As Pope Francis visits Turkey on Friday for a weekend trip, Muslim religious figures have expressed hopes that the occasion can serve to restore Islam's image of peace and repair some of the negativity that has been associated with the religion.
Imam Ishak Kizilaslan of Istanbul's Sultan Ahmed Mosque said that he welcomes the pope's scheduled visit to the mosque, and said that he hopes Francis will see from the worshippers inside that Islam is a religion of peace.
"I will tell him ... that Islam is peace, the word means peace and submission," Kizilaslan said of what he plans to relay to Pope Francis during the pontiff's private stop on Saturday. more >>
Pope Francis has said that he would "never close the door" on dialogue with terror group ISIS if there is any way it could end the suffering in the region. The pontiff was speaking to reporters on Tuesday following a speech at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, and added that states striking back against terrorism can lead to loss of innocent life as well.
"I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open," Francis said about talks with ISIS, responding to a specific question of dialogue with the jihadists.
"This Marriage is not ours to alter. It is ours, however, to encourage and celebrate…this we affirm." These were the final words recited from a new affirmation on marriage at the conclusion of the three-day conference of international religious leaders at the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The atmosphere was almost euphoric as the attendees from six of the world's seven continents broke from the historic gathering to return to their respective nations renewed in their stand for marriage.
As I shared with reporters earlier in the day, anyone who cares about the well-being of children, the well-being of men and women, and the well-being of society as a whole cannot help but be encouraged by what happened in Rome this week. Stepping away from the U.S. media's incessant spin that the redefinition of marriage is inevitable and corporate America's capitulation to cultural extortionists was refreshing. more >>
Pope Francis plans to hold a raffle for all the gifts he has received since becoming the Bishop of Rome over the past year with proceeds going to charity.
The Vatican has already begun advertising for the raffle, with posters put up around the city state pricing the tickets at 10 euros, which is the equivalent of $13.
Items up for grabs on the raffle range from various housewares to a Fiat 4x4 automobile. more >>
A common theme arose throughout Gov. Mike Huckabee's Journey with Christian leaders in Poland. They heard firsthand how Poland's freedom from communist occupation was primarily possible because of Pope John Paul II. But equally important, was the Polish people's struggle to maintain their national identity, which was deeply rooted in their Christian faith.
When the Soviets occupied Poland after World War II, they systematically destroyed churches, removed crosses in public and private locations, and eliminated any expression of worship and faith, upon imprisonment. Every aspect of their lives had been stripped away to the point that they did not know who they were and felt complete despair.
Much of communism required destroying and taking away land. One such area, a few miles from Krakow, had long been significantly fertile agricultural ground. The Soviets destroyed it to build their "model communist city," Nowa Huta. Meaning "New Steelworks," after the newly created steel industry, Nowa Huta was a centrally planned "ideal urban" housing community specifically designed to exclude all things related to God. more >>
This is the second part in a series Mr. Perkins is writing on marriage from his trip with other faith and culture leaders to Rome. Part one can be read here.
Today, the Vatican's colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman in marriage moved from laying a theoretical groundwork to take on the tone of a half-time locker room pep talk for those advancing the cause of natural marriage. In message after message today, from Sikh, Muslim, Mormon, and others (including American evangelicals Rick Warren and Russell Moore), there was a clarion call to renew the effort to uphold marriage as God intended it to be.
The former Anglican Bishop of Rochester in England, Michael Nazir' Ali, kicked off the day by pointing to how public policies like no-fault divorce have undermined marriage, and called for civil authorities to offer pro-marriage policies that uphold St. Augustine's three core principle of marriage 1) the well-being of children, 2) the well-being of the husband and wife and 3) the well-being of the broader society.Bishop Nazir' Ali recited data from Britain which confirms what research in America has shown as well -- as the Christian Post noted in a validation of a statement I made recently on Fox News Sunday, that children really do thrive most when raised by their own, married mother and father, (even though the liberal media does not want to acknowledge it). more >>