VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met on Monday the grand imam of Egypt's highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential center of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago.
The 1,000-year-old mosque and university center cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults toward Islam from Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict.
The decision came just days after Benedict denounced what he called "a strategy of violence that has Christians as a target" following a bomb attack outside a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria that killed 23 people. more >>
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is advising Christians not to talk about their faith unless they're asked to do so.
As head of the 88 million-member Anglican Communion, Welby was asked at an interfaith event where he draws the line between evangelism and proselytization.
"I draw the line in terms of respect for the other; in starting by listening before you speak; in terms of love that is unconditional and not conditional to one iota, to one single element on how the person responds to your own declaration of faith; and of not speaking about faith unless you are asked about faith," said Welby, according to the Telegraph. more >>
A year-long restoration project has officially begun on Jesus' tomb, located in the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The restoration project was spearheaded by the leaders of three religious denominations who all have some form of control over the site, which is believed to be where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected, and is therefore a sacred place for many Christian.
This week, members from the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Orthodox churches gathered at the church to ceremoniously begin the intensive, $3.4 million project that will include peeling away layers of the tomb's outside, cleaning them and repairing them, one by one. more >>
Famed New York church The Brooklyn Tabernacle presents "The Rescue," a powerful production about the lives of five people who in their deepest time of despair were rescued, on major TV networks and on DVD this month.
"The Rescue" tells the true stories of five people from different walks of life who all find themselves in hopeless situations. Viewers are walked through each of the individual's feelings of pain and despair as they struggle to find a way out of the harmful situations they are in. "The Rescue" aspires to encourage viewers all over the world with the hopeful and redemptive message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The testimonies serve as relatable real-life stories of universal struggles that many in this day-and-age face. In the hour-long film, a Wall Street broker, a party girl, a religious extremist, a drug addict, and a hardened thug are highlighted as they describe their journey from darkness into light. more >>
Louisiana rapper Dee-1 recently spoke to Rapzilla about his new release, "Against Us Remix," featuring secular rappers Lupe Fiasco and Big Krit, and defended himself against the backlash he is receiving for working with a secular artist from a different religion.
Dee-1's new remix song features two rappers he considers friends, including Fiasco, a popular hip-hop artist who has publicly talked about being Muslim. However the chorus for the "Against Us Remix," is strictly the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13.
During a sit down with Rapzilla, Dee-1 explained that he and Fiasco have a brotherly relationship. The rapper maintained that having secular artists featured on his track brought the "humanity" to the record. more >>
Close to 80 Muslims at a refugee camp in Hamburg, Germany, have been baptized into Christianity despite the ongoing physical and sexual abuse that Christian converts face at such camps in the Western country.
"While Christian converts suffer in great measures at the hands of their Muslim neighbors in Germany, around 80 refugees were recently baptized into Christianity," International Christian Concern, a persecution watchdog group, noted on Tuesday.
Mohabat News reported that Pastor Albert Babajan conducted the mass baptism of refugees at the camp in Hamburg, revealing that one of the main motives for their conversion is disappointment with Islam. more >>