Prince Charles said Tuesday that organized persecution of Christians in the Middle East has reached a "crisis" point and that Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its birthplace, which would result in the world losing something "irreplaceably precious."
"It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ," the Prince of Wales said at an Advent reception for Middle East Christians.
"Today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four percent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further," he continued. more >>
Members of the government of the Republic of Turkey have expressed consideration in turning a notable landmark that was once a church into a mosque.
Hagia Sophia, originally built as a cathedral and presently a museum, may be turned into a mosque, recently commented Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.
A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows that over a third of the Jewish community accepts those who believe in Jesus as still Jewish. Leaders of the Messianic church, however, disagree as to whether or not this shows that Jews are more open to Jesus than in the past.
"A less hostile climate, a more open-minded climate" is pervading American Jewry, Messianic Jew Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. While he said that this doesn't mean Jews are hungry for Jesus, he said that this shift represents a unique opportunity for Messianic Jews to spread the Gospel.
Glaser explained that, "more than anything, the number one objection Jewish people have to believing in Jesus is that if they do, they have to stop being Jewish." While more than half of American Jews still consider Christianity incompatible with Judaism, Pew found that 34 percent do not. That number is even higher among ultra-Orthodox Jews, at 35 percent, and among ages 18-49, at 38 percent. more >>
This year, the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving, a coincidence that last happened in 1888 and will not occur again for 79,043 years, according to Jewish sources. Jews and Christians agree that "Thanksgivukkah" is not a contradiction but a fortuitous connection between holidays that both celebrate thankfulness to God and religious freedom.
"AJC has not conducted a formal study, but my general sense is that I don't think anyone is stressed about Chanukah overlapping with Thanksgiving," Michael Schmidt, New York City director for the American Jewish Committee (AJC), told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. "I think people are sort of playful about it, as shown in the term 'Thanksgivukkah.'"
Schmidt emphasized the thematic connection between the two holidays. "Hanukkah this year, which celebrates the revolt of Judas Maccabeus for religious freedom, very nicely aligns with the holiday of Thanksgiving, where the Pilgrims celebrated religious freedom," he said. more >>
Sometimes it can appear that where there is a calendar day, there is a holiday of some kind. Observances can range from the solemn Memorial Day to the not-so-solemn Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Not all holidays are equal, with a small number being nationally, religiously, or ethnically significant; some involve the government closing down for the day while others do not.
Through it all, Thanksgiving has held its own as a much beloved American holiday. Taking place on the last Thursday in November, for many, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. more >>
One of the largest churches in North America will soon be charging entry fees for visitors who are there for sight-seeing purposes.
Washington National Cathedral, located in the District of Columbia, announced Monday that it will begin charging an entry fee in January for a "six-month trial period."