Nigeria gripped news headlines over Christmas weekend when Islamic extremists bombed Christian churches in five different cities. Though such tragedies give the appearance of rampant religious violence, many experts now caution that religion is just one among several factors fueling strife in the West African nation.
As reported yesterday by The Christian Post, 39 people were killed when terrorists bombed churches in the cities of Madalla, Jos, Kano, Damaturu and Gadaka, on Christmas Day. The violence has intensified since then, with the city of Potiskum suffering arson at 30 different Christian shops and civilians fleeing the various attack sites.
John Campbell, the Council on Foreign Relations' Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, said that although religion remains a divisive issue in Nigeria, it isn't the only concern causing the country problems. more >>
Recent winters have seen Christians fighting against the "War on Christmas" to defend Nativity scenes, the real meaning behind the holiday, and wishing people a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” But just how much of the Christmas traditions we see today is truly Christian in origin?
Centuries earlier, Christians put together many Christmas traditions as it's practiced today by co-opting ideas from their pagan neighbors.
"It's important to know your roots," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. "A lot of things we do today have pagan and pre-Christian origins." more >>
NEW YORK – A group of Christian and Jewish leaders gathered in front of the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations in New York City Wednesday to appeal to Iraqi authorities about the escalating violence against Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq.
Led by Dr. Paul de Vries, president of the New York Divinity School, the leaders spoke briefly with Ambassador Hamid Al-Bayati, permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations, bringing the diplomat’s attention to the plight of Iraq's religious minorities, who have been facing escalating violence since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003. The interfaith group sought to impress upon Al-Bayati the need for the government to protect its people, especially now that U.S. troops have left the country.
The Christian leaders emphasized that the Christmas season is a particularly dangerous time of the year for the Christian community, as terrorist organizations have targeted Christian holiday services in the Middle East in the past and have specifically recommended attacks on churches. more >>
An atheist organization is so offended by a public expression of faith that it has threatened to sue the city of Warren, Michigan.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims its purpose is "to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism,” as stated on its website.
The group is outraged by a public Christmas Nativity scene and is calling on the Warren mayor, James Fouts, to display an anti-religion sign directly next to the nativity scene to promote balanced views and what they refer to as "equal time,” according to The Daily Caller. more >>
Christians, Muslims, and Jews alike are speaking out against Lowe’s Hardware Store’s decision to pull advertisement from the TLC television show “All American Muslim.” On Saturday, demonstrations in front of various Lowe’s locations across the country will seek to raise awareness against the perceived bigotry behind the chain’s decision.
“We stand against Lowe’s decision. We feel corporations have the right to make their own decisions regarding their advertising. But when you are basing that decision on a fringe group and their hatred and bigotry then that’s wrong. They (Lowe’s) buckled,” Abed Ayoub, legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told The Christian Post.
“We’ve seen Christian groups as well as Jewish and other interfaith groups come out and stand up against this bigotry. It’s been a very diverse show of support.” more >>
The House of Representatives has given the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) a happy ending in its long struggle to stay alive.
The office of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) confirmed that the House reached a majority voice vote on H.R. Bill 2867, and thus ensured that USCIRF will receive funding for an additional three years. more >>