Joel Osteen, bestselling motivational author and evangelical pastor of America's fastest-growing megachurch, was among a small group that included Mormon Sen. Mike Lee, to meet privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome, this week.
Osteen said he was honored to meet with Pope Francis, who leads the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
"I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He's not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me," Osteen told the Houston Chronicle. more >>
The United States Congress is considering a bill that would add a prayer given by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Known as H.R 2175, the bill was introduced last year with the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation holding a hearing on it Tuesday morning.
"The Secretary of the Interior … shall install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day," reads the bill. more >>
International Christian Concern says that the latest suicide bomb blasts in Kano, Nigeria, that killed at least 20 people, were targeting the minority Christian churches there. Concerns are that Islamic militants are once again focusing their sights on Christians in their ongoing war against the Nigerian government.
"The most recent bombing in Kano's predominantly Christian district greatly concerns us. It's been 10 months since a major attack has targeted Kano's minority Christian community. Amidst all Christians must continue to face throughout northeast Nigeria, any indication that Islamist militants and extremists are becoming more and more capable of highly lethal attacks, such as this one, is alarming," ICC's regional manager for Africa, William Stark, said.
"Already, more than 1,500 innocents, including hundreds of Christians, have been murdered this year alone. Much more must be done to improve the Nigerian state's capability to protect its citizens, including its Christian minorities, who are highly susceptible to violence and easily targeted for the expression of their faith," Stark added. more >>
TYSONS CORNER, Va. — A diverse gathering of groups and individuals has come to the Washington, D.C.-area to launch an effort to combat pornography.
The Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation held its first summit at the Tyson's Corner Marriot not far from the nation's capital. The multi-day event that began Friday morning and will conclude Saturday brings together researchers, scholars, and activists dedicated to combating pornography.
Dr. Sharon Cooper, a developmental and forensic pediatrician, discussed in her presentation the effects of early pornographic exposure among children and its relation to sexual abuse. more >>
NEW YORK – Members of several of the world's main religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, warned that the grave prospect of a nuclear weapons catastrophe looms dangerously over the world, and urged leaders to move toward disarmament at a United Nations conference on Wednesday.
Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that although religious leaders are not experts on nuclear weapons, they still have the responsibility to speak out and take the floor on this particular issue.
"We know that we are not experts on disarmament, we do not have technical solutions, but we do have a voice to act," Chullikatt said, adding that the group of religious leaders have taken on the subject partly so that future generations do not accuse them of not doing anything. more >>
NASHVILLE—An Israeli woman and Palestinian man who both lost children because of ongoing violence in the region discussed their mutual love and support for one another during the annual three-day Q Conference which is built around the belief that "Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals."
In 2007, Bassam Aramin's 10-year-old daughter, Abir, "was shot in cold blood by an Israeli soldier while standing outside her school with [her] classmates." Two years before his daughter was killed, Aramin had started a reconciliation organization called Combatants for Peace, where he continues to work alongside "former Israeli and Palestinian combatants" in an effort to "create political pressure on both governments to stop the cycle of violence, end the occupation and resume a constructive dialog."
Prior to launching his peacemaking organization, Aramin had been jailed for seven years after he was caught, at age 17, plotting an attack on Israeli forces. His plan was to take revenge on the soliders because at age 12, he had witnessed the shooting of one of his peers during a Palestinian demonstration against Israel. more >>