Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat might have converted to Christianity before his death in 2004, suggested Christian writer and speaker RT Kendall, a close friend of his. Kendall revealed that Arafat wept while watching Mel Gibson's epic "The Passion of the Christ" a decade ago, and said that he would not be surprised to see his friend in heaven.
"It wouldn't surprise me to see him in heaven,' Kendall said in an interview with Premier. Christianity magazine. 'I'll tell you why. I prayed with him five times, anointed him with oil, I gave him a [salvation] prayer … I'm not saying I know that he's saved; I'm saying I wouldn't be surprised."
Kendall talked about how he initially met Arafat in 2002 during a visit to Israel and Palestinian territories. During the meeting, which went on for longer than planned, the two discussed the nature of Jesus — whether He died, was resurrected and ascended to heaven, as Christianity teaches, or whether He did not die, as the Quran suggests. more >>
A federal judge ordered South Carolina officials to stop enforcing the state's ban on gay marriage on Wednesday. District Judge Richard Gergel gave the state a one-week stay to appeal, but same-sex couples could begin filing for marriage licenses on Nov. 20.
"The court hereby declares that [the South Carolina constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage], to the extent they seek to prohibit the marriage of same-sex couples who otherwise meet all other legal requirements for marriage in South Carolina, unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of plaintiffs under the due process clause and equal protection clause of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and are invalid as a matter of law," the ruling stated, according to NBC affiliate WIS.
Gergel added that he found no real distinction between South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage and a similar ban that was declared unconstitutional in Virginia. Gergel said that the earlier decision in Virginia "establishes, without question, the right of plaintiffs to marry as same-sex partners." more >>
A recent Gallup poll found that, in keeping with the midterm election results, a majority of Americans want the Republican Party to lead the country rather than President Barack Obama.
In a Tuesday poll, Gallup found that 53 percent of respondents wanted the GOP to lead the direction of the United States, versus 36 percent for President Barack Obama.
An estimated 5.8 billion people now have all or some of the Holy Bible translated into their first language, and the Bible is now in more than 2,800 different languages, according to a recent announcement by Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.
"Last year, Wycliffe Global Alliance reported that 4.9 billion people could access at least part of the Bible in their first language. This year the number has grown to 5.8 billion," Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe, told The Christian Post. "This represents tremendous progress toward our goal of starting a translation project in every language needing one by 2025."
Creson also told CP that technological advances in areas like translation are "a critical role in speeding up the translation process." more >>
Canadian-born pop star Justin Bieber was spotted at Hillsong Church in New York City Sunday with models Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin.
"No doubt, the rumor mill will see Bieber's spiritually-inclined meet with Jenner and Baldwin as a romantic date," wrote Page Mackinley of the Inquisitr. "But, in fact, the 'vonfident' singer has been on a religious retreat of sorts following his split with [Selena Gomez]."
Being at Hillsong for an evening church service is the latest in a series of spiritual outings for Bieber, who's been reeling from controversies surrounding a DUI charge while in Miami and his breakup with Gomez. more >>
Roman Catholic Church bishops condemned the ongoing "corruption, impunity and violence" in Mexico over the missing 43 students believed to have been massacred by a criminal gang after being handed over by corrupt policemen. Massive protests in Acapulco against government inaction meanwhile resulted in clashes that left 16 officers injured.
"Adding our voice to theirs and to all of society, we say, 'Enough with so much corruption, impunity and violence,'" the Mexican bishops' conference said, standing in solidarity with the victims' families.
"Respectfully and energetically, we ask the authorities to take the investigation to its final consequences so that it's known with certainty what has happened with the disappeared, and the intellectual authors ... are punished with the full weight of the law," the statement continued, according to Catholic News Service. more >>