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 >>
A young Pakistani Christian mother of three has been abducted and raped by her 55-year-old Muslim landlord who forced her to convert to Islam and enter into Islamic marriage. Her family has demanded her return.
Fouzia Sadiq, a Christian woman who is believed to be in her mid-20s, was kidnapped last Thursday from a field located in the Pakistani town of Burj Mahalam in the Punjab province by a Muslim landlord named Muhammed Nazir. Nazir tricked Sadiq's father into agreeing to have his family work as bonded labourers on his land with no pay and only the provision of a run-down housing accommodation.
Although details of the abduction have not been made public, early reports state that Sadiq's family was told by Nazir's brother on the day of the abduction that their daughter would be returned. more >>
Christian churches in Niger are facing a lack of resources and difficult conditions in rebuilding six months after the wave of angry Islamist attacks destroyed at least 70 houses of worship in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
"Since these incidents, it is as if life had stopped," said Rev. Jacques Kangindé, leader of the Baptist "Roundabout" church in Niamey. "The church has become a source of curiosity for passers-by and a hide-out for idlers. Unfortunately our current church finances don't allow us to begin the reconstruction."
A Gallup poll has found that Pope Francis' favorability rating in the U.S. has fallen significantly from last year, and now less than half of conservatives have a favorable opinion of him. Gallup suggested that the change is due to the pope's strong messages on human responsibility in climate change and his condemnation of the world's "idolatry of money."
"This decline may be attributable to the pope's denouncing of 'the idolatry of money' and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives' beliefs," Gallup analyst Art Swift wrote on Wednesday, according to Religion News Service.
Among all Americans who responded to the survey, most, or 59 percent, still held a favorable view of the pontiff, with 16 percent holding an unfavorable view, and 25 present stating they have no opinion. The level of support is down from the last poll from February 2014, however, where Francis enjoyed 76 percent favorable ratings. more >>
Republican Senator from Kentucky, presidential candidate and noted state's rights proponent Rand Paul expressed support for the federal government playing a role in restoring voting rights for former felons.
Senator Paul, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2016 president election, told a bipartisan group of justice system advocates Wednesday morning about a bill he supports to help restore voting rights to ex-felons.
"Now some have objected to this and said 'well states control voting rights.' It's a little bit complicated actually. The [Supreme Court] has looked at this question," said Paul. more >>