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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Veronica Neffinger

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) recently voted to repent of the sins of racism during their General Assembly meeting in Mobile, Alabama.
 
 According to ChristianityToday.com, PCA leaders voted 861 to 123 to corporately repent of racism in the church during the civil rights era.
 
The one-page resolution passed by the General Assembly stated that even though the PCA wasn’t founded until nine years after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, “during the civil rights period, there were founding denominational leaders and churches who not only failed to pursue racial reconciliation but also actively worked against it.”
 
The PCA had debated formally repenting of the sins of racism as a denomination last year, but chose to give individual churches within the denomination time to discuss the topic within their congregations and to come to a full understanding of what they need to repent from and what steps should be taken.
 
Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee, voiced his praise for the PCA’s decision: 
 
“Thank you to our brothers and sisters at #PCAGA for standing up for racial unity and repentance,” Moore tweeted.
 
Moore and other Southern Baptist leaders recently gathered in St. Louis for their General Assembly meeting as well. During that meeting, Southern Baptist leaders voted to repudiate the Confederate flag.
 
 
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
 
Publication date: June 27, 2016
Pope Francis recently said that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should not only apologize to homosexuals for the way Christians have often treated them, but ask for their forgiveness as well.
 
The Huffington Post reports that the Pope made these comments while on a plane returning to the Vatican from Armenia.
 
A reporter brought the issue up when he asked if Francis thought Christians and the Catholic Church ought to apologize to homosexuals, and if mending Christian-homosexual relationships has become more urgent after the shooting in Orlando at a gay nightclub which took the lives of 49 people.
 
In his response, Francis referenced Church teaching which states that homosexuals “should not be discriminated against.”
 
He went on to say: “I think that the Church not only should apologize ... to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”
 
The Catholic Church teaches that although homosexual temptations are not sinful, to act on such temptations is sinful.
 
Pope Francis added that not only should Christians apologize to homosexuals, but they should ask for forgiveness.
 
“We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this (treatment of gays), but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!” 
 
Although Francis’ comments and views toward homosexuals have been embraced by many in the gay community, some more conservative Catholics have criticized what they view as the Pope’s more liberal stance.
 
 
Publication date: June 27, 2016
Suicide bombers hit a Christian village in Lebanon, killing at least five people and wounding 15 others.
 
According to ChristianToday.com, four bombers blew themselves up in Qaa, a village near the border of Syria. So far, it is not clear who is the target of the attack, and no group has since claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
The first bomb detonated near a house and three others shortly followed, a Lebanon official National News Agency reported.
 
Villagers said they were worried about the men when they saw them passing through the village. A civilian security guard called out to the men, but they threw a hand grenade before one of the suicide bombers blew himself up in front of one of the homes.
 
"Qaa is the gateway to the rest of Lebanon, and here we stopped a plan for a much bigger explosion," Mayor Bashir Matar told the AFP news agency.
 
"We chased the fourth attacker and shot at him, and he blew himself up.
 
"As we were treating some of the wounded, I saw the fourth suicide attacker coming toward me. I shouted at him," Matar told the Al-Mayadeen TV network. "We opened fire toward him and he blew up."
 
Four of the killed were civilians. Four soldiers were among the wounded.
 
 
Publication date: June 27, 2016

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