Christians around the world are taking time this week to remember the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State militants one year ago in a threatening video to the "nation of the cross."
"One profound result and gift of this horrific act is that it brought people together," said Bishop Amba Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church, in a service of commemoration last week in the Chapel of St. Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster, London.
"These men paid the ultimate price, but gave us a cause to advocate for all those persecuted; they also showed us that there was a level of evil that we must all stand in solidarity against, and a level of courage, faithfulness and defiance that we must all aspire to," Angelos added. more >>
Palestinian Muslims are part of an ongoing international effort to renovate the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which scholars believe is the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
The Associated Press said in a report on Tuesday that the team of Palestinian and international experts are leading the biggest restoration the historical church has received in close to 600 years. The restoration includes the removal of centuries of dust and structural repairs to windows and the rooftop, with workers being careful to preserve artwork and mosaics dating back to the Crusades. more >>
A bishop in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has said that the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the first one between the heads of the two churches following their split over a millennium ago, provides comfort and hope to suffering Christians.
"The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is perceived by Christians as the fruit of the cross they are experiencing. The suffering of all Christians in the Middle East bears the fruit of unity. This for us is a great consolation and helps us to move forward, even if we still have to suffer," said Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, according to Fides News Agency.
The meeting took place on Friday in Cuba, and was the first of its kind since the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest of the Eastern Christianity branches, split from the Roman Catholic Church over 1,000 years ago. more >>
Conservative TV personality and radio host Glenn Beck, who is a Mormon, blasted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and suggested that the idea that he has even read the Bible is a "crock of [expletive]."
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina in support of rival presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, Beck said that "too many people are looking at Trump and believing that man has ever opened a Bible … that's the biggest crock of [expletive] I've ever heard."
Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said that it is insulting when people question her parents' Christian faith. Clinton added that she left a Baptist church at a young age and joined the Methodists over the abortion issue.
"My mother is very deeply a person of faith," Chelsea Clinton said, according to Page Six. "It is deeply authentic and real for my mother, and it guides so much of her moral compass, but also her life's work."
Clinton, a philanthropist who works with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, said that people are wrong to question her mother's faith, or the faith of her father, former President Bill Clinton. more >>
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has admitted that the Episcopal Church's suspension in January by the Anglican Communion for supporting gay marriage is fair, but said that it will not change their stance on the issue.
"We're not changing — so there shouldn't be an expectation that in the next three years the Episcopal Church is going to change," Curry said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. earlier this week, according to an article on the Institute on Religion & Democracy blog Juicy Ecumenism.
"This is who we are," Curry added. more >>