LISTEN: Vatican report says over 3,000 people have been killed in Congo conflict (BCNN, 06/26/17)


1. According to Reuters, Congolese security forces and a militia fighting them have killed at least 3,383 people in the central Kasai region since October, the Catholic church said on Tuesday, in the most detailed report to date on the violence. Church officials, citing their own sources in the remote territory bordering Angola, said the army had destroyed 10 villages as it sought to stamp out an insurrection. They also accused the Kamuina Nsapu militia of killing hundreds of people, destroying four villages and attacking church property in a campaign to drive out central government troops. No one was immediately available to comment from the militia or Democratic Republic of Congo’s army, which has dismissed accusations of excessive force in the past.

2. According to the Christian Post, authorities in Egypt reportedly raided a church-owned building that was being used by a local Coptic Christian community for worship and chained down the doors so that Christians could no longer enter the building. According to a press release shared with The Christian Post by the human rights and religious freedom advocacy group International Christian Concern, the three-story building situated in the village of Saft Al-Kharsa in the Beni Suef governorate was broken into by police officials last Friday. After police removed furniture, Christian iconography and other items from the building, they closed down the building using chains, an unnamed Christian villager told ICC..

3. According to the Christian Post, Charlie Wilson says he’s praying that after over 40 years in the music industry, he’ll continue to be able to use his voice to inspire people. The 64-year-old 11-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star got his start in the funk group known as The Gap Band in the early ’70s. Today, Wilson is proving that he still has a great deal of star power in today’s music industry. His song “I’m Blessed” is No.1 on both the “Hot Gospel Songs” and “Gospel Digital Song Sales” Billboard charts. In an interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Wilson said he prays that he won’t give up on inspiring people through music just because he is getting older.

4. According to the Christian Post, Jonathan McReynolds says he’s ready to give away $10,000 in college scholarships. McReynolds, the gospel music singer-songwriter is readying two $5,000 scholarships for those in need through his Elihu Nation nonprofit organization. He made the announcement on social media Thursday, letting students know they can submit their applications starting on July 1. McReynolds started the Elihu Nation nonprofit in 2013 after being inspired by his graduate studies at the Moody Bible Institute where he earned a master of arts degree in applied biblical studies two years ago. Through his nonprofit, McReynolds hopes to encourage the growth of artistic talent in higher education, according to the Elihu website.

5. According to Breitbart, unemployment among black Americans ages 16 years and over fell to 7.5 percent in May, its lowest level since December 2000. Black unemployment has been on the decline since February — falling from (February) 8.1, (March) 8.0, (April) 7.9, and (May) 7.5 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate in May was 4.3 percent, its lowest level since May 2001. In a campaign speech in North Carolina last October, then-candidate Trump offered a “new deal” to black Americans based on three pillars — “safe communities, great education, and high-paying jobs.”

6. According to OWN, Oprah Winfrey announced her latest selection for “Oprah’s Book Club” ? and it’s as topical as it is gripping. Behold the Dreamers is a powerful novel by 36-year-old Imbolo Mbue, whose own experience as an immigrant from Cameroon is woven through a tale of Jende and Neni Jonga, a couple from Central Africa who come to America believing it will grant all their wishes. Oprah says of the book: “It’s got everything that’s grabbing the headlines in America right now. It’s about race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us-versus-them mentality.” Order your copy of Behold the Dreamers online or pick it up at your local bookstore or library.

7. According to the Huffington Post, Taraji P. Henson is reuniting with Tyler Perry for his upcoming film “She’s Living My Life.” In the Lionsgate movie, the actress plays a faithful wife who’s tired of her deceptive husband and becomes enraged when she realizes he is, in fact, betraying her. The Perry-directed film will be released on March 30, 2018, Variety reported. Henson and Perry have previously worked together on “The Family That Preys” and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.” In addition to “She’s Living My Life,” “A Madea Family Funeral” will be released later in 2018. Perry’s next project coming to theaters will be “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” in October 2017. Henson’s other current projects include season four of Fox’s “Empire” and the Screen Gems production “Proud Mary.” In 2018, Henson will be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

That’s all for today. You can read these stories and more online at BCNN1.com

In closing, remember, the good news of God’s love. 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.”

Thanks for listening. May God bless your day.