1. BBC – The head of the Coptic Christian Church has led a Good Friday service in the cathedral in Cairo in the aftermath of last Sunday’s deadly bomb attacks. Pope Tawadros II had been in one of the two churches targeted on Palm Sunday when 45 people were killed in attacks claimed by so-called Islamic State. Security has been tightened at churches across Egypt and Easter celebrations have been scaled back. Both suicide bombers were Egyptians. A three-month state of emergency was imposed following the bombings in Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta.
2. NYT – China warned on Friday that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could spin out of control, as North Korea said it could test a nuclear weapon at any time and an American naval group neared the peninsula in a show of resolve. “The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering,” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said in Beijing. “We urge all sides to no longer engage in mutual provocation and threats…No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this.”
3. CP – While some may take Easter for granted, for others it is a reminder that the resurrected Christ will bring justice for Christians who have been beheaded, crucified, and face extermination, the American Center for Law and Justice said. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, which advocates for Christians facing persecution around the world, stated on Thursday ahead of the holiday that people in America may often take the “freedom to celebrate Easter for granted,” but many other Christians around the world are facing extreme persecution for their faith. The ACLJ has called upon the United Nations to take action against the “historical atrocities” Christians are facing and has asked why so little is currently being done to help.
4. AP – Two Georgia police officers were fired Thursday, a day after authorities say one punched a man who had his hands up and the other kicked the man in the head once he was handcuffed on the ground. The Gwinnett County Police Department said Thursday afternoon that Master Police Officer Robert McDonald violated department policy and the law. Video showed McDonald assaulting the handcuffed man, identified as Demetrius Bryan Hollins, while assisting a supervisor who had called for backup during a traffic stop about 4 p.m. Wednesday. “We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time,” a police department statement says. “However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge.”
5. CP – Mariam Ibraheem, the Sudanese Christian mother who was sentenced to death in 2014, says she’s “disappointed” by Pastor Saeed Abedini’s public “attacks” against leading evangelist Franklin Graham, church leaders, his ex-wife and others. The 29-year-old Ibraheem, who was the center of her own international human rights outcry when she was sentenced to death in May 2014 because she married a Christian and was the daughter of a Muslim man, told The Christian Post this week that she is disheartened to see Abedini use social media to broadcast his personal issues. She suggested that even if some of the allegations Abedini made are true, it’s crucial to remember that no one is perfect and everyone needs forgiveness.
6. KABC – A 27-year-old motorcyclist has been identified after he was decapitated in a bizarre accident at an intersection in San Bernardino. Fabian Zepeda was riding his motorcycle southbound on Macy Street about 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, when he drove into a tension wire stretched across the road, according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Coroner. The collision was preceded minutes earlier by another crash, in which a Ford Taurus slammed into a wooden telephone pole. The pole snapped in half, with the loose wire spanning the street. Zepeda drove into the wire and was beheaded.
7. AP – The shooting that killed a man and wounded three other riders Thursday on an Atlanta public transit train appears to be a “targeted, isolated incident,” officials said. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority police Chief Wanda Dunham said in a statement late Thursday that officers arrested a suspect in the death of Zachariah Hunnicutt at the West Lake station. She did not release the suspect’s name or details about what led to the shooting. The shooting happened about 4:30 p.m. Thursday near the station, which was closed for several hours afterward.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Matthew 10:16 says, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Epicurus said, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
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!