"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton.
Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots were no exception: people were injured, neighborhood stores were burned, and violence was further engrained into a city and world already steeped in violence.
But, and this is a big but: What are the reasons that led to violence? What motivated some African-Americans in Baltimore to riot? To ask and to try to answer these questions – in dialogue with the rioters – is certainly not meant to justify the violence; rather it is a necessary step on the road to ending it. more >>
As conditions in the Middle East and Africa are causing thousands of people to seek ways to migrate into Europe, terrorist organizations like the Islamic State are profiting handsomely off of people that are trying to flee from the chaos these groups have helped cause, a recent report has found.
According to a report released Tuesday by The Global Initiative, terrorist groups including ISIS are benefiting from the lucrative human trafficking trade that illegally smuggles boatloads of people from the Libyan coast across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.
The report estimates that the human trafficking trade generates between $255 million and $323 million each year. more >>
The 23-year-old daughter of a New Jersey pastor who serves a congregation of mostly South Korean immigrants is now dead after she was violently stabbed multiple times on Sunday and local police are holding a 16-year-old boy in connection with her death.
Christine Huh, daughter of Bong Kee Huh, senior pastor of Praise Presbyterian Church in Somerset, was found suffering from stab wounds by emergency officials inside a ninth-floor apartment at the Skyline Tower in downtown New Brunswick early Sunday morning, according to NJ.com and now her family and church community is mourning.
"Our whole congregation is devastated," pastor Daeho Kim told NJ.com Tuesday. "She had a wonderful sense of humor and was [a] great supporter of the church and her family." more >>
Famous anti-death penalty campaigner Sister Helen Prejean, who inspired the Susan Sarandon movie "Dead Man Walking," testified Monday on behalf of the Boston Bomber facing possible execution for murdering four, including an 8 year old child, and wounding 264, many of whom lost limbs.
Summoned by the defense, her purpose was to demonstrate that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is sorry for his bloody crimes, even though he declined to testify himself about his supposed sorrow, instead looking bored while surviving victims have testified of their suffering.
"He said emphatically, 'No one deserves to suffer like they did,'" the activist nun testified. Searching for evidence of his sorrow, she recalled of his voice during their conversation: "It had pain in it, actually, when he said what he did about 'nobody deserves that.' I had every reason to think he was taking it in and he was genuinely sorry for what he did." more >>
An Indiana organization dedicated to marijuana that calls itself the First Church of Cannabis will host its first "worship service" on July 1, the same day that the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.
The organization will test the law's ban on government burdens on the exercise of religion as it will feature a pot-smoking session that is illegal in the state of Indiana.
The cannabis group's founder Bill Levin explained plans for the service to U.S. News and said it will open with "Amazing Grace" played on a harmonica by a popular young musician and move to a quick sermon followed by a "call to worship," which is actually just a time for smoking marijuana. more >>
Princess Modupe Ozolua, an entrepreneur and philanthropist from the royal family of the Benin Kingdom in Edo State, Nigeria, has called on the international community to get involved in a project seeking to help the victims of Boko Haram rebuild their lives.
Ozolua said that campaigns such as BringBackOurGirls have been good for raising awareness on the issue, but argued that the thousands of women and children affected by Boko Haram also need help, not just the kidnapped Chibok girls.
"What is most important for people to understand is that this is a very serious issue. These are men, women and children. When we go to the camps, and see everyone crying, we think 'Oh God, this is such a mess.' But the truth is it can happen to anybody," Ozolua told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Tuesday. more >>