The head of the Europe-based World Council of Churches has called on those involved in the ongoing Ukraine crisis to "refrain from violence."
The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary for WCC, released a statement Monday expressing concern for the people of Ukraine, specifically in the Crimea region.
While the Olympics were taking place in Sochi, Russian president and autocrat Vladimir Putin was starting to invade Ukraine. Last Wednesday, Putin put 150,000 troops on high alert for battle near the border with Ukraine. On Saturday, the upper house of the Russian parliament (Duma), the Federation Council, unanimously approved Putin's request to use force in Ukraine and deploy additional troops to the Crimean peninsula.
Putin claims the troops are being sent there to stabilize the socio-political situation in the country. However, many believe that Putin is deliberately stirring up unrest, in order to justify sending in the military. Masked men dressed in black carrying AK-47s have been spotted in the streets, but it's not clear whether they are real protesters or a plant from Putin to create the appearance of a crisis.
Putin originally became Russian president as part of the new, non-communist era Russia, but has proven that he is not a real reformer, reverting to many of his KGB thug ways. Putin worked for the KGB for 16 years under communism. His grandfather was a cook for previous communist leaders Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Putin's father is described as a "model communist." Putin has said he spent the best part of his life with the KGB, which made it a difficult choice to leave the KGB when the organization turned on Soviet president and reformer Mikhail Gorbachev. more >>
President Barack Obama condemned Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, saying on Monday that the United States is considering diplomatic and economic steps "that will isolate Russia."
Russia is on "the wrong side of history," Obama told reporters from the White House as he denounced the country for violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and international law.
"There a violation of previous agreements that Russia has made with respect to how it treats and respects its neighbors, and as a consequence we got strong statements from NATO, from the G7, condemning the actions that Russia has taken," he stated. more >>
A Lutheran pastor from the United States who served as chaplain for some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century is the subject of a soon-to-be released book.
Henry Gerecke, a chaplain who served with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II eventually found himself ministering to the spiritual needs of Nazi war criminals.
His story, long lost amid the major names and events of the 1940s, will be available to the public in a historical book titled, Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis. more >>
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called the growing crisis in Ukraine the "biggest in Europe in the 21st Century" as 6,000 Russian troops took control of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine on Monday.
"Clearly we are very concerned about any possibility of a further move by Russia in other parts of Ukraine but that does not mean the position in the Crimea is stable," Hague told BBC.
"This is a very tense situation and dangerous situation that Russia's intervention has now produced." more >>
It is said if someone wants to understand a person's true priorities, just look at their checkbook. The late Fast and Furious star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash last November, is a good example. Walker had it all; with fame, fortune and good looks on his side, but that was not what defined him. Walker used his hard-earned money to make the world a better place through his humanitarian aid organization, Reach Out Worldwide, but his generosity did not stop there.
The story is told that some years back, he was in a Santa Barbara, California jewelry store and overheard a young soldier, Kyle, who had just returned from Iraq tell his fiancé, Kristen, he could not afford the ring she liked. Later, Walker called the store manager and put the ring on his tab. After his death, Kristen told CBS News Los Angeles the look on Walker's face "transformed" when Walker heard Kyle was an Iraq War veteran.
Walker's heart was in the right place. As the scripture goes, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." If only the same could be said about the priorities of the Obama administration which stores treasure in social programs at the expense of the active duty and retired veterans in my family and yours. more >>