Three months ago more than a hundred Evangelical and Catholic leaders joined some of the smartest researchers and policy analysts in the country to explore how our two communities can change the national conversation about poverty in America. We were tired of the old stereotypes and partisan divisions where both sides blame the other and nothing gets done. Instead, we sought to identify common sense ideas that capture the insights and win the support of faith and community leaders and policymakers across divisions of race and religion, party and ideology.
The Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty helped to break the silence with an unprecedented panel on poverty with President Barack Obama, Robert Putnam of Harvard and Arthur Brooks of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, moderated by progressive columnist E.J. Dionne. For too long political leaders have avoided the national scandal and economic failure of 45 million Americans who are currently living below the poverty line.
The summit helped change that reality. One sign of progress is that eight presidential candidates so far have provided three-minute videos explaining their plans to provide help and opportunity for hungry and poor people at home and abroad. The Circle of Protection, a broad coalition of Christian leaders, has asked every presidential candidate for a video outlining their plan. more >>
North Korea released video footage on Monday of detained Canadian pastor, the Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, confessing to various crimes against the Communist State. The megachurch leader, who was taken into custody by DPRK authorities in February, appears to be reading from a script.
In a video recorded on Aug. 2, Lim, the senior pastor of Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, is seen speaking to a congregation at Pyongyang's Pongsu Church, where he describes his alleged crimes to those in attendance.
"The worst crime I committed was to rashly defame and insult the highest dignity and the system of the republic," said Lim, according to footage posted by the Uriminzokkiri propaganda website. more >>
Addressing the crowds that gathered for Sunday mass at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis preached from John 6:24-35, and said they should turn their focus away from material needs to Jesus "the bread of life."
"After the multiplication of the loaves, the people had begun to look for Jesus and they found him in Capernaum," Francis said, according to Catholic Culture. "These people followed him because of the material bread that had satisfied their hunger the day before, when Jesus had multiplied the loaves. ... They had given more value to the bread than to its provider."
It was due to this spiritual blindness that "Jesus points to the need to go beyond the gift and discover the giver," Francis explained to the thousands of pilgrims who braved the Roman summer heat. "With these words, he wants us to understand that beyond physical hunger, man has a different kind of hunger — all of us have this hunger — a hunger that is more important and that cannot be satisfied with normal food." more >>
Republican presidential candidate and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson explained in a Thursday interview that he used to be a "flaming liberal" until he noticed how many able individuals were relying on the government to live their lives.
In a sit-down video interview that was published by the The Daily Signal on Thursday, the 63-year-old Carson was asked by Heritage Foundation senior fellow Genevieve Wood to explain why liberals think the way they do.
"You are a neurosurgeon … how do you explain the liberal brain? How does that work?" Wood asked. more >>
As the sun sets in New York, Manhattan's 23 million population drops to around 7 million as people head back home from work. For the city's homeless, however, it's a rush to find a shelter or safe home that can take them in for the night.
This is the daily routine nationwide for around 3-and-a-half million Americans forced to sleep in parks, under bridges, in shelters or cars.
"The biggest misunderstanding about homelessness is that it is either a result of addiction or mental illness. Sometimes the most common cause is trauma," Josiah Haken, vice president of Outreach Operations at the Relief Bus, a mobile homeless resource center in New York and New Jersey, told The Christian Post on Wednesday. more >>
A Ukrainian Catholic bishop has warned that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine between the central government of Kiev and allegedly Moscow-backed rebels is forcing millions of people to flee as refugees to escape starvation, poverty and destitution.
"Huge numbers are now caught between hammer and anvil; the separatists aren't looking after them, and the Ukrainian government won't care for them because they haven't declared which side they're on," Auxiliary Bishop Jan Sobilo of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.
"Not since World War II have we seen such poverty and destitution," he added. more >>