Report Warns of Global Rise of Religious ‘Hyper-Extremism’


Religious Fundamentalism—more lethal than ever before—is unleashing death, destruction, displacement and instability at unprecedented levels, according to a report out today.

The Religious Freedom in the World 2016 report, produced by international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, warns of the global impact of “a new phenomenon of religiously-motivated violence—‘Islamist hyper-extremism.’” The report points to the Islamic State (ISIS) as the prime example.

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Pope’s Message to Conference on Climate Change

lettresIt affects the whole of humanity, in particular the poorest and future generations, which represent the most vulnerable component of the worrying impact of climate change and calls for the grave ethical and moral responsibility to act without delay in the way that is most free from political and economic pressures, surmounting particularistic interests and behavior.’

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VIETNAM: At a Crossroads, 10 Years after CPC Designation


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the 10th anniversary of the State Department’s removal of Vietnam’s designation as a “country of particular concern” (or CPC), the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) sees a country that has made progress but still has a long way to go before it fully respects religious freedom. USCIRF also watches with concern as the Vietnamese National Assembly is poised to vote on a new law governing religion.

“Vietnam is at a crossroads,” explains USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. “Its government needs to stop oppressing believers and enact legislation that respects religious freedom. If it does not, USCIRF will have to continue calling for its designation as a country of particular concern.”

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Pope Calls All Religions to Follow Path of Mercy

Mercy, for Catholics, “reveals the name of God,” is the “very foundation of the Church’s life” and is also the “key to understanding the mystery of man.” The Pope offered this explanation of the importance of mercy when he met today with some 200 representatives of other religions — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and others. The audience was held in the context of the Jubilee of Mercy, as it now approaches its end on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20.

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Australia: Interfaith cooperation in action at Mount Isa, Queensland


A single beige demountable fitted with not much more than an air conditioner, a few chairs, and a patchwork of woven mats turned to face Mecca has become an outback symbol of religious hope. The Good Shepherd Catholic church in the remote Queensland mining town of Mount Isa has offered space in its parish building to the local Islamic community for use as a prayer room.

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