There's a "global war" against marriage, "the most beautiful thing that God has created," in the form of gender theory and divorce, Pope Francis warned Saturday, speaking to a Catholic community in the former Soviet nation of Georgia.
"Today, there is a global war to destroy marriage," the pope told priests, members and seminarians at the Church of the Assumption in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, according to National Catholic Register.
The pontiff said this after a mother who testified at the meeting asked if schools should address the issue of gender. "You mentioned a great enemy of marriage: gender theory," he said, according to Reuters. more >>
An American pastor has been charged under Russia's new "anti-terrorism" law for conducting a religious service in a private home and sticking an advertisement in a public place inviting people to worship. The law puts severe restrictions on religious freedom by banning religious gatherings in homes and regulating propagation of religion.
Pastor Donald Ossewaarde, an independent Baptist missionary who has been living in Oryol, a town 224 miles south of Moscow, for about one and a half decades, has appealed the charges against him, and attended a hearing earlier during the week.
The pastor was charged and convicted in August, he says on his website. "I was accused of gluing two Gospel tracts to a bulletin board at the entrance of an apartment building" and "of conducting a religious service in a private home, which they said was a violation of the new anti-missionary law." more >>
Hollywood movie star and director Mel Gibson says that he hates the act of war but has an appreciation for the sacrifices made by "warriors."
The 60-year-old Gibson recently made a trip to the Venice Film Festival to promote his upcoming film "Hacksaw Ridge," which will hit theaters on Nov. 4 and is based on a true story about the heroics of U.S. Army soldier Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist conscientious objector who refused to carry a weapon during World War II.
As Doss was ridiculed by his fellow soldiers for not carrying a weapon but was ultimately the one who ended up saving the lives of as many as 75 of his comrades during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, Gibson was asked during an interview with France 24's Louise Dupont whether or not "Hacksaw Ridge" was made to be an "anti-war movie." more >>
Norway has passed a new law that allows children as young as 6 to self-identify as the opposite sex and change their gender identity on official documents. So far, 10 children have applied to do so and the country hasn't refused a single one.
The Norwegian Parliament passed the legislation in June by a vote of 79-13, and "generated little controversy when it was introduced," The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
As long as they have parental consent, children living in Norway can change their gender identity simply by filling out a form online. more >>
Sohrab Ahmari, a Muslim-born Iranian and an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal in London, recalls his long journey from flirtations with Nietzsche and Marxism to Roman Catholicism. He also explains why evangelicalism didn't appeal to him as much.
Ahmari, the author of The New Philistines: How Identity Politics Disfigure the Arts, announced his cession to join the Catholic Church hours after the killing of French priest Jacques Hamel in Normandy, France, in the name of the Islamic State terror group on July 26.
Though impulsive, the decision to announce his conversion was not just due to Hamel's martyrdom, explains Ahmari, who writes editorials and commissions and edits op-eds for the Journal's European edition, in an article in The Catholic Herald. "The real story was much longer and more complicated." more >>
An atheist group celebrating the upcoming International Blasphemy Rights Day on Friday, has said that laws around the world that restrict or punish those who criticize religion take away the rights of atheists, Christians, and other people.
"In too many countries around the world, criticizing religion is illegal. We've seen the consequences of these laws too many times — when a tweet or a post on Facebook declaring one's atheism or questioning a tenet of religion leads to arrests, beatings, prison, and sometimes death sentences," the Center for Inquiry, which set up the first event in 2009, said in a statement on Monday.
"Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan," the group added. more >>