Roma Downey, the Irish-born actress and co-producer of the hit History Channel miniseries "The Bible," along with the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), called for religious tolerance and respect between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East at an event hosted by Jordan King Abdullah II in Anman, which ended Wednesday, to discuss the escalating violence against Christians in the region.
Downey, who attended the event with her producer husband Mark Burnett, spoke Tuesday as a representative of the WEA, which represents more than 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, before an influential group of guests, which included the Jordan King's Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Vatican representatives.
"I personally experienced firsthand the impact of sectarian violence and religious discrimination," said Downey, who drew a parallel between the religious violence engulfing the Middle East today to the Catholic-Protestant violence that took place in her native Northern Ireland, according to a copy of her speech obtained by The Christian Post. The former "Touched by an Angel" actress noted some of the crackdown efforts done to fellow Catholics in her hometown of Derry, which she described as "a city divided by a river with Catholics living on one side and Protestants on the other." more >>
The head of the 85-million member worldwide Anglican Communion has officially sent his congratulations to the royal family over its most recent addition. The Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, sent out the message Monday after news of the birth was released by Buckingham Palace.
"I am delighted to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the arrival of their baby boy," said Welby. "Along with millions here and around the world, I share in their joy at this special time. May God bless this family with love, health and happiness in their shared life ahead."
Throughout the weekend, the world was anxiously awaiting the news of the pending arrival of the child of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. On social media, the phase #royalbaby trended across the world on Twitter while news organizations streamed live footage from the Palace waiting for the results. more >>
Prince Charles expressed concerns over a bill that seeks to change the rules surrounding the Royal line of succession in Britain, saying that allowing royal members to marry Roman Catholics might undermine the Church of England.
The British monarch, who is currently in line to inherit the throne from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has stated that the bill was "rushed" and that it might have "unintended consequences," CBC reported. Only Protestants have been able to serve as king or queen since the signing of the Act of Settlement, passed in 1701.
The bill allows girls who were born before their brothers to keep their place in line to the throne, but it also removed a 300-year-old ban on royals from marrying Roman Catholics. The official British monarch serves as head of the Church of England, but Roman Catholic doctrine dictates that children from such a union would have to be raised in the Catholic tradition, which would constitute a conflict of interest. more >>
The Church of England has published a prayer for the well-known Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in regards to the recent news of the royal couple expecting a child.
Released after the announcement on Monday by St. James Palace regarding William and Kate, the prayer focused on the matter of love and life.
"God our creator, we thank you for the wonder of new life and for the mystery of human love. We pray for William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge as they prepare to receive the gift of their child," reads the prayer. "We thank you that we are known to you by name and loved by you from all eternity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen." more >>
Olga Powell, the royal nanny who cared for Prince William and Prince Harry for more than 15 years, died on Tuesday.
The caregiver was 82-years-old when she collapsed outside her home in Broxbourne earlier this week, the U.K.'s Mercury reported.
"The two princes have been informed and they are both very saddened by the news, as you can imagine," said a spokesperson for the Royal family. "They have nothing further to say at this juncture." more >>
Queen Elizabeth and former Irish Republican Army commander, Martin McGuinness, have made history by shaking hands in peace. It was a long-awaited encounter symbolizing Northern Ireland's progress in achieving reconciliation after decades of violence. The Queen and McGuinness met privately in a Belfast Theatre during an arts event. McGuinness was the IRA's chief of staff when the outlawed group assassinated the queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, in 1979, one of the most high-profile victims of a four-decade conflict that claimed 3,700 lives. The IRA formally abandoned its campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the UK and disarmed in 2005. McGuinness' Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, had refused all contact with British royals until the Queen came to Belfast yesterday as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
MEANWHILE….In a separate confrontation Tuesday night, one Catholic man was hospitalized after rival Protestant and Catholic groups clashed on the hilltop overlooking Catholic west Belfast. The Protestants were trying to vandalize a massive political display erected by the Catholics featuring an Irish flag and a slogan rejecting the queen.
Gunmen raided the headquarters of a Syrian TV station, killing seven employees, kidnapping others and demolishing buildings. The government blamed terrorists and described the killings as a "massacre." An eyewitness talks about the raid….. more >>