What would Pope Francis pick as top 2013 news story?

Popes come and popes go, with a new pope elected every few years or decades.Thus, when viewed through the lens of history, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was a stunning event in the history of Roman Catholicism and, thus, all of Western Christianity. He was the first man to resign St. Peter's throne in 600 years. Surely this was the most important religion-news story of 2013?But when seen through the lens of the mainstream press, the bookish Benedict's exit was a mere ripple in the … [Read more...]

Hellish flashbacks on the Christian persecution front

Churches were burning in Pakistan, while African Christians died and radical forms of Islam threatened monasteries, sanctuaries and villages in Egypt, Syria and Iraq.That was 1997. Human-rights scholar Paul Marshall kept hearing one question over and over when he addressed this rising tide of persecution: Why didn't more American Christians protest as their sisters and brothers in the faith were jailed, raped, tortured and killed?Some Christians, he said, were distracted by apocalyptic … [Read more...]

Religious liberty in crisis — almost everywhere

Here's a tough question for American pastors: If local school officials voted to limit the freedom of Muslim students to publicly practice their faith, would you urge your flock to protest?Those who believe in religious liberty must answer "yes," according to the Rev. Rick Warren, leader of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif."If a school district tells me that a Muslim girl can't wear a headscarf to school, I'm going to oppose that rule," he said, during a recent … [Read more...]


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