Commentary: Trump's pick for ambassador to Israel has set off alarm bells within the Jewish-American community, the U.S. diplomatic community, Israel, and the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Despite the imposing proximity of the wall separating Bethlehem from Israel, the Caritas Baby Hospital is a point of light for thousands of patients each year.
The Law on Belief and Religion, to take effect in 2018, has some improvements in religious freedom, but is still a regression from earlier drafts, says Bishop Peter Nguyen Van Kham.
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is a prominent example in the West of Russia's return to a global presence and of its alliance with the Russian Orthodox church.
The Christian population in Palestine is in steady decline, and in Gaza, the situation is even more precarious.
NCR Today: "I sympathize with the pilots who actually dropped the bombs," says Professor Norimitsu Tosu. But forgiving the politicians who made the decision is more difficult.
Catholic martyrs beatified in Laos: Catholic martyrs from various nationalities have been beatified in Laos, in the first such gesture toward communist regime victims in Southeast Asia. A website statement by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate order said all 17 martyrs had died at communist hands from 1954 to 1970 before Laos came under full control of the Maoist Pathet Lao regime in 1975.
Pope Francis meets with leaders of Colombia: Pope Francis met with the current and former presidents of Colombia, two leading figures in the country at opposite sides of a controversial peace agreement that puts an end to a decades-long civil war. President Juan Manuel Santos and former president Alvaro Uribe met individually and together with Pope Francis Dec. 16 at the Vatican.
Calling the Philippines' current situation "grave," Fr. Shay Cullen acknowledges the dangers of speaking out, but says, "We have to stand by the principles we declare we believe in."
Faith and Justice: Rohingya Muslims and Christians in Burma are suffering terrible persecution and violence, despite the country's small steps toward democracy.