Weekly Briefing

Weekly briefing: Terrorist attack, defunding abortion, James MacDonald

new zealand terrorist attack, shooting
A bomb disposal robot arrives as police investigate a property at Somerville Street on March 16, 2019 in Dunedin, New Zealand. At least 49 people are confirmed dead, with more than 40 people injured following attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. |

We've compiled the top stories of the week. Here's what you need to know:

Terrorist attack: 49 killed at mosques in New Zealand

Mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, led to the deaths of at least 49 people. Officials have charged a man in his late 20s with murder. 

A video posted on Facebook shows live footage of the shootings. It is believed that the gunman livestreamed the massacre.

Before the attack, a manifesto was posted online and contained white nationalist and anti-immigrant statements. The manifesto has been linked to the gunman but has not yet been confirmed.

Court lets Ohio defund Planned Parenthood

An Ohio law that bars funding organizations that perform abortions does not violate the Constitution, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week. 

Planned Parenthood, the appeals court ruled, does “not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

The court’s ruling overturns an earlier decision against the law.

James MacDonald accused of using church funds for vacations

James MacDonald’s former bodyguard and a former executive director of business operations at Harvest Bible Chapel alleged that the ousted pastor spent the church’s money on lavish vacations, including an African safari, an office renovation and other personal expenses. 

The Chicago megachurch has hired independent advisers to conduct a thorough review of its financial affairs and has vowed greater financial accountability.

Victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash included 4 Christian aid workers

When Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 went down shortly after takeoff, all 157 people on board were killed. The victims include four employees of Catholic Relief Services who were Ethiopian nationals traveling to Nairobi to attend a training. 

The crash, which had a similar pattern to last year’s Lion Air crash (which killed 189 people), has led to the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in at least 40 countries, including the United States.

Department of Education calls restriction on religious organizations unconstitutional

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos announced on Monday that religious organizations will be allowed to provide services in private schools, saying that the current restriction is unconstitutional. 

“Those seeking to provide high-quality educational services to students and teachers should not be discriminated against simply based on the religious character of their organization.” — Devos

Pray for

The victims of the New Zealand terrorist attack

A Kenyan pastor who was beaten after a prayer gathering 

New releases

Faith, Hope & Love
Faith, Hope & Love |


Faith, Hope & Love (March 15) 

Five Feet Apart (March 15) 


The Wait by David Leonard (March 15) 

Behold the Lamb / It Is Finished by Passion (March 15) 

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