Keeping up with current events and important faith and culture news can be a difficult task, which is why we're partnering with TheBlaze to offer a weekly recap of the top stories to keep pastors up to speed on what’s going on in the world.
Below, find the latest faith and culture news followed by key news stories:
- The situation in Iraq continues to be dire. A man believed to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, recently appeared on video, urging Muslims to join him in establishing an Islamic state.
“God created us to worship him and spread his religion, and ordered us to fight his enemies for him and for religion,” the man said.
- And that’s not the only violence that has unfolded of late in the war-torn nation. Take a look at these pictures of jihadists destroying shrines and mosques in one town in northern Iraq.
“We feel very sad for the demolition of these shrines, which we inherited from our fathers and grandfathers,” one resident told Agence France-Presse. “They are landmarks in the city.”
- In other Middle Eastern news, students at a Jewish seminary in Israel were attacked last weekend when about 15 Palestinians barged into their school and began throwing rocks at them. Read about how the students fought back with some unlikely weapons.
- Also, in the midst of all the violence surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, read about how two families of killed teenagers from opposite sides of the struggle comforted each other.
- Plus: Is a nation’s attitude toward Israel a good indicator of its well-being when it comes to poverty and violence? This conservative economist thinks so.
- Moving on to the Catholic Church, members of a church procession in one Italian town recently made a shocking detour in apparent defiance of Pope Francis. The procession went out of its way to honor a convicted mobster—just weeks after Pope Francis publicly stated that all such people were excommunicated.
- And don’t forget to check out the way that this pro-life congressman responded when he found out that his teenage daughter is pregnant—and the shocking reason this former Playboy Bunny left her scantily clad job to convert to Islam.
Be sure to read the thousands of faith and culture stories on TheBlaze’s faith portal.
And here are some of the week’s biggest social and political stories:
- Healthcare.gov and the national implementation of Obamacare have gotten a lot of attention, but how are things playing out in individual states? Take a look at some states where things aren’t going so well.
- On the immigration front, this fiscal year has already seen 57,000 children try to cross the southern U.S. border illegally, a top border official told Congress on Wednesday.
“The recent dramatic increase is difficult and distressing on a lot of levels,” he said.
- Last but not least: We haven’t forgotten about the Second Amendment debate this week. Take a look at these two opposing ballot initiatives in Washington concerning background checks, both of which will be voted on in November.
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