LISTEN: Nigerian Bishop Says Christians Must ‘Buy a Sword,’ Fight Against Islamic Radicals Who are Slaughtering Them; Bishop Eddie Long Replacement Search Will “Be Completed Before March 1st” (BCNN1, 1/28/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Saturday, January 28, 2017.

1. According to the Christian Post, Christians facing extreme dangers and slaughter at the hands of Islamic radicals, such as the Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria, have been urged by a prominent bishop and Christian leader to “buy a sword and defend themselves.” Bishop Diamond Emuobor, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said on Wednesday, “Christians should defend themselves and he who has no sword, should sell his coat and buy one to defend himself. We are all human beings, nobody should catch you like a snail and slaughter because you believe in Jesus Christ.” Christians have been heavily persecuted and slaughtered at the hands of different Islamic radical groups, such as Boko Haram, but also the Fulani herdsmen, whose increasingly violent rampages have led to the deaths of dozens of Christians in this year alone.

2. According to CBS Atlanta V-103, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church will soon have a new leader. It was in 1987 when Pastor Eddie Long assumed leadership. Through the years its membership grew from 300 to more than 25,000. The leader, who became Bishop Eddie Long, died on January 15, 2017, from “an aggressive form of cancer”. Bishop Long’s funeral was held Wednesday at the church. So, what’s next for the megachurch? Thomas Dortch, Vice Chairman of the church’s Board of Directors says, “we’re beginning to look at who will be the successor at New Birth” and that the search “will be completed before March 1st.”

3. According to CBN, renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and award-winning media personality Dr. Oz has launched Faithful Fridays, a new weekly segment through February on his hit TV show, featuring New York Times best-selling author, Hollywood producer and preacher DeVon Franklin. Dr. Oz said, “In Faithful Fridays, we’ll explore the important role that faith and spirituality can play in our overall well-being. DeVon frequently joins us for popular and informative looks at spiritual and personal development. This February, I’m thrilled he’ll help us with Faithful Fridays on The Dr. Oz Show.” Dr. Oz will launch Faithful Fridays in February as part of a 30 Days of Blessed Living initiative.

4. According to Reuters, Serena Williams reigned supreme in tennis’s great sibling rivalry, edging an emotion-charged clash with sister Venus to claim her seventh Australian Open on Saturday and a record 23rd grand slam title in the professional era. Beset by nerves early in the tense family affair, the American needed all her firepower and famed mental strength to fend off Venus, who scrapped hard to the end before going down 6-4 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena. The win moved Serena past Steffi Graf on the list of all-time grand slam champions. Only Margaret Court, who watched the match from the terraces, is ahead of her on 24.

5. According to Reuters, Jamaican Usain Bolt says it is rough losing one of his nine Olympic gold medals after relay team mate Nesta Carter was found guilty of doping at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In his first comments since the International Olympic Committee ruling, Bolt told Reuters on Friday, “It’s rough that I have to give back one of my medals and I already gave it back because it was of course required by the IOC. I’m not happy about it but it’s just one of those things that happen in life. I can’t allow that to deter me from my focus this season, so I am focused but I am not pleased.” The loss of the 4×100 meters medal leaves Bolt with eight Olympic golds, and he does not think the ruling tarnishes his glittering career record. Bolt, 30, says he will retire after the 2017 world championships in London.

6. According to CBS News, Essence magazine will celebrate Janelle Monae, Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi at its 10th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards. The magazine announced Thursday that it will recognize “Hollywood’s Next Generation” at a gala dinner hosted by Gabrielle Union in the days leading up to the Oscars. The Black Women in Hollywood Awards will be held Feb. 23 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Singer-actress Monae stars in two films up for best picture: “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight.” Writer-director-actress Issa Rae is the creator and star of HBO’s hit “Insecure.” King appears in “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Shahidi is known for her work on “black-ish.” Past honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Lupita Nyong’o and Octavia Spencer.

7. According to EURWeb, the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) announces PAFF 25 will take place February 9-20, at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw 15 Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. PAFF 25 will screen 202 films, 124 of which are feature-length. The seventy-eight short films screened will be in consideration for Academy Awards as PAFF has been approved as an Academy qualifying festival. The complete Screenings, Special Screenings & Events Lineup will be announced in coming days at http://www.paff.org.