A recent survey carried out for the BBC showed that the most popular world leader in the Arab world was not the President of the United States or of Russia – or any Arab leader – but none other than President Erdogan. This embrace of a nationalistic, authoritarian, interfering non-Arab in Arab affairs might, at first glance, look odd.
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Even today’s dominant religions have continually evolved throughout history. Early Christianity, for example, was a truly broad church: ancient documents include yarns about Jesus’ family life and testaments to the nobility of Judas. It took three centuries for the Christian church to consolidate around a canon of scriptures – and then in 1054 it split into the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches.
Last week, the State Department of the United States hosted the largest ever religious freedom gathering in the world. It was the biggest ever 'human rights' event per se to take place at its headquarters in Foggy Bottom, Washington, DC.
As the Chinese government continues to suppress religious freedom, Christianity is facing the forcible removal of crosses and demolition of churches across the vast nation.
If governments won’t prosecute, what else could they do? They could ban their citizens from travelling to China for organ transplants, something Israel, Taiwan and Spain have done. Doctors, medical institutions, pharmaceutical companies, law firms, financial services providers, airlines and others ought to review their dealings with what has been described as a criminal state.
Taiwan is clearly stepping up its efforts not only to defend its own freedoms but also to promote democracy and human rights, including religious freedom, around the world. For a small island nation already vulnerable to pressure and intimidation from China, this is a bold move. It deserves support and encouragement in this quest.
We humans, the species with large brains, so-called intelligence and abilities and power to change the face of the planet, are doing so with a huge negative impact. We are endangering ourselves, our children and grandchildren, and generations of children to come will be harmed by our wasteful and negligent ways.
While some urge the Church to ratchet up its culture war against Islam and the secular world in the wake of the Notre Dame fire and Sri Lankan bombings, Pope Francis has instead become something of a lone voice against right-wing political parties, fuelled by the global surge of anti-migrant populist nationalism.
Catholic bishops from France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg have said the European Union risks being undermined by growing national opposition and urged citizens to rally behind it in upcoming continent-wide elections. "The EU is threatened today by various economic, political, demographic and ideological crises -- but we are convinced it has tools to overcome them," the church leaders said.
Many students have taken to the streets, waving banners, banging drums, singing, chanting, and calling for an end to the factors behind climate change, which is wrecking the planet. They are experiencing global warming on an unprecedented scale as huge amounts of CO2 and methane gases heat up the environment and cause the ice caps to melt at an alarming rate.
THERE is a hellish new development from Google: a so-called home monitoring system that will enable absent parents to supervise their children. The features it is developing under a European patent include “detecting child mischief”, followed by a verbal warning to the child from a smart speaker, and monitoring children via a network of devices and then warning parents via smartphone about what’s going on (it can identify bad language).
Should we care so deeply about our place in the world? Is it not just the latest example of a former great power suffering “the itch after the amputation”, as a Whitehall friend of mine with long experience of playing the world game once put it?
The current global crisis might be the last chance we have to bring the Christian social vision that inspired the post-war settlement in Europe back from the margins to the centre. The genuine horror of Christchurch and the somewhat comic nightmare that is Brexit: these are two manifestations of a global general crisis.
“Despite so many efforts to promote and reinforce the fundamental human right of religious freedom, we are actually witnessing a continued deterioration, we might even say an assault, of this inalienable right in many parts of the world,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on April 3.
Vatican hints that Pope Francis may meet Xi Jinping. Any encounter in Rome this week would be the first between a Chinese leader and a pope. Although a visit to the Vatican is not on Xi’s official schedule for his state visit to Italy, Monaco and France from March 21-26, a senior Vatican source claimed that the pope is willing to meet Xi and that the president’s intermediaries had made overtures to the Vatican.
Pope Francis has called for people to pray for Christians persecuted "because they speak the truth and proclaim Jesus Christ to this society". The Pope begins the 60-second recording released on Wednesday 6 March by telling listeners that there are more martyrs today than in the first centuries.
The role played by religion has been largely ignored in debates surrounding Brexit – but as a leading Catholic academic points out, religious faith continues to be a decisive factor in shaping the lives and identities of many British people.
"I want to remember those heroes suffering in China and Hong Kong for respecting human dignity, freedom and democracy". Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in United States capital Washington on Jan. 28.