Mel Gibson’sThe Passion of the Christ movie about the death of Jesus earned $17 million over the Easter weekend, making it the eighth-highest grossing film of all time. Gibson’s self-financed blockbuster had earned $354.9 million since it debuted on Feburary 25, Ash Wednesday.
The Israeli government’s refusal to renew visas to Christian clergy in the Holy Land has precipitated a crisis with the Vatican and the entire Christian world, say Catholic representatives. All told, it is estimated that hundreds of priests, nuns and Christian volunteers have not been granted permission to remain in Israel.
The State Department’s annual report on the status of religious freedom worldwide is out, and its chief villains have familiar faces. The report says China, Burma and North Korea remain among the world’s most egregious and systematic violators of religious liberty.