As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, churches and religious organizations along the Louisiana coast are providing food, money and support to parishioners whose livelihoods hang in the balance.
The National Council of Churches, its key mainline members and other church organizations are calling for Israel to alter its policies on the Gaza Strip after an Israeli action against an international flotilla on the high seas resulted in nine deaths, many wounded and damaged diplomatic relations.
The president of Malawi, under pressure from UN and human rights groups, has pardoned a gay couple who were recently sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment with hard labor after they became engaged in a traditional ceremony.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had his brother hand deliver a check for $400,000 last month to Tehran’s only Jewish hospital with the message that “our government intends to unite all ethnic groups and religions, so we decided to assist you.” In September Rouhani’s administration had issued a Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews around the world. Though some question Rouhani’s motives, his behavior is a refreshing contrast to that of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is a Holocaust denier (New York Times, February 6).