Following the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, reports have come out revealing that clerics who rushed on site to minister to the injured and dying were held back by authorities due to security risks.
The Rev. Tom Carzon, rector of Our Lady of Grace Seminary, who was one of the clergy who rushed to the scene of the bombing, revealed last week: "Once it was clear we couldn't get inside, we came back here to St. Clement's, set up a table with water and oranges and bananas to serve people, and helped people however we could," as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Some commentators questioned why clergy are no longer considered first respondents, when in the past spiritual assistance in times of tragedy was vital. more >>
U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has been sent to solitary confinement in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran, raising concerns for his deteriorating health, family members have confirmed.
Abedini, who is suffering from internal bleeding and problems with his kidneys, and nine other inmates have reportedly been placed in solitary confinement. Although in need of medical help, the pastor has not received any, and his condition seems to be getting worse, the American Center for Law and Justice said in a statement.
"Saeed has internal bleeding and now issues with his kidneys because of the beatings," revealed his wife, Naghmeh. more >>
Best-selling Christian author Frank Viola takes a unique look at the relationship between Jesus Christ and the town of Bethany through his interpretation of what Lazarus may have witnessed in his upcoming book, God's Favorite Place on Earth. In essence, Viola says that through his research for the book he came to the conclusion that all Christians should be God's "Bethany," a place where God is welcomed.
"The premise of the book is simple and 100 percent biblical: when Jesus was on the earth, he was rejected everywhere he went – from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany," Viola stated.
Viola describes the book, planned for release on May 1, as a hybrid between devotional prose, historical fiction and biblical scholarship. He told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday that it is also a practical book written to help Christians face the struggles of every generation, namely: doubt, discouragement, fear, division, rejection, consumerism and complacency. "It does so by bringing a rarely taught story in the Gospels to life," he said. more >>
The state of Pennsylvania will be observing a "National Fast Day" in accordance with a resolution passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year.
Meant to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of a proclamation made by President Abraham Lincoln, the fast day approved via the passage of House Resolution 17 will occur on Tuesday.
Passed with a vote of 160 yeas to 35 nays, HR 17 extensively quotes from the Lincoln proclamation, which was issued during the American Civil War. more >>
Homosexual activists are labeling evangelist Greg Laurie as the "anti-gay California pastor" and are asking government officials to rescind Laurie's invitation to lead National Day of Prayer-related events in Washington, D.C. as the event's honorary chairman.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy group in America, contends that Laurie has a history of speaking out against LGBT Americans. And OutServe-SLDN, an association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, is calling on the Pentagon to remove the pastor from the agenda, citing "his blatantly anti-LGBT message."
"Pastor Laurie's message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe," said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC's Religion & Faith Program. "In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organize for equality – because of their faith." more >>
While most churches say they already have or are working on having a multicultural congregation, the majority fall short when it comes to reflecting a diverse community of believers coming together during church services on Sundays, said an expert on multi-ethnic church planting and staffing.
"If you were to judge church brochures across America you would say that there is not a multicultural problem in the American church," Tony Kim, former pastor at Newsong Church in Irvine, Calif., told The Christian Post recently. Kim is the Communication Lead Associate for Slingshot Group. The Orange County-based organization specializes in church staffing and coaching pastors and leaders. "So everyone is open to it, but very few are willing to make a decision to step into that."
Kim said the Internet has created a deeper transparency between the church and the community. Someone new to a community, looking for a church to attend, can simply go to a church's website, take a look at the staff page, and make assumptions as to whether the church is representative or accepting of their ethnicity. more >>