China blocked a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier from arriving at a port in Hong Kong as tensions ratcheted up over disputed islands in the South China Sea, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed Friday. The USS John C. Stennis and escort ships had planned to visit the port next week, Stars & Stripes reports. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not explain why it denied the request.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday launched one of his verbal attacks against Israel, saying that defending “the Palestinian cause in the face of the Israeli regime” symbolizes defending Islam. Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with Ramadan Abdullah, the head of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization, and was quoted by the state-run PressTV.
The Eternal City’s iconic Trevi Fountain was bathed in vivid red light late Friday (April 29) to honor the blood shed by Christian martyrs and what organizers said are an estimated 200 million Christians suffering persecution around the world. The charity says that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world and that their situation continues to worsen in many countries where religious freedom is severely limited.
Some 5,500 Coptic Christians have made their way to Israel for the pilgrimage this year, the Haaretz daily reported Thursday. That figure is a significant drop from three years ago, when it was estimated that 15,000 Copts, who follow the Julian calendar, arrived for the Easter season.
Most Protestant pastors believe Jesus will return in the future. But few agree about the details of the apocalypse. A third of America’s Protestant pastors expect Christians to be raptured—or taken up in the sky to meet Jesus—as the end times begin. About half think a false messiah known as the Antichrist will appear sometime in the future.
According to the estimates, as reported by Pew Research Center, there are 75.4 million Millennials versus 74.9 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. Millennials are identified as those born between 1981 and 1997, and between the ages of 18–34 years old, while Baby Boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964 and between 51–69 years old.
Can a minister in a Christian church be an atheist? That’s the question facing the United church of Canada as it wrestles with the case of Gretta Vosper. “I do not believe in a theistic, supernatural being called God,” says Vosper, the United Church of Canada minister who has led West Hill since 1997. “I don’t believe in what I think 99.99% of the world thinks you mean when you use that word.” For her, God is instead a metaphor for goodness and a life lived with compassion and justice.