Mikhail Kalashnikov, the world-famous weapons constructor who built the AK-47, expressed his guilt over his invention in a letter to the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church half a year before his death in December.
"My soul aches, it is unbearable, I face the same unsolvable question: if my gun killed people, then I, Mikhailo Kalashnikov, ninety three years old, a peasant's son, a Christian and Orthodox believer, is guilty in people's death, even if they were enemies," read Kalashnikov's letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Russia, which was published in the Russian-language Izvestia paper on Monday, and translated by Interfax.
The assault rifle, which has been in service since 1949 in the Soviet Union, has become a widely-used gun throughout the world, with a Washington Post article noting some estimates claim that over 100 million such rifles have been produced. more >>
Pope Francis got hit with both praise and criticism this past weekend for baptizing the child of parents considered "unmarried" by the Catholic Church and encouraging mothers to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel.
Among the 32 babies baptized in the Sistine Chapel by Pope Francis on Sunday was 7-month-old Giulia Scardia, according to a Reuters report.
Little Giulia's parents were not married in a traditional church service but a civil service in a town hall. That type of marriage is traditionally not recognized by the Catholic Church. more >>
Pope Francis reflected on the priesthood Saturday, stressing that a true priest, who has been anointed by God for His people, will surely have a close, living relationship with Jesus Christ, without which the priest will have nothing to offer.
The pope encouraged priests to ask themselves some basic questions. "What is the place of Jesus Christ in my priestly life? Is it a living relationship, from the disciple to the Master, from brother to brother, from the poor man to God, or is it a somewhat artificial relationship... that does not come from the heart?" the Vatican Radio quoted Francis as saying in his homily at Casa Santa Marta on Saturday.
"We are anointed by the Spirit, and when a priest is far from Jesus Christ he can lose this unction. In his life, no: essentially he has it... but he loses it. And instead of being anointed he ends up being smarmy," the pope added. more >>
Russia is on a high security alert in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games after six bodies and bombs were discovered in the country's southern Stavropol region on Wednesday.
The six bodies were discovered in four separate vehicles in two districts in the Pyatigorsk area of Stavropol. Each body had gunshot wounds, and unidentified explosive devices were found near three of the vehicles. The Stavropol region sits as a gateway to the country's volatile North Caucasus region where unpredictable Islamic terrorist groups reside.
Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency, said in a statement Thursday that no motive had been uncovered in the mysterious shootings, and Federal Security Service officers had been added to research the investigation, which is now being described as a counter-terrorist operation. The Associated Press notes that the shootings of the six men, some of whom were taxi drivers, are more typical of criminal or gang activity, but the discovery of the bombs led investigators to think Islamic insurgents may be involved. more >>
Scottish police arrested Tony Milano, a U.S. preacher and former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, for breach of the peace and for using "homophobic" language in the condemnation of sin.
"It is indicative of the suppression of the freedom to speak and live out the words of Jesus Christ in public and present the teachings of the Bible," Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the British organization Christian Concern's Christian Legal Centre, said about the arrest Wednesday night.
Milano's colleague, Pastor Josh Williamson of the Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, pointed out, "Tony wasn't focusing just on homosexual practice – it was about all sin." more >>
A Christian dating website in London is taking a unique approach to advertising through a new campaign dotting the London Underground, telling commuters that believing in Jesus will make them "better lovers."
The posters, which will adorn the outside panels of the city's Tube carriers, include vivid colors and fonts reminiscent of retro advertisements for anti-impotence drugs. One advertisement reads: "Christians Make Better Lovers," making many commuters assume that the message is directed toward sex, instead of relationships. The message is clarified by smaller print below that reads: "Christians believe in love. 'Love one another' is written into their code. So if you are a single Christian, why not give our award-winning dating site a try?"
Another advertisement reads "Another dating site? Thank God! No seriously. That's because we're not just another dating site, we're dedicated to matching single Christians in the UK." more >>