Friday, March 5, 2021

Pope Francis Becomes First Pope to Visit Iraq; Pleads with Hosts to End Violence, Extremism

Pope Francis made a rousing call for peace on the first day of his historic visit to war-battered Iraq today (March 5, 2021), pleading with his hosts for an "end to acts of violence and extremism,factions and intolerance,"  according to the Daily Mail website.

The 84-year-old, who defied security fears and the COVID-19 pandemic to become the first pontiff to travel to Iraq, urged religious faiths to "look beyond our differences" in a country ravaged by ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] that is home to one of the world's most persecuted Christian communities.     

Delivering a message of hope to worshippers in Iraq, he paid tribute to the "age-old presence of Christians in the land, and their contributions to the life of the nation."

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Five Jehovah's Witnesses Are Nabbed in Russia; Banned in Russia Since 2017 as Extremist Group

 Five Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia's Komi Republic have been accused of organizing and taking part in the activities of an extremist group, which has been banned in the country since 2017, the RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) website reports today (March 4, 2021). 

Russia's Investigative Committee said today that a court in the city of Syktyvkar ordered one suspect in the case to be placed in pretrial detention. Two Jehovah's Witnesses were placed under house arrest and another two were ordered not to leave the city while an investigation in the case takes place.

Jehovah's Witnesses said a day earlier that police searched at least 14 homes of members of their congregation in Syktyvkar.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

TX Ends Mask Requirements at Critical Time; Ruling to End Mask Mandate Is Irresponsible

 Texas Governor Greg Abbott's order to lift the state's mask requirement and increase the permitted capacity of all businesses to 100% has prompted sharp criticism from health experts and government officials who deemed it irresponsible and premature, The Washington Post website reports today (March 3, 2021).

The announcement by Abbott came at a moment when public health officials are warning that new, more transmissible variants could be taking hold. 

A steady decline in new cases stalled this week across the U.S., and cases actually increased in Texas, the second-most-popular state. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Pope Benedict Slams Biden for Backing Abortions; Scorns Cath.Doctrine, May Be Denied Communion

Retired Pope Benedict XVI brought up the conflict between President Joe Biden's claims of faith and his support for radical pro-abortion policies in an interview today (March 1, 2021), according to the Lifenews website. 

Benedict, 93, retired as head of the Catholic Church in 2013. He recently spoke with the Italian news outlet Corriere della Sera about a number of issues, including Biden, the second Catholic U.S. president after John F. Kennedy. 

Biden describes himself as a devout Catholic, but he also supports radical pro-abortion and anti-religious freedom policies that contradict his Catholic faith. 

This has caused much controversy among Catholics -- especially Catholic leaders in America --  about whether Biden should be allowed to receive communion for his sacrilegious violation of Catholic doctrine.  

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Men Abduct Hundreds of Schoolgirls in Nigeria; Armed Men Take Girls into Forest around 2 A.M.

Hundreds of schoolgirls were abducted in the early hours of February 26, when armed men raided a state-run school in Zamfara State, northwest Nigeria, the CNN website reports today (February 28, 2021). 

The schoolgirls were taken from their hostels by gunmen who raided the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Jangebe, a high-ranking government official told CNN.

A police officer was killed in the attack, according to the government official.

"They came on about 20 motorcycles and they marched the abducted girls into the forest," the source said. "The bandits arrived around 1:45 a,m. and they operated 'till about 3 a.m."

Saturday, February 27, 2021

J&J One-Shot COVID Vaccine Gets FDA Approval; With Pfizer and Moderna Allows Plenty of Vaccine

The battle against COVID-19 took a major step forward yesterday, as the U.S. moved closer to distributing the first one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, after an independent expert advisory panel recommended drug regulators authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use, The Guardian website reports today (February 27, 2021). 


The authorization would be a significant boost to the Biden administration's vaccination plans, making Johnson & Johnson's vaccine the third available to the public. Johnson & Johnson told a congressional hearing this week that it expects to deliver 20 million doses by March and a total of 100 million doses before the end of June. 

Johnson & Johnson vaccine -- along with Pfizer and Moderna -- should provide the U.S. with more than enough supply to vaccinate every vaccine-eligible person.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Romanian Orth.Church Won't Alter Baptism Rite; Many Would Not Immerse Infants after One Died

Romania's Orthodox Church said it will continue immersing infants in water during baptism ceremonies, rejecting calls across the country to change the ritual after a six-week-old baby died after being baptized earlier this month, the Reuters website reports today (February 26, 2021).

The baby died of cardiac arrest in the northern Romanian city of Suceava after the traditional ritual, which involves immersing children in holy water three times.  

The case has divided Church officials and believers, with tens of thousands of Romanians petitioning the Church to sprinkle water on the babies' heads instead. Most of Romania's 20 million people are Greek Orthodox Christians and the Church has much influence.