The heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem have denounced the devastating hostilities in the Gaza Strip as well as “all forms of violence and killings from all parties”—an appeal in the closing days of 2008 heard from government officials and religious leaders alike.
In recent months, the National Council of Churches observed its 100th anniversary, the World Council of Churches celebrated its 60th birthday, and the new, widest-ever group, called the Global Christian Forum, laid plans for a second international conclave in 2011 with a strengthened secretar- iat and an effort to get the word out about its existence.
To the chapters of the life of a onetime prime minister and now freelance diplomat, add one more: Mr. Blair Goes to Yale.
Fresh off his first year as a guest lecturer on faith and globalization at Yale University, former British prime minister Tony Blair got something rarely accorded to most academics: a public forum in which to reflect on what he had learned as a teacher.
Two-thirds of Americans think that religion is losing its influence on U.S. life—a sharp jump from just three years ago when Americans were nearly evenly split on the question, according to a new Gallup Poll.
Older and wiser: Henry Alford, 46, has written a book about old age based on conversations with more than 100 people over 70 (How to Live). Althea Washington, a retired school teacher, lost her husband and house in Hurricane Katrina and now lives in a small apartment close to train tracks. When asked how she's coping, she responded: "Can you hear that train? As long as it stays on its tracks, I'll stay on mine" (USA Today, December 30).
When President Barack Obama tapped megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, many liberal activists decried the choice of a high-profile evangelical figure who has opposed gay marriage and abortion rights.
A longtime official of evangelical organizations is the new president of the American Bible Society. R. Lamar Vest, the current executive vice president of Global Scripture Ministries for the New York–based society, was chosen by the society’s trustees to begin duties on January 1.
Metropolitan Kirill, considered a reformer in his approach to relations with the Russian government and the Roman Catholic Church, has been chosen as the interim leader of the Russian Orthodox Church following the death on December 5 of Patriarch Alexy II, who was 79.
The top Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals, who had already faced criticism for his embrace of environmental activism, has resigned after signaling support for same-sex civil unions.
President Bush said he doesn’t know if God wanted him to be president, doubts the Bible is literally true, agrees you can believe in God and evolution simultaneously, and believes Christians and those of other faiths pray to the same God.
Disarming: A Christian women's group in Japan has produced New Year postcards, in English and Japanese, to promote a war-renouncing clause in the country's 1946 constitution. Some politicians have in recent times tried to amend this clause. Tens of millions of New Year cards are delivered throughout Japan on January 1 (ENI).