The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
The Patriarch Emeritus of the Latin Catholic Church in Jerusalem has said that the violent conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas in Gaza is a "useless massacre" that will not bring peace, and insisted that Israel must recognize the sovereignty of the Palestinian territory if the cycle of violence is ever to end.
"What is happening in Gaza is not a war, but rather a massacre," Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins, told Fides News Agency on Tuesday. "A useless massacre, which will not advance even one step Israel towards peace and security. On the contrary, with all these human sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians are full of new hatred."
He added: "The only way out of the spiral of violence and destruction is to address the underlying issue, which is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. There will be peace and security only when Israel will recognize the freedom and sovereignty of the Palestinian state." more >>
As militant group ISIS continued its attacks in Iraq, killing 31 people on Tuesday in a suicide blast in Baghdad, the country's bishops have pleaded for the government to stop the "catastrophe" and protect Christians who are being driven out in masses.
The appeal came from Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and all the Chaldean, Syrian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic and Armenian Bishops in northern Iraq, Fides News Agency reported, and called on the government to provide "financial support to displaced people who have lost everything."
Thousands of Christians have been fleeing northern Iraq and are "near extinction" according to several persecution watchdog groups. Christians in the city of Mosul, which was captured by ISIS in June, were given an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a tax, or die. more >>
The normally outspoken and media-engaged Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, who has attempted to stay away from the spotlight for several months since being embroiled in controversy this past year, admits that it has been a tough season for the church and it is time for reconciliation.
In a 30-minute video on the church's website in which he primarily addresses the Mars Hill congregation (or family), Driscoll admits to the mishandling of a transitional period in which church leaders were dismissed in an uncaring fashion.
"Substantive organizational changes were really caused by our church going to multiple locations and leaders being spread out across our various locations," Driscoll explains in the video released over the past weekend. "At the time we were not, I was not, as sympathetic or empathetic as we should have been." more >>
A lesbian who was fired by a Roman Catholic diocese in Missouri over marrying a woman has filed a lawsuit against the church body.
Colleen Simon, who recently married her partner in Iowa, filed the suit last week against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph and its bishop, the Rev. Robert Finn.
The mother of two sons, for a time Simon worked at a Catholic food pantry at St. Francis Xavier Parish in the Kansas City Diocese. more >>
A decision allowing a United Methodist Church pastor to regain his clergy credentials after losing them over officiating a same-sex wedding will be appealed.
Frank Schaefer, a Pennsylvania pastor who oversaw his son's gay marriage in 2007, will again have to face a church trial.
The Rev. Christopher L. Fisher, counsel for the UMC, filed an appeal with the United Methodist Judicial Council, the highest court in the denomination. more >>