Over 100 Christians, including children, were arrested during a major house church raid on Sunday in Foshan city in China's Guangdong Province. Close to 200 police officers stormed in during the service, eyewitnesses said, believed to be part of a large-scale crackdown on Christians in the country.
"We don't know exactly why they raided our church," a local believer told watchdog group International Christian Concern, which has been keeping track of the rising tide of persecution in China. "The government does not want us to get together and worship as a church."
Worshipers said that the church was raided without any warning, and that police only left behind a notice stating that people were detained for an "illegal gathering." More than 30 parishioners reportedly still remain in custody. more >>
The new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation has said that it is only a matter of time before alien life forms are discovered, which will pave the way to questions about God's relationship to intelligent beings outside our planet.
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno speculated that the general public will not be too surprised when life on other planets is eventually discovered, and will react in much the same way it did when news broke in the '90s that there are other planets orbiting far off stars.
Consolmagno, a planetary scientist who has studied meteorites and asteroids as an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory since 1993, told Catholic News Service that discovery of alien life will not prove or disprove the existence of God, but will pave the way to questions on salvation and how it relates to intelligent species. more >>
The Evangelical Alliance of Scotland and the Church of Scotland are calling on the nation to build up the country with Christian values, as the path toward reconciliation began following the historic vote that went against independence from the U.K.
"During this campaign all Scots have rallied around a flag. But as Christians our identity is not based on a flag or a national boundary but on the radical grace of being adopted into God's family," Scottish National Director Fred Drummond said in a statement.
"Scotland and the U.K. will not be the same after this vote. We, the Evangelical Alliance and our member churches, stand ready to play our part," he continued. more >>
A decision by Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas to pay Presbyterian Church (USA) $7.8-milion for a building that the congregation built in the 1920s, nearly 60 years before it joined PCUSA, may strand countless other congregations as they struggle with leaving PCUSA over its policy of allowing non-celibate homosexuals to marry and be in leadership.
HPPC agreed to a settle in a court case that sought to challenge PCUSA's strong assertions that it owns all property under "trust" if a congregation joins the denomination. The position has become a central battleground for churches struggling with PCUSA's progressive positions on homosexuality.
Despite getting an initial injunction in their favor as well as a date in October for a hearing, last week Highland Park and Grace Presbytery reached a settlement wherein the Dallas church will pay $7.8 million by November. more >>
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech focusing on income inequality and the objective to restore the middle class during a rally at the Iowa State Capitol organized by the Nuns on the Bus campaign group on Wednesday.
Biden, a Roman Catholic, paid tribute to the Catholic Sisters and their efforts going around the country petitioning for social justice issues, such as health care, immigration reform, and income inequality, and their mission to urge people to vote in the upcoming general elections in November.
"You've gone state to state arguing for moral, economic and social imperatives. To establish a decent living wage. Because you know there's no reason in the world why any American should work 40 hours a week and be $7,000 dollars below the poverty rate. That should not happen in America," Biden said. more >>
The Episcopal Church recently announced that it will providing $40,000 in grants for philanthropic purposes for the benefit of Ferguson, Missouri.
TEC's Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society will provide $30,000, while Episcopal Relief & Development will provide $10,000.
Bishop Stacy Sauls, Episcopal Church Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement released Monday the effort "addresses both immediate need and long term issues related to the cycle of poverty." more >>