This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to the Associated Press, Anger, frustration, and sadness over the decision not to charge Kentucky police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death poured into America’s streets as protesters lashed out at a criminal justice system they say is stacked against Black people. Violence seized the demonstrations in her hometown of Louisville as gunfire rang out and wounded two police officers. Activists, celebrities and everyday Americans have been calling for charges since Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers who entered her home during a narcotics investigation in March. While the officers had a no-knock warrant, the investigation showed they announced themselves before entering, said state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first Black top prosecutor. A grand jury returned three charges of wanton endangerment Wednesday against fired Officer Brett Hankison over shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside. Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities including New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon. People gathered in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Police in Atlanta unleashed chemical agents and made arrests after some protesters tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle. In Wisconsin, peaceful marchers blocked traffic on an interstate and spoke about Taylor on the steps of the state Capitol. Nearly 100 people were arrested in Louisville, police said, after what had been peaceful protests. Police said vehicles were damaged, fires were set in garbage cans and several stores were looted. Two officers were shot, and Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said both are expected to recover. One was undergoing surgery. Schroeder said a suspect was in custody, offering no details about whether that person was participating in the protests.
According to the Christian Post, In a recent survey of about 50,000 Iranians over the age of 20, a Netherlands-based secular research group found that 1.5% of respondents identify as Christian. Applied across Iran’s population of more than 80 million, the number of Christians in Iran is “without doubt in the order of magnitude of several hundreds of thousands and growing beyond a million,” the research group GAMAAN said after the study. Open Doors USA, a global persecution watchdog organization, says until now, there was no in-depth research to substantiate the claims about the number of Christians in Iran. “Given the high-stakes consequences of leaving Islam in Iran, estimates by Christian organizations in the past decade have been based only on extrapolations of the small known number of conversions—largely based on contact with Christian satellite television channels.” Mike Ansari of Mohabat TV, a ministry that broadcasts the Gospel into Iran, was quoted as saying, “Iranians are turning their back [on] their faith, [on] their institutional faith, and receiving Christianity as their new faith. One-point-five percent becoming Christian may not seem a big number. But for a country that is closed and persecutes Christianity, that number is a huge indication of the gospel growth.”
According to the Associated Post, With crowds of admirers swelling outside, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was remembered Wednesday at the court by grieving family, colleagues and friends as a prophet for justice who persevered against long odds to become an American icon. The court’s eight justices, masked along with everyone else because of the coronavirus pandemic, gathered for the first time in more than six months for the ceremony to mark Ginsburg’s death from cancer last week at age 87 after 27 years on the court. Washington already is consumed with talk of Ginsburg’s replacement, but Chief Justice John Roberts focused on his longtime colleague. The best words to describe Ginsburg are “tough, brave, a fighter, a winner,” Roberts said, but also “thoughtful, careful, compassionate, honest.” The woman who late in life became known in admiration as the Notorious RBG “wanted to be an opera virtuoso, but became a rock star instead,” Roberts said. Ginsburg’s two children, Jane and James, and other family members sat on one side of the casket, across from the justices. Through the day, thousands of people paid their respects to the women’s rights champion and leader of the court’s liberal bloc. As darkness fell, the line stretched nearly half a mile from the court as people filed past. The casket was to be on public view until 10 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Christian Post, After nearly four decades, the complete Bible is now available in American Sign Language for the first time ever. Deaf Missions, a ministry dedicated to communicating “the Gospel of Jesus with Deaf people through their heart language, culture and identity,” began the project in the early 1980s. In 2016, the mission partnered with Wycliffe USA, American Bible Society, Deaf Bible Society, Deaf Harbor, DOOR International, Pioneer Bible Translators, and Seed Company to complete the project, according to Mission Network News. The final books needed — Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel — were completed this fall. Now, the entire Bible is available to the world’s 70 million people who are deaf for free online, through social media, and on a smartphone app. The translation was led by people who themselves are deaf and trained in the biblical languages.
According to Daily Mail, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidelines for Americans celebrating Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic. In the recommendations published on Monday, the CDC advised against trick-or-treating, attending a costume party or going to an indoor haunted house. A statement on the website reads, ‘Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween.’ The new guidance grouped activities for October 31 as either ‘lower risk,’ ‘moderate risk’ and ‘higher risk.’ Among lower-risk activies, the CDC suggests carving pumpkins or decorating your home in a spooky theme. To limit face-to-face interaction, also recommended is a virtual costume contest or having a Halloween movie night with household members. Experts note that costume masks should not be substituted for cloth masks because they are not as protective.
According to Business Insider, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is weeks away from opening the doors to his first preschool, the Bezos Academy. Bezos on Tuesday shared a photo of one of the classrooms on his Instagram, revealing that the school, which is located in Des Moines, Washington, will open on October 19. Bezos said the school is “the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children.” Bezos Academy is a “Montessori-inspired” preschool that will serve children between the ages of 3 and 5. The schools will be full-day and year-round, and will be tuition free for its students. According to a post on the Bezos Academy Instagram account, the team began working on the schools early last year. Other posts from the page, which began posting photos in August, show Bezos touring Montessori schools around the country, meeting with students in Nashville and Washington, DC.
According to the Christian Post, “The Passion of the Christ” star Jim Caviezel recently shared new details about the highly anticipated sequel of the blockbuster hit. On Thursday, Caviezel told Breitbart News that he received a new draft of the next installment of “The Passion of the Christ.” “Mel Gibson just sent me the third picture, the third draft. It’s coming,” he said on the latest edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. Caviezel, who portrayed Jesus in 2004 for the film, went on to share the sequel’s film title. Caviezel said, “It’s called ‘The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection.’ It’s going to be the biggest film in world history.” Despite its lack of industry support, the first film earned a staggering $612 million worldwide with a production budget of just $30 million.
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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!