Pope Francis delivers Christmas message to the faithful

Pope Francis delivers Christmas message to the faithful

Vatican City: Pope Francis on Tuesday hailed the virtue of selfless Christian charity as he celebrated Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.

The service is one of the most important ceremonies in the Catholic liturgy, marking the birth of Jesus Christ. Thousands of people flocked to the basilica and St Peter’s Square to follow it.

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Religious leader protection bill sparks debate in Indonesia

Uproar over Ahok

Indonesia’s Islamic-based Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) has succeeded in pushing a bill on the Protection of Religious Leaders and Religious Symbols.

Earlier this month, it was included on a list of 50 priority bills to be discussed next year. Two other Islamic-based parties in the government coalition, the United Development Party and the National Awakening Party, are supporting the bill.

Almuzzammil Yusuf, a PKS politician and member of the People’s Representative Council, Indonesia’s equivalent of a House of Representatives, says the bill is aimed at “preventing and deterring the intimidation, and persecution of ulemas and religious figures.”

“With this law, we hope that there will be no more criminalizing of religious leaders who give speeches in accordance with the teachings of their religion,” he said.

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Pontifical Academy for Life hosts interreligious discussion on palliative care

Vatican flag flies above St PetersVatican City, Dec 12, 2019 / 04:56 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life held an international symposium this week on medical ethics and palliative care, hosted together with the WISH initiative, a part of the Qatar Foundation. The Dec. 11-12 conference included presentations by representatives of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism on the topic of medical ethics, palliative care, and the mental health of the elderly.

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Message from the Faith-Based Organizations To the High-Level Ministerial Segment of COP25

UNFCC COP25 logoIf the world is to address the climate emergency, every person must be involved in a transformation on many levels, notes a message from the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the UN climate talks this week. Speaking on behalf of Faith Based Organisations in Madrid for the United Nations Conference on Climate change, the message led by the World Council of Churches told – inter alia – “We call for systemic, cultural and spiritual transformations that may be translated into changes in the ways we live, produce and consume.”

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Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue Meets with World Council of Churches

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The World Council of Churches Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue met in the Vatican to reflect on their next joint project entitled “Serving a Wounded Humanity: Towards Interreligious Solidarity.”

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Religious leaders keep vision of peace alive on Korean Peninsula

Participants of the Steering group meeting of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace on the Korean PeninsulaEven as international tension mounts, religious leaders from North and South Korea renewed their exchange during a December meeting that kept the push for peace alive. Members of the Steering Committee of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Cooperation on the Korean Peninsula – including delegations from the Korean Christian Federation (KCF) of North Korea and of the National Council of Churches in South Korea (NCCK) – met in Shenyang, China, on 2-3 December 2019.

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Interfaith group delivers message to COP25

Rev. Henrik Grape, moderator of the WCC working group on climate changeIf we should be true to our faith, we cannot be quiet when we see what is happening,” reads the declaration of the Interfaith Liaison Committee to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to the United Nations climate change summit COP25 taking place in Madrid, Spain, 2-13 December. “We are voices that are driven by hope and compassion. In a most urgent situation to bend the emissions down faith traditions must contribute to the urgent transformation.

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Faith communities mobilise in Madrid on eve of COP25

COP 25 at MadridGathering at the Iglesia de Jesús in central Madrid, representatives of various religious traditions met on 1 December to pray and dialogue together in view of an intense agenda ahead, as the United Nations climate meeting (COP25) runs from 2-13 December. Christian, Muslim, Jew and Bahá’í – many are the people of faith who share a common interest in caring for Creation, as political leaders from around the world now gather for the 25th session of the COP to deliberate and negotiate a way forward through what is becoming an evermore alarming situation of global climate emergency.

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