Over one million Germans and people from around the world celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Sunday, associated also with the end of the Cold War. Seven thousand illuminated helium balloons that traced the outline of the wall that once divided the city were released into the night sky to symbolize the demonstrations in 1989.
"We're the happiest people in the world and we're thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago," declared Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit, according to Reuters. "Nothing and no one can stand in the way of freedom."
Musical performances and festivities attracted more than a million people to the German capital. They were treated to the Berlin Staatskapelle orchestra playing Beethoven's 9th Symphony "Ode to Joy" at the symbolic Brandenburg Gate; Peter Gabriel performing a rendition of "Heroes," as well as several other performances from German artists. more >>
A couple in Florida will be allowed to keep statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary on their property after initially being told by a homeowners' association that they could not.
Enock and Ines Berluche of Kissimmee will not have to remove the statues, after being told by the Shingle Creek Reserve at the Oaks Homeowners' Association that they had to do so.
The Berluches were given legal help by the Orlando-based conservative law firm the Liberty Counsel, which was founded by Mat Staver. more >>
The leaders of a Roman Catholic peace movement and network have stated that they disagree with American-led airstrikes on terror group ISIS in Syria, arguing that all they do is place more innocent people in danger and serve as a recruiting tool for the Islamic militants.
"We believe that especially the expansion of bombing is more likely to create significant recruiting bonanza for some of the extremist groups, ISIS included," Marie Dennis, Pax Christi International co-president, told Catholic News Service.
"The Islamic State, ISIS, is very well funded and steps must be taken to identify the sources of their funding and to stop them." more >>
A prominent Orthodox Church leader in Ukraine has stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being guided by Satan.
Patriarch Filaret of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine, released a statement Friday titled the "New Cain," which is based off of the Genesis 4 account of Cain and Abel.
Filaret did not mention Putin by name, but he did refer in his statement to a "governor" who "is cynically lying" about his country's "sending killers mercenaries to our country." more >>
A Christian leader in the Holy Land has said that a "two state solution" for Israel and Palestine is the only way to achieve long-term peace in the region as the truce held out a second week; but another warned that reconciliation between the two societies remains a far away goal.
"It would be wonderful to see two states developed as this is the only way to keep lasting peace and for Islamic radicalism to be contained," Munir S. Kakish, chairman council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email on Thursday. "A two state solution is good for both Israel and Palestine."
The long-term ceasefire agreed on by Israel and Hamas last week was brokered by Egypt and made in the hopes of stopping the fighting, which began in July and killed over 2,200 people, mostly civilians. more >>
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revealed on Wednesday that he has reached a ceasefire agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, though a spokesman for Putin noted that no such ceasefire is possible since Russia maintains that it is not involved in the war in Ukraine.
"The conversation resulted in an agreement on ceasefire regime in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine region). The parties reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace," a statement from the Ukraine government said.