Pope Francis has urged every Catholic parish and religious community in Europe to take in at least one refugee family and help Europe with its migrant crisis, noting that the Vatican would take two families itself. With hundreds of thousands of refugees making their way toward Western Europe, countries such as Germany and Austria are said to be near the "tipping point" of how much they can help.
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family" Francis told the crowds at St. Peter's Square on Sunday.
"Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned," he added, according to Vatican Radio. more >>
Seven years ago, Spencer Nee was homeless and battling alcohol addiction in Denver, Colorado. Today he's sober after finding Jesus and now leads a national cause designed to help others facing similar ordeals.
In 2007, an estimated 3.5 million people (1.3 million of them being children) were likely to experience homelessness in a given year, according to a study by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Many of these people were just like Nee, ordinary Americans who somehow lost their way — although for Nee it was a battle with drugs and alcoholism that led to his struggles.
"I was in a really terrifying place seven years ago," Nee told The Christian Post. "I was homeless and drinking about half a gallon of vodka a day. I had lost my relationships with my friends and family and was pretty much completely alone. I had lost all hope. I couldn't keep a job … my day was centered around not getting sick. I would start getting sick if I didn't have enough alcohol." more >>
An Israeli rabbi who recently authored a book on charity has argued that the Bible actually calls on people to give 20 percent in charity rather than a 10 percent tithe.
Shneor Cohen, a 27-year-old ordained rabbi, has argued that a commonly cited justification for giving 10 percent may actually be 20 percent.
"Cohen, an ordained rabbi, said that the sages of the Talmud pointed to Deuteronomy 14:22, which states: 'Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.' The verse is often cited as the biblical basis for tithing one's income," reported The Blaze. more >>
A human rights group has called on the United States government to step up its outreach to Syrian refugees and resettle 65,000 people before the end of 2016. While the U.S. has said that it will accept between 5,000 to 8,000 refugees, the International Rescue Committee said that is far from enough to really help Europe in its migrant crisis.
"Not only are Syrians resorting to desperate measures to seek a better life for themselves and their families in Europe, but they are dying in the process," IRC president David Miliband said in a statement.
"The U.S. has historically been the world leader in recognizing the moral obligation to resettle refugees," Miliband added. "As the German government calmly says that it expects 800,000 refugees and asylum seekers in 2015, it is vital for the U.S. to step up its response." more >>
The migrant crisis in Europe has reached "biblical proportions," according to U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, noting that millions of refugees from Syria and other countries throughout the Middle East and Africa hoping to be relocated to the West are overwhelming the borders and stretching capacities.
"The problem we've got is we've opened the door to an exodus of biblical proportions, meaning millions and millions of refugees. We've lost sight of what it is to be a refugee. How many millions does Europe want to take? That is the question," Farage said, speaking with BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday.
While many refugees from Syria are fleeing the four-year-long civil war, as well as attacks by the Islamic State terror group, Farage said the U.K. has "lost sight" of the definition of a refugee. more >>
Following the nationwide Planned Parenthood protests two Saturdays ago, I looked over as many photos of the events as I could find. Most images were from protesters themselves, published on social media. Some were from friends of mine; most were not.
Each of the protests pictured — from east coast to west coast, north to south, and cities in between — had this in common: they were attended overwhelmingly by White people. A rough estimate would be 95 percent. It might be low.
The Whiteness was glaring. A friend noted the same disparity at the Nashville protest even though the clinic sits in a predominantly Black residential area. (Even the photos in Mollie Hemingway's piece at The Federalist, clearly attempting to show diversity in the protesters, are predominantly White folks.) more >>