A Roman Catholic bishop in Jerusalem says he's afraid that Jewish extremists are now posing an increasing threat to Christians in the Holy Land after an arson attack last Thursday at a local church in Tabgha, an area believed to be where Jesus performed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.
The warning "all idols will be smashed" — an extract from a Jewish prayer — was also sprayed in red paint on a wall outside the church, according to a report from Aid to the Church in Need.
Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem told Aid to the Church in Need that the attack on the Catholic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves near the Sea of Galilee, which left a Benedictine monk and visitor with smoke inhalation, has heightened his concern that extremists are targeting other faith groups, particularly Christians. more >>
This weekend I was in Charleston for the first service at Emanuel AME Church after the brutal white supremacist terrorist attack of this past week. Walking around downtown, I was struck by the unity of the city.
People stood before the church, singing. The town's churches displayed signs of solidarity and rang their bells together in unison. And the one thing I heard talked about more than anything else was forgiveness, specifically the way the families of the victims said they forgave the terrorist even after the murder of their loved ones. Some saw this as commendable; others were taken aback.
On the one hand, this sort of forgiveness is the reaction most people would hope they would have to evil. At the same time, most of the people who talked about this with me said they couldn't imagine that they could forgive such a thing. Some even wondered if the note of forgiveness was morally right. After all, they reasoned, this is a murderer who should be brought to justice. more >>
Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of prominent evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who resigned as lead pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship with a friend after he discovered his wife was having an affair, appears to be finding solace in electronic dance music.
"I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family," Tchividjian, 42, explained in a statement to The Washington Post Sunday.
"As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign," the statement continued. more >>
The wife of Florida pastor Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of prominent evangelical preacher Billy Graham, has issued a brief statement of her own after her husband revealed over the weekend that she, as well as he, each had an "affair."
"The statement reflected my husband's opinions but not my own. Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving," Kim Tchividjian said in a statement submitted to The Washington Post.
A nun in the Indian city of Raipur has allegedly been gang-raped in what Christian community leaders are calling an ongoing "anti-Christian hate campaign."
While police in Raipur's Chhattisgarh state are calling the case "attempted rape" and have arrested some of the unidentified men who are believed to have carried out the assault, Arun Pannalal, president of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, told Voice of America that the woman had indeed been raped.
"We are 100 percent sure that the nun was raped yesterday. There cannot be any dispute over this fact. And it appears to be part of the ongoing anti-Christian hate campaign across the state," Pannalal said. more >>
Recently, at each of our church's worship services, I asked the members of the congregation I serve to indicate, by a show of hands, how many of them believe that they will not die. Not a single person answered in the affirmative. I would venture to guess that my congregation's response to this question is typical among the vast majority of Christians across the world today. Even so, the eschatological hope of avoiding death that was prevalent in the early of days of Christianity may soon return to the church universal via a seemingly unlikely source – mainly - human technological advancement.
Early Christians understood that death is the enemy of humankind. Many early Christians actively maintained the hope, throughout their lives, that they would never have to die. The Apostle Paul, for instance, was hopefully optimistic that Christ might return in his lifetime to transition his existence from his mortal body to his immortal one.
And while the early Christians refused to live in fear of their mortality, their hope was to avoid it, if possible, without compromising the integrity of their faith. Over time though, due to experiencing generations of death, this eschatological hope has slowly faded among Christians. That is until recently when the technological world has made popular the concept of the technological Singularity. more >>