The U.S. has responded to stinging comments made by Israel's defense minister, who recently described Secretary of State John Kerry's approach to the Middle East peace initiative as "messianic" and said he hopes Kerry will ultimately leave the Middle Eastern country alone.
"The remarks of the Defense Minister if accurate are offensive and inappropriate especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel's security needs," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement released Tuesday.
Israel's defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, reportedly told the Yediot Aharonot , the biggest selling newspaper in the country, on Tuesday, "Secretary of State John Kerry came here very determined and operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling." more >>
Nelson Mandela's death on Thursday, Dec. 5 shocked the entire world, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Poignantly, Kate Middleton and Prince William were guests of honor at the Royal premiere of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" in London at the time that they learned of the remarkable leader's death.
"I just wanted to say, it's extremely sad and tragic news," William said after learning of Mandela's death, and directly after viewing the film about his life on Thursday night. "We are just reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was." more >>
The family of Pastor Saeed Abedini said in a recent interview that they are "devastated" that the Obama administration failed to secure Abedini's release during recent negotiation talks with Iran, in which the Middle Eastern country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Abedini is an American pastor who has been imprisoned in Iran over the past year for his Christian faith.
"As a wife and a mom, it's devastating," Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor's wife, told Fox News Radio. Naghmeh and her family saw these recent peace talks between Iran and the U.S. as a possible opportunity for Abedini to be released from his eight-year prison sentence. The pastor was sentenced in January 2013 under the charges of "planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security."
Naghmeh added to Fox News Radio that she now believes the U.S. has no leveraging power since making the nuclear program deal. "Iran has no incentive for them to release him. I don't think we have any more leverage. We now have to consider other avenues and having other countries speak out because our country when we could have used our leverage chose to stay silent." more >>
Saddleback Church, which has 10 campuses across Southern California, is undertaking for the very first time in its 33-year history the launch of campuses outside of the United States in an effort to "finish the Great Commission," according to founding Pastor Rick Warren. Warren and his megachurch will see fruits of their years-long work with the "12 Cities PEACE Plan" come to bear this month with the launch of three global campuses, one each in Hong Kong, Berlin and Buenos Aires.
Saddleback Hong Kong is the first global congregation prepared for launch, and will officially open its doors this Sunday, Oct. 6. The following two Sundays will see Saddleback Berlin (Oct. 13) and Buenos Aires (Oct 20) follow suit. Eventually, over the next few years, these Saddleback church plants will be followed by sister congregations in Accra, Amman, Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, and Tokyo.
"The ultimate goal is to finish the Great Commission by planting a body of Jesus (church), a Bible (portion of God's word) and a believer in the last unengaged people groups on Earth," Warren explained in a press release shared with The Christian Post. "Jesus said one day in heaven there will be people from every tribe and nation worshipping around God's throne. I intend to use all my influence in rallying the Global Church to do what Jesus commanded us 2000 years ago!" more >>
International aid agency Oxfam has praised the upcoming Geneva peace conference in November that may bring Syrians closer to a much-needed resolution to the two-and-a-half-year civil war that has torn the nation apart.
"The Syrian people have cried out for peace for more than two years, and the world has finally answered their pleas," Oxfam said in a statement. "Secretary Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov now have a real opportunity to help bring an end to the death, displacement, and suffering taking place."
A number of leading nations are expected to be involved in the US-Russia peace talks, including Britain, France and China, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius revealed on Monday. The conference, being dubbed Geneva 2, will include all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, rebuffing claims by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Europe needs to stay out of the talks. more >>
A teenager reading victim names at a 9/11 memorial service used her moment in the limelight to ask President Barack Obama not to start a war in Syria.
At the podium at the 9/11 Memorial at Grand Zero, Brittney Cofresi, 15, read the name of her late uncle before blurting out her opinion for the President.
"Sal Papasso Jr., President Obama, please do not bring us to another war," she said, leaving Papasso's immediate family members confused and angry about what had happened. more >>