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Youth in at-risk communities are suffering. The lack of positive parental role models and the effects of economic, educational and spiritual poverty have taken their toll on our young and urban generation. Something needs to change. The Gospel can change things, in fact, THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING. But change must be introduced. We believe YOU can be that CONDUIT for change. So plug into the only energy source that gets you. UYWI Powers the Urban Youth Worker.

At UYWI’s National Conference you will find that our unique brand of PRACTICAL and INNOVATIVE training will energize you like none other. Our lineup of speakers, trainers and artists understand the urban context, most have lived it. At our conference you will be CONNECTED with an army of urban youth workers from similar backgrounds, experiences and challenges. We know you will leave CHARGED UP and ready to go back to your communities better prepared to reach and disciple this fatherless generation.

Join us and let’s get started on POWERING THE CHANGE!

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A.D. The Bible Continues – Sam Rodriguez: Faith Leader Commentary

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Evangelical Association, discusses how Peter’s betrayal of Jesus ultimately leads to redemption in ‘A.D. The Bible Continues.’

As most of the world knows, the Crucifixion was only the beginning of the story. The immediate aftermath of Christ’s death had a massive impact on his disciples, his mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders of the era, completely altering the entire world in an instant. Watch as the disciples struggle to survive and share their beliefs, guiding us from the sorrow of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to the awe-inspiring wonder of the Resurrection and beyond.

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Join Samuel Rodriguez, Russell Moore, Harry R. Jackson, James Robison, Ed Stetzer & other speakers at NHCLC/CONELA Annual Gathering, April 28-30

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 30, 2015 – Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) will headline as special keynote speakers at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONELA annual national convention, to be held April 28-30, 2015 in Houston. Bush and Gutierrez will join NHCLC/CONELA President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez to give plenary addresses, along with a number of international leaders, including:

  • Ambassador Rueven Azar, Deputy Head of Mission at The Embassy of Israel to the United States;
  • Dr. Russell Moore, President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC);
  • Rev. Harry R. Jackson Jr., Senior Pastor of Hope Church;
  • Sergio De La Mora, Pastor of Cornerstone Church of San Diego;
  • James Robison, Founder and President of Life Outreach International and Co-Host of “Life Today;”
  • Ed Stetzer, Executive Director of LifeWay Research;
  • Dr. Gus Reyes, COO of NHCLC/CONEL and Director of the Christian Life Commission for the Baptist General Convention of Texas;
  • Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews;
  • John Jenkins, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden;
  • Magda Hermida, Founder of Magda Hermida Ministries; and
  • Other elected officials, dignitaries and faith leaders.

“We are thrilled to have such prestigious speakers join us for this very important gathering,” said Rodriguez. “This convention will bring together influential Christian Hispanic leaders from around the world to address vital issues of our generation from racial reconciliation and Christian persecution to prison and immigration reform.”

The theme of the 2015 convention is “From Survive to Thrive.” More than 1,500 global Christian leaders are expected to attend.

During the convention, NHCLC/CONELA will celebrate its merger, which became official last year, and reveal its new international name. It will also introduce new organizational leadership and launch an innovative Hispanic-focused television network in partnership with Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).

The convention will be held at the Crown Plaza Houston located at 8686 Kirby Drive. For more information or to register, visit https://nhclc.org/2015-nhclc-board-convention.

NHCLC/CONELA is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org. 


EDITOR’S NOTE: To request media credentials for on-site coverage or to interview Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, contact Julie Shutley at 972.267.1111 or Julie@alarryross.com.

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) are pleased to invite all ministries, congregations and their families to tune in to watch the epic story: A.D. THE BIBLE CONTINUES on NBC Easter Sunday (9/8c)


”After the cross, empty tomb and upper room, a small group of people who embraced the grace, love, truth, and faith of Jesus dared to do the impossible; they changed the world!” – Rev. Samuel Rodriguez


Dear NHCLC colleagues and friends:

This Easter Sunday, April 5th 9/8c on NBC, join millions of viewers for the powerful series premiere of A.D. The Bible Continues, from producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. Continue on a 12-week journey through chapters 1-10 of Acts.

