Forgiveness for Charleston Shooter, a Supreme Court Victory for an Arizona Church, and Saeed Abedini’s 1,000th Day in Prison

Our nation grieves for the families of the church shooting victims in Charleston, while marveling at their forgiveness and love.  Truly, this response showed that in our darkest hour, Christ’s light shines the brightest. Meanwhile, Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention urges South Carolina to remove a flag that’s become a symbol of racism; Christians in the UK decry proposed laws that might muzzle Christians; and we continue to remember and pray for Pastor Saaed Abedini, who reached an ominous milestone this week.

  • In a moment that seem to catch the media by surprise, the families of the Charleston, S.C. church shooting victims demonstrated forgiveness to Dylann Roof, who killed nine people during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last week. Even the New York Times noticed: “It was as if the Bible study had never ended as one after another, victims’ family members offered lessons in forgiveness, testaments to a faith that is not compromised by violence or grief. They urged him to repent, confess his sins and turn to God,” the Times wrote.
  • Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, called for South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds. “That sort of symbolism is out of step with the justice of Jesus Christ. The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. White Christians, let’s listen to our African-American brothers and sisters.“ 
  • The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Good News Community Church of Gilbert, Arizona, when it determined that a city ordinance that restricted the church from posting temporary directional signage was a violation of the First Amendment.
  • Christian leaders in the UK have expressed concerns that new “Extremism Disruption Orders” could criminalize traditional Christian teaching. This news comes as a Belfast pastor is facing prosecution for violating a law against spreading a “grossly offensive” message for saying Islam was “satanic” in 2014.
  • Tuesday was Pastor Saeed Abedini’s 1,000th day in an Iranian prison. Demonstrators joined in prayer and placed 1,000 flowers at the U.S. Capitol building. 
  • And finally, after a difficult week, its great to hear this beautiful song that christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman wrote for the people of Charleston. May it remind us all that love will overcome evil.
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IMAGE: flickr

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