Questions and answers about Ash Wednesday

For Christians, Lent is a 40-day season of fasting, reflection and penance culminating  in Holy Week and the Easter Sunday commemoration of Jesus’ Resurrection.

Christians face increasing persecution, congressman says

The global persecution of Christians has gone from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith at a congressional hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Smith, a New Jersey Republican, along with other U.S. House subcommittee members and various speakers gave testimony about religious hostilities against Christians worldwide. Speakers noted that religious persecution violates basic human rights.

Smith likened the persecution of Christians in Iraq to genocide.

"Christians remain the most persecuted group in the world and thus deserve special attention," he said.