During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims across the globe and throughout the UK endure a period of daily fasting – the largest act of religious observance of its kind. For the Britain's 3.1 million-strong Muslim community, the annual event represents a time to fast and devote a particular focus to prayer, purification and charitable acts.
News in Ecumenism
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will be in the Vatican this week to lead a retreat for civil and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan.
Australian former Anglican vicar, Dcn Sam Randall, was ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Bishop Alan Hopes at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich on Friday March 15. In his homily, Bishop Alan said: “Samuel, you responded to God’s invitation many years go. You said ‘Yes’ to God. “Now in recent years you have said ‘Yes’ again to another invitation – to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.
In a telegram, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on behalf of Pope Francis: "His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.
Retired Capuchin Archbishop Anicetus Bongsu Sinaga of Medan, who is based in the capital of Indonesia's North Sumatra province, recently published his biography, in which he details his spiritual journey from Malim, a local Indonesian pre-Islamic religion, to Catholicism.
As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues its clampdown on freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and other basic rights under authoritarian President Xi Jinping, independent watchdog Freedom House awarded China a freedom score of 11 points out of 100 in its latest annual report.
Pope Francis completed his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates by celebrating an historic public Mass in Abu Dhabi.The Mass marked the end of a visit remarkable in its frequent affirmation of fraternity between Christianity and Islam.
A Season of Prayer and Repentance has been suggested as a way to heal rifts among the Anglican Communion. The international task group behind the idea is proposing the fifth week of Lent in 2020 for the bonding exercise, from March 29 to April 5, anglicannews.org reported Jan. 29.
There are no old stones, no belfry, no courtyard opening out onto the outside in a church in the United Arab Emirates, but modern building complexes enclosed by high walls behind which Catholic communities bubble with life.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he is perfectly happy if members of the Church of England convert to Catholicism, and that it can even be "wonderful". In an interview with Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, the Most Rev Justin Welby says he does not mind at all that many of Church of England clergy defected to Rome after the ordination of women priests.
The Very Revd Dr John Shepherd will take on the role as the Interim Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See, The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome announced on 8 January.
Within the Islamic tradition, Jesus is part of a long line of prophets stretching all the way back to Abraham and forward to Muhammad, the last of God’s messengers. Isa al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah) is for Muslims a bearer of revelation; a messenger of God whose role was to remind an erring humanity of what he had already told the Jewish people: there is no god but God.
This year's a perfect moment to ask that question, as we have celebrated, amongst other things, the canonisation of Pope Paul VI. For it was the chemistry between Giovanni Battista Montini and Michael Ramsey that set the Centre upon its continuing pilgrimage. In 1966 when Ramsey, as Archbishop of Canterbury, paid a momentous visit to the Holy Father. Six years earlier, Ramsey's predecessor, Geoffrey Fisher, had met with Pope John XXIII.
On 14 October this year, Pope Francis declared Archbishop Oscar Romero a saint. It was an outcome that many had been praying for over many years, since Archbishop Romero’s murder at the hands of government-backed death squads in El Salvador in 1980.
Participants in an interfaith gathering in Vietnam complimented religious leaders and Catholic intellectuals on their contributions to serving people. Some 300 leaders and followers from seven religions attended the annual interfaith gathering at the Pastoral Center in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 27.
The head of Ukraine's Greek Catholic church has endorsed calls for a single independent Orthodox church in his country, as Russian Orthodox leaders denounced a decree by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, recognising two breakaway communities and opening his own official mission in Kiev.
UN expert warns that believers and minorities are facing increasing discrimination and violence. Religious freedoms are steadily being eroded across large parts of Asia and religious fundamentalism is on the rise, the United Nations' special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has warned.
Both Moscow and Rome should be satisfied at the outcome of the visit on 30 May to the Vatican by a delegation of senior figures in the Russian Orthodox Church. Pope Francis made it clear that he is still seeking closer and warmer relations with Russia, even at a time of growing East-West tensions, and is hoping for real co-operation with the powerful Russian church in the humanitarian field and in helping Christians who face persecution in the Middle East.
The 1,400-year-old schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims has rarely been as toxic as it is today, feeding wars and communal strife in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But what lies behind the Sunni-Shia split?