LISTEN: Urban Christian News Podcast (07/07/19)

Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to The Christian Post, Christian leaders rallied together during Jesus Week held in the heart of New York City, and even though a storm threatened to shut it down, the show continued and those in attendance say the spirit of God drew men and women to their knees. Jesus Week kicked off on May 25 with Christian leaders going into every borough in NYC to pray, help the poor, and minister in schools and troubled neighborhoods. The initiative concluded on June 29 with a large event in Times Square. Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, president of The Dynamic Life, said, “This was the second opportunity we have been given to hold this event at the largest media platform in the world. Gospel music transcends culture, age, gender and race. The event was full of love, testimonies and incredible worship.”

According to the AP, Democratic candidates appear to be increasingly open to talking about their faith in the 2020 campaign. While Republicans have been more inclined to weave faith into their rhetoric, particularly since the rise of the religious right in the 1980s, several current Democratic White House hopefuls are explicitly linking their views on policy to religious values. The shift signals a belief that their party’s eventual nominee has a chance to win over some religious voters who may be turned off by President Donald Trump’s abrasive rhetoric and questions about his character. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a practicing Methodist and former Sunday school teacher, recently declared that all of her expansive policy proposals “start with a premise that is about faith” as she cited a favorite biblical verse about Jesus urging care for “the least of these.” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has called Jesus “the center of my life” and excoriates Trump for what he calls “moral vandalism.” John Carr, founder of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, urged Democrats to focus more on their personal faith and avoid wielding religion as a political weapon. He said, “When you use faith as a way to go after your adversaries, it sounds more like a tactic and less an expression of who you are.”

According to the AP, as California officials expressed relief that the damages weren’t worse, the state’s governor said the two major earthquakes that hit Southern California should alert people across the nation of the need to be prepared for natural disasters. Gov. Gavin Newsom said that governments must strengthen alert systems and building codes, and residents should make sure they know how to protect themselves during an earthquake. He told a news conference, “It is a wake-up call for the rest of the state and frankly for other parts of the nation.”

According to the AP, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is defending conditions at U.S. Border Patrol stations following reports of unsanitary conditions. McAleenan says there is an “extraordinary challenging situation” at the border, but told ABC’s “This Week” that reports of inadequate food and water and unclean cells at a station in Clint, Texas, are unsubstantiated. McAleenan said Sunday that DHS has 350 children in custody — down from June 1 when it had 2,500. He says Congress has provided extra money for beds and soft-sided facilities.

According to Reuters, At least 544 civilians have been killed and over 2,000 people injured since a Russian-led assault on the last rebel bastion in northwestern Syria began two months ago. Russian jets joined the Syrian army on April 26 in the biggest offensive against parts of rebel-held Idlib province and adjoining northern Hama provinces in the biggest escalation in the war between Syrian President Bashar al Assad and his enemies since last summer. The Syrian Network for Human Rights,(SNHR), which monitors casualties and briefs various UN agencies, said the 544 civilians killed in the hundreds of attacks include 130 children. Another 2,117 people have been injured.

According to the AP, tens of thousands of people, many wearing black shirts and some carrying British colonial-era flags, marched in Hong Kong on Sunday, targeting a mainland Chinese audience as a month-old protest movement showed no signs of abating. Chanting “Free Hong Kong” and words of encouragement to their fellow citizens, wave after wave of demonstrators streamed by a shopping district popular with mainland visitors on a march to the high-speed railway station that connects the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to Guangdong and other mainland cities. Hong Kong has been riven by huge marches and sometimes disruptive protests for the past month, sparked by proposed changes to extradition laws that would have allowed suspects to be sent to the mainland to face trial.

According to Reuters, The United States beat the Netherlands 2-0 to win the women’s World Cup for a record-extending fourth time on Sunday. Team Captain Megan Rapinoe converted a VAR-awarded penalty in the 61st minute and Rose Lavelle wrapped up the victory eight minutes later as the U.S. added to their 1991, 1999 and 2015 titles.

You can read these stories and more at

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. 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.” 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 for listening and may God bless your day!