Some churches are countering the trend of Black Friday shopping and materialism by promoting "Bless Friday," an observance promoting charity work that seeks to bless the less fortunate.
Eva Kaminski, associate director of Communications at Memorial Drive Presbyterian in Houston, told The Christian Post that Bless Friday is "an encouragement for people to shift their focus from shopping to serving."
"Bless Friday is something that our congregation and staff have embraced. The beauty is in the soul-building that occurs when we focus on others instead of self, and serve in Christ's Name," she said. more >>
His face has become a symbol for resistance against oppression, a marker for those who demand accountability and in the minds of some – anarchy. In the modern day, the Guy Fawkes mask has been a way for people to anonymously stand against an entity.
Guy Fawkes Day is observed Wednesday in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Also known as Bonfire Night, the holiday has been given special attention with such cultural items as the famous "Remember, Remember the Fifth of November" poem and the film and graphic novel "V for Vendetta." The date marks the anniversary of when a group of Catholic Englishmen attempted to blow up Parliament in response to the Protestant-led body enacting anti-Catholic laws.
"Catholic dissident Guy Fawkes and 12 co-conspirators spent months planning to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605," noted Jesse Greenspan in an entry on the History Channel's website. more >>
Syrian refugees are sharing stories of deep pain and loss, with over 3 million of them having fled to neighboring countries seeking protection from the devastating civil war that has torn their nation apart. One family that fled to Lebanon revealed how they lost their 5-year-old son to leukemia after they were unable to pay the fees charged by a local hospital.
Kristin Wright, director of advocacy for Christian relief group Open Doors USA, spoke with The Christian Post in a phone interview on Friday and shared stories of tremendous loss that she has heard while working at unofficial refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley, near Beirut. more >>
In a move that may prompt a new meaning to the phrase "monkey trial," a New York appeals court has set the date for arguments in a lawsuit where the plaintiff is a chimpanzee.
The Nonhuman Rights Project will get to argue its case on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee in New York state who supporters argue is being unlawfully held against his will.
Oral arguments in the lawsuit, which seeks to established legal rights for an animal, will be heard Wednesday, October 8 before the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department. more >>
SIM USA President Bruce Johnson has praised President Barack Obama's recent announcement to send over 3,000 medical personnel to West Africa to help in the fight against the Ebola outbreak. The Christian missionary group, which saw one of its workers come down with Ebola while treating patients, said help from the U.S. is greatly needed and welcomed.
"The multifaceted response to the Ebola crisis announced today by President Obama is what we have been hoping for and what is needed in Liberia and West Africa," Johnson said in a press release. "Three things are vital right now: more beds and equipment, more trained medical professionals, and more training of Liberians and West Africans. This plan addresses these desperate needs."
Obama announced on Tuesday that he is ordering members of the U.S. Armed Forces to go to Liberia, which has been hit hardest by the outbreak. Over 2,400 people have died from the outbreak, with Guinea and Sierra Leone being two other countries seriously infected. more >>
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charities in the world, has said that it will pledge $50 million to help fight the Ebola virus crisis in West Africa, which has killed over 2,200 people.
The foundation said in a statement that the money will help international relief groups and national governments "to purchase badly needed supplies and scale up emergency operations in affected countries."
It will also "work with public and private sector partners to accelerate the development of therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics that could be effective in treating patients and preventing further transmission of the disease." more >>