Pope Francis has asked Pakistani authorities to do more to protect Christians after a terror attack on Easter Sunday killed at least 70 in Lahore.
Speaking from St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Monday, Francis called on Pakistan's "civil authorities and all community leaders … to do everything possible to ensure the security and serenity of the population, particularly the most vulnerable religious minorities," the Catholic News Agency reports.
Francis added that the attack has "bloodied" the Easter season, meant to be a time of celebration and hope as Christ was resurrected from the dead. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham is responding to the news that Islamic terrorists killed 70 Pakistani Christians, mostly women and children, on Easter Sunday in Lahore by stating that the world will not bow down to Islam; but instead "every knee" will bow to Jesus.
"As Christians we know that when death comes to someone who has trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we are ushered into the presence of our Heavenly Father and will live for eternity in His presence. The grave has no hold on the believer," Graham said in a Facebook message.
Graham, who leads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, noted that Islamic terrorists have taken responsibility for the suicide bomb attack, with the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group, which splintered from the Taliban, revealing that it specifically targeted Christians. more >>
Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 refugees on Holy Thursday last week in preparation of Easter, declaring that people of all religions are "children of the same God."
"All of us together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals ... all brothers and children of the same God," the pontiff said during mass before the foot washing ceremony. "We want to live together in peace."
The 12 refugees chosen to take part of the interfaith ceremony included Muslims, Coptic Christians, and one Hindu. For the fist time the foot washing event also included women, as Francis asked for them to be added. more >>
Pope Francis has announced he will be washing the feet of both male and female refugees on Holy Thursday.
Twelve refugees, both women and men, will be participating in the event tomorrow at an asylum center in Castelnuovo di Porto, outside of Rome.
The annual event is meant to symbolize Jesus' washing of the twelve disciples' feet prior to his crucifixion. more >>
Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury called for prayers Tuesday after 34 were killed and at least 180 injured in terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium.
The Vatican's secretary of state released a statement on behalf of the pope to Archbishop Jozef De Kesel of Malines-Bruxelles, saying the pontiff will pray for the victims of this "blind violence."
"Having learned of the attacks in Brussels, affecting many people, His Holiness Pope Francis entrusts the deceased to God's mercy and joins in prayer in the suffering of their relatives," the statement said, adding that the pope "expresses his deepest sympathy for the injured and their families, and all those who contribute to the rescue operations, asking the Lord to bring them comfort and consolation in their ordeal." more >>
Pope Francis broke from his Palm Sunday homily where he recalled the suffering of Jesus Christ to decry the treatment of refugees, noting that those who ignore their plight are like those who washed their hands of Jesus' fate.
In a prepared speech, Francis spoke about the pain and suffering Christ went through before his crucifixion at the hands of the Roman soldiers, including "mockery, insults, and spitting," along with beatings and torture.
"He suffers in His body terrible brutality: the blows, the scourging and the crown of thorns make His face unrecognizable. He also experiences shame and disgraceful condemnation by religious and political authorities: He is made into sin and considered to be unjust," Francis said. more >>