LISTEN: White Christians More Likely to Have Positive Views of Police Than Black, Hispanic Christians; Partnership to Provide Important Resources to Black Clergy Focused on Early and Unintended Pregnancy (BCNN1, 2/17/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Friday, February 17, 2017.

1. According to Christianity Today, in the wake of high-profile police shootings over the past several years, American Christians have joined movements to pray, march, and advocate for justice. Yet whether they find themselves supporting Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, or somewhere in between depends more on their race than their particular Christian tradition. A recent poll found that most white evangelicals, white mainline Protestants, and white Catholics agree that America’s police officers are doing their jobs well. Compared to non-white Christians—black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics—they put more confidence in law enforcement and hold more positive views of police. These findings come from detailed data provided to CT from the Pew Research Center’s Behind the Badge report, released last month.

2. According to PRWeb, for many in the African-American community, the Black church has historically been a place where tough community issues are addressed, and that is why The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (The National Campaign), Values Partnerships (VPI), and prominent faith leaders nationwide have teamed up to provide important resources to Black clergy focused on early and unintended pregnancy. Newly developed resources available at include free videos, fact sheets, tips, and other information to help church leaders learn about these issues and bring them to their congregations in meaningful ways.

3. According to WORLD News, U.S. President Donald Trump focused on counterterrorism efforts and economic relations Monday during his first calls to the presidents of Nigeria and South Africa. Nigerian officials said Trump commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the military’s efforts to combat Islamic terror group Boko Haram and rescue 24 of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants in 2014. Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman, said in a statement the two leaders discussed ways to improve joint counterterrorism efforts. Trump invited Buhari to Washington at a date convenient for the both of them.

4. According to WORLD News, clashes between soldiers and a militia group in the Democratic Republic of Congo have killed at least 101 people, the United Nations human rights group said Tuesday. Analysts warn fighting likely will continue as frustration over the country’s ongoing political turmoil triggers additional militia uprisings. The five-day skirmish between the military and the Kamuina Nsapu militia began Feb. 9 in the country’s Kasai-Central province. Congolese officials accused the militia of destroying property and other acts of violence after security forces killed its leader in August. The group’s leader, also called Kamuina Nsapu, had vowed to uproot all security forces from the Kasai region because of their abuse of power. UN human rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell called the killings “deeply concerning.”

5. According to the IUPUI Newsroom, School of Informatics and Computing faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are using a $57,000 Indiana University grant to help save a historic trove of archival documents and objects from the Bethel AME Church, Indianapolis’ oldest African-American church. The church closed its doors last year after the historic downtown building was sold. School faculty members Andrea Copeland, Albert William, Zebulun Wood and Ayoung Yoon received a New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship award from the IU Office of the Vice President for Research for a unique collaboration in preservation and 3-D virtual environments.

6. According to the Journal Sentinel, members of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party are threatening to sue the Milwaukee Police Department and others over alleged violations of constitutional and civil rights. The group said Wednesday it plans to file a $400 million lawsuit against police — including several specific officers — and the city alleging that its members and associates have been followed, harassed and threatened by police. The group has not yet filed a lawsuit. At a news conference in Red Arrow Park, its leaders said they were consulting with attorneys about the case.

7. According to AFP, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the biggest album in history, on Thursday notched up another mark as it was certified as selling 33 million copies in the United States. The Recording Industry Association of America gave the new sales total for the 1982 work one year after the group started to factor in streaming. “Thriller” — which produced all-time hits such as “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” — appears unlikely to lose its crown of top-selling album anytime soon. Jackson’s estate says that “Thriller” sold more than 105 million copies worldwide, although global data remains difficult to quantify. Separately, the recording association certified Thursday that Jackson’s high-stakes followup to “Thriller,” 1987’s “Bad,” had reached sales of 10 million copies in the United States.