Witness the power of the Holy Spirit, the heroism and sacrifice, the joy and sorrow, and the forgiveness and redemption surrounding the most powerful global movement in history – the rise of the Church. A.D. The Bible Continues features a diverse international cast of actors, including Juan Pablo Di Pace an Argentinian who plays the role of Jesus.
Let’s send a message to America that God’s presence and the Holy Spirit are still very much alive and willing to change lives!

Visit www.ShareADTheSeries.com for free A.D. resources on the Book of Acts, including free study guides, A.D.  curricula and more to spread God’s word to those around you.

See you Easter Sunday on NBC!

God bless,

Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez
Hispanic Evangelical Association


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Jeb to Take Message to Hispanic Evangelical Convention

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush will be a “special guest” speaker at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference convention at the end of April. Bush, who is exploring a run for the White House, will attend the convention in Houston.

Also expected to attend are Hispanic evangelical leader Samuel Rodriguez, conservative minister Harry Jackson, and televangelist James Robison. Here’s a flyer for the event:

Bush is a fluent Spanish speaker and has suggested he would work hard to campaign for Hispanic votes if he wins the Republican nomination. Data on Hispanic voter preferences suggest the evangelical cohort may be as good a place as any for the GOP to start:

Two 2011 studies showed a particularly stark gulf between Hispanic evangelicals and white evangelicals on the issue of the size of government. While a majority of white evangelicals (71 percent to 20 percent) say they prefer a “smaller government providing fewer services” to a “bigger government providing more services,” Hispanic evangelicals flip those numbers: Seventy-six percent prefer a bigger government, with only 20 percent preferring a smaller government. On that question, Hispanic evangelicals are more in line with Hispanics in general, who overwhelmingly prefer bigger government.

As for party preference, the 2007 Pew poll found 37 percent of evangelical Hispanics identify themselves as Republicans and 32 percent as Democrats. This was the only faith group among Hispanics that preferred the GOP. Going beneath the topline numbers, country of origin also plays a large role in party identification among evangelicals. Fifty-two percent of Puerto Rican evangelicals identify as Democrats and only 18 percent as Republicans, while 19 percent are independents. Among all Hispanics, Puerto Ricans are one of the most Democratic groups (48 percent), trailing only Dominicans (50 percent) in their preference for the Democratic party. Puerto Ricans are also concentrated in the liberal northeastern states of New York and New Jersey, which suggests Puerto Rican affinity for the Democrats may have a regional ingredient. Puerto Ricans are also concentrated in South Florida, where the prominence of the heavily Republican Cuban-American establishment may influence their political affiliation, regardless of religious tradition.

On the other hand, 47 percent of Mexican evangelicals are Republicans, and only 24 percent are Democrats, with 19 percent identifying as independents, even though only 14 percent of Mexican Catholics and 19 percent of Mexicans in general are Republicans. South American evangelicals, taken as a whole, are split, with 38 percent supporting the GOP, 33 percent supporting the Democrats, and 24 percent identifying as independents.

Read the whole thing here.

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Telemundo estrena La Biblia: “La historia que todos conocen, como jamás fue contada”

Avalada por un gran éxito internacional de más de 100 millones de espectadores en todo el mundo llega a Telemundo “La Biblia”, una superproducción con una nueva visión de la historia como jamás la habías visto. No te pierdas su gran estreno el miércoles 25 de marzo a las 8pm/7c.

La obra más traducida del mundo llega de la mano de una innovadora miniserie de 10 capítulos con los que podrás obtener más datos para para hacer tu propia interpretación de la apasionante historia que ha fascinado a la humanidad desde su creación.

En esta producción, en lugar de presentar los cuentos épicos de la biblia a través del punto de vista de la fe o la religión, la historia se presenta de una manera totalmente nueva que te enganchará desde el primer momento.

Desde Abraham hasta Moises, de Noé a David, a través de Jesús y los Apóstoles, “La Biblia” capta las luchas de gente real tratando con problemas de la vida con los que todos nos identificamos.

No te pierdas por tu cadena Telemundo el próximo miércoles 25 de marzo el estreno de “La Biblia”, la superserie que se emitirá de lunes a viernes a las 8PM ET/ 7PM C.

“La Biblia” no es sólo la historia más grande jamás contada… es la mayor aventura.

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No peace for Iraqi Christians this Easter

(CNN)This is the time of the year when Christians the world over — more than 2 billion of us — reflect upon the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord.

