Persecution of Christians in Syria is part of the worst displacement of religious communities in recent history, according to a recently released report from the U.S. State Department.
Released Monday by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 stated that last year "the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory."
"In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs," read the report. more >>
Americans feel warm toward Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals but they are colder toward Muslims and atheists, according to a new Pew Research Survey.
Respondents were asked to rate each faith group according to a "feeling thermometer" ranging from 0 to 100, 0 reflecting the coldest and most negative rating and 100 being the warmest, most positive. The outcome concluded that U.S. adults are more fond of individuals who share their same or similar faith.
"In a society like the United States, where religion is such an important part of life, of how people view the world, how people approach politics — it's one of the things that drives some of the very serious cultural disagreements we see in American society. It's important to know how religious groups see one another, relate to one another," said Greg Smith, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, reports Washington Post. more >>
A project named "The House of One," looking to create the world's first ever church, mosque and synagogue in Berlin, Germany, where people of different faiths can worship under one roof, is currently raising donations.
"Under one roof: one synagogue, one mosque, one church. We want to use these rooms for our own traditions and prayers. And together we want to use the room in the middle for dialogue and discussion and also for people without faith," explained Pastor Gregor Hohberg, a Protestant parish priest, according to a BBC News report.
"Berlin is a city where people come together from all over the world and we want to give a good example of togetherness." more >>
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 >>