Islamism in Nigeria places Africa ‘at risk’, bishop says

Lagos, Nigeria, Jan 8, 2014 / 04:41 pm (CNA).- Christians in Nigeria face violence and persecution in their homeland as militant group Boko Haram uses inequality and instability in the country to advance its ideology, a bishop has warned. "Don’t sit by while Nigeria disintegrates," Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, Vicar Apostolic of Bomadi, said in a Jan. 1 interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.   If Boko Haram succeeds, the bishop continued, “the … [Read more...]

Drastic increase in murders of religious, missionaries in 2013

Rome, Italy, Jan 8, 2014 / 01:18 pm (CNA).- The Church throughout the world has expereince increased violence in the past year, according to a recent global report on the murders of priests, religious and lay faithful. Data published by the Fides news agency recorded 22 assassinations in 2013, up from 13 in 2012. Most of the victims were killed during robbery attempts, and in some cases the attacks were ferocious. Among the victims were 19 priests, one religious sister and two laymen … [Read more...]

Pope urges faithful to remember ‘glorious hope’ of Baptism

Vatican City, Jan 8, 2014 / 05:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis reflected on the importance of the sacrament of Baptism, highlighting how it is a gift which incorporates us into the body of Christ and impels us to evangelize. “Let us not forget the great gift we have received,” Pope Francis stated during his Jan. 8 general audience, “our baptism has changed us, given us a new and glorious hope, and empowered us to bring God’s … [Read more...]

Biblical baby names set to make a comeback in 2014

Denver, Colo., Jan 8, 2014 / 04:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A baby name website has predicted that more parents will be choosing traditional Biblical names for their children this year, a trend that one expert says is a sign of people's renewed hope in their faith. “Biblical names surging back into our culture is a great turn for the better. After many years, it shows that people are feeling stronger about their faith, and that they have hope once again,” Lucie Wisco, editor of … [Read more...]

Poll shows rise in belief that marriage is a religious institution

Trenton, N.J., Jan 8, 2014 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new survey shows an increase in likely U.S. voters who see marriage as a religious institution, with a majority now holding this view. Rasmussen Reports’ Dec. 22 national survey of 1,000 U.S. likely voters found that a majority – 53 percent of respondents – said marriage is a religious institution. This is an increase from 48 percent in October. Another 40 percent saw marriage as a civil institution, down from 45 … [Read more...]

Papal visit to Holy Land to focus on ecumenism with Orthodox

Vatican City, Jan 8, 2014 / 12:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis' pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to be held in May, will center on his encounter with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Eastern Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople, and their discussions on ecumenism. Announcing the trip Jan. 5, Pope Francis said its “principal goal” is “to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras I, that occurred … 50 years ago … [Read more...]

Denver archbishop: Follow Pope’s example of evangelization

Dallas, Texas, Jan 7, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis' witness shows Catholics how to care for the poor and suffering while bringing the new evangelization to a world “that so desperately needs Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila says. “Do not be afraid to love in this way, to evangelize with the strength of charity,” the archbishop said Jan. 6. “Nothing is impossible for God. He can take your love, which could be as small as a mustard … [Read more...]