Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen says he isn't cheating anyone by not talking about Hell and repentance, insisting that people feel guilty enough already, and he wants to lift up believers instead of bringing them down.
When asked in an Easter Sunday interview by CBS News' "Sunday Morning" program "Do you feel like you're cheating people by not telling them about the Hell part? Or repentance part?" Osteen answered: "No, I really don't, because it's a different approach."
He continued: "You know, it's not hellfire and brimstone. But I say most people are beaten down enough by life. They already feel guilty enough. They're not doing what they should, raising their kids — we can all find reasons. So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up, to say, 'You know what? I may not be perfect, but I'm moving forward. I'm doing better.' And I think that motivates you to do better." more >>
Chocolate giants Cadbury's, Nestle and Sainsbury's are facing heavy scrutiny for removing the word "Easter" and a Christian message typically seen on packaging to commemorate the holiday in the U.K.
"It's deeply disappointing and shameful that some of the biggest companies are censoring the countries' old tradition," David Marshall, CEO of the Meaningful Chocolate Co., a Manchester-based fair trade Christian company, was quoted as saying, according to USA Today.
Cadbury's Mini Eggs Giant Egg and Dairy Milk Buttons Egg as well as Nestle's Kit Kat Chunky Egg and Smarties Egg Hunt Pack do not have the word Easter on the front of the packaging. However, Cadbury's has a special edition of the Dairy Milk chocolate bar with "Happy Easter" on it. more >>
Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 refugees on Holy Thursday last week in preparation of Easter, declaring that people of all religions are "children of the same God."
"All of us together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals ... all brothers and children of the same God," the pontiff said during mass before the foot washing ceremony. "We want to live together in peace."
The 12 refugees chosen to take part of the interfaith ceremony included Muslims, Coptic Christians, and one Hindu. For the fist time the foot washing event also included women, as Francis asked for them to be added. more >>
Effigies of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, standing in place of Judas Iscariot from the Bible, were burned by Mexican Christians celebrating Easter rituals Saturday night.
Reuters reports that effigies of Trump were burned across Mexico in retaliation to the billionaire businessman's divisive comments on illegal immigrants coming to America. Traditionally, such Easter effigies are modeled after Judas for his betrayal of Jesus Christ in the Bible.
"Since he started his campaign and began talking about immigrants, Mexico, and Mexicans, I said 'I've got to get this guy,'" said Felipe Linares, one artisan who crafted a Trump effigy. more >>
At least 70 people, mostly Christians and children, have been killed in a mass suicide attack in Lahore, Pakistan, on Easter Sunday, with the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar terror group claiming responsibility and admitting it targeted Christians.
Another 300 people were injured in the bomb blast, which was carried out in a park in Lahore, close to a children's playground which was more crowded than usual as the minority Christian population was celebrating Easter, BBC News reported.
Persecution watchdog groups have called for a response from the Western world, asking why close attention is only paid to terror attacks in the U.S. and Europe, and not elsewhere around the world as well. more >>
The U.S. State Department of issued a statement condemning "in the strongest terms" Sunday's suicide bombing in Pakistan but made no mention that the terror attack targeted Christians celebrating Easter.
"This cowardly act, which targeted innocent civilians in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, has killed dozens and left scores injured," the State Department said in its release after the attack in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday evening.
At least 70 people were killed, mostly women and children who were on an Easter weekend outing, according to Reuters. About 340 others were wounded, and 25 of them are said to be in serious condition. more >>