Holy Week around the world
Holy Week around the world 31 photos
In light of the tragic massacre of Christian college students in Kenya on Thursday, and the ongoing threat against Christians in other nations, this Holy Week we are calling upon Christians to also reflect upon the crucifixion, beheading, stoning, enforced slavery, sexual abuse, human trafficking, harassment, bombing and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Christians — and others — whose faith alone has made them a target of religious extremists.

Countless lives have been utterly destroyed in nations such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria.

In June 2012, Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Iraq told the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “We beg you to help. We want only peace, security, and freedom. Please no more death, no more explosions, no more injustice.” By then, nearly every remaining church in Iraq had constructed a blast wall around its building to buffet the threat of the inevitable church bombing.

This crisis escalated substantially last summer when ISIS swept like lightning through Iraq’s Nineveh province, capturing the country’s second-largest city, Mosul; a city that was until 2014 a home of a thriving Christian community, there centuries before Islam.

Again and again the world did not respond as it might have, and now the inconceivable has happened: Iraq’s Nineveh Plain has been emptied of its ancient Christianity community, which existed there for more than 1,500 years.

On March 27, in a presentation to the U.N. Security Council, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako referred to the present reality of his fellow Iraqi Christians as a “catastrophic situation.”

He’s right.

Rarely since the first century has the church in the East faced persecution on this scale. Christian communities that took 2,000 years to build, and that were started by the apostles themselves, lie in ashes between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Survivors waste away as refugees, often in deplorable conditions, with no homes or churches to return to if the region eventually stabilizes.

Whether they be Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, Christian communities are united in what Pope Francis has called an “ecumenism of blood,” recognizing that Christianity is experiencing more martyrdom today than in the first century.

This is not an exaggerated or contrived crisis.

As Nina Shea, director of the Hudson’s Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, has aptly put it, “Piece by piece, Middle Eastern Christianity is being shattered.”

Our concern is not to the exclusion of anyone else under threat by these religious fanatics, and we reject those who believe that this evil is reflective of the majority of Muslims whose community has actually experienced the most casualties in this conflict.

It is also true that Christianity faces a legitimate threat of extinction in several parts of Iraq and Syria and it faces a growing threat in nations such as Nigeria. In solidarity with those being threatened we agree with the words delivered by Jordan’s King Abdullah II at the United Nations last fall, “Christians are an integral part of [the Middle East’s] past, present and future.”

When history writes of our time will we be able to say that we tried everything in our power to cease this attempt to eliminate 2,000 years of Christianity from the Middle East and to stop this threat before it spreads to other nations?

These communities need our love and support like never before, and they also need security and protection from the world like never before.

This Easter we reflect upon the words of a Christian who was himself beheaded for his faith alone.

He converted to Christianity one day on a road to Damascus, Syria, when his name was changed from Saul to Paul.

In a letter to Christians living in another dangerous place in another persecuted time, he wrote, “Pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people.”

This Easter, let us earnestly pray with all the love of Christ for all those in harm’s way.

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National Christian Leaders Accept Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Roma Downey & Mark Burnett’s Urgent Call for Solidarity & Prayer for Persecuted Christians

