Mikhail Kalashnikov, the world-famous weapons constructor who built the AK-47, expressed his guilt over his invention in a letter to the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church half a year before his death in December.
"My soul aches, it is unbearable, I face the same unsolvable question: if my gun killed people, then I, Mikhailo Kalashnikov, ninety three years old, a peasant's son, a Christian and Orthodox believer, is guilty in people's death, even if they were enemies," read Kalashnikov's letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Russia, which was published in the Russian-language Izvestia paper on Monday, and translated by Interfax.
The assault rifle, which has been in service since 1949 in the Soviet Union, has become a widely-used gun throughout the world, with a Washington Post article noting some estimates claim that over 100 million such rifles have been produced. more >>
NEW YORK – A three-day public festival organized by Roman Catholic groups scheduled for Jan. 17-19 at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom is set to engage thousands with different kinds of performances and exhibits, aimed at bridging the "intelligence of faith" with the "intelligence of reality."
"Organized by members of the Catholic movement Communion and Liberation and by the Crossroads Cultural Center, NYE strives to witness to the new life and knowledge generated by the faith, following Pope Benedict's claim that 'the intelligence of faith has to become the intelligence of reality,'" Barbara Gagliotti, a spokesperson for the 2014 New York Encounter, shared with The Christian Post on Friday.
This year's festival, which promises various panel discussions, artistic performances, and exhibits, has been inspired by Pope Francis' call in his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation to see the Church "on the streets." more >>
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA called on the Senate to tackle economic inequality and raise the minimum wage on the 50th anniversary of the "war on poverty," an initiative introduced by former President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In a joint letter to the Senate on Wednesday, Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, wrote: "We urge you to consider closely any legislation that begins to heal our broken economy by promoting decent work and ensuring fair and just compensation for all workers.
"We write not as economists or labor market experts, but rather as pastors and teachers who every day, in our ministries and churches, see the pain and struggles caused by an economy that simply does not produce enough jobs with just wages." more >>
The number of Catholic priests, lay leaders, and missionaries assassinated increased last year, according to a report by an Italian Catholic organization. Twenty-two Catholic church leaders and faithful were murdered in 2013, reported the Fides News Agency of Rome.
This number was comprised of 19 priests, 1 nun, and two lay leaders. It is an increase from 2012, which had a total of 12 murders.
"As it has been for some time, Fides' list does not only include missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but all pastoral care workers who died violent deaths," reads a Fides article. "We do not propose to use the term 'martyrs', if not in its etymological meaning of 'witnesses' since it is up to the Church to judge their possible merits and also because of the [scarcity] of available information in most cases, with regard to their life and even the circumstances of their death." more >>
Quakers have made their own parody of Ylvis' viral video "What Does the Fox Say?" with "What Does George Fox Say?" which outlines Quaker doctrine and biblical themes.
As "What Does the Fox Say" compares the mysterious fox to animals with well-known sounds like the cat (meow), the dog (woof), and the cow (moo), "What Does George Fox Say" presents the tenets of a lesser-known Christian denomination. The Quaker version includes the same crazy sounds which Ylvis' video suggests for the fox, but adds subtitles to educate viewers about what Quakers believe.
"The Lord does not dwell in these man-made temples, but rather in people's hearts," says the video caption, as dancing Quakers make the crazy animal sounds featured in Ylvis' video. This line, along with many others in the video, articulates the central Quaker doctrine of the "Priesthood of All Believers" (1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation."). more >>
A new atheist billboard campaign launched in Salt Lake City is looking to parody the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' "I'm a Mormon" ads, encouraging nonbelievers to stop identifying altogether with faith denominations and feel pride for their non-belief.
"Many atheists still call themselves Mormons or ex-Mormons," said American Atheists President David Silverman in a statement on Thursday. "Our message is this: If you don't believe anymore, don't continue to base your identity in Mormonism. You're so much more than an 'ex-Mormon'; you're an atheist! And you are very far from alone. Be proud to be an atheist – we are, and we want to celebrate being an atheist with you."
The billboards feature a Utah family with the heading "We're the Monnett family, and We're Atheists," with the words "Mormons" and "ex-Mormons" written and crossed out. The atheist organization, one of the largest in America, says that it searched for real Utah atheist families to appear in the ads. more >>