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 >>
An appeals court has ruled in favor of a small diocese in Illinois that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences, including the denomination's appointment of openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop.
In a ruling handed down Thursday, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court sided with the Anglican Diocese of Quincy over the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
The ruling upheld a lower court decision that ruled the Quincy Diocese's property and funds to be the possession of the Anglican Church North America, the more theologically conservative group that the diocese presently affiliates with. more >>
President Obama has nominated Rabbi David Saperstein to be the next ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom at the State Department, a position that has been vacant since late last year. The announcement on Monday also marks the first time that a non-Christian will hold the job, which was created in 1998.
"I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead," Obama said. Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, now awaits Senate confirmation.
The nomination came with some controversy, namely the fact the post sat vacant for nine months. Intended for the purpose of promoting and defending religious freedom around the world, the position was not filled for two years until Suzan Johnson Cook took the post in 2011. However, Cook left in October during a time of intensified religious persecution globally, especially in the Middle East. more >>
"Preachers of LA," the faith-based reality show that sparked controversy and critical debate over its flashy season one premiere, returns to the Oxygen network next month with what appears to be more sobering developments in the ministries and lives of its star Christian ministers.
"Season two is full of self-discovery and change with growing families and ministries, incredible women of strength beside them, and ever-changing relationships," according to a press release from Oxygen Media.
What is clear from a new season two supertease trailer is that Bishop Noel Jones and his longtime friend and potential love interest, Loretta are confronted by Bishop Ron Gibson and his wife about the pair's unusual relationship. The confrontation over the status of Jones and Loretta's relationship, which Gibson insists the world needs to know about, apparently causes a "devastating rift" between the couples. more >>
Paradox can be hard to live with sometimes, much less understand. For example, Ken Wilber, an American writer and public speaker, is one of the most largely respected integral thinkers in our world today, encouraging much spiritual, psychological, and human development.
Editors' Note: Recently, Jeremiah Heaton, a man from Virginia, claimed an 800-square-mile area of unclaimed land between Sudan and Egypt as his own kingdom. He did so because his 7-year-old daughter wanted to be a princess. more >>
Evangelizing is not about methodology as much as it is about intentionality because there is always an opportunity to share the Gospel with people, says David Martin, Director of Student Initiatives for "I Am Second," a ministry that posts a series of web videos featuring notable personalities and their testimonies about God.
Martin admits his excuse for not sharing the Gospel with individuals one-on-one used to be because he was an introvert and it was not his "wiring" to engage with strangers. However, he reached a point in his life where he realized he had a "gospel integrity gap" which prompted him to begin spreading God's message in an unconventional way.
"I started going to the sub-level 2 waiting room of Methodist Hospital, once a month, at 6:30 a.m., armed with a jug of Starbucks coffee in one hand and healthy dose of fear in the other," writes Martin, in a blog post for Emerging Evangelists. "I would nervously ask those waiting, as their loved ones underwent life-threatening surgeries, if they wanted coffee." more >>