National Christian Leaders Accept Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Roma Downey & Mark Burnett’s Urgent Call for Solidarity & Prayer for Persecuted Christians
LOS ANGELES, Calif., April 3, 2015– In an opinion piece published today – Good Friday – on CNN.com, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, and Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, executive producers of “A.D. – The Bible Continues,” noted an alarming rise in Christian persecution around the globe, calling for urgent prayer and advocacy on behalf of those threatened by extremists.
“This Holy Week we are calling upon Christians to also reflect upon the crucifixion, beheading, stoning, enforced slavery, sexual abuse, human trafficking, harassment, bombing and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Christians – and others – whose faith alone has made them a target of religious extremists,”wrote Dolan, Burnett and Downey. “These communities need our love and support like never before, and they also need security and protection from the world like never before.”
Already, more than 80 of America’s most well-known faith leaders, representing many millions, have responded, pledging their own support and the support of their communities, including:
  • Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.;
  • Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia;
  • Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE);
  • Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington;
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriquez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/Conela;
  • Dr. Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family;
  • Rich Stearns, President of World Vision;
  • Father Jonathan Morris, New York Times Bestselling Author;
  • Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission;
  • Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Orthodox Church;
  • Most Rev. Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore;
  • Andy Stanley, Founder and Pastor of North Point Community Church;
  • Nina Shea, Director, Center for Religious Freedom Hudson Institute;
  • Pastor Louie Giglio, Passion City Church, Founder, the Passion Movement;
  • Jo-Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church;
  • Joshua DuBois, Founder and CEO, Values Partnerships;
  • Mark Batterson, Senior Pastor of National Community Church;
  • Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Former Secretary General, World Evangelical Alliance;
  • Jerry Falwell Jr., President of Liberty University;
  • John Garvey, President, The Catholic University of America;
  • Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law School;
  • Very Rev. Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, Director, Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations; Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America;
  • Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Association;
  • Ravi Zacharias, President of Ravi Zacharias Ministries;
  • Dr. Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor of Northland – A Church Distributed;
  • Dave Stone, Senior Pastor of Southeast Christian Church;
  • Kevin Palau, President of the Luis Palau Association;
  • Dr. Vernon Brewer, Founder and President of World Help;
  • Peter Greer, President and CEO of Hope International;
  • Dr. Chris Seiple, President, The Institute for Global Engagement, Co-Founder, The Cradle Fund;
  • Barry H. Corey, President of Biola University;
  • Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer, Senior Pastor of Faith Central Bible Church;
  • Larry Ross, President, A. Larry Ross Communications;
  • Rev. Johnnie Moore, Author of “Defying ISIS,” Co-Founder, The Cradle Fund;
  • Robert A. Destro, Professor of Law, The Catholic University of America;
  • Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Armenian Orthodox Church;
  • Lino Rulli, The Catholic Guy, SiriusXM Satellite Radio;
  • Eric Metaxas, New York Times Bestselling Author of “Bonheoffer;”
  • Michael Wear, Consultant and Former Obama White House and Campaign Staff;
  • Dr. Gregory Thornbury, President of The King’s College;
  • Dr. Jack Graham, Senior Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church;
  • James MacDonald, Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel;
  • Pastors Tommy and Luke Barnett of the Phoenix First Assembly of God;
  • Ray Johnston, Senior Pastor of Bayside Church;
  • Wilfredo “Choco” de Jesus, Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People;
  • Dr. Thomas F. Farr, Director Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University;
  • The Very Reverend James A. Kowalski, Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine;
  • Clarence E Martin II, Esq., Vatican Liaison for the Iraqi Kurdistan Project;
  • Richard P. Gallena, Esq., Washington, D.C.;
  • Prof. Carole A. O’Leary, Senior Adviser and Co-Director, The Iraqi Kurdistan Religious Freedom Project;
  • Patricia Andrasik, The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning;
  • Toufic Baaklini, President of In Defense Of Christians (IDC);
  • Stephen Schneck, Director, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, The Catholic University of America;
  • Very Rev. Dr. Mark M. Morozowich, Interim Provost, The Catholic University of America;
  • Dr. Andrew V. Abela, Dean, School of Business and Economics, The Catholic University of America;
  • Robin Darling Young, School of Theology and Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America;
  • Father Benedict Kiely, Founder, www.Nasarean.org;
  • Will C. Rainford, MSW, Ph.D., Dean, National Catholic School of Social Service, The Catholic University of America;
  • Dr. James M. Quirk, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Department of Government, The Catholic University of America;
  • James Robison, Founder of Life Today International;
  • Rev. Dean Curry, Lead Pastor of Life Center in Tacoma, Washington;
  • Dr. John Hagee, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church;
  • Brian Tome, Senior Pastor of Crossroads Church;
  • Jentezen Franklin, Senior Pastor of Free Chapel;
  • Dr. Jerry Prevo, Senior Pastor of the Anchorage Baptist Temple;
  • Ralph Reed, Founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition;
  • Mat Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel;
  • Jonathan Falwell, Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church;
  • Tim Head, Executive Director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition;
  • Dr. Michael Youssef, Vicar of the Church of the Apostles;
  • Pastor Ken Foreman, Senior Pastor of the Cathedral of Faith;
  • Bob Roberts, Jr, Senior Pastor Northwood Church, Keller, Texas;
  • and many others.
This is the latest in a series of initiatives calling for greater attention to this crisis including a letter issued by Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and his 17 predecessors over three and one-half decades, and a campaign on behalf of the “21 Martyrs” of the Coptic Church initiated by the Rev. Samuel Rodriquez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/Conela.
Of that effort, Rodriguez noted, “When light stands next to darkness, light always wins. As individuals of faith suffer persecution, we stand convicted and convinced that terror and intolerance cannot, and will not, extinguish the light of grace, truth and love.”
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Gov. Mike Huckabee to join Gov. Jeb Bush & Rep. Luis Gutierrez as Headliners at National Hispanic Convention; NHCLC/CONELA Annual Gathering to be held April 28-30 in Houston

