Christian world

The story of Japan's hidden Christians emerges from the Vatican archives

Collected by a Salesian missionary to Japan in the early 20th century, letters and documents showing the history of Christians in the land of the rising sun have been recently restored by the Vatican archives and library.

The collection conveys the story of the persecution of Christians in Japan, a story that Pope Francis has often recalled when speaking of the "hidden Christians" who knew how to keep and pass on the faith in a time of persecution, and even when deprived of priests.

Russian Foreign Ministry calls for averting of further degradation of situation around Jerusalem holy sites

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow views as alarming the growth of tension in Jerusalem, which is a holy city for representatives of three monotheistic religions.

"We insistently urge the Palestinian and Israeli sides to show restraint and take immediate steps to prevent the situation in East Jerusalem from further sliding into the confrontational sphere," the Russian foreign political agency said in its comments.

Metropolitan Hilarion meets with Cardinal Angelo Scola

  On 13 September 2015, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, arrived in Italy on a working visit with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.

Church Leaders in China Detained after They Re-erect Crosses on Churches

Two pastors in China have been detained for re-erecting church crosses which the government had ordered taken down.

Huang Xiaoyuan, a deacon of Shangzhou Church and Zhang Zhi, a deacon of Zianqiao Church, were detained by police and charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order,” according to China Aid.

Last Sunday, Huang’s church re-erected their church’s cross which the government had ordered be taken down as part of the campaign to remove crosses from all Chinese churches.Government authorities cut off the church’s power after the cross was re-erected, but church members brought in a generator so that the church could have lighting.The government authorities then told church members to take the cross back down and detained Huang.

Church opens the first Christian museum in Basra, southern Iraq

  The Archdiocese and Archbishop Habib Alnaufali Jajou are behind the project. The collection includes unique items, ranging from religious artifacts and documents to liturgical furnishings and photographs. For the prelate they are evidence of "the care our ancestors paid when they exercised their faith."

Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All: Experts gather at Halki

From September 7 to 9 more than 40 human rights experts from across Europe journeyed to the hilltop theological school of Halki on the Turkish island of Heybeliada. Once the heart of theological education for the Orthodox world, the school closed in 1971 as a result of a ban on private higher education in Turkey. Arriving by plane, train, and even by foot, participants discussed and debated approaches to advancing freedom of religion or belief.