Salem Lutheran Church of Austin, Texas, a congregation long-known for its emphasis on inclusiveness regarding its worshipers, was abuzz with excitement over some unwanted guests.
A member of the theologically liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Salem's website includes a lengthy welcome statement for "all national backgrounds, all economic levels, all educational levels, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all political leanings, all differently-abled people in mind and in body," among others.
But when it comes to those who inhabit its edifice, Salem Lutheran recently had to draw the line. In September, church leadership decided to remove approximately one million bees from within the structure. more >>
WASHINGTON — In the first ever papal address issued to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday, Pope Francis urged Americans to share their wealth, stand up against religious and minority persecution, defend life at every stage of development, welcome immigrants seeking better lives, abolish the death penalty and protect the planet.
After meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, in his office around 9:15 a.m., the leader of the Catholic Church addressed members of the House and Senate with a 50-minute speech that was broadcasted and shown to approximately 50,000 adoring fans who gathered on the front lawn of the Capitol building to hear his historic remarks.
"Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility," Pope Francis, who hails from Argentina, asserted. "A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you." more >>
With thousands of migrants arriving on European shores each day, Rev. Canon Andrew White, also known as "the Vicar of Baghdad," is criticizing European governments for focusing their attentions on migrants within their own borders instead of helping poor Iraqi and Syrian refugees stuck in the Middle East.
In a statement reported by Breitbart London, White, who was the only Anglican vicar in Iraq before he fled the country in 2014 after receiving death threats from the Islamic State, said it's wrong for European leaders to focus resources on migrants coming from all over the world while Iraqi refugees who are running for their lives from IS are being ignored.
He insisted that more resources should be used to help Iraqi refugees who have fled into Middle Eastern nations like Lebanon and Jordan. more >>
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has announced that he will open up the doors of Lambeth Palace in London, where he resides, to at least one or two refugee families. The Anglican leader reminded followers that Jesus Christ Himself was a refugee fleeing war and persecution.
"As a Christian who leads the Church of England, it is something he feels absolutely passionate about," a spokeswoman for Welby said, according to The Guardian.
"As the archbishop has said, Jesus was a refugee, and there are refugees here who are desperate for sanctuary from war-torn places and the archbishop is completely torn about their situation and wants to make a difference." more >>
A faith-based global ministry has initiated a "Fostering Families" program in which it's calling on over 1,000 churches in America to take in persecuted refugees from the ongoing crisis. Rev. Kevin Jessip, president of Global Strategic Alliance, said Christians are being wiped out from the Middle East, while at the same time being denied visas in the United States, and it's an urgent time for the rest of the Christian body to wake up and help.
"It's inappropriate for the Untied States of America to discriminate against a minority religion who is in dire need of asylum. These are proven cases at the UNHCR that we've seen of people who have been denied, and are in jeopardy of losing their lives," Jessip told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday.
"Not only have they ran and lost everything, but now, in many cases, we are seeing people facing another impending threat, and that is starvation," he said, noting that most of the Christian refugees don't even have basic resources to provide food for themselves. more >>
Thanks to a congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood, millions of people on the Internet are hearing the story of a 38-year-old abortion survivor.
Gianna Jessen, whose life was the inspiration for the film "October Baby," told the House Judiciary Committee last week how she survived 18 hours of being burned in her mother's womb at a Planned Parenthood clinic in California. Her experience proves that God's will is stronger than her biological mother's "right to choose," she said.
Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, has come under fire in recent months thanks to investigative videos from the Center of Medical Progress. Abortion survivor Gianna Jessen explained that her mother was seven-and-a-half months pregnant when she went to Planned Parenthood and was advised to get an abortion. more >>