This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Christian Post, Prominent evangelical conservatives are upset with President Donald Trump’s endorsement of a Turkish military operation in Syria, citing concern that such involvement could “trigger the resurgence” of the Islamic State and give Iran more influence in the region.
Trump was slammed by conservatives Monday after he spoke with Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday and indicated that 100 to 150 United States military personnel would be pulled back in advance of a Turkish offensive in Syria that would target Kurdish rebels backed by the U.S. in the fight against IS. Although conservative evangelicals are known to be one of Trump’s strongest political support bases, well-known Christian conservatives have not held back in voicing their disagreement with Trump’s policy on Syria. Televangelist Pat Robertson and former presidential candidate and Fox News host Mike Huckabee opposed Trump’s decision to pull back troops, which reportedly also goes against the recommendations of top officials in the State Department and Pentagon.
According to Christian Post, Members of the nondenominational Lord’s Vineyard Fellowship Church in Pueblo, Colorado are mourning the loss of their pastor who was allegedly shot and killed by his own son during a drunken argument. Fifty-two-year-old Pastor Cecilio “Roman” Ortiz, who also ran a local barbershop, died on Sunday night from a gunshot wound said to have been inflicted by his own son, Malachi, who is now facing second-degree murder charges. The shooting occurred at the family’s home sometime before 4 a.m. The mother of the perpetrator and widow of the deceased, Roseen Ortiz, told KKTV that her son was very drunk at the time of the altercation and didn’t realize what he had done until he was sober. The mother explained that her son is having a hard time coming to grips with what transpired when he became sober. “He’s having a very hard time. It was his pops. He adored him and he’s struggling,” Roseen Ortiz said. “He asked me to ask his sisters and his nieces and nephews for forgiveness, and he said to tell the family and the church family that he was sorry. It’s just, he’s struggling right now. It’s been very, very hard.”According to the widow, her husband was loved by many.
According to Christian Headlines, A day before the Kaduna governor said kidnappers terrorizing the state are working with Boko Haram, Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Thursday (Oct. 3) kidnapped six teenage girls and two staff members from a Christian-run high school in north-central Nigeria, sources said. Suspected to be herdsmen who have carried out numerous kidnappings and attacks in southern Kaduna state, the armed Fulani at 12:20 a.m. invaded Engravers’ College in Kakau Daji village, in Chikun County Local Government Area near Kaduna city, as students and staff members fled into the bushes, the sources said. The eight victims were taken away at gunpoint. Kaduna Gov. Nasir el-Rufai told media on Friday (Oct. 4) that “bandits,” the term used by officials and Nigerian media wary of connecting the kidnappings to their fellow tribal Fulani, are working alongside elements of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
According to The New York Times, The police locked down the center of the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday, warning citizens to stay at home while they searched for attackers who fatally shot at least two people in broad daylight and tried to breach a guarded synagogue during services for Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. At least two, possibly three, gunmen opened fire near the synagogue, federal prosecutors said, and the interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said at least one heavily armed attacker had “tried to force his way into a synagogue where some 80 people were inside.” “Based on the information that we have at this point, we must assume that at the least, this was an anti-Semitic attack,” Mr. Seehofer said. Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, deplored the assault on Twitter, saying, “We all must act against anti-Semitism in our country.”
According to Wall Street Journal, Beijing and the National Basketball Association hardened their standoff on Tuesday, as China canceled broadcasts of preseason games and the league’s commissioner said he wouldn’t apologize for a weekend tweet by a team executive that triggered a firestorm of criticism. The escalation in tensions threatened to plunge the NBA’s carefully cultivated China franchise into deeper crisis, with more merchants halting sales of NBA merchandise, many Chinese celebrities pulling out of an NBA event in Shanghai and a major Chinese sponsor yanking its endorsement of the games. Tickets from the designated online agent for Thursday’s Shanghai game became unavailable. Government-run China Central Television’s decision to cancel broadcasts and online streaming of games to be played this week reflected dissatisfaction with responses from the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, to a message of support for antigovernment protesters in Hong Kong tweeted Friday by Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets. The cancellation expands the scope of China’s pressure over the incident to include other teams. A day earlier, the fallout appeared limited to the Rockets, which CCTV and online platform Tencent Holdings Ltd. said won’t appear on China’s airwaves for an unspecified time.
According to USA Today, The U.S. women aren’t perfect, after all. Their streak is, however. The Americans won their fifth consecutive title at the world championships Tuesday despite having to count a fall for the first time in almost a decade. The five titles in a row ties a record set by Romania from 1994 to 2001. The win also gives Simone Biles her 21st medal at worlds, most for a female gymnast. Only Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus has more, and his record of 23 is all but certain to fall before this meet is over. Biles is all but assured of winning the all-around title Thursday, and she qualified for all four event finals. As Biles finished a dazzling final floor routine, soaring so high on her opening triple-twisting, double somersault pass she could have dusted off the lights, the rest of the Americans were screaming and jumping up and down. They greeted Biles with bear hugs as she came off the podium, and hugged her again when her score posted. The Americans finished with 172.330 points, almost six points ahead of Russia. Italy won the bronze medal — its first appearance on the podium as a team since 1950. China, second in qualifying, was fourth.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Chip and Joanna Gaines are expanding their empire! The Fixer Upper stars announced on Friday that they are opening their own hotel in their hometown of Waco, Texas. “Chip and I are thrilled to share the news that in 2021, we will be opening the doors to a boutique hotel in downtown Waco, Texas,” Joanna, 41, wrote on her Magnolia website. “We are, without a doubt, firm believers that home is the most important place on earth. But we’ve also learned that home can be found beyond a physical dwelling. It encompasses more than the place where our mail is delivered. Home is a feeling, created by and for the people you love and share your life with,” she continued. “It’s a state of being known and loved just as you are. That is our dream for this hotel — that it would serve as an extension of the way we feel about our own home and all it represents to us, and that every guest who comes to stay would experience that same sense of belonging and community.” The project, the HGTV star penned, “bridges what we’re most passionate about — home, hospitality, and restoration.” Within the next few months, the pair will begin restoring a historic building in Waco, just a few blocks from Magnolia Market.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “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 for listening and may God bless your day!