Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
Pope Urges End to Mosul's Christian Killings
Zenit reports that the deadly violence against Christians in Mosul has again caught the Vatican's attention. Pope Benedict XVI called on the Iraqi government Friday to end the "tragic news" coming out of the city, where at least eight Christians were killed in the last two weeks. The city's Christian population has declined significantly since 2000, when violence began the mass emigration of Christians. "I often prayed for all the victims of those attacks and today I would like to join myself spiritually in prayer for peace and the restoration of security promoted by the council of bishops at Nineveh," the pope said Friday. "I am affectionately near to the Christians communities of the whole country," said Benedict XVI. "Do not weary of being a ferment for good for the homeland to which, for centuries, you have rightfully belonged!"
'I Am Not Ashamed' Campaign Hits News Outlets
The Christian Post reports that one Christian ministry is taking to secular media outlets to urge Christians to stand up for their faith. Answers in Genesis's "I Am Not Ashamed" campaign began on Monday, running commercials on Fox News, FoxNews.com and MSNBC.com. The spots feature a diverse cast of Christians saying they are "not ashamed of the Gospel," the Post reported. The group is also encouraging local churches to take up billboard campaigns with the message. Part of the campaign encourages Christians to visit the iamnotashamed.org website and upload videos of themselves reading or quoting the Bible, thereby producing the world's first online video Bible.
Australian Bishop Searches India for Priests
Religion News Service reports that a Catholic bishop has gone to India to find priests to work in a swath of Australia that stretches from tropical islands to the wilderness of the Australian outback. Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton (in the state of Queensland) believes that Indian priests could help overcome an extreme shortage of native clergy. "These priests can come, please God, for maybe two years or three years and then, if all is going well, they will probably go back to India, and others will come and take their place," Heenan said. The bishop said he would also be happy to hear from priests elsewhere in the world who were interested in working in his diocese. He noted that other Australian bishops had gone "priest hunting." Australia's Catholic Church, like its Western counterparts, has seen dwindling numbers of priests joining the Church.
Tearfund Brings Aid to Remote Families in Haiti
Christian Today reports that relief group Tearfund is continuing its efforts to help earthquake survivors in Haiti. "We found families working incredibly hard to help one another with the few resources they have available, but the needs are enormous," David Bainbridge, Tearfund's Disaster Management Director. He said some of the remote areas, such as Léogâne and Gressier, had received no help since the Jan. 12 earthquake until Tearfund workers arrived. "This is a race against time as the impending rainy season will only make the situation worse for so many thousands of people who are already highly vulnerable." So far the group has delivered temporary shelter materials to more than 1,6000 families while other group members work towards rebuilding structures that can better withstand future tremors.