A 19-year-old youth was allegedly beaten to death and his 17-year-old brother severely injured during a brutal attack by their parents, sister and three other members of their upstate New York church in a bid to force the teens to confess sins — which are still unclear, say police — and the incident has left neighbors in their New Hartford community stunned.
According to WRAL, Bruce Leonard, 65, and his wife, Deborah Leonard, 59, of Clayville, were charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas Leonard, 19, who died Monday after he was beaten at Word of Life Church in New Hartford, New York, some 80 miles northwest of Albany.
Police say what began as spiritual "counseling" at the church on Sunday night turned into an hours-long attack in which Lucas and his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, were battered with fists and kicked, causing injuries to their abdomen, genitals, back and thighs, according to The Associated Press. more >>
Pope Francis asked the faithful for forgiveness on Wednesday at St. Peter's Square for "scandals" that have shaken the Vatican, leading to speculation about which instances he is referring to. Some publications have suggested Francis is apologizing for a priest who had encounters with male sex workers at a parish near Rome.
"Before I begin the Catechism, in the name of the Church, I want to ask you for forgiveness for the scandals that have occurred recently either in Rome or in the Vatican. I ask you for forgiveness," Francis told the thousands before his weekly address, BBC News reported.
He added: "The Word of Jesus is strong today, woe to the world because of scandals. Jesus is a realist. He says it is inevitable that there will be scandals. But woe to the man who causes scandals." more >>
YouTube sensation and Christian author Jefferson Bethke hopes to re-spark the faith of millions of millennials who feel Christianity has failed them with his new book, It's Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die, which examines first century Church practices and demonstrates how they can reinvigorate the Body of Christ in today's society.
Bethke cemented himself as a mouthpiece for millennial Christians with his 2013 viral spoken word YouTube video Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus, which led to an accompanying New York Times best-selling book, titled Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough.
By delivering Christian Orthodox views in a seemingly rebellious and fresh way, Bethke has sent shockwaves throughout the Evangelical world and attracted a loyal following of young people. more >>
If your teens read a lot, and I hope they do, they're bound to come across books that promote the gay lifestyle.
The way to win over a culture is to capture the minds and hearts of its young people. The gay-rights movement has certainly learned that lesson, which helps explain a current trend in youth literature. Anyone who reads books for teens these days will tell you that portrayals of gay relationships and characters are rapidly increasing.
In fact, they're increasing to the point where they're all out of proportion to reality. If you know the statistics on rates of homosexuality in the real world, you know that it's somewhere around 3 percent, maybe less. Not so in the world of Young Adult fiction; there, it's far more pervasive. more >>
The former leader of a Virginia megachurch who was found guilty of sexually assaulting two sisters earlier this year has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for his crimes.
Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, the charismatic founding member of the Richmond Outreach Center commonly called "Pastor G," was sentenced Tuesday.
While the trial was in Texas, the Richmond-based WRIC ABC News 8 covered the sentencing, reporting that Aguilar "showed no emotion after the judge handed down the sentence," only giving "a simple wave goodbye to his dad." more >>
O the fanciful world of Harry Potter. You've read the books, or at the least seen the many movies. Now comes this fantastic little homage to the popular series.
Thanks to a video uploaded to YouTube last week, you can see what one animator has done with the dreamy world, making it come alive using its own pages.
Peter Heacock, the man behind the YouTube account "UnPOP," made a short film in the style of stop-motion. more >>