Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for a 25-minute closed-door exchange in the Vatican on Monday.
According to the Israeli government, the pair discussed the Iranian nuclear program, the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as recent peace negotiations, and the current, beleaguered state of Christians in the Middle East.
Since assuming the papacy, Pope Francis has been vocal about the need to protect the Middle East's persecuted Christians. more >>
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins led seven members of Congress known for their strong ties to evangelical Christians on a nine-day swing through Israel's Holy Land earlier this month, touring the country's most important religious sites and meeting with top-level Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The trip, sponsored by the U.S. Israel Education Association with grants from several Christian and Jewish organizations, included Congressmen Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Steve Scalise (R-La.).
The delegation spent the majority of their time behind what is known as the "green line," or the areas near Samaria that mark the line between Israel territories captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. While experiencing the Holy Sites helped the Congressmen gain an appreciation for Israel, Perkins noted the most important aspect of the trip was time spent with Netanyahu and other government officials and their concern for the recent agreement the Obama administration reached with Iran over the country's nuclear arsenal. 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 >>
Last week, BBYO, a Jewish teen organization, organized prescreenings of the new film "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," but with a twist – they teamed up with local food banks and asked for food donations. Across the country, Jewish teens participating in this effort donated over 17,000 pounds of food.
"Many American and Canadian youth saw hunger as a foreign issue," Natalie Spring, director of campaigns and leadership initiatives at BBYO, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday. Showing that hunger is a problem here in America as well, Spring cited the Food Research and Action Center, which found that 49 million Americans faced hunger in 2012 – 16 million of them children.
"Our biggest message to our teens is that this is not a Jewish issue," Spring stated. "This is an American issue and an important issue for all people." The BBYO spokeswoman said she hopes the teens involved will energize their schools and families to address the issue of hunger. more >>
Secretary of State John Kerry is turning out to be even more dangerous than former Secretary Hillary Clinton. "The era of the Monroe Doctrine is over," he took it upon himself to unilaterally proclaim.
The Monroe Doctrine has been a fixed star in American foreign policy since Dec. 2, 1823. Its essential words are: "The political system of the allied powers is essentially different ... from that of America ... We should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety."
The operative words are: "this hemisphere," "dangerous to our peace and safety" and "system." The Monroe Doctrine is not limited to military aggression; it prohibits extending the "system" of foreign powers to the Western Hemisphere, recognizing the fundamental difference between our constitutional republic and Old World empires and dictatorships. more >>
A Harvard University student Christian journal has apologized for publishing an anonymous essay online that states that Jews were to blame for killing Jesus and so consequently were the cause of their own persecution since the death of Christ.
In the essay published last week by The Harvard Ichthus entitled "Why Us?" the author stated "We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years."
Aaron Gyde, the journal's editor-in-chief, apologized for "inadequate editorial oversight in the publishing and re-publishing of this blog post." more >>