Pope Francis wrapped up his visit to the Middle East by making final stops in Bethlehem and Israel on Sunday and Monday, paying a special surprise visit to the Wall of Bethlehem that separates Israel from the West Bank and offering quick prayer while at the wall.
Francis reportedly stopped at the wall for four minutes, leaning his head in to touch the stone on the wall next to a graffiti message that read "Free Palestine." He also placed his hand on the wall to pray during the unexpected stop.
The wall, also known as the Israeli West Bank barrier, was built by Israel to separate itself from the West Bank and the Palestinian population. Father Federico Lombardi, a spokesperson for the Vatican, told The Guardian that even members of Francis' own entourage were unaware that the Pope would make his stop at the separation wall. more >>
Memorial Day, an annual holiday that falls on the last Monday in May, is observed nationwide to honor those who served in the Armed Forces.
While the day has evolved into barbeque and shopping day for most Americans today, at its inception, Memorial Day was actually not broadly celebrated or as focused as it is today.
The origins of the federal holiday derived from the late nineteenth century via the efforts of veterans from the American Civil War. A union veterans group known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) held what is considered the first major Memorial Day observance back in 1868. Originally called "Decoration Day," the event involved decorating the graves of war dead with flowers and was planned for May 30 due to it being a time when flowers bloomed. more >>
The United States Congress is considering a bill that would add a prayer given by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Known as H.R 2175, the bill was introduced last year with the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation holding a hearing on it Tuesday morning.
"The Secretary of the Interior … shall install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day," reads the bill. more >>
Former Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole joined pastor and author Joel Osteen to honor military caregivers during a worship service at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Sunday.
Dole addressed the megachurch congregation to talk about her foundation's efforts to honor the estimated 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers.
"I am deeply grateful and touched that pastor Osteen has joined our national coalition. He was the first to respond when we put out a call to the faith communities for help in supporting our military and veteran caregivers," stated Dole. more >>
NASHVILLE—An Israeli woman and Palestinian man who both lost children because of ongoing violence in the region discussed their mutual love and support for one another during the annual three-day Q Conference which is built around the belief that "Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals."
In 2007, Bassam Aramin's 10-year-old daughter, Abir, "was shot in cold blood by an Israeli soldier while standing outside her school with [her] classmates." Two years before his daughter was killed, Aramin had started a reconciliation organization called Combatants for Peace, where he continues to work alongside "former Israeli and Palestinian combatants" in an effort to "create political pressure on both governments to stop the cycle of violence, end the occupation and resume a constructive dialog."
Prior to launching his peacemaking organization, Aramin had been jailed for seven years after he was caught, at age 17, plotting an attack on Israeli forces. His plan was to take revenge on the soliders because at age 12, he had witnessed the shooting of one of his peers during a Palestinian demonstration against Israel. more >>
President Barack Obama will join former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas, this week to honor the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.
Known as the Civil Rights Summit, the three-day event is being held as part of the national celebration marking the 50 years that have passed since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law.
Elizabeth Christian, president of the LBJ Foundation, which oversees the library, told The Christian Post why the event was being held. more >>