Weekly briefing: Syrians won’t be deported, Joshua Harris, Trump meets black pastors

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Syrian refugee Ahmad al Aboud, and his family members, walk to board their plane in Amman, Jordan in April 2016 bound for the United States. | (PHOTO: REUTERS/MUHAMMAD HAMED)

We’ve compiled the top stories of the week. Here’s what you need to know: 7,000 Syrians protected from deportation Some 7,000 Syrians whose temporary protected status in the U.S. was set to expire in September have been given an 18-month extension by the Department of Homeland Security. With the ongoing civil war in Syria and the presence of radical terrorist groups, including the Islamic State, Syrians were at risk of persecution and death if they returned to their country. Christians react in shock to Joshua Harris’ departure from Christianity Over the course of the week, many Christians have written open letters and given public responses to the announcement that Joshua Harris, a former pastor and author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, separated from his wife and is no longer a Christian. Here are some reactions: Covenant Life Church, which Harris formerly led Pastor Heath Lambert removes Harris’ foreword from book ‘I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ director Trump meets with black pastors amid Baltimore row President Donald Trump met with a group of predominantly black pastors at the White House Monday to discuss progress on a number of issues impacting inner cities, including employment, criminal justice, prison re-entry and opportunity zone initiatives. The meeting came as he was in a Twitter feud with House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings. Trump called Cummings’ congressional district, which includes parts of Baltimore, a rat-infested and crime-ridden place “no human being would want to live.” “It is no secret we have economic needs, educational needs, and safety needs. I am saddened that we had to have controversy over those needs instead of tangible efforts of help.” — Bishop Harry Jackson, a pastor in Maryland who participated in the White House meeting 2020 Democratic candidates debate Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election held their second debate this week. Read CP’s coverage: Buttigieg cites Proverbs to shame conservative Christians over minimum wage Kamala Harris ‘Medicare for All’ plan slammed Katy Perry ordered to pay Christian rapper $2.78M over copyright infringement Pop artist Katy Perry was ordered to pay nearly $3 million in damages after a jury found that her hit song “Dark Horse” illegally copied Christian rap artist Marcus Gray’s 2009 song “Joyful Noise.” Pray for Leah Sharibu, a Nigerian schoolgirl who was kidnapped by terrorists last year; watchdogs have called for an investigation into reports that she has been killed Pakistani Christian refugee Faraz Pervaiz, who is in hiding and seeking asylum New releases Albums: Victorious by Skillet (Aug. 2) No Shame by Tenth Avenue North (Aug. 2) Books: How Reason Can Lead to God: A Philosopher’s Bridge to Faith by Joshua Rasmussen (July 30) The Reluctant Witness: Discovering the Delight of Spiritual Conversations by Don Everts (July 30)