Pope Francis said on Wednesday that the whole "world is at war," echoing statements made by Canon Andrew White, the Anglican Vicar of Baghdad, who has been issuing the same warning since the rise of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq.
"The world has been at war for a while now. ... We had the war of 1914, then the war in 1939-45, and now this one," Francis said to reporters, according to NBC News, during a flight to Krakow, Poland, where 20,000 Roman Catholic youth from all over the world are making a pilgrimage for World Youth Day.
The pontiff's comments came on the heels of the brutal murder of Catholic Priest Jacques Hamel by two IS-linked teenagers during a morning mass at a church in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. more >>
Both killers involved in the brutal murder of French Priest Jacques Hamel and the kidnapping of five people during a raid on morning mass at a Catholic church in Normandy, France, have been identified.
Days after 19-year-old Adel Kermiche from Northern France was identified as one of the two men who raided the Church of the Gambetta in the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray district of Normandy on Tuesday, the second assailant has also been identified as 19-year-old Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean from Eastern France. The two men stabbed Hamel in the chest, slit his throat and wounded others held hostage inside the church.
According to The Associated Press, French prosecutors used DNA tests to identify Petitjean. Additionally, a security official confirmed that Petitjean was the unidentified man featured in a photo distributed to police with a warning that he might be plotting an attack. more >>
North Korea has not only accused the U.S. government of declaring war following the latest round of economic sanctions against Kim Jong Un, but the regime has also banned all imports of goods that resemble a Christian cross, such as women's hairpins and men's neckties.
Han Song Ryol, director-general of the U.S. affairs department at the North's Foreign Ministry, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the American government has "crossed the red line" by directly sanctioning Kim.
"The Obama administration went so far to have the impudence to challenge the supreme dignity of the DPRK in order to get rid of its unfavorable position during the political and military showdown with the DPRK," Han said, arguing that putting Kim on the sanctioned list has created the conditions for war. more >>
The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans has called on the Nigerian government to end the growing slaughter of Christians at the hands of radical Islamists in the country, arguing that such a massacre should not be the Christians' "portion in Jesus' name."
"Whatever the federal government is doing, if any, is either too slow or insignificant compared with the reoccurrence of the killings; the federal government needs to step up and take bold actions to give members of the Christian community in the country a sense of security and belonging," said Pastor Ade Oyesile, executive director of CANAN, in a statement.
"We MUST all work hard to avoid these sectarian killings which in our very eyes have made countries embroiled in it to become failed nations. That should not be our portion in Jesus Christ name." more >>
Seminary students in China are being forced to live under "absolute obedience" to the Communist Party and put the State ahead of God.
Persecution watchdog group China Aid correspondent Guo Baosheng said in a translated report that video has emerged of students at a graduation ceremony at Zhejiang Theological Seminary singing the Chinese anthem, which Guo said is only one of the signs of the ongoing government crackdown on Christianity in the country.
"It is obvious the seminary has degenerated into absolute obedience to the Communist Party's so-called Christian pastors' education base, becoming a Communist Party school dressed in the cloak of Christianity," Guo wrote. more >>
The Iranian regime has charged evangelical house church Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani with committing national security crimes and has given him just one week to raise $33,000 for bail or face re-arrest and imprisonment.
According to a press release from the Christian persecution watchdog group Christian Solidarity Worldwide shared with The Christian Post, Nadarkhani, who was sentenced to death in 2012 on charges of apostasy, was summoned to appear before the Islamic Revolutionary Court in the town of Rasht on July 24 and was charged with "acting against national security."
The charges stem from a raid conducted on Nadarkhani's home by security forces in May, which was a part of an intelligence crackdown on the Christian community in Rasht. more >>