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 7, 2015 – The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONELA) announced today that Gov. Mike Huckabee will address attendees at its annual convention to be held in Houston, April 28-30. This follows last week’s announcement that Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez would be guest speakers.


Bush and Huckabee will appear on Wednesday, April 29 with Bush speaking during a noon luncheon and Huckabee providing an address at the 6 p.m. Dinner and Awards Presentation. Gutierrez will address the group on Tuesday, April 28during the 7 p.m. session. A full schedule of events is available at:http://bit.ly/NHCLCschedule.
“We are excited to have Gov. Huckabee join our confirmed prestigious line-up,”said NHCLC/CONELA President Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. “Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity. This gathering will serve as a clarion call for unity in the spirit of John 17 and prophetic activism. Our hope and goal is to bring attention to the important issues of our day and find ways to work together to find practical and expedient solutions.”
The theme of the 2015 convention is, “From Survive to Thrive.” More than 1,000 global Christian leaders are expected to attend.
During the convention, NHCLC/CONELA will celebrate its merger, which became official last year, and reveal its new international name. It will also introduce new organizational leadership and launch an innovative Hispanic-focused television network in partnership with Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
The convention will be held at the Crown Plaza Houston located at 8686 Kirby Drive. For more information or to register, visit https://nhclc.org/2015-nhclc-board-convention.
NHCLC/CONELA is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visithttp://www.nhclc.org.
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Body Cameras for Police Are ‘Necessity,’ Says Pastor

Christian leaders respond to video of Walter Scott shooting.

