’s gonna shake the Earth with this,” she said.
According to the Christian Post, Lawmakers in New South Wales, Australia, voted Thursday to overturn a 119-year-old law criminalizing abortion, drawing criticism from pro-life advocates. After more than two weeks of debate, the New South Wales parliament voted to pass the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019. The bill decriminalizes abortion and makes terminations available to women up to 22 weeks into their pregnancy without having to prove their mental or physical health will be impacted if they continue the pregnancy, the BBC reports. After 22 weeks, pregnant women seeking an abortion will need two specialist medical practitioners to sign off on the procedure. The bill overturned a 119-year-old law that made it a criminal offense to obtain or administer an abortion. Previously, abortions were only legal in Australia’s most populous state if a doctor deemed there was “serious risk” to a woman’s physical or mental health if she carried her baby to term. “Unlawful abortion” was previously listed in the Crimes Act and carried a possible penalty of 10 years in prison for a woman who administered her own abortion.
According to the Christian Post, Over 1,400 incidents of persecution against Christians in India have been reported since the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power, according to an initiative of ADF India. Human rights advocates briefed congressional staffers Wednesday on the increasing Hindu nationalist violence being carried out against Christians and other religious minorities in India during a Capitol Hill event hosted by the persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern. ICC, an advocacy organization based outside of Washington, D.C., often receives reports of rapes, communal violence, forced conversion charges and other abuses committed against Christians in the Hindu-majority country. Sean Nelson, legal counsel for global religious freedom with the rights group ADF International, presented troubling statistics on the increase of Christian persecution since the beginning of the Modi regime. “During the period of 2014 to 2018, India witnessed a sharp increase of violence targeting religious minorities,” he said. “Faith-based human rights organizations recorded over 1,000 incidents in the past five years against the Christian minority community. That doesn’t include other minority communities that are facing other levels of persecution violence.” Nelson said that 16 out of the 29 states in India “regularly witness attacks on Christians.
According to Movieguide, Christian filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick report that 50 people accepted Christ after a viewing of OVERCOMER. “I’m grateful the Lord has been carrying us through all of this,” Stephen told Movieguide®. The multiple salvations are just one example of the miracles the brothers have heard in response to their movie. “To hear that 50 people came to Christ in just one screening, and that churches were leveraging [the movie] for the Gospel, to hear people respond online that not only were they entertained by the film, but we see the responses that God spoke deeply to [them] about who [they are] in Christ, it’s everything we hoping would happen in the hearts of believers,” Stephen said.
According to Forbes, With only two albums to her name, Lauren Daigle has already established herself as one of the most successful artists in Christian music history. She’s landed over a dozen top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart, and while she’s gearing up to launch a third album (which has already produced a pair of successes on the list), her most popular track yet is still going strong, and now it’s made history on the ranking. This week, Daigle’s smash “You Say” is steady at No. 1 on the Hot Christian Songs chart, earning its sixty-first stay in the penthouse. That’s enough frames in charge to tie the track for the most turns atop the list with Hillsong United’s “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).” Interestingly, while “You Say” has been consistent with its reign, the tune it’s on the same level as was able to dominate the chart in three separate years, racking up a total of 61 frames at No. 1. “You Say” seems to be on track to snag at least one more week in the peak position, at which point it will claim the title of the longest-running leader in the history of the Hot Christian Songs chart.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!