PODCAST: Nigerian Girls Rescued From Kidnappers (UCNN 3.3.21)

This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to BBC News, Girls among the nearly 300 who were kidnapped from a school in north-western Nigeria have been describing their ordeal following their release. “Most of us got injured,” one of the schoolgirls told the BBC, adding that gunmen threatened to shoot them. The girls were abducted by unidentified assailants from their boarding school in Jangebe, Zamfara state, on Friday and taken to a forest, police said. The state’s governor said on Tuesday that the 279 girls had been freed. Such kidnappings are carried out for ransom and are common in the north of the country. On Tuesday, dozens of the girls were seen gathered at a government building in Zamfara after they were taken there in a fleet of mini-buses.

According to Christianity Daily, Evangelist Franklin Graham criticized the move to pass the Equality Act into law, saying that it would force the LGBTQ agenda into the American people and would create inequality for “all people of faith.” In his Facebook post, Graham warned of the bill’s dangerous implications to society and said that the legislation does not define equality but rather poses danger to women’s sports and morality. “Have you heard of the Equality Act? The name might sound good, but it’s deceiving. It has nothing to do with equality. It’s just a smokescreen to force Americans to accept the LGBTQ agenda and it creates a lot of INEQUALITY for Christians and all people of faith,” he began. He continued saying that it would only punish people who are acting in accordance with their moral convictions. He also warned that passing the bill into law “would destroy women’s and girls’ sports” in America “as we know it.” He said that it would nullify women’s privacy in areas such as dressing rooms, locker rooms, restrooms, homeless shelters, among others. Graham reminded that God only created male and female and it has always been that way for thousands of years. It was only a few years ago that people decided to recognize “additional designations for gender identity.” He further stated that the bill is “very dangerous” and urged the citizens to write their respective lawmakers and express their concern. He also encouraged the people to let Biden know about it.

According to NBC News, Two California students and their parents are suing a private Catholic high school for $20 million, claiming that the boys were forced to withdraw after they were falsely accused of wearing blackface in a photo. The lawsuit says that the students, identified as A.H. and H.H., were actually wearing acne face masks and they were pushed out of St. Francis High School in Mountain View without a proper investigation by school officials. The incident took place in August 2017 prior to the boys starting school that fall at St. Francis. They were both 14 years old at the time. In June 2020 — in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement following the police shooting of George Floyd in Minneapolis — St. Francis became involved in a number of racial scandals, including one where recent graduates of the school posted a meme about Floyd’s death on Instagram. Around that time, a student at the school obtained a copy of the boys’ photo and shared it online. The suit claims that the student named those in the picture and insinuated that they were in blackface. The lawsuit, however, claims the image “had absolutely nothing to do with these horrible acts of racism” and the school punished the boys “to further a political agenda.” Without an investigation into the image or the involvement of the school’s Review Board, the boys were told they had to withdraw or face immediate expulsion. The boys left the school in June 2020. The lawsuit claims that the boys’ lives have been upended and their reputation in the community was destroyed, forcing them to move out of town.

According to Christianity Daily, The State University of New York at Geneseo reportedly suspended a student for sharing an Instagram post in which the student asserted “a man is a man, a woman is a woman.” According to a Thursday report from The Daily Wire, which was able to obtain a copy of the suspension records, the State University of New York suspended Owen Stevens, an education student, from his access to required teaching programs after he posted several Instagram videos expressing conservative ideologies about biological sex. “A man is a man, a woman is a woman,” Stevens said in one of his videos. “A man is not a woman, and a woman is not a man.” SUNY sent an email to Stevens, saying he is suspended from his field teaching programs after his peers found videos of him posting conservative ideologies on social media. The reason behind the suspension, according to the university, is that Stevens’ videos “call into question” his ability to “maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all of [his] students,” The Daily Wire reported.

According to the Associated Press, An attorney for the family of a 5-year-old girl critically injured in a crash involving former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid says the girl suffered a devastating brain injury that has left her unable to speak or walk. Ariel Young likely has permanent brain damage “that she will endure for the rest of her life,” attorney Tom Porto said in an interview broadcast Tuesday with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We’re going to be advocating for the most serious charges and the most serious sentence that Britt could ever receive,” Porto said. The girl has been hospitalized since the Feb. 4 crash, when police say Reid’s truck slammed into two vehicles on the side of a highway entrance ramp near Kansas City’s NFL training complex next to Arrowhead Stadium, injuring Ariel and another child inside one of the cars. Police have said Britt Reid admitted to investigators to having had “two or three drinks” along with prescribed Adderall before the crash. Authorities have said they are still awaiting toxicology reports in the case, and no charges have been filed.

According to the Christian Beat, In anticipation of the release of seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Carrie Underwood’s My Savior, today (Feb 26) she debuts “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” featuring CeCe Winans. The new album will be released globally on CD and digital 26 March 2021, and on vinyl 30 April. You can pre-order the digital album now. My Savior is co-produced and arranged by Underwood and GRAMMY Award winner David Garcia, with whom she co-produced her critically acclaimed 2018 album Cry Pretty, her seventh album to be certified Platinum or Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. My Savior consists of covers of traditional gospel hymns Underwood grew up singing. Highlights of the album include a duet with CeCe Winans, the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, on the classic hymn, ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’. Singer/songwriter Bear Rinehart, frontman of the rock band, NEEDTOBREATHE, also makes a special appearance, joining Underwood to sing harmony on another traditional hymn, ‘Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus’.

According to Christianity Daily, A Christian movie that tells about a father who seeks reconciliation with his estranged son, is now available to watch. “The Man from Nowhere” is a film created by Cinema and Digital Arts students of The Master’s University, aided by seasoned professionals. The movie was directed by Matt Green, who also co-wrote the film together with Chris Dowling. Dowling likened the film to the Bible’s parable of the prodigal son. But in this movie, the father would be the one chasing riches while abandoning his son and would later on seek to reconcile after a cancer diagnosis. Dowling said that it took only eight days to complete the movie. “The fact that they pulled this off is pretty mind-blowing,” the writer stated. “We surrounded the crew with students learning in real time, but all the department heads were professional crew. Some of the actors were a lot more green. But we surrounded them with a nice supporting cast of seasoned actors,” Dowling further said. He is hoping that the movie would inspire reconciliation in the lives of the moviegoers. He saw men crying during their screenings, remembering their fathers and comparing themselves to the character.

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