LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network Weekend Report #125

1. According to Charisma News, at a historic event to address what Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn described as a “satanic evil” reminiscent of Nazi Germany, prominent faith, business and military leaders called on the United Nations on Friday to take action against what many are calling the worst persecution of Christians in 2,000 years. Cahn, who is also a New York Times bestselling author, told the audience that a holocaust similar to the one that took place during World War II is now underway in the Middle East with hundreds of thousands of Christians dying in horrific manners. The event, sponsored by the Global Strategic Alliance, the Eng Aja Eze Foundation and the National Israel Hispanic Coalition, was entitled, “The Persecution of Christians Globally: A Threat to International Peace and Security.” The purpose of the conference is to raise awareness that the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is a threat to international peace and security.

2. According to USA Today, Mike Huckabee invited folks to come to his hometown of Hope, Ark., on May 5 where he promises to say whether he’s going to run for president again in 2016. The former Arkansas governor announced on Fox News Channel the date of his big reveal. The town of Hope is a symbolic choice for Huckabee, who just happens to hail from the same place where Bill Clinton was born.

3. According to CNN, as thousands of South Africans took to the streets of the city of Durban in South Africa to rally against violence and xenophobia, online communities have also joined the protests. The marches follow recent violent attacks on foreigners in the country that have claimed five lives. During the protest march on Thursday, Twitter followers voiced their support through hashtag campaigns. #PeaceMarch and #SayNoToXenophobia were some of the most popular. South African Police Services said more than 10,000 people attended the march, including civil rights groups and nongovernmental organizations.

4. According to The Hill, U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran’s support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war. Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels. Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis.

5. According to CNN, a suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up in front of the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, early on Saturday. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The explosion killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 100 others. The attack appears to be the first in Afghanistan claimed by ISIS or a group affiliated with ISIS.

6. According to Fox News, Five Australian teenagers were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack at a Veterans’ Day ceremony that included targeting police officers. The suspects included two 18-year-olds who are alleged to have been preparing an attack at the ANZAC Day ceremony in Melbourne. Another 18-year-old was arrested on weapons charges and two other men, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting police. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and commemorates the World War I battle in Turkey on April 25.

7. According to The Wall Street Journal, Texas is poised to become the largest state in the U.S. to allow citizens to openly carry handguns, a change long sought by gun-rights activists. The Texas House of Representatives on Friday voted 96-35 to allow residents with concealed-handgun licenses to openly carry their guns in public in holsters. A similar open-carry measure passed the Texas Senate last month; the two open-carry bills must be squared before being sent to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has indicated support for the idea.

8. According to the AP, Canada’s military has charged four members of the British navy with sexual assault causing bodily harm at a Canadian Forces base in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The men were charged for their role in a “group sexual assault” in barracks in Shearwater, Nova Scotia last week. Prosecutor Scott Morrison said the British sailors were in Nova Scotia playing in a hockey tournament with Canadian armed forces. Morrison said the victim was 21 years old but could not provide any further details.

9. According to Reuters, a construction crew accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line on Friday in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, three of them critically. The 12-inch pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Corp, was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team and a prison inmate crew in the vicinity. The accident prompted closure of the highway in both directions, along with an adjacent railroad line.

10. According to the AP, to improve airline safety, maybe we need to remove the pilots. That radical idea is decades away, if it ever becomes a reality. But following the intentional crashing of Germanwings Flight 9525 by the co-pilot, a long-running debate over autonomous jets is resurfacing. At the very least, some have suggested allowing authorities on the ground to take control of a plane if there is a rogue pilot in the cockpit. The head of Germany’s air traffic control agency became the latest to raise such a prospect. Such moves might seem logical in the aftermath of this crash, but industry experts warn that the technology is fraught with problems. Besides, no matter how tragic the deaths of the 149 other passengers and crew were, it was an anomaly. Each year, more than 3 billion people around the globe step aboard some 34 million flights. The number of crashes purposely caused by commercial pilots in the last three decades is fewer than 10.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: 1 Corinthians 2:5 says, “your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

As always, we want you to know that God loves you. He loves you so much that the Bible says in 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 the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, 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. May God bless your day.

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