Christian groups express ‘grave concerns’ about Trump agenda, appointments

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, on September 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri/File Photo   *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-JENNINGS-OPED, originally transmitted on Nov. 15, 2016.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, on September 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-JENNINGS-OPED, originally transmitted on Nov. 15, 2016.

(RNS) The National Council of Churches and several other Christian organizations have released a statement expressing “grave concerns” with President-elect Donald Trump’s policies and picks to lead his Cabinet and other departments.

“We urge President-Elect Donald Trump, who has said he shares our Christian faith, to take seriously his responsibility to bring our nation together and to heed the oath he will take to preserve, protect and defend America,” read the statement, released Friday (Jan. 6).

“He can start this work before the oath of office is taken with his policy agenda and political appointments.”   Continue reading

US Churches Prep for Eventual Terror Attack, Experts Say

SAN DIEGO - JULY 3: View of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial on July 3, 2006 in San Diego, California. A U.S. Supreme Court justice temporarily delayed a federal court judge's order to remove the cross from city property or pay a $5,000 fine per day which would go into effect on August 1st. The cross is the center piece of the memorial which sits atop a mountain overlooking San Diego. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Instead of peacefully providing a safe haven for observances of faith, places of worship in the U.S. are beginning to prepare for the worst amid the recent events in the War on Terror, experts told Hollie McKay of Fox News. 

 “I’m pretty sure there will be attacks in the future,” International Christian Concern president Jeff King told McKay. “Until [radical Islam is defeated], we can expect Christians, including in the West, to rationally tighten security measures and try to protect themselves from attack.”

Two men operating for ISIS killed a Normandy, France, priest, slitting his throat in open church in late July, signaling places of worship as potential targets for terror in the U.S. and abroad.

Pope Francis Insists that “Greater Politics” is the Realm of the Church, June 3, 2016

On June 3, 2016 Pope Francis addressed the judges and magistrates of the Vatican, insisting that the Church has a duty to intervene in political issues that cause “open wounds and dramatic suffering.” Citing the current model of the criminal justice system, he decried the prevalence of corruption and strictly penal punishments.

Pope Francis insisted that for true justice, punishment is not enough. Rather, both victims and offenders must be re-educated to give them hope for a successful re-integration into society. “No penalty that doesn’t give hope is valid. If it doesn’t give hope, it’s torture.”

“Forcefully reiterating” the Church’s stance against the death penalty, Pope Francis implores all to “let it be God who chooses when the time has come.”  Source

Church-State Separation Groups Take Issue With Iowa Governor’s Bible Reading Proclamation

born-again-bible-pd-701x381DES MOINES, Iowa — Three church-state separation groups are expressing objection to a proclamation issued by the governor of Iowa that urges residents to participate in a statewide Bible reading marathon.

In April, Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation at the state capitol urging participation in a 99 county Bible reading marathon scheduled for June 30 through July 3. The Iowa Prayer Caucus, the National Governor’s Prayer Team and the United States Prayer Council organized the event.

“Whereas all Scripture is essential to prepare us to be the people God wants us to be and to accomplish the purpose for which he created us,” the proclamation reads in part, “and whereas, America, being founded upon biblical principles and Judeo-Christian ethics, as taught in the Bible, paid tribute to the Bible for its important influence upon the development of our nation by many of our great national leaders such as President Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson…”  Continue reading…

In historic visit to Hiroshima, Obama calls on the world to morally evolve

obamaPresident Obama came face to face with the horror of nuclear war Friday in a somber visit to Hiroshima, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to tour the site of the atomic bombing 71 years ago that killed tens of thousands in an instant and ushered in the nuclear age.

In a sweeping address that reflected on the obligations of humankind, Obama wrestled with the inherent contradiction that centuries of technical advancement have both made it easier to bind people together and given them the capacity for the carnage seen in this city. And he confronted the cold reality that his own goal of a world without nuclear firepower remains frustratingly out of reach.  Continue reading…

Pope Francis meets with Singapore’s president at the Vatican

pope_francis_meets_president_tony_tan_keng_yam_at_the_vatican_may_28_2016_credit_mary_shovlain_cnaOn Saturday, Pope Francis met with the president of the Republic of Singapore, marking 35 years of diplomatic relations between the Southeast Asian country and the Holy See, and the first ever state visit by a Singaporean president to a Pope.

During the visit, President Tony Tan Keng Yam and the pontiff addressed topics relating to “the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue for the promotion of human rights, stability, justice and peace in south-east Asia,” according to a statement by the Holy See press office.  Continue reading…