Family Research Council President Tony Perkins led seven members of Congress known for their strong ties to evangelical Christians on a nine-day swing through Israel's Holy Land earlier this month, touring the country's most important religious sites and meeting with top-level Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The trip, sponsored by the U.S. Israel Education Association with grants from several Christian and Jewish organizations, included Congressmen Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Steve Scalise (R-La.).
The delegation spent the majority of their time behind what is known as the "green line," or the areas near Samaria that mark the line between Israel territories captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. While experiencing the Holy Sites helped the Congressmen gain an appreciation for Israel, Perkins noted the most important aspect of the trip was time spent with Netanyahu and other government officials and their concern for the recent agreement the Obama administration reached with Iran over the country's nuclear arsenal. more >>
Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times, Pope Francis declared in a homily on Thursday.
"You must obey the orders which come from worldly powers – You can do many things, beautiful things, but not adore God. Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time," Pope Francis said in his daily homily in the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse. Once we "reach the fullness of this pagan attitude…truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory," Francis declared, according to the Albany Tribune.
The pope preached on Jesus' speech in Luke 21 about the end times. In that passage, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, and trials and tribulations that precede the end times. more >>
Time and again, Muslims, especially those in Egypt, project Islamic thinking onto Christians: thus the Coptic church has been accused of smuggling and storing weapons in its churches to take over the nation (when in fact mosques are regularly exposed housing illegal weapons for the jihad); of kidnapping and torturing Coptic girls who convert to Islam (when in fact Muslim converts to Christianity-apostates-are regularly beat, imprisoned, and sometimes killed); and even of supporting suicide-attacks when the church speaks of Copts being martyred (because in Islam being "martyred" so often means actively sacrificing one's life in "holy war").
Now a well know cleric in Egypt-the same who insists that Muslim husbands must hate their non-Muslim wives-has just proclaimed that Jesus was against the idea of separation of church and state and that he supported the idea of jizya, the Koran-mandated tribute conquered non-Muslims, or dhimmis, are required to pay their overlords, "with willing submission," per Koran 9:29.
Sheikh Yusuf Burhami, the most visible leader of Egypt's Salafi movement-which, since the ousting of the Brotherhood, has become the primary Islamist party imposing Sharia in the new constitution-recently issued an Arabic-language fatwa arguing that the biblical statement attributed to Jesus-"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.'" (Matt 22:21)-could not, as widely held by Christians, have meant that Jesus supported the separation of church and state, "because," in Burhami's words, "a separation between state and religion contradicts the texts of the Koran." more >>
Who were the Pilgrims that we remember every Thanksgiving? What factors led them to leave behind their lives in England and Holland? To what extent do the religious freedom motives that many in our country assign them actually factor into their motives to start the Plymouth colony? Answering these questions is the heart of Wheaton history professor's Tracy McKenzie's latest book, "The First Thanksgiving," where he attempts to set the record straight about our country's beloved, and at times misunderstood, holiday.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Can you take us through some of the ways that the Pilgrims defy or exceed the expectations that we have historically put on them? more >>
American businessman Donald Trump criticized President Barack Obama's failure to negotiate with Iran for the release of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini. The pastor's wife, Naghmeh, expressed her gratitude toward Trump.
"I am very happy to hear that he is doing this, because this is the first example of anyone outside of the legal and political areas speaking out. I hope that more people like him will speak out," Naghmeh Abedini told WND.com.
"I would very much like to meet him and thank him for what he has done in bringing awareness to this issue," she added. "Every voice counts and especially voices like Mr. Trump's. I'm just thankful he's using his voice to speak out against this injustice." more >>
"Catching Fire," the new sequel to "The Hunger Games," opened this past weekend. It broke the November box office record with a staggering $161.1 million, and Christian reviewers say the sacrifices in the film prove remarkably similar to the deaths of early Christians in the Roman coliseum.
"I was struck by the level of sacrifice and strangely selfless heroism that we find in the film," Paul Asay, senior associate editor for Focus on the Family's review blog, Plugged In, told The Christian Post in an interview on Monday. In his own review, Asay wrote "The premise and plot of The Hunger Games can recall for some the Church's earliest martyrs – those who took part in another bloody spectacle on the floor of the Roman Colosseum."
"Catching Fire," the sequel to "The Hunger Games" (2012), follows the story of Katniss Everdeen, a heroine who voluntarily sacrifices herself to save her sister from a bloody struggle where children must fight to the death. The gladiator-like battle, known as the "Hunger Games," was instituted to keep the colonies in the empire of "Pan Am" subservient. In the first film, Everdeen wins the games, along with Peeta Malark, a boy from her district. more >>