LISTEN: Islamic Extremists In Somalia Kill Underground Christian Woman and Her Son, Seriously Wound Her Husband; Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry Leads Pilgrimage to Ghana (BCNN1, 3/8/2017)

LISTEN: Islamic Extremists In Somalia Kill Underground Christian Woman and Her Son, Seriously Wound Her Husband; Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry Leads Pilgrimage to Ghana (BCNN1, 3/8/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

1. According to Morning Star News, Islamic extremists in Somalia identified as Al Shabaab rebels last month shot to death an underground Christian woman and her son and seriously wounded her husband, sources said. Family head Suleiman Abdiwahab said the family was asleep at their home at dawn in Afgoi, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Mogadishu, when at least four armed men attacked them on or around Feb. 10 shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater],” and, “We cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion.” The 38-year-old secret Christian, a convert from Islam, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his chest near the right shoulder. The assailants killed his wife, 35-year-old convert Faduma Osman, and the couple’s 11-year-old son, Ahmed Suleiman. The couple’s two daughters, 13 and 7, and their 9-year-old son were able to escape out a backdoor and have found safe shelter in another town, sources said.

2. According to the Episcopal News Service, most Episcopalians and Americans know the United States’ history of slavery, and how Union and Confederate soldiers fought a bloody civil war opposing and defending it. But lesser known is the horrific story that preceded slaves’ journey to the New World; a journey that carried them from Africa to plantations and cities in the Americas and the Caribbean. In late January, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry led a reconciliation pilgrimage for bishops and Episcopal Relief & Development friends and supporters to Ghana. The pilgrims visited cities and sites critical to understanding the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and Episcopal Relief & Development partners and programs working to improve Ghanaians’ lives. It was a pilgrimage that the presiding bishop described as akin to going home.

3. According to Religion News Service, a motion picture, two television productions and a non-fiction book that tell stories of black Americans lead the list of 2017 Wilbur Award winners. The Religion Communicators Council announced 26 Wilbur Award winners March 7. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious issues, values and themes during 2016. Hidden Figures, the 20th Century Fox production about African-American women behind astronaut John Glenn’s historic space launch; Roots, the History Channel’s remake of Alex Haley’s portrait of American slavery; black-ish, ABC-TV’s comedy about a black family’s search for cultural identity; and New York University Press book, Black Women’s Christian Activism: Seeking Social Justice in a Northern Suburb, are to receive individually crafted stained-glass Wilbur trophies at an awards ceremony in Chicago next month. The 2017 awards are to be presented April 1 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago O’Hare during the council’s 88th annual national convention.

4. According to the Christian Post, a former Evangelical blogger who has since converted to Roman Catholicism has revealed that the prosperity gospel controversies surrounding big-name preachers like televangelist Creflo Dollar are what pushed him in that direction. Albert Little, who describes himself as a 31-year old evangelical convert to Catholicism living in Ontario, Canada, wrote on his Patheos blog “The Cordial Catholic,” “The prosperity Gospel movement is bizarre given that Jesus was unequivocal about wealth but, like the secular spirituality of many popular American celebrities, the movement soldiers on While it might be a stretch to say that someone like Creflo Dollar made me a Catholic, it would be accurate to say that the possibility of theological interpretations like Dollar’s are, in large part, what’s driven me in my search for deeper truth. A search which has landed me on the doorstep of the Catholic Church.” Dollar, who leads the World Changers Church International in Atlanta, Georgia, has been embroiled in major controversies, such as his request in 2015 for 200,000 people to donate $300 or more each to raise $65 million to help his ministry purchase a luxury jet. Dollar has defended himself by stating that “there is no such thing as the prosperity gospel” and the money in his pocket belongs to God.

5. According to Joy105, this past Sunday, House of Hope Atlanta, celebrated the 13th pastoral anniversary of Dr. E. Dewey Smith. Saints flooded the sanctuary from near and far to commemorate all that Dr. Smith has done to contribute to the progression of House of Hope Atlanta. Among the star studded guests in attendance, Bishop Paul S. Morton was able to pay his respects with a visit which was a great example of two awesome leaders doing ministry in the same city. Bishop Paul S. Morton preached the word of the hour. His message: Be Strong and Very Courageous. He began his sermon by vehemently exclaiming his love for Dr. Smith and also commended Dr. Smith for his awesome work in and around the church and community.

6. According to NBC News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday met with some of his most ardent opponents: leaders of civil rights organizations who are resisting the Justice Department’s movement on a number of issues, from police reform to voting rights to immigration crackdowns to reported spikes in hate crimes. The closed-door meeting was the culmination of attempts by both sides to begin a dialogue on some of the most divisive stances taken by the Trump administration. Among them, Sessions’ decision to pull back the Justice Department’s legal challenge to a strict voting rights law in Texas that the Obama administration said discriminated against minorities. The meeting came on a day weighted with historical significance: it was the 52nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, a clash between police and marchers in Selma, Alabama over African-American voting rights. Sessions, a former federal prosecutor and U.S. senator, is from Selma.

7. According to Variety, Netflix has bought the rights to “Rodney King,” directed by Spike Lee and performed as a one-man show by Roger Guenveur Smith. The streaming service has scheduled the project to premiere on April 28. In addition to starring in “Rodney King,” Smith also serves as and executive produces. Steven Adams and Bob L. Johnson are producing for Luna Ray Media and Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor, and Patrick DePeters are executive producing for Buffalo 8 Productions. The date for airing “Rodney King” has been chosen to coincide with the upcoming 25th anniversary of the state court acquittals of the four LAPD officers who were videotaped beating King in 1991. The acquittals, which took place in Simi Valley, sparked three days of rioting that left 53 dead. King died in 2012 by drowning, following a lifetime of battling alcohol and drug abuse and repeated run-ins with the law. The events led Smith to explore King’s life as the basis for a one-man show.