Prince Charles said Tuesday that organized persecution of Christians in the Middle East has reached a "crisis" point and that Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its birthplace, which would result in the world losing something "irreplaceably precious."
"It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ," the Prince of Wales said at an Advent reception for Middle East Christians.
"Today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four percent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further," he continued. more >>
The Christmas season is a time filled with family, friends, and traditions. It is also a time when, if not careful, we can get all wrapped up in the wrong things. Instead of experiencing peace on earth and goodwill toward men our plans and preparations for the "perfect family Christmas" wrap us up in knots.
A great exercise to keep your peace is to practice self-awareness. Stop and check in with yourself. Are you feeling anxious, stressed, frustrated, or disappointed? Are you experiencing peace or do you feel like you are wrapped up tighter than the package you sent to Aunt Martha? Next, ask why? What am I thinking about that is stirring my emotions? Is it true? Or is my imagination running away with me? Finally, redirect your thoughts. Peace is knowing that no matter what I'm okay because Jesus is Lord over everything. Peaceful people habitually surrender their thoughts and emotions to the Prince of Peace.
So what can we do to remain peaceful this Christmas? more >>
A survey released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute indicates that there has been a slight increase in the percentage of Americans who prefer a non-religious "Happy Holidays" greeting over the religious "Merry Christmas" salutation.
The recent poll found that 49 percent of Americans prefer stores and businesses use non-religious greetings, such as "Seasons Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" rather than the traditional "Merry Christmas" to show respect for people of other faiths. This is slightly up from the same 2010 survey that found 44 percent of Americans want businesses to use a non-religious greeting.
PRRI also found that 43 percent of Americans specifically prefer the religious greeting of "Merry Christmas," compared to 2010 when 49 percent specifically wanted the traditional religious greeting. more >>
For Christians, Christmas will be a time to reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ and his birth. That will should be and will be the core focus of the upcoming holiday season. However, for those with families, you may also be looking for outings to go on together to help get everyone in the celebratory mood.
If you are looking to get hyped up for Christmas during the holidays, than these 5 places will be a perfect place to start. Whether you are looking to shop or see an awesome light show these places will instantly put you in that Christmas mood you were looking for. Below are the 5 places that will bring your Christmas spirit to the next level:
1. Church more >>
Earl Wright, aka Bike Santa, gives back every Christmas to kids in the neighborhood by collecting bicycles of all kinds to distribute.
Recently, Wright was robbed of about 100 bikes, and GiveBackFilms stepped in to provide another bike and also give him $500 toward replacing the stolen bikes.
"Had an awesome time helping out Earl Wright this week. He's an awesome guy doing an amazing thing for underprivileged kids, a true hero. He was recently robbed and got 100 bikes stolen, so we gave him some money to help him get back up on his feet!" the video description reads. more >>
Recently released videos by UN Children's Fund UNICEF feature Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa and Gandhi in humorous "dinner party" conversations meant to encourage people to click banner ads and contribute toward life-saving medical supplies for children.
The videos, titled "The Good Guys Christmas," center around the premise of three of history's most recognizable figures, recalling the good deeds they have done for the world. They are joined by an average Joe who reveals that he was invited to this special party all because he clicked on Internet banners leading to UNICEF's Swedish page allowing online users to purchase vital medicines and other supplies for needy children around the world.
"So basically, you starved yourself for the sake of the people. That was so nice of you," Mother Teresa compliments Gandhi in one of the videos, sitting around a dinner table. more >>