No video cameras, no justice.
That’s the way a number of Christian leaders responded to the video footage showing Walter Scott, an unarmed African American man, being shot repeatedly in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer.
“I can’t judge the officer’s heart. But I can judge the officer’s actions and they were wrong,” said Derwin Gray, pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, South Carolina. “His life was in not in danger.”
Michael T. Slager was arrested Tuesday night and charged with the murder of Scott, a 50-year-old Coast Guard veteran.
Slager had originally claimed the April 4 shooting was in self-defense, saying that Scott had taken the officer’s electronic stun gun in a struggle.
“Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer,” reported The Post and Courier in Charleston the day of the shooting. “The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him, police alleged.”
But a video filmed by a bystander showed Scott fleeing from Slager, who fired eight times, hitting Scott in the back. The video, which also shows Slager standing over Scott’s body and placing something appearing to be a Taser near Scott’s body, was published by The Post and Courier and The New York Times, leading to Slager’s arrest.
Gray said seeing the video left him heartbroken. Scott was no threat to anyone, he said.
“If this is what ‘my life was in danger’ looks like, then God help us,” he told Christianity Today in a phone interview.
This morning, Gray said that Christians should pray for the family of Scott as well as for Slager and his family. He also praised the North Charleston Police Department for acting quickly once the video surfaced. (Officials confirmed on Wednesday that Slager had been fired.) Gray hopes that will head off the kind of angry protests that followed the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York.
Gray also planned to call the local sheriff’s office near his church, offering to buy body cameras for officers there.
“Body cameras are a necessity,” he said.
Most Americans agree. More than 8 in 10 (86 percent) said they support body cameras for on-duty patrol officers, according to a December 2014 Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Other pastors, writers, and Christian leaders spoke out in response to the Scott video.
“Now is the time for Christians to deploy in the streets and personify the compassion of Christ to a world that is asking “in the midst of our crisis, where is our Christ at?” ,” said church planter and preacher D. A. Horton in a statement. Horton spoke in North Charleston, at Charleston Southern University’s chapel on Wednesday, which he credited to the “Lord’s providence.”
Horton told CT in an email that he preached from the Sermon on the Mount about “radical righteousness” and later was approached by a retired North Charleston police officer who is good friends with Slager.
“He shared a heartfelt thank you to me for handling the situation biblically instead of politically,” wrote Horton. “He was touched by the words of Christ.”
“Without cameras, without transparency, without accountability, without honesty, without coverage, there is no justice,” said Peter W. Chin, pastor of Rainier Avenue Church in Seattle, on Twitter.
“This is many things—heartbreaking, sad, disappointing yes—but let’s not forget that it is also WRONG,” tweeted Calvin College resident director Austin Channing. “It. Is. Wrong.”
“Not even remotely satisfied with an arrest,” tweeted Joshua DuBois, former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “For #WalterScott and with this video, justice is a conviction.”
“The needless slaying of Walter Scott pulls us back into the maelstrom of racial tensions that have intensified in recent months but have always been present in the United States,” Jemar Tisby, the president of the Reformed African American Network told CT in an email, suggesting that Christians should come together “to advocate for policy changes and accountability among law enforcement officials.”
“In so doing, we will demonstrate our solidarity with ethnic minorities and the poor to the glory of our God who loves justice and mercy,” he wrote.
An RAAN contributer also called for justice in response to Scott’s death.
Gabriel Salguero, pastor of Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene, a multicultural congregation in New York City, said in statement the video shows the need to address the tension between “some law enforcement departments and communities of color.”
“What is needed is genuine leadership from all of us to work endlessly for honest and fruitful conversations that lead to justice and healed relationships,” he said. “I earnestly pray that evangelicals are part of that solution.”
“The killing of Walter Scott is horrific. In this case, the country has viewed this awful act with our own eyes. Given the past year, we needed no reminders that racial justice and reconciliation are needed desperately in our communities. Even so, we have received another such reminder, at the awful cost of another human life,” said Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, in a statement.
“There exists no justification for the murder of the innocent,” wrote Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. “The diluting of God’s image in every human being without exception continues to expose the barbarism that only the Spirit of God can address. Walter Scott should be alive today.”
“The Walter Scott murder is another sad example of how much our justice system needs to improve, showing once again how little black lives matter,” said Word Made Flesh executive director Leroy Barber in a statement. “We as Christians must continue our fight to honor the image of God in all people.”
Noel Castellanos, the CEO of the Christian Community Development Association, called Scott’s death “tragic.”
“More than ever the church’s message and example of radical reconciliation and justice is desperately needed,” he said in a statement.
The tension between police and people of color was raised in a recent open letter from a group of African American, Hispanic, and Asian American leaders in response to recent comments by Franklin Graham.
Graham’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, has been praised for the work of its chaplains in Ferguson after the death of Brown. But his Facebook comments in March about obeying police—as a simple way to prevent shootings—drew criticism.
“If a police officer tells you to put your hands in the air, you put your hands in the air,” he posted.
It’s not that simple, noted the authors of the open letter.
“As a leader in the church, you are called to be an ambassador of reconciliation,” they wrote. “The fact that you identify a widely acknowledged social injustice as ‘simple’ reveals your lack of empathy and understanding of the depth of sin that some in the body have suffered under the weight of our broken justice system.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Graham posted a statement about Walter Scott’s death. He referenced his comments about obeying the police, and called people to pray for Scott’s family.
“Saturday there was another tragic shooting of an African American by a police officer who has now been charged with murder,” he said “This death was unnecessary and avoidable. Unfortunately many in our society are faced with racial injustice, hatred, and bigotry from those who are in authority, and this needs to be addressed.”
Christena Cleveland, professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University in Minnesota and author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, wrote about how Christians can respond to racial divisions in America, in a post on Ed Stetzer’s blog responding to the Trayvon Martin verdict in July 2013.
In order to minister effectively, in order to be neighborly, in order to love across differences well, privileged Christians need to practice standing in solidarity with diverse people. We’ve grown so accustomed to our homogenous churches with their culturally-familiar problems that we’ve forgotten that cross-cultural advocacy is central to the work of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). Privileged people of the cross seek out, stand with, and stick their necks out for people who have problems that are nothing like their own. Privileged people of the cross resist the magnetic draw of our culturally-polarized society. Privileged people of the cross jump every societal hurdle in order to understand the perspective of, stand with and advocate for the other.
CT’s previous reporting on Ferguson includes the Christian effort to rebuild it, why Christians should care despite the facts, whether the gospel mandates racial reconciliation, and how black and white Christians think differently